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Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Was Insane

We have always felt it has been important to our team to be very involved in the weight room. We started a strong commitment to the weight room in the mid-1990's when Coach Peachey came on as an assistant coach. He developed a strong lifting program for us, and it was incredible the difference it made for us.

The best example of the importance of strength training for us was our 1999 team, which took 2nd in State. (It should be noted that was back in the days before 4-classes where we had to go thru all the big schools in Illinois). In 1998, we made it to the Elite 8 but were crushed by Loyola. Loyola had several DI players, and was rated nationally. We returned everyone from the '98 team. So while we were excited about the prospects of having everyone back, we realized the team who had crushed us, Loyola, also had everyone back.

The message to our players that spring was, "You are not going to get taller, but you can get stronger." Indeed they did. Our 5'7" and 5'10" posts were able the next year to successfully battle Loyola's 6'2" posts, and pulled off the major upset. When 5'7" Jenny Zolper tipped the ball to Sarah Larson who put in the game winner- the place was rocking. Yes, weight training can make a difference.

This past summer I had an opportunity to Coaching U Live at Indianapolis for a coaching clinic. Alan Stein, the training guru of basketball gave a presentation. He talked about the need to do strength/agility work outside of the weight room. To do training in a more functional manner- get stronger as you do actual basketball movements.

Then later in the summer my family vacationed in Charleston, SC. One day, my wife, my sister-in-law, and my mother-in-law had to get a shopping fix. While they were shopping, the men folk went to Buffalo Wild Wings. While we were in BWW, one of the channels was stuck on an infomerical. It was for some fitness program. At first I ignored it, and then was intrigued. A lot of what they were doing in the exercises were the things Alan Stein had talked about.

When I got home, I did some internet research. Then I went to the seniors who would be free in the fall, and asked them if they would like to try doing Insanity. They were excited. They took the DVD's and ran with it. So they got started doing it in late August. At first it was so intense, they could not get through an entire workout. The first week they first went 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, and finally the whole way. Eventually they did 2 workouts a week, and 1 abs workout per week. There were three different workouts for them to choose from- Aerobics, Plyometrics, and Power. Each workout took about 40-45 minutes. They definitely are not for whimps.

The seniors went to the front and were vocal leaders in going through the workouts. It was like they had their own fitness club. The workouts involved- cutting, jumping, squats and jumps, slides, burpees, and on and on. While the workouts were killers, you could see the girls had pride in what they had accomplished.

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