Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still Working

So I haven't really been posting too much personal info recently, and that's because I'm trying to act like I'm busy.... The Explosive Sports Performance venture has been picking up, and we're growing each week. It's nice to see the constant improvement, but it's frustrating dealing with the sometimes excruciatingly slow process of growth. 1 new client a week is a great thing for us, but when you're starting from scratch it just never feels like enough.

The bright side is that I still have plenty of time to hang with Megan, play volleyball (I'm getting better!), get in a little pick-up Ultimate, get my workouts in, and read. I've probably done way too much reading since signing back up at the NB Library, but it's a nice out from any frustration I may feel from lack of work sometimes.

We had our first visitor this past weekend, (Thanks for making the trip, Dave!), and it was great to have someone we've been so close to for the last few years come down. It meant a lot to Megan and I, and I really hope we're able to return the favor soon. I should probably mention that it was sweet to have an enthusiastic disc golf partner for a few rounds as well. Since I've been crap at "real" golf the last few times out, I may need to make it out to the disc golf courses out in SA a little more often. At least that's something I'm fairly decent at and I know I could easily improve with a few rounds under my belt.

Anyway, I thought I would just drop a quick post to let you guys know I'm still alive. Figured I'd switch the blog name again (really, why does it even need a name?) since I've been out and this thing has been severely dated.

Hope things are well wherever you are. It's bedtime here!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Explosive Sports Performance

So, I've been absent for another long stretch recently. It's not for a bad reason! I've been moving forward with training and forming the business with my brother down in San Antonio. We've got a pretty good thing going at Superior Sports Volleyball Center, and we're currently working with about 30 volleyball players ages 12-18.

We just started a new blog that will provide athletic performance information to our client base. If you're interested in checking it out, you can find it here:

We've got a volleyball and an Ultimate post up (yes, an Ultimate post!), and we're planning on putting up 2-4 posts a month. Yes, that's being serious, 2-4/month. This is a business, we have to keep up a routine in order to satisfy our customers! Stop by and check it out. Let me know if you have any performance-related (nutrition, fitness, etc) questions you need answered over there!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And I'm Back...

Back in Texas that is. It was a long trip and an even longer bit of vacation I just took, but it's good to be back home in Texas. What makes it even better is going from 50 and raining in Vermont 6 days ago to 85 and sunny. You can't really beat that.

I made a few stops along the way... And, a lot has happened since my last post, but I'll keep it fairly simple here.

2010 Capital Open Sectionals...
Some pics of me here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Although I'm not doing much in those pictures.. we did go on to take 6th place and make Regionals (and, I'm damn intense in those shots...). You'll see that I'm taking some video in one of those pics, so I'll have some video to upload here pretty soon.

We ended up going in to Regionals seeded 13th overall (of 16 teams). Our play at Regionals earned us a tie for 9th place and we came away with 2 pretty nice wins and a pair of close losses. Video to come from that as well...

On my way down to Texas I stopped at the Georgia Guidestones. They are an interesting monument, and you can read about that in the Wired article I linked to there. If you have a moment you should definitely take a look. The story was compelling enough to send me a few hours out of my way to stay at a hotel in Elberton, GA to make a quick stop at the stones. My pics are on Facebook....

Well that's a quick update... If you're a fan of Linkin Park or just hip hop/rap in general you should check out Fort Minor. I know I'm a little late to the party, but it's good stuff.

See ya!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wildwood 2010

Over 400 Ultimate teams competed this weekend in various 2-2 and 3-1 division for a shot at a Wildwood Cup. Last year "Stillerman's Beach Blokes" went 5-2 to win the Merlot Division and come away with a 3rd tier trophy only losing to eventual 1st and 2nd tier finalists. Our most recent incarnation of the team, "Assume the Wurst," prepared for a similar run at a cup and had high expectations for the weekend.

In case you're interested our past Wildwood team names and outfits were:
2007 - Red Delicious (Red shirts, Rad mustaches)
2008 - Donk-a-phant Dance Party (All plaid)
2009 - Stillerman's Beach Blokes (Union Jack)
2010 - Assume the Wurst (liederhosen/suspenders)

Normally there isn't much to talk about before the tournament begins on Saturday, but this year was an exception. I won't go into too many details, but I will point out that camping turned out to be a terrible idea this year. We had 10 people trying to fit into an 8-person tent in 85-90 degree nighttime temperatures. I would be very surprised if anyone managed more than an hour of good sleep that night. Around 4 in the morning a group of 4 (me included) decided it would be best to get to a WaWa and rehydrate for the morning's games. We ended up picking up an extra hour of sleep in the car's A/C out in the parking lot. A hotel was booked first thing Saturday morning.

Our pool for Saturday looked particularly nasty. We had last years champs (Rabs), a team of DC players we knew were very good (Hennessey, they ended up in the 2-2 finals this year), and an unknown to play. We finished the pool 1-2 with losses to the bigger teams and a solid performance over the 3rd. There were huge layout scores and d's during all three games and we came out of the pool knowing we had something to prove (and knowing that this had to be one of the harder pools in the tournament).

Our crossover on Saturday was probably one of our best games all weekend. We were all fired up and ready to get a convincing win moving into Sunday's play. That's exactly what we did as Broaddus, Dave, Huldah, and Jim all played out of their minds and led us to a huge victory.

Saturday night was a welcome change from Friday. Air conditioned hotel rooms and cold showers were much needed after one of the hottest Wildwood's I've been to. Although I know we all wanted to get out to the shore and hit the clubs for some fist pumping, the sleep came pretty quickly for all of us.

Sunday morning was great. We didn't have a game until 11, and we really acted like it when we rolled out of bed in the morning. Everyone seemed refreshed from actually getting a full night's worth of sleep, and we were happy to have the time for breakfast and pre-game shopping for Gatorades (because the tourney provides Powerade which tastes like swamp water...). Anyway, just to finish this post (since I started it 6 days ago and got too busy to finish), I'm going to pass along a short video from the tourney. We ended up 3-3 on the weekend with a 1-1 day on Sunday. Overall I think we had a bunch of fun! Enjoy the clip!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June Update/Injury TMI

I've done a pretty poor job of staying on a schedule with this blog. I think I managed 3 or 4 weeks in a row before I faltered, and that's really not a good record... I think it's a combination of a bunch of things that are tying me up right now, but no excuse is really a good one.

So, instead of doing research and putting together a really thoughtful post, I'm going to just do a personal update...

The biggest recent news for me is that I'm not playing baseball this summer after all. It was a tough decision to make, but my arm began to feel like it did in High School. That would be a good thing for most people, but for me it wasn't fun to return to that form. I had some fun with my arm going dead during practice and even waking up not able to lift my arm above 90 degrees after one game back in the day... I just wasn't looking forward to experiencing that again, so I gave it up. It sucks, but it has served to revive my interest in Ultimate.

Speaking of Ultimate... I went to tryouts last weekend for Eastern Motors, a local DC club team that I played for 2 years ago. I had a good time and even managed to place in the top 2 on 3 consecutive 70 sprints... That was a little bit of a surprise, and, I'll admit it, I haven't been running much recently and I'm still feeling it a little today. The practice went well though, and I'll be attending the Cazenovia Ultimate Tournament in NY this weekend with the team. It should be a good time, and I'm definitely feeling more of a spark than I have the last few seasons. I think it's a combination of being away for so long and finally dropping some of that excess weight (yeah, I guess 10-15 pounds really matters). I'll take some pictures and hopefully have a recap when I get back.

Golf and rock climbing have entered the picture for the summer as well, and I managed to get in the trifecta this past week. Saturday was a 6 hour round of golf at Langston with Arin, Sunday was EM's 3-hour tryout, and Tuesday was a few hours of rock climbing at a gym in Rockville. Weight training has been holding steady at 2-3 times a week, but things have been interesting since my arm issues flared up. It is nice that Ultimate doesn't cause the arm to flare up despite similar action at the elbow joint. It's really that overhead stuff I guess...

You didn't ask, but I'll tell anyway... background info on the shoulder issues:
In addition to the elbow/shoulder pain I found myself in during high school, these things may be compounded due to a little skiing mishap from 2005... I was skiing Breckenridge and found a sweet little jump in the middle of one of the blues. Joel dared me to get some air on the jump, and obviously I took him up on the dare (or else I wouldn't be writing this). I turned off the lift and pointed the skis straight downhill. I had a pretty good head of steam going by the time I hit the lip of the "jump." For air in the middle of a run it was pretty decent and I had more than enough time to make a nice "X" with my body and even reign my skis back in before landing. I remember looking down at the skis to make sure they were nice and straight before I hit the ground... well, they were, right up until I made ground contact. I flipped over the skis and threw them as soon as I hit the ground, and my shoulder slammed into the packed snow. You know that wet crunching sound your ankle makes when you roll it badly? Well, my shoulder made that noise. I'm pretty sure it's the same noise Sam Bradford may have heard against BYU; maybe not as bad... Anyway, long story over, I laughed it off until I got on the lift at the bottom and couldn't pick my arm up. So now I get random pain in the AC joint area with overhead activities and occasionally while bench pressing. It's normally not bad, but the baseball aggravated the hell out of it...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

3rd Annual CUA Alumni Game

When it comes to club sports programs I believe it’s essential to leave things better than they were when you arrived. It’s sort of like camping… in a way. When you get to a program things generally function fine with or without you, but if you find yourself falling into some sort of leadership role it’s important to lend structure and discipline (well, as much as you can muster!) to the program to help it thrive. Last May was the final chapter in my 3 years on the Catholic University Ultimate team, and I hope I was able to do just that.

One of the things I am proud to be a part of is the annual alumni game. We started the game 3 years ago and just recently battled it out in our 3rd contest. For me, the alumni game was created as a chance to reconnect with the roots of the team through friendly competition, bring the alumni back together to relive old glory, and potentially to enjoy a bacon explosion (or two).

At this point in time however, the alumni are dealing with a serious losing streak. The alums haven’t won in, like, forever (that’s 3 years now if you’re counting…).

This year was my first shot to cleat up for the alums and I was sure things were going to be different. We graduated a solid class last year, and really looked to take it to an inexperienced student team (relatively, of course). Going into the match up we were pleased to hear that we had a strong line of returners, but we were short a few of our powerhouse players. Even without those guys we figured a win was in the cards this year.

The game started like any alumni game would... Easy drops by the alums had the Habit capitalizing on good field position, and old legs (and some younger-old legs) had some problems adjusting to the game’s speed. I think the older legs began to warm-up a bit with Habit up 3-1, and we started to play ourselves back into the game. The bad guys had more speed/athleticism at the top end, but the throws and decision-making weren’t up to par with alumni poaching, giving us several easy d's (mostly by our women) and allowing us to convert a few easy scores of our own. After weathering the early storm of unfamiliarity with each other the alums managed to take half 8-7. Our spirits were high and, despite only having a 1-point lead, we knew we were headed for victory.

Of the two halves, the second was much more dynamic. A huge layout d by the alums, some great deep cuts by Habit, alumni toeing the lines for scores, and solid offense on both sides kept the score close going late in the game.

As an interruption of the story, I thought I would just quickly mention my favorite moment from the game… Knowing this is a friendly game between the “wily” alums and the energetic youth of CUA Ultimate, I hope you can forgive me… As my position as an alum requires, I feel there has to be a certain level of craftiness to my game. It came midway through the second half when I set up for a reset pass. Jake was covering me and had a close eye on my every move. Jim had the disc on the sideline we were forced to and I was feeling a little lazy with my reset position. Instead of cutting for the disc an idea popped into my head, “great throw Jim!” was the first thing I could think of to say as I took a few steps upfield to fake a set up for the next reset. Jake immediately took 5-8 steps back towards his endzone to make sure I wouldn’t make a cut upfield. His reaction sprung me for an easy reset, as Jim had not thrown the disc and Jake had turned completely away from me, and opened up the break side of the field for an easy throw and catch for the score. Yeah, I feel a little guilty, but it was unbelievably effective…

Close after, Habit brought the score even again and we were tied at 14s. A tie there forced overtime and a win by 2 or first to 17 rule came into effect. After battling through another point the kids finally overpowered the alums and scored a pair of points to end the game at 17-15.

I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this was the best alumni game yet, and I really enjoyed losing to the future of Catholic Ultimate (well, as much as anyone can enjoy losing). This team seems to be on the cusp of something great, and I think the current regime may be able to take that next step. With Dave at the reigns of the team they’ve been able to settle into even more discipline and structure than I was able to manage, and it sounds like progress is still being made on that front.

The biggest news of the year was the success of the sectionals tournament. The men’s team had the pleasure of playing with one of the Section’s rookies of the year, Paul, and the women’s team played their first ever tournament! That’s exciting news for CUA, as it’s been a long time coming. It was one of my dreams while I was a part of the program, and I was so happy to hear that Dave and the Jess pair made it happen. I wish the Bad Habit men and women the best of luck in the future, and I hope they continue building the CUA Ultimate system for the future.

At the same time, it’s good to know that CUA will be passing along some great new talent to the alums in the future, and you know we won’t be winless forever!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rope Intervals

Here I am, late again... Two quick things before I get started: baseball season started Friday (for me, not MLB!) and I absolutely suck at skeeball.

Now, about the ropes...

I was introduced to these ropes through youtube a while back, and finally was able to try them when I visited the gym my brother works at. He had purchased a 50 foot nylon rope to torture his clients with, and I wanted in on the action. My introduction to the ropes was a combination first of amusement, then awe at the difficulty of the exercise, and finally of exhaustion.

Basically you're faced with a large rope wrapped around an immovable object. You grab the ends of the rope and swing away. Of course there are plenty of patterns to choose from, but any idiot can wear themselves out regardless of what they're doing with the thing. Basically, the rules are to just swing the things as hard and fast as you can. The best thing about the ropes is that it's low-impact cardio. Most people like to do their intervals on their feet and this tends to wear you down, as you're putting a lot of stress on the lower body. Using the ropes to break up the monotony of lower body dominant interval training and "cardio" can save your joints and keep your training interesting.

I recommend progressing the ropes through interval training. Start with a generous 15:45s, work:rest ratio for 8-12 rounds and work down from there. A good goal would be to get yourself down to the infamous Tabata protocol using a negative work:rest ratio of 20:10 for 4 minutes. If you're busting your ass through your 160 seconds of work you won't want to do another set. Yeah, sometimes the clock is the toughest workout partner you can find.

For fun, here's a video of Dave, Jim, and I doing some ropes during snowmageddon in DC this February. That guy sucking air on the vid? That's Jim. Oh, and yes, everybody loves training you can do outside!

If you can't tell by how often I link to him... I really enjoy Dan John's writing style and lifting philosophy. You can check his blog out or find him occasionally on T-Muscle. He's also got a book, "Never Let Go", that I just finished and really enjoyed. It's basically a collection of his best articles that tell the story about his growth as a strength coach as well as a person. I would definitely recommend it.