Friday, January 31, 2014

Personal Training: Be Prepared for Anything

According to the American Council on Exercise, good rapport “promotes open communication, develops trust, and fosters the client’s desire to participate in an exercise program”. 

When studying to become a personal trainer, it may seem unnecessary to spend time learning about the rapport building stage, but it is vital for client retention to develop positive rapport. After the rapport building stage occurs, it is imperative to maintain a professional relationship.

When trust is earned, clients may discuss non-workout related issues. A study of women’s experiences with personal trainers concluded that clients wanted to feel like their trainer was a friend.  The negative result of having a friend-like trust between the client and trainer is that it can lead to some uncomfortable situations.  The following are summarized guidelines from ACE for maintaining positive rapport:

Know the difference between “client-trainer empathy” and “personal involvement”.
Keep client’s information confidential.
Make an effort to develop “cultural competence”.
If a client discusses “intimate” issues, do not feel obligated to demonstrate “interest” or attempt to counsel the client.

Personal trainers should use these strategies to handle and avoid uncomfortable situations.

American Council on Exercise. (2010). Basics of behavioral change and health psychology. (4 ed.), ACE personal trainer manual (pp. 56-58). San Diego: American Council on Exercise.

American Council on Exercise. (2010). Introduction to the ACE Integrated Fitness Training model. (4 ed.), ACE personal trainer manual (p. 84). San Diego:American Council on Exercise.

Pass Set Hit: What are the most common injuries for Volleyball Players?

Women’s volleyball is the second most popular sport after football (soccer).1 Volleyball players are most likely to become injured during a competition, but the majority of injuries happen during pre-season.2 From 2004 to 2009, lower limb injuries ranked the highest on the injury list at 51.1%.3  Lower body injuries may include ligament sprains, muscle strains, and tendinitis.4 Outside hitters are at the top of the list for lower limb injuries, followed by middle blockers, then liberos. Ligament sprains and muscle strains are the highest ranked for NCAA women’s volleyball. The next most common types of injuries are upper limb injuries (21.3%), torso and pelvis injuries (13.8%), concussions (4.1%), and head, face, and neck injuries (2.3%).5

The majority of the 53.1% of lower body injuries to players are ankle sprains.6 Inversion ankle sprains occur at the net with contact between the blockers and hitters. That being said middle blockers and outside hitters take the majority of ankle sprains, caused by a blocker landing on a hitter's foot.7

Upper limb injuries that occur are mainly over use. Shoulder dysfunction can range from rotator cuff injuries to SICK scapula (scapular malposition, inferior medial border prominence, coracoid pain and malposition, and scapular dyskinesis).8

Fitness Resolution Myth

This time of year, many fitness facilities experience an influx of new members looking to accomplish a new year of health and fitness. These resolution setters have established goals for the New Year in an important aspect of their life, but often they do not know how to accomplish their goals. Being a part of this industry, trainers consistently hear member’s cry for help! Many people are looking toward the supplement companies, diet pills, or over the top diets to create the changes. Often times this can be the worst source of information, as people spend countless dollars and feel miserable without getting results. When the simple truth is, our bodies are designed to be ACTIVE!

In 2008, the CDC released an article, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which outlines the basic level of activity our body needs to maintain a healthy weight, and the amount of time might be surprising how little effort is needed. For improved health benefits and weight management, adult Americans need: 150 minutes of moderate cardio (brisk walking or jog) per week. In addition to the cardio, the CDC recommends major muscle group strengthening twice a week. Once you do the math, that is less than an hour a day. “Less than 48% of all adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.”  Topics for the coming weeks include workout intensities, types of cardiovascular training, and strength training so check back weekly for more information that you can use to reach your goals.
Age-Adjusted Estimates of the Percentage of Adults Who Are Physically Inactive

Appearance: Top Priority in the Dance World

Hair is perfect. Outfit is glitzy. Face is caked on with makeup. Dance ability….lacking. Unfortunately, that is the reality of the professional dance world, especially when it comes to professional sport teams. More often than not, the first cut in a professional dance audition is based on the physical appearance of the dancer. A flaw, no matter how small, can result in the elimination of a dancer without her dancing ability considered.

According to a NBA dancer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they were under extreme scrutiny for any physical change, like a few extra pounds. Oliver conducted a study that showed 15 percent of the dancers surveyed hated their body because of dance. As a result, eating disorders and unhealthy “quick fixes” spread throughout the dance community like wild fire from dancer to dancer in order to ensure they maintain the appearance expected. The uniforms are small, leading to the emphasis on the body. A study done by Price and Pettijohn found that negative body image among dancers were common because of the attire, also leading to the eating disorders and added pressure of perfection. Many times, the contract that is signed at the end of the audition process states that the dancer can be released if a change in appearance occurs.

The question is, should dance teams possibly sacrifice ability for appearance. You can make a girl (who can dance) prettier with the professional stylists flocking around these teams. However, you cannot always successfully make a pretty girl into a dancer.

Oliver , W. (2008). Body image in the dance class. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPERD), 79(5), 18-25. Retrieved from
Price, Brena R.; Pettijohn II, Terry F. (2006). Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 34 (8), 991-998. Retrieved from

Touching the Lives of the Disabled Through Wellness and Motor Behavior

Dr. Priest

Touching the lives of the disabled through wellness and motor behavior
By: Rachel Cinquepalmi
Q: Why did you choose to direct the Lab for Wellness and Motor Behavior?                                                         
A: Early in my career here, a young, recently paralyzed young man came in to register for his PE activity requirement.  Being unable to participate in most of our activities, I collaborated with an engineering friend from TAMU and arranged to try his “Psycle” experimentally.  As we learned together that the “passive” movement of his legs seemed beneficial, we continued our efforts and got remarkable results.  I chose to direct this laboratory effort because nothing else similar to this existed and it provided many apparent benefits. 

 Q: What is the purpose of the Psycle Lab and how does it impact the students in Tarleton's Kinesiology Program? 
A: This is a multipurpose lab that provides “hands-on” experience for Kinesiology majors who have the heart to help others.  Not only do the student trainers receive a unique education, but the clients are the beneficiaries of physiological, sociological, psychological, and interaction.  I think the lab serves as a model of “Adaptive Physical Training” that can be duplicated in many schools and communities.  One of the major research findings of the lab is the finding that paralyzed muscle fiber has a remarkably normal adaptation to stretching and shortening

Q: What are the academic requirements for a student interested in working in the lab? 
A: Laboratory workers must first of all have a desire to serve others.  It is helpful that many have a solid background of Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, and/or Physiotherapy and Electrocardiography, providing them with an intuitive understanding of the problems encountered by individuals who have musculoskeletal or neuromuscular difficulties.

Q: How often do the participants in the lab train? 
A: Most of the clients train just as everybody should, i.e. most, if not all days of the week.  The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that three days a week, 20 minutes at a target heart rate of 60-80% of age-adjusted maximum offers many health benefits.  Research has clearly demonstrated that if we encourage more physical activity than “normal,” the body adjusts to the challenge.  Often, this realization encourages clients to move more at home or in the care center, where improvement can continue.  One of the most destructive activities (for everybody) is sitting, to which the body also has an adaptive response.

Q: What kind of activities do the lab participants engage in? 
A: Over 135 individual clients have received this special training from the efforts of the laboratory.  Each semester, new student-trainers are identified to carry on the efforts to serve these individuals.  During these transition times, the clients often train the student-trainers, providing program continuity, while new and innovative training ideas are being developed.  The primary ingredient in the operation of the lab is perseverance and determination.  Some of the clients have progressed from one-pound dumbbell workouts to 25-pound repetitions; some stand for the first time since injury; some take first steps after injury.



By the Numbers: Another NFL Tragedy

17. The number of estimated drinks Josh Brent consumed before getting in the driver’s seat and getting into an accident that killed his friend and Dallas Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown. 110. The speed at which Brent and Brown were travelling minutes before the accident.  180. The amount of days Brent was sentenced to for intoxication manslaughter  (
"Manslaughter” is a judicial term, synonymous with murder and homicide. Despite the verbiage, Brown was killed in an automobile accident caused by the blood toxicity of Brent. As Gil LeBreton from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram discussed, the drunken driving offense was not Brent’s first. He was arrested four years ago for drunken driving in Illinois.
What can be done to make sure that accidents—and truly—violations like this are not happening among NFL athletes? The truth is, measures have been taken. The NFL Players Association has actively sought avenues to keep its members out of situations like the one that killed Brown and incarcerated Brent. Uber, a car service company, recently entered a partnership with the NFLPA ( Accessible by phone and through a downloadable app, Uber picks up players from any location to deliver them to their destination safely. What’s the reasoning behind partnerships like the one with Uber? The New York Times approximated that since 2006 more than $5 million in salary money has been lost in fines and penalties from drunken driving. More than any dollar amount, the implications of these poor decisions become tangible at the gravesite in St. Louis where Brown was laid to rest (
Undoubtedly, the NFLPA is trying to facilitate better options for its members than to endanger themselves and others while under the influence. Uber may be the best bet. In the meantime, decisions like Brent’s cannot be unmade, and the maximum 180 days he’ll spend in jail are six months his teammate will never see.

Raising the Bar with Academics in Athletics

Raising the Bar with Academics in Athletics

In today’s society, many high school students have the perception that they are student-athletes, just as their college counterparts. This means academics come before sports. The “no pass, no play” rule helps reinforce that idea.  How much does the “no pass, no play” rule truly help when it comes to being successful in the collegiate academic world? 

During student-athletes’ high school careers, some have been passing at the bare minimum just to continue to play their chosen sport. Brad Wolverton in the Faculty Reps Botch Sports-Oversight Role discussed what happened at Binghamton University. Sandra D. Michael, a professor of biological sciences and the university's faculty athletics representative, lobbied admissions officials to reverse their decision to reject one prospective student who had a grade-point average below 2.0. You hear about who we call “academic leaders” breaking rules like this all the time. We are adding to the system of hand-outs. Collegiate level academics require more than minimal effort. This raises the question, should the bar for passing academically be raised in high school athletics? If student-athletes don’t make a 75 average or higher, should they be allowed to participate in the sport? It is 2014, and student-athletes should be held to a higher academic standard. Raising the bar will reduce the number of student-athletes looking for an academic handout. Everyone involved needs to stop giving in when athletes beg for a “C” just to play in the game, or ask to bend rules when it’s time to meet college admission standards.


WOLVERTON, B. (2010). Faculty Reps Botch Sports-Oversight Role. (cover story). Chronicle Of Higher Education, 57(11), A1

Snyder, E. E. (1985). A Theoretical Analysis of Academic and Athletic Roles. Sociology Of Sport Journal, 2(3), 210-217

The State of Softball- Early Commitments

The State of Softball- Early Commitments

NCAA Division I rules state that college coaches may not have face to face contact with high school players off campus until after completion of their junior year. Until those dates, college coaches cannot phone or text players, talk to players at tournaments, or have players come on an official visit until they start their senior year.  Players may email coaches to express their interest, but coaches may not send any correspondence back until their junior year. Rules do not prohibit players from visiting college campuses at their own expense or from meeting with coaches about their program. Athletes may also call the coach at any time no matter what grade they are in. When you see that a player has made an early commitment to a college before starting her senior year, before the time she could take an official visit, many questions rise. 

In most cases, a college coach has watched the player in action at tournaments, playing for a travel team or top gold team as an eighth grader, freshman, or sophomore. How is it that in today’s softball world that there are so many early verbal commitments from young athletes if coaches cannot contact them until their junior year? Many may say it is the parents, travel ball, and college coaches fault but who is really to blame? Over the next few weeks I will be discussing views from each group that plays a key role in the recruiting process.






NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs Staff. (2013). NCAA Division I Manual. (pp. 75-133). Indianapolis, Indiana

Hewitt, P. M. (2009). THE RECRUITING PROCESS. College Student-Athletes: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Implications, 37.


New Coaches: Importance of Finding a Mentor

“What drills should be done to fix this? How are angry parents dealt with? What paperwork is needed?”

Feeling overwhelmed yet?

As a new coach many difficult decisions are faced every single day. The best way to combat these diverse situations is finding a mentor coach, who can be there to give advice and help when needed. As noted by Bloom, Durand, Schinke and Salmela, mentors also set an example for new coaches to follow, and new coaches are able to imitate the coaching qualities they admire in their mentor.

Since mentors have a lot of prior knowledge and experience, their advice is priceless. As Dru Marshall states, their advice can only help a mentee. Whether it is something that has been successful for the coach or something that did not work for the coach, both types of guidance are beneficial in helping a new coach expand their knowledge base.

It is important to be proactive in searching for, and finding, the right mentor. As a new coach, there will come a time when someone is needed to answer questions that you have, or just to be a friend to listen when things get overwhelming. Finding the right mentor will help prevent many headaches and make your first year run a little smoother.

Baseball Development: Intro to Analyze, Evaluate and Incorporate

Baseball Development:  Intro to Analyze, Evaluate and Incorporate

Baseball… America’s past time. A game played by many, but truly understood by few. A game filled with superstitions that demand intense psychological training. More so, baseball is a game requiring remarkable physical attributes that trump those needed for other sports. ­­­­­­­­­­­The demands of the throwing motion have been examined and explained by Glenn Fleisig1: “From [the] cocked position, the athlete initiates arm acceleration. Elbow extension velocity reaches 2450±250°/s and shoulder internal rotation velocity reaches an incredible 7500±900°/s.” (p. 47). Fleisig discovered that throwing a baseball is, in fact, the fastest joint rotation motion in sport.  
The process of hitting a baseball exemplifies one of the most challenging reactive time tasks within sports. The meticulous ability that hitters possess allows them to recognize a pitch (fastball or off-speed), identify if that pitch is a ball or strike, then decide to initiate a swing in the correct path and at the correct time in order to make a successful connection of the bat and ball. All of this occurs in approximately 400 milliseconds2 (depending on pitch velocity). Undoubtedly, baseball requires a unique development process in order to compete and be successful at a high level.

Throughout the next ten weeks, we will be discovering and discussing the anatomical limitation and asymmetries that the baseball population presents. Additionally, we will examine the dangers of specific postural imbalances and how proper corrections can substantially enhance a player’s performance. For those reading, please feel free to comment and share personal and professional knowledge and experiences throughout this series.  



1Fleisig, G. (2010). Biomechanics of baseball pitching: Implications for injury and performance. International Symposium of Biomechanics in Sports 28, 47. Retrieved from:


2Adair, R. K. (2002). The physics of baseball (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.