Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Assistant Coach Qualities: Part 2

Last week we discussed three qualities that help make a quality assistant coach. First among those were taking initiative and getting things done without being asked. Second was being a good communicator which involves both speaking and listening. The third quality was being adaptable and being able to change to fit your environment. This week, we will cover three more qualities that can help you become a good assistant coach.

  1. Be Valuable1 - Every day presents an opportunity to contribute to the success of your players and your program. When taking on all the daily duties that an assistant is presented with, approach each one with the mindset that you are doing this to add value to the program. Do it with pride. Do it with a purpose.
  2. Buy In - As an assistant, it is part of your job to get everyone to buy into what the head coach wants for the program. You have to motivate and encourage others to do what is best for the team as a whole rather than focus on the individual. This starts with buying in yourself. If you don’t believe in what you are doing or teaching then how can you expect your players to? Which leads me to…
  3. th (1).jpgDon’t be a “Yes Man/Woman”2 - It is not your job to agree with everything the head coach does or says. You are there to provide a different outlook or perspective on things. No one knows everything about the game or how to run a program. If you just nod and smile at everything the head coach does or says then you are not giving everything you have to the program. The head coach may not always listen to or do what you suggest, but you are doing yourself and everyone else a disservice by holding back your thoughts and ideas. However, there is a proper time and place to have these discussions and they usually shouldn’t happen in front of the team. Once a decision has been made, whether it was your idea or theirs, it now becomes your job to support it to present a unified front from the coaching staff.

Once again, you are there to make the head coach’s life easier. If not, they are better off without you. Provide something of value to help make sure that is the case. Buy in to the program and what you are trying to accomplish as a whole. And don’t be afraid to disagree. The best ideas typically come from a combination of several other ideas.


1Stein, A. (2015). Coaching Basketball: Assistant Coach Qualities -. Retrieved April 04, 2016, from http://www.coachingtoolbox.net/basketball-drills/coaching-basketball-assistant-coach-qualities.html

2Lockwood, D. (2016). How to Be a Great Assistant Coach -. Retrieved April 04, 2016, from http://www.coachingtoolbox.net/blueprint/great-assistant-coach.html

Monday, April 25, 2016

LeBron, HELP is on it's way!

Via Google Images
LeBron James has started his 2016 playoffs in dominant fashion with a four game victory over the young and determine Detroit Pistons. Even though the Pistons put up a good fight, we have learned in this series the importance of experience. This is surely not LeBron’s first rodeo. Even though LeBron played out of his mind in last year’s playoffs, he came up short in the finals to Golden State Warriors who were clicking on all cylinders. Not to mention, the Cavs were shorthanded losing their second and third best player on the team due to injury. Kevin Love (shoulder injury) and Kyrie Irving (knee) had the task of helping their team from the sideline. Some fans have ponder on the thought of would of happen if LeBron had his right and left hand man to help against the Warriors. We will never know. One thing we do know, Love and Irving are off to a great start in round one of the playoffs this year. Should the league be afraid of this trio?

Some might not be afraid of LeBron by himself anymore due to many teams figuring out his style of play. But, when he has the help that he needs, we all know how good that team can be. For the last seven years, LeBron James has literally dominated a whole conference in the NBA with two different teams. The Eastern conference title has been given to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavs team in 09’, Miami Heat 2010-2014, and Cleveland Cavs 2014-2015. It is no secret that he is common denominator for both of those teams.  Can LeBron James get Cavs out of an Eastern Conference that is more experience than the previous years? With LeBron dominance over the Eastern Conference for the last 8 years, some have joked about the East changing its name to “LeEast”.  

The health of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving is imperative. For LeBron to hold that crown up, Irving and Love must play an integral part. Not only does LeBron makes his teammates better, Love and Irving makes LeBron better as well. Teams cannot focus solely on LeBron now that Love and Irving is healthy1. Can this be the year that LeBron can go to war with full and healthy team to work with? Stay tuned.
1Paine, N. (may 18, 2015). LeBron dominates the Eastern conference. Retrieved from http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/lebron-dominates-the-conference-finals/

Rehabilitation: Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP): Brain damage in a baby that leads to disability. It occurs 3 out of 1000 live births, often with premature babies. Infection during pregnancy can lead to CP.
Symptoms: Muscle spasms, weakness and abnormal movements. Their actions (movement) can be floppy or stiff. CP is not a chronic disorder but can affect motor function, thought processing, swallowing, and speech. Seizures are common with Cerebral Palsy.

Diagnostic Process: Ultrasound, CT, or MRI can help detect CP.

Rehabilitation: Infants with CP, need help eating, moving and communicating. Medicine can help with spasticity. Spasticity is a feature of altered skeletal muscle performance with a combination of paralysis, increased tendon reflex activity and hypertonia. It is also colloquially referred to as an unusual "tightness", stiffness, or "pull" of muscles. School and social activities are important to the development of  a child with CP to improve the quality of a full life.

To see example of a simple Exercise click the link and check out the Laboratory of Wellness and Motor Behavior. And check out our videos!!

Reference 1
1. Drljan, Č. D., Mikov, A., Filipović, K., Todorović, S. T., Knežević, A., & Krasnik, R. (2016). Cerebral palsy in preterm infants. Vojnosanitetski Pregled: Military Medical & Pharmaceutical Journal Of Serbia, 73(4), 343-348. doi:10.2298/VSP140321019D

2. Taborri, J., Scalona, E., Palermo, E., Rossi, S., & Cappa, P. (2015). Validation of Inter-Subject Training for Hidden Markov Models Applied to Gait Phase Detection in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Sensors (14248220), 15(9), 24514-24529. doi:10.3390/s150924514

Rehabilitation: Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is a developmental birth defect that occurs the when the spinal cord does not close all the way during the fetal stage.The different types of conditions categorized by severity and include;
is the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp that occurs during embryonic development.
Spina Bifida occulta:
incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord.
incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord
incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord

In newborns there is buildup of fluid in the brain, requiring a shunt to be placed in the brain. A brain shunt is a narrow piece of tubing that is inserted into the brain in the fluid-filled ventricle.

Rehab management:
Surgery is used to close the the opening site in the spine. Rehabilitation can also be limited to the severity of the birth defect; site of the opening of the neural tube,the age of the patient, and the mental impairment. Exercise is encouraged to develop functionality and developmental growth.

Good Exercises.
Bike- (Nu-Step) - allows patient to push and pull with either hands or feet.
Arm ergometer - if the patient’s lower body is hurting, the upper body can still be conditioned for  workout. Allowing blood flow to the body, which blood carries nutrients to the whole boy.


1.Alatas, I., Demirci, H., Canaz, H., Akdemir, O., Baydin, S., & Ozel, K. (2015). The role of urodynamic studies in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with spina bifida. Asian Journal Of Neurosurgery, 10(1), 83-86. doi:10.4103/1793-5482.154872

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Will You Walk With Me?

Ever since I was a little girl, I remember doing a walk with my family every year to support my sister with her diabetes. Until I grew older, I never understood the meaning behind such a long walk. I did not understand the feeling of accomplishment, support, and love until I held my best friend’s hand and, together, walked the finish line of the walk as two type one diabetics.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF, has been such a huge part of my life for so long with my sister being diagnosed at a young age, and then became my lifestyle at the age of sixteen. JDRF is a charity that helps children and adults with type one diabetes feel comfortable and supported. They hold walks every year to raise money for the research in finding a cure for diabetes.1 This world wide charity has helped change lives in young children, adults, and even the families of those with children who are diabetic. They are a warm, confiding, charitable organization that gives everything to raise money to help finding a cure.

JDRF has recently launched a randomized trial for the constant glucose monitors, and how they effectively help those with type one diabetes. In the study, researchers were trying to address the benefits and complications of the constant glucose monitors for those with diabetes.2  The CGM’s have changed the technology in the diabetes world forever. With the constant glucose monitors, the patients are able to check their glucose levels throughout the day without pricking themselves. The CGM allows the patient to see which direction their sugars are going and are able to catch their levels before hitting hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.


  1. Radford, I. (2011). Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Journal of Diabetes Nursing, 15(3), 118-119.
  2. JDRF CGM study group. (2008). JDRF randomized clinical trial to assess the efficacy of real-time continuous glucose monitoring in the management of type 1 diabetes: research design and methods.

Upper Body Plyometrics: Part Two

In last week’s blog, (CLICK HERE for Part One) ,we briefly discussed commonly used upper body plyometrics. The exercises that were discussed are considered by most to be elementary and beginning in nature; in this week’s blog we will discuss more advanced upper body plyometrics.
Push-Up Depth Jump
To set up this drill you will need aerobic step boxes or weight plates stacked up. Ideally you want the boxes/plates to be about 6-12” in height depending on your experience and your strength. Place the boxes/plates just outside of your normal hand placement for a push-up on the ground. Begin to lower
yourself down, and as you extend your elbows to raise up, forcefully push the ground away from you, then lifting your hands off the ground and onto the boxes/plates. This is an explosive movement by nature and should be treated as such. Control down, explode up, and catch yourself with your hands on the boxes/plates with the elbows locked out. Begin with short boxes/plates, so is not to fall on your face while performing this exercise.

Rotational Med Ball Throws
The next movement can be considered a core/ab exercise, yet there is still a great deal of involvement from the upper body. Rotational med ball throws are a great full body plyometric. Grasp a medicine ball with the arms fully extending. Pivot onto your back foot while shifting your weight. Then drive off your back foot, while forcefully turning the shoulders to complete the throw. This movement can be done alone against a wall, or if you have a willing and able partner, it can be done with a partner as well.

Overhead Medicine Ball Throw
The last movement in our continuation of upper body plyometric is the overhead medicine ball throw. This again is a great beginners movement for teaching full body power with an emphasis on the upper body. Grasp a medicine ball in both hands, and begin to partially squat. Once you have partially squatted down to about ¼ squat, explode upward throwing the hands vertically and throwing the ball as high in the air as possible. The key to this movement is being careful as the medicine ball comes back down, and to not let it hit you on the decent down.

Continue to add these movements to your workout in order to see new found explosiveness in your upper body. These movements serve as great “primers” of the body before performing strenuous lifts such as military press, bench press, etc. Be sure to always focus on form and technique before increasing weight or repetitions. Add these movements for 1-3 sets of 5-8 reps after your warm-up and before your main lifts, to see added physical performance benefits. Until next time, happy lifting!

1Baechle, T.R. & Earle, R.W. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.
2Incline Push-Up Depth Jump. (2015). Retrieved April 10, 2016, from www.bodybuilding.com website: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/incline-push-up-depth-jump
3Lefkowith, C. (2015, July 30). Working Out With The Med Ball – 18 Med Ball Exercises. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from www.redefiningstrength.com website: http://redefiningstrength.com/working-out-with-the-med-ball-18-med-ball-exercises/
4Stoppanni, J., PhD. (2012, August 14). Power HIIT. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from
www.muscleandperformance.com website: http://www.muscleandperformance.com/article/power-hiit

Love is greater than the highs and lows

One of the scariest things a diabetic can go through is a high or low blood sugar. The fear of going low and the fear of being high. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, exceeds the normal range of 80-120. Hyperglycemia can be adjusted and lowered by injecting insulin into the body. Many times, high glucose levels can occur from many factors. When a diabetic is sick, stressed, upset, anxious, or has had too many carbs without insulin, the blood sugar may rise. If the blood sugar reaches too high, severe complications occur. The body will go into diabetic ketoacidosis, and the organs will start shutting down if not treated.1

When a patient has low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, they may have too much insulin in their body with not enough carbs to even it out. Many times diabetics will see a low blood sugar after a vigorous workout, from not eating enough or injecting too much insulin into the body. Symptoms of low blood sugar can be slurring of the words, sweaty, cold chills, shaky, pale, and patient might seem out of it. 2 If the blood glucose level bottoms out far enough, the patient could slip into a coma or worse complications could occur. When a diabetic has low blood sugar, they immediately need carbs in order to bring the levels back stable. Glucose tablets, juice, icing, candy and gatorade are all fast acting sugars that will help bring those levels back to normal.

If a patient does not seem like themselves, a blood test needs to be done immediately so further action may be taken. If the blood glucose levels become too high or too low, a patient may become unconscious and lead to further complications. Immediate attention needs to be brought up as soon as a symptoms appears.


  1. Klein, R. (1995). Hyperglycemia and microvascular and macrovascular disease in diabetes. Diabetes care, 18(2), 258-268.
2. Cryer, P. E., Davis, S. N., & Shamoon, H. (2003). Hypoglycemia in diabetes. Diabetes care, 26(6), 1902-1912.

What it Takes to be a Successful Personal Trainer

Do You Have What it Takes To Be A Successful Personal Trainer?

    In the world there are thousands of people that call themselves personal trainers, with an unregulated field anyone can call himself a personal trainer with no certification. There are average personal trainers and those personal trainers that go above and beyond for themselves and their clients. The difference between these two types of trainers is the ability tofacebook.png go the extra 10 percent, being able to sell themselves. As a personal trainer you have to think of yourself as the product and the act of the client paying for you is the process not the other way around. The best personal trainers in the world have developed what Jonathan Goodman calls their “niche”, meaning that they have found what it is in training that interests them the most and ran with it. To be considered an expert in the field of personal training you have to take one specific aspect of training and make it yours. Whether it be training people with diabetes, back pain, postnatal mothers, or athletes. There are many different aspects of training, the important thing is to find with part is who you are as a trainer. Do not try and cater to every client that walks through that door, if lower back pain is your “niche” then tell them so they can find a trainer that will cater to their need of weight loss.
    instagram.pngAnother major part in your success as a personal trainer is the ability to market yourself as a professional. The ways to do this is social media, and the clients you have already. Always remember it is much easier to keep the clients you have already acquired versus gaining new clientele. The most powerful of these two is social media, facebook and twitter have over 800 million users with the ability to set your career off when done properly. “Social media has the ability to fill your schedule for free, in minutes a day, and without being spammy. I know that's a bold statement, but you’re likely already connected to every lead that you’ll ever need. You need to keep it simple and focus on two things:
  1. Understand why people use social media and why it’s important.
  2. Determine how to maximize results from the Facebook and Twitter.”1
Jonathan Goodman describes 3 steps to utilizing social media to make a successful trainer: 1 being gather as many friends as possible, 2 is to be consistent by posting a fitness tip of the day, and 3 is optional but you could celebrate your client by tagging them in an accomplishment that had at the gym so that it will go to their wall allowing all of their friends to see their goal become a reality.
    The ability social media now has on the world is scary, this free, easy to use tool can take a trainer from good to great with just a few posts and reposts from the people they see on day to day basis. I hope you take the idea of social media and use it to take your career to the next level and help you to achieve your goals as a personal trainer impacting the lives of everyday people to more healthy lifestyles. twitter.png

1Goodman, J. (2012). Ignite the fire: The secrets to building a successful personal training career. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace

The Truth About Coconut Oil

The Truth About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a multitude of health benefits, which include but are not limited, to skin care, hair care, improving digestion, and immunity against a host of infections and diseases. The oil is used not just in tropical countries where coconut plantations are abundant, but also in the US and the UK. People are discovering the wonders this oil promotes and it is again gaining popularity throughout the world. Let us see how many of these benefits you are aware of.1A recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology challenged a long-held belief that high fat diets contributed to colon cancer. The authors of the study correctly stated that the lipid profile of the fats being consumed is very important to understand: "High-fat-diet (HFD) consumption is associated with colon cancer risk. However, little is known about how the lipid composition of a HFD can influence pro-oncogenic processes." This study out of the University of South Carolina looking at the effects of saturated fats on colon cancer is a very welcoming study, and many more similar theories about the "dangers" of high fat diets should be challenged and looked at more carefully by studying the lipid composition of the fats being consumed. The conclusions of their experiments showed that a high fat diet rich in saturated fats, specifically coconut oil, can protect you against colon cancer. 2

Coconut Oil Health Benefits Infograph


Risks for a Lifetime

If you thought being type one or type two diabetic wasn’t enough for one person, you should be aware of all the risks that come along with this chronic disease. People who suffer from diabetes are extremely susceptible to catching infections and illnesses around them. With such a weak immune system, those with diabetes seem to catch just about every cold, infection and bacteria out there. There are many factors that can cause a diabetic to be predisposed to these infections. Some include, poor blood supply, nerve damage, genetically susceptible, humoral immune defence mechanisms and much more.1

The majority of diabetics will face hospitalization for an infection at some point in their life. With the lack of a strong immune system, it makes the healing process for patients much more difficult as well. Foot infections typically occur frequently in patients who have diabetes that increase the risk of hospitalization and even amputation.2

Many are not familiar with the risks and complications that diabetics go through in their lifetime from having a chronic disease. It is important to take care of yourself and constantly be aware of cuts and open wounds on the body. Nine times out of ten, they will become infected and will need medical assistance. It can also be life threatening to the patient if the infection gets out of hand. Taking the correct medication and stabilizing blood glucose levels can help reduce the risk of infection and help build the immune system.


  1. Pozzilli, P., & Leslie, R. D. G. (1994). Infections and diabetes: mechanisms and prospects for prevention. Diabetic Medicine, 11(10), 935-941.
2. Lavery, L. A., Armstrong, D. G., Wunderlich, R. P., Mohler, M. J., Wendel, C. S., & Lipsky, B. A. (2006). Risk factors for foot infections in individuals with diabetes. Diabetes care, 29(6), 1288-1293.

Running Power

“There is nothing magical about the Power play,”1 Paul Alexander, the Cincinnati Bengals’ longtime offensive line coach.
Playside linemen (tight end, tackle, and guard): The basic rule for each of the playside linemen is “Gap, On, Linebacker,” which means they first check their inside gap (i.e., if the run is to the right they look to see if anyone is lined up to their left), then look to see if anyone is lined up across from them. Finally, if there’s no defender to their inside gap or across from them, they will block an a wayside linebacker. The hope is that those straightforward rules help to produce at least one double-team block to the playside, typically with the guard and tackle double-teaming the defensive tackle. The basic idea for the double-team is for the two linemen to move the defender out of the way until one slips off to block the linebacker at the last second. Only when the lineman can “smell the linebacker’s breath,” as a college coach once said,  is there no hope for success unless the double-team is effective.
• Center: The center steps backside to stop any inside penetration.2
• Backside guard: Known as the “wrapper” because his job is to wrap around to lead block for the runner, the backside guard is tasked with pulling and blocking the first unblocked defender who appears.
• Backside tackle: The backside tackle steps inside to seal off penetration, then turns and hinges to stop any backside pursuit.
• Fullback (or another blocking back, like an H-back): He’s known as the “trapper” because his job is to execute a trap or kick-out block to create the alley. “The fullback is going to block the first thing off the tight end’s edge, inside to out,” Stanford head coach David Shaw explained at a coaching clinic in 2013. “We talk about having to pry the gap open. The fullback is the crowbar to the play.”

1Football 101: Why Power Running Works. (2015). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://grantland.com/the-triangle/2015-nfl-college-football-power-running-counter-running
2The Coach’s Corner: Utilizing New Power-O Innovations in the Spread Offense. (2012). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://fishduck.com/2012/07/the-coachs-corner-utilizing-new-power-o-innovations-in-the-spread-offense/

The Powers of Turmeric

The Power of Turmeric

Turmeric is an ancient form of medication which has been used for hundreds of years. Turmeric actually comes from the curcuma longa plant which is traditionally boiled, dried, and ground into a powder. Both the Chinese and Indian origin have used turmeric for healing purposes and the health benefits remain powerful still today.1 Turmeric has a warm, peppery flavor which has been utilized in a variety of seasonings and is what gives curry its yellow color.

The key in turmeric which gives it it’s wonderful health benefits and properties, is the compound curcumin. While curcumin does contain side effects, the health benefits profoundly outweigh any potential negatives. These health benefits are seen with and throughout the body.2

Curcumin has been proven to work in the following ways:3

  • Increase lifespan
  • Protect the “liver oxidative stress”
  • Kill fungus more than ginger, clove, or oregano
  • Induce tumor cell death
  • Kill bladder cancer cells
  • Kill lung cancer cells
  • Lower blood cholesterol levels
  • Protect against memory defects

While the list of healing powers associated with turmeric curcumin seem endless, turmeric is known to help heal the following conditions:

  1. Chronic Inflammation: Turmeric is known to reduce inflammation within the body, including the gut. Curcumin is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents in the world (many find it more effective than even Aspirin, Advil, or Motrin).In addition, while drugs contain side effects, turmeric has very few so it may prove safer in the long run.
  2. Arthritis: Due to the fact that turmeric is anti-inflammatory, turmeric is known to help those with arthritis and joint pain. Several studies suggest that a supplemental intake of turmeric may help reduce the risk for arthritis development.
  3. Depression: Curcumin is surprisingly able to control depression symptoms as one of the principles in curcumin is just as effective as Prozac.4
  4. Diabetes: Turmeric reduces blood sugar levels and provides reverse insulin resistance. As a matter of fact, turmeric has shown to be 400 times more effective for treating diabetes than the common drug Metaform. Turmeric improves metabolic function and reduces the risk of plaque buildup.5
  5. Cancer: Recent studies show that turmeric is a powerful cancer-killer. Curcumin inhibits cancer cell growth and boost antioxidant levels to in turn, kill cancer cells. It improves mitochondrial function and it promotes the metabolism.
  6. Skin and Aging: Turmeric is known to help the skin. It’s antibacterial, so it’s great for blemishes, acne, or other skin imperfections.
  7. Brain Health and Memory: Turmeric provides the brain with oxygen which helps memory and overall health.

Overall, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant which is beneficial to one’s health and nutrition. It should be considered over pharmaceutical drugs for any health condition and should be utilized on a consistent basis.  


20 Health Benefits of Turmeric | Eat This! (2015). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html

Turmeric Benefits Superior To 10 Medications At Reversing Disease. (2014). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/