Thursday, September 29, 2016

Triangle Offense

triangleoffense_display_image.jpgThe triangle half-court offense was originated by Sam Barry of the University of Southern California and further developed by former Kansas State head coach Tex Winter. After his collegiate coaching days, Winter landed a job in the NBA to assist head coach Phil Jackson, and together they won 11 NBA finals using the triangle offense. Jackson and Winter originally installed the triangle offense to help Michael Jordan find ways to score against their Eastern Conference rivals, the Detroit Pistons.


The triangle offense is designed to help players learn how to read and react to what the defense is doing. The most effective triangle is the sideline triangle on one side of the floor. The sideline triangle involves the post player on the block and two perimeter players, one located in the corner and one on the wing. The two-man game is created on the weak side, guard at the top, and opposite post player at the elbow-extended area. The great thing about the triangle offense is each new pass creates the next sequence within the offense. The main objective of the triangle offense is to overload one side of the floor to create a sequence of options to get the offense flowing. Throughout the triangle offense, penetration is used to attack the frontline of the defense. Spacing will make it hard for the defense to help, trap, or recover. It is very important that players maintain 15 to 20 feet from player to player. The ball and the player move with a purpose, and good ball and player movement helps keep the defense occupied and off balance. The point guard should be able to pass it to any of his/her four teammates. Offensive rebounding and defensive balance will help get back and prevent the opponent’s scoring opportunities.
In the triangle offense every player is allowed to fill any of the spots on the floor, because all spots are interchangeable. The triangle is a offense that is designed to give your best player different scoring option. In 1995-96, the Chicago Bulls’ NBA record improved from 55-27 to 72-10 using the triangle offense. The triangle was ran successful by players such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol.  

2Araton, H. (2014). Triangle offense has its defenders and skeptics. Retrieved from:

Intro to Resistance Training Methods

There are many different weight training methods used for various types of athletes. The topic of training style and which resistance training method best meets the goals of the athlete’s sport is often debated. Due to numerous sports and a variety of different athletes, the different training styles are endless. One technique might be good for all sports while another is great for only one sport. That is the beauty of weight training. Depending on if the athlete is in season or on off season, the weight training styles differ. “There is no perfect method, only optimal ones for reaching predefined goals for a particular athlete at a particular stage of his or her career.”1 Also, all sports are different in their own way, which brings a different approach to proper training of the athlete.
Anaerobic exercise uses muscles at high intensity and a high rate of work for a short period of time. Anaerobic exercise helps us increase our muscle strength and stay ready for quick bursts of speed. Think of short and fast when you think of anaerobic exercise. The methods I will discuss will mainly be beneficial to the athletes in anaerobic sports. Therefore, these weight training methods are mainly used to increase overall strength and explosion, so athletes that have to use Type II and Type IIx muscle fibers, which will benefit the most. Athletes that compete in the aerobic system will not benefit much from these weight training styles because aerobic athletes need highly trained Type I muscle fibers, not Type II. Another thing to consider when doing any type of training is the volume and intensity.
The conjugate, concurrent, sequential, and 5:3:1 are all weight training methods that challenge the body in various ways. Strength and conditioning coaches are often confused about what method is best for their athletes. My goal is to explain each method and show the pros, cons, and what sports the training methods are best used for. “There are numerous goals that can be achieved with strength training.”2

Image result for strength trainingImage result for strength training

Image result for strength training


1Jovanović, M. (n.d.). Overview of Periodization Methods for Resistance Training. Retrieved September 29, 2016.

2Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 1. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2016

Introduction to Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a well-known and deep rooted practice of the medical world. People rave about the relief and benefits it can bring to the body; it has become an integral part of modern medicine rehabilitation. If you look, you can find traces of physical therapy dated all the way back to ancient Greece. Ancient figures such as Hippocrates is noted using heat, massage, and hydrotherapy as common techniques to treat physical ailments.1
During World War I and the with widespread outbreak of polio in the United States, muscle testing and re-education was a necessity which eventually lead to the development of modern physical therapy. “With such major conflict came devastating injuries. In an effort to help wounded and recovering soldiers, programs were developed and carried out that later became known as physical therapy.”1 As one could imagine with the start of World War II, more and more soldiers were injured which created the need for more physical therapists. In 1946, the passing of the Hill Burton Act increased the number of hospitals, therefore increased the number of practicing physical therapists.1
Simply stated, “physical therapists, often called PTs, help injured or ill people with improving their body movement and managing their pain.”1These therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.”2Physical therapists work with individuals of all ages who have functional problems ranging from physical disabilities such as, strains or sprains to neurological disabilities such as, stroke or cerebral palsy.”2  Physical therapy is commonly used increase the individual’s quality of life by making them stronger and more independent.
PTs are educated to use a variety of different techniques and modalities to treat their clients. No one injury is the same, therefore, no one patient is the same. As a PT you are often required to “think outside the box” in your treatment strategy, while also being extremely careful as to not harm the clients. “The work of physical therapists varies by type of patient. For example, a patient working to recover mobility lost after a stroke needs different care from a patient who is recovering from a sports injury.”2  

In conclusion, physical therapy is a practice that has been around for a long time and is always evolving. With the increase in injury, the need for PTs is growing. In this blog I have discussed a brief history of physical therapy, the population, and a brief description of the approach a PT uses in their treatment. In the next blog I will discuss the benefits of regular participation in physical therapy.


1Life Fitness Physical Therapy. (2015, February 25). A Brief History of Physical Therapy. Retrieved from

2Statistics, B. O. (2015, December 17). Physical Therapists. Retrieved from

Diet & Exercise (The Dynamic Duo): Benefits of Both

Part 1 of having good health is having a healthy diet. Healthy eating includes consuming high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and water in the foods you take in while minimizing processed foods, saturated fats and alcohol.2 By eating healthy you help your body in a number of ways:
1.)    Overall Health2
  • Carbohydrates and fats fuel your body.
  • Protein promotes a healthy immune system and rebuilds injured tissues.
  • Calcium and phosphorous keep your bones strong and healthy.
  • Sodium and potassium help transmit nerve signals throughout the body.
  • Vitamins and minerals help support your body’s processes.
    • Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that protect your cells against toxins
    • Vitamin B helps extract energy from the foods you eat.
2.)    Weight Control2
  • Quantity of food matters just as much as the quality.
    Taking in more calories than you burn leads to weight gain.
  • Your body converts extra calories into fat tissue.
  • Accumulating fat tissue leads to the risk of health problems:
    • Heart disease
    • Hypertension
    • Respiratory issues
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
3.)    Disease Prevention2
  • Obesity is not the only nutrition-based disease.
  • Too much/too little of certain nutrients can lead to health issues.
    • Lack of calcium can develop osteoporosis, weakening of your bones.
    • Too much saturated fats can lead to cardiovascular disease.
    • Too few fruits/vegetables can be associated with an increased chance of cancer.

Part 2 of having good health is staying regularly active. Exercise leads to immediate and long-term health benefits such as:1
  • Increases energy levels
  • Improves muscle strength
    • Keeps joints, tendons and ligaments flexible which avoids injury. Reduces your risk of joint and lower back pain by keeping joints aligned.
    • Aids in balance and coordination
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Improves brain function
    • Increases blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain
    • Helps reduce the risk of cognitive degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s
  • Good for your heart
    • Reduces LDL cholesterol that clogs your arteries and increases HDL which is the good cholesterol.
    • Reduces blood pressure which lowers stress on the heart.
    Lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Enhances your immune system
  • Reduces your chance of developing osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
    • “Use it or lose it”
  • Helps reduce the chance of certain cancers
  • Sleep better
  • Improves mood and gives you an improved sense of well-being
  • Helps treat and prevent depression

1The Importance of Exercise. (n.d.).  Retrieved September 14, 2016, from

2Why Is Eating Healthy Important? (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2016, from

Stretches/Warming up for College Throwers

Warming up is vital to all athletes.   Athletes should keep in mind the importance of heating up their body temperature and muscle tissue when they begin their workouts.1  Having a consistent warm up routine is  essential. The proper precautions  must be taken before working out to promote a better, more limber workout and lessen the possibility of injury. Below is a simple breakdown for throwers to utilize and have a successful training session.
Stephanie Brown-Trafton 2011 World Champs, photo by

  •  Jog for 5-10 minutes
  •  Begin with static stretching
      Do not  be too aggressive during static stretching. Static stretching should be used cautiously in order to avoid injury.  A more strenuous static stretching routine  could be used at the end of  a workout during the cool down process.
  • Progress to dynamic stretching
    • These movements  are used to prepare the body for a workout.  The body is not frozen at a specific point at the end of the stretch, but it is continuously moving.  This is what makes  dynamic stretches different from static stretches.2
  • Follow with 10-20 meter sprints, 4-10 reps with recovery time in between
  • Throwing drills which include medicine balls, kettle bells, shots or a discus.
Above is a simple warm up routine to ensure a successful practice. Next week we will go over plyometric drills to improve explosiveness in the athletes.

1Eder, L. (2011, May 20). Coaching 101: Warm Up & Cool Down for Throwers, by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder. In Run Blog Run. Retrieved from

2What is Dynamic Stretching? Why is Dynamic Stretching important? (2011, May 20). Strength and Conditioning Performance-Based Fitness. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from

Through an Athletic Trainer’s eyes: Heat Illness

Image result for Eastland high school football
On August 1st, 2016 the boys of Eastland High School gathered on the field for the first practice of summer camp; otherwise known as two-a-days. As the Athletic Trainer, hydration and heat illness during the hot August days is always at the top of the priority list. As stated by the UIL, “During the 1995 through the 2000 football season there have been 17 heat stroke deaths in football”². Although the first practice occurred in the morning, the boys did not take into consideration how much water they would need to drink leading up to those first drills. Although, the majority of the boys had been participating in summer workouts the addition of full pads on day 5 of practice creates a whole new situation.
Acclimatization to full pads is required by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). The coaches must follow a progression from helmets only (lasting from Aug. 1st to Aug 4th) to full pads on August 5th. It is to be noted that the dates may vary based on the classification of the school. On August 5th, the ball gets rolling; the boys are allowed full contact.²
The UIL has provided a list of precautions/recommendation that the coaching and athletic training staff should follow:
  1. Every athlete should complete a medical and a pre-participation form
  2. Gradual acclimatization to hot weather
  3. Water is to be available in unlimited quantities
    • A ten minute water break is suggested for every 30 minutes of heavy exercise in the heat.
  4. Be aware of the temperature and the humidity
    • Acknowledge the surface of the field (artificial turf, grass)
  5. The use of weight charts
    • Athletes should weigh in prior to and after practice
    • 3% weight loss through sweating is safe
  6. Know the stages of heat illness²
In the state of Texas, the athletic trainers and coaching staff must be able to identify when an athlete is suffering from heat illness. Heat illness is divided up into classifications based on severity.
Image result for heat illness
Stage one: Heat edema (swelling) is the beginning stages of heat illness. The first symptom an athlete may show would be sudden and excessive sweating during physical activity.¹
Stage two: Heat cramps are the second sign of heat illness. Heat cramps are “painful spasms of the skeletal muscles”.¹
Stage three: Heat syncope (temporary loss of consciousness. The individual will lose consciousness due to an inadequate cardiac output and postural hypotension caused from prolonged standing or the sudden movement of sitting or lying position to and standing position. Some other symptoms of heat syncope are weakness and fatigue.¹
Stage four: Heat exhaustion is the inability to continue exercising. Common symptoms may include: profuse sweating, headaches, weakness, vertigo, heat cramps, chills, nausea/vomiting, tachycardia, hypotension, and irritability.¹
Stage five: Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness. Symptoms of heat stroke are absence of sweat, disorientation, seizures, and are possible for the athlete to become unconsciousness.¹
As the days went by and the Eastland High football boys become more acclimated to the Texas’ heat, the risk of heat illness decreased. Throughout summer camp, as the athletic trainer, being on high alert for any of the heat illness symptoms was just as important as any other possible injury. Being aware and understanding the severity of heat illness can save a life.

¹Coris, E. E., Ramirez, A. M., & Durme, D. J. (2004). Heat Illness in Athletes. Sports Medicine, 34(1), 9-16. doi:10.2165/00007256-200434010-00002
²T. (2014, October 10). Heat Stress and Athletic Participation. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from