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For those who have been playing close attention to karting and feeder series in open wheel racing, the name of Conor Daly is nothing new.  If you are not well versed in open wheel racing, Conor Daly is one of the brightest young American drivers today.  In his Star Mazda debut, Conor drove from 16th to 3rd, with some terrific passes and maintaining his cool despite being driven off track several times.  Check out the video below.

http://www.vimeo.com/4032921

Conor has also been mentioned as a potential driver for the proposed American F1 team.  F1 is Conor’s dream and he appears to be doing all the right things to head in that direction.

Not only is Conor talented in the car, he remains on of the most “down to earth” kids you could meet, eventhough his success on the track could negatively influence his demeanor.  In between school, traveling all over the world to race and spending time with his family, Conor has been training at St. Vincent Sports Performance since he was about 12.

Best of luck this season to Conor!


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Not only does St. Vincent Sports Performance Sport Psychologist, Dr. Adam Shunk bring world-class skills to his athletes, he possesses world-class “hops”.  Check out this 2002 footage of Dr. Shunk and his “mad skills”:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPOjgCsMyxM .

Not only can Dr. Shunk elevate on the court, he is considered one of the elite high jumpers in the United States, winning the Indoor National Championship in 2006.  When he is not working with his athletes, he can be seen at SVSP continuing his training for future high jump competitions.

Are large numbers in the bench press, power clean and squat what athletes should be focusing on when training?  This is a very open ended question and certainly varies with the sport, but the point is that with any program for an “athlete”, ultimately they need to be able to move on the court or field of play. 

Can you have high numbers in each of the areas above and be a good athelte?  Yes…if these numbers are gained without sacrificing your ability to have flexibility, mobility and agility. 

Remember that the key to any good program is knowing the demands of the sport.  Once you know the demands of the sport, one applies the science into the program, and good results will occur.  Too often big numbers cloud both the coaches’ and atheltes’ decision making skills and technique, sacrificing the ability of the athlete to perform their highest level, and/or their ability to stay healthy. 

Train smarter.

One of the best things about the staff at SVSP is the diversity and quality of the coaching.  One of the newest staff members at SVSP, Carol Happ, brings great experience in kettlebell training.  Coach Happ did some staff development with our staff yesterday.  What is a kettlebell anyway?

A ‘kettlebell’ or girya (Russ.) is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. The ultimate tool for extreme all-round fitness.

The kettlebell goes way back, it first appeared in a Russian dictionary in 1704 (Cherkikh, 1994). So popular were kettlebells in Tsarist Russia that any strongman or weightlifter was referred to as a girevik, or ‘a kettlebell man’.

“Not a single sport develops our muscular strength and bodies as well as kettlebell athletics,” reported Russian magazine Hercules in 1913.

I have not done any kettlebell training in the past.  Having gone through a 90 minute instructional session with Carol, I have a lot to learn, and see the benefits that kettlebell training can bring to all athletes.  Generating power through the hips, teaching good squat technique, developing good control of your body in space, are just a few of the benefits of this kind of training.

Check this link out for more info on kettlebells and kettlebell training:   http://www.russiankettlebells.com

As in life, we begin to take aspects of our career for granted.  So as I walk the areas of our 24,000 sq. ft facility I make it a point to step back for a second to reflect on the athletes that walks through our doors.  There are many words in the English language but many jump out at you immediately…speed, power, strength, quickness, endurance, stamina.  Those are the easy ones, but what about grace, vision, courage, dedication, passion, perserverance, humility, compassion?  Whether you are talking about the professional athletes that come through our doors, or the middle schooler that just wants to make the team, we have been blessed to have many extraordinary PEOPLE utilize our services.  When a high profile athlete like IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan takes the time to shake the hand of a young quarter midget driver or when Former Pro Bowler Tarik Glenn speaks to a high school football player about “character” in our hallways…those are the days I know I am in the right place.  I am with the right people and we are delivering the kinds of services that are making a difference in people’s lives.

So, take time to reflect on those things that you may take for granted today.  You will be amazed at the gifts that are already at your feet.

Recovery and Regeneration are the limiting factors to much of our training prescriptions.  We know with more control over the athletes’ recovery and down time, the better quality and quantity of training we can prescribe.  When our NBA and NFL athletes are here for combine preparation we greatly influence their rest, nutrition, supplementation, recovery and regeneration as well as their training programs.  This allows us to prescribe programs of great volume that include intense quality movements and exercises.

 

Sleep is a critical part of recovery.  Most athletes need 7 – 9 hours of sleep every night beginning and ending at about the same times.  Too much sleep, too little sleep or long naps can inhibit the bodies ability to adapt to the stresses of training.  Deep sleep will encourage the release of hormones for recovery of muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as the immune system.  Lighter sleep stages will help to reinforce neural patterns stimulated during training sessions. 

 

Keep training smarter!

An Indy 500 Champion joined the ranks today, thanks to Ryan Harber, Andretti Green Racing’s Strength Coach & Athletic Trainer.  Ryan has become a trusted authority in driver and pit crew training in the IndyCar Series.  AGR is always at or near the top in the Championship standings in IndyCar and much of that success can be attributed to Ryan.

Coach Brandon Johnson continues to work his magic with members of the Indiana Fever as they prepare for the upcoming season. 

Former Purdue University Football Standout, Ryan Baker, was the focus of a video production highlighting the breadth and depth of our program today.  He did a great job, along with the other staff members involved in the project.