Friday, April 29, 2011

Athletes: How to avoid Burnout

Last video we talked about burnout in athletes and why it happens, today Dr. Nick and I tackle getting to the next level and what it takes to avoid burnout by adjusting to the pressures of the next level.  Early success is great but what happens when the rate of success decreases or plateau's.  Can you really tell at an early age which kids will be future professionals?  And what about the legends of the game were they 'Natural' athletes or is there something else at play? 

All The Tools, No Toolbox

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is your life leading you?

Are you leading your life or is it leading you?  We all set goals but do we set up our lives to maximize the success?  In this video Dr. Nick and I discuss engineering your life to make sure that you have the daily discipline to reach your goals.  It if not enough to set goals but you must make those simple decisions each day to do what needs to be done.  The problem is when things are simple to do they are also simple NOT to do.  Each day we either take a step toward our goals and build the momentum or we choose to take a side step or a back step neither of which creates momentum or compounding positive interest. 

How to engineer your lifestyle for success

Friday, April 15, 2011

Going beyond goal setting

Our goal at the TERRIO Edge is to be the hub of athletic achievement!  We have a long history of exceptional results in the physical training of athletes and now with Kim Tirapelle we can fuel that training with proper nutrition.  And now we round out our offering with the Mental Aspects of Sports with Dr. Nick Garcia.  This is the first in a series of videos on Sports Psychology and filling in that missing piece of maximizing performance.  Goal setting is great and we highly encourage it but listen as Dr. Garcia fills you in on getting the most out of your goals. 

Goal setting with Sport Psychologist Dr. Nick Garcia

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A true love of sports...

We started the League of Dreams five years ago to give all children the same opportunity to play in sports leagues regardless of their disability.  In these days of player lockouts, contract disputes, it is awesome to see a group of kids who LOVE just being part of the game. 

We are attempting to build a rubber baseball field in Bakersfield for these children so they can play on a safe surface.  The regular fields not only present a trip hazard but also many of our athletes are medically sensitive to the dust and or heat. 

The best part of this is when these kids are on the field they, just for that brief time, are simply athletes being cheered on by their fans! 

League of Dreams Baseball 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011


I don't think any supplement has created the buzz that creatine has, well, no legal supplement.  One study years ago showed an increase in lean muscle mass after supplementing creatine when compared to protein powder and glucose (sugar).  Then the rumor mill began to spin and the 'closet pharmacists' (self professed experts on supplements) started to tell people the 'best way to use creatine.'  Like everything else we have talked about there is actually a science behind creatine.  It is naturally occuring and we get it in the meats that we eat.  So, vegetarians will get the biggest effect from creatine supplementation.  The other truth about creatine is that it's function inside the body is in the initial energy burst or the first 10 seconds of exercise. So, if your sport lasts longer than 10 seconds you will not derive any benefit from creatine supplementation.  Check out the video, Kim and I cover it in more detail. 

One warning for very careful what you use for supplements and the reputation of the company who produces it.  If you are tested and something shows up because you didn't use a reputible supplement, you are the one who will pay the price, not the supplement maker.  Only use approved supplements!

Creatine, what you need to know...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The truth about protein

Kim and I discuss the truth about protein supplements.  What are the best types of protein?  What do you need to watch out for?  When is the best time to use them?  It's all here and its all based on actual science.  If you use protein supplements then this is a must listen.  If there are other supplements you would like to know more about just let me know. 

Why protein and supplements for athletes part 1

Monday, February 28, 2011

Can I get a little perspective?!?

Have you ever had one of those days where you're plugging along and then someone tells you a story that shocks you out of your sleep walking??  An eye opening story that shifts your perspective to look at what you have been focusing on?  Then you realize that you haven't really been paying attention to much around you just focusing on your issues of the days?   Last week I was privileged to be at a conference of Global Leaders, CEO's from around the world, gathered together in Denver, Colorado to network, learn and grow.  There were some incredible speakers, and some who canceled for political reasons.   I was happily engaged in learning and meeting new presidents of companies when a couple of conversations and one presentation slapped me out of my sleep walking. 

I was slapped back into reality about what is going on around the world.  The media has become so biased for one side or another and we watch as our political leaders talk about all of our conflicts here in America, you just become numb to the news.  Then, out of the haze of American life, I heard an African woman singing an African Song and though I don't speak a bit of her language I could tell the song was very painful for her.  When the song ended and she began to tell her story, I felt like a complete idiot.  The quick version of her story-her and her husband along with there five children were arrested and thrown into a prison camp.  The charge against them was being from the wrong tribe!  That's it, being from the wrong freaking tribe!!  She went on to tell us that she was pregnant with twins at the time.  Her husband was killed while in the camp and she was left in a small cell with her 5 children getting only what they were given to eat and it wasn't much.  The soldiers also came around to torture and rape those locked into these cells.  Then came the birth of her twins, inside the cell, no one to help, no supplies, just a dirty concrete floor and trying to shield her other children from the events.  Somehow she managed to survive 16 months in this death camp before being rescued.  The horrors this lady has seen and survived are unimaginable, but, she now lives here in America where her mission is to help others in Africa avoid her fate by opening peoples eyes.  She received a standing ovation for her courage.  I am gratiful to her for having the strength and courage to stand up in front of a large group and relive this heart renching story. 

As I tried to make sense of the story and her strength, I came to three conclusions. 
1.  We need to keep our eyes and ears wide open and get involved and help in any way we can. 
2.  We need to be grateful EVERYDAY that we live in America, Canada, Europe and the rest of the Western World.  We need to be thankful for the fighting men and women who protect us from these kinds of travesties. 
3.  We need to stop making excuses for not achieving anything we want.   In the western world the only thing that stands between us and living an extraordinary life is ourselves!!  We don't have to worry about someone arresting us and throwing us into a torture and death camp because we are a different race!  We just might be insulted by someone that is not educated about us.  We don't have to worry about where the next meal comes from! 

So, what does this have to do with sports training, you ask??  It is quite simple, the next time you feel that practice is too hard or that you 'don't really feel like working out', your tired or you give up on your dream without giving it everything you have...I want you to remember Rosa, in the cell with her children.  Remember that we are living in the most amazing country in the world where we are allowed to even contemplate such thoughts.  You see in America we can still dream big and if you want it bad enough and you are willing to work hard enough for long enough you can accomplish anything.  There are millions of people around the world who would gladly trade places with you.  So drop the excuses, justifications, reasons, stories and go out and accomplish great things!  As Abraham Lincoln said "I will prepare and some day my chance will come."  Just wanted to give you a little perspective.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hard Work = World Class

The Biggest Mistake in Sports Performance Training (and life)

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail!"  Benjamin Franklin

When we think about Benjamin Franklin, athletics isn't the first thing that comes to mind.  Franklin was know for his wisdom and creativity and this famous quote wasn't about training to be a better athlete BUT it perfectly sums up what athletes need to know about Sports Performance Training.  In the argument about what type of program is best for developing an athlete it is easy to lose site of what's important.  It is now widely accepted (still some old school hold outs out there) that off season training can improve in season performance.  The whole goal of starting a sports performance training program is to maximize the potential inside each athlete, which can only be demonstrated on the field (court, etc) performance.  Athletics is a great experiment in the potential for the human body.  We marvel at what certain athletes are able to achieve during a contest.  We just can't get enough of the plays of the day, we argue about the greatest athletes of all time, the greatest at any given position in every sport.  We talk about being 'in the zone' and wonder what that really feels like.  The players who seem to achieve this try to explain what it feels like and every athlete strives to reach this high level of participation.  The goal of every athlete is to be the absolute best they can be and of course to be a Champion!  Just to get a taste of what that feels like, to raise the trophy, to get the ring, to stand on the Olympic Platform and hear the national anthem playing!!  Everyone who has ever picked up a ball, thrown a pass, run a race, or competed in any athletic event has had those dreams.  But, what separates the Champions from everyone else?  Is it luck, divine intervention, 'wanting it more' or simply genetics?

Let's start with genetics.  We like to argue that some people are just born 'natural' athletes.  This just must be the case some people are just born to be athletes and no matter what they did in life they were just destined to become great athletes.  Willie Mays was one of these 'natural athletes', he was able to make the game of baseball look easy and effortless so he must have been predetermined to be a great athlete.  But, when he was asked about it his reply (paraphrased) was 'well, if working hard 8 hours a day for all these years has made me a natural athlete...I guess I am."  Willie was right, yes genetics play a role in our development.  Our genetics dictate how tall we will be and what we will look like and even the percentage of fast twitch verse slow twitch muscle fibers and maybe even our flexibility due to tissue make up.  There is continuing debate over whether the major factor of our development is Nature or Nurture, basically meaning that our DNA dictates who we will become or is it more the environment we are raised in?  I believe it is obviously a combination of the two.  While nature/genetics dictate what kind of hand we are dealt it is what we do with it that ultimately makes the difference.  The one thing I know with absolute certainty after all of these years of working with athletes is that very few athletes ever reach their true potential!  We know through motor learning that it takes millions of repetitions to learn a motor skill in order for it to become automatic.  That is a lot of work, years of work, 10 years of work by most estimates.  The human body is the most complex organism there is.  Our bodies are not only made up of the skeletal system with ligaments to hold the joints together, the muscular system with tendons to connect to the bones, the nervous system to tell the muscles to contract plus provide feedback to the brain about the amount and direction of movement, but then we have the digestive system to get us the fuel we need, the skin to regulate our internal temperature, the lungs (pulmonary system to get oxygen into the body and waste out), the hormones that are system wide controls, and on and on.  The amount of knowledge of how the human body functions is truly amazing and takes years to learn (and research continues).  Then just to make things interesting we have the human mind and the constant battle between our subconscious and our conscious mind.  You know the battle, the conscious mind says 'we should go to get in a workout today' and the subconscious mind says 'we should finish watching this game and maybe get something to eat.'  In order to achieve those moments of Glory, of being "in the zone" we have to get all of these systems completely coordinated and that takes lots of practice (IE. millions of repetitions).  We need to refine the desired skill, take in feedback and continue to perfect the movement until we perfect the outcome.  The problem with sports is that it is not a controlled environment so we need to prepare for success in an uncontrolled environment.  Thus, the person who is best prepared for whatever is going to happen in this environment has the best chance of success.  So, Ben had it right "By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail!"  Oh, this works for everything else in our lives as well, are you willing to put in the work, the long hours of perfecting your skill, taking in feedback and making corrections to increase your chances of success years down the road?  Or Not?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The first rule of Performance Enhancement...

There is a lot of information out there about Peak Performance Programs for Athletes.  "Maximize your Potential!!"  There are a lot of different philosophies out there about how to accomplish this.  Lots of 'gurus' teaching the 'latest and greatest' methods to reach your goals.  Before we begin the discussion of what scientifically makes sense and what is just theory, lets start with the thing that will ruin all your attempts at Peak Performance....INJURY!  With the explosion of strength coaches and personal trainers wanting to work with athletes and a wide variety of education and experiences the one thing that really concerns me is the disregard for injuries.  The first rule of any Performance Enhancement program is to prevent injuries.  Think about it, it doesn't matter how much you can lift, or how many repetitions you can do or how much work you put in, if you get injured your performance goes to ZERO!  It is impossible to become an All American sitting on the trainers or therapists table.  They do not announce the "ALL Injured Reserve Team!"  Having been a Certified Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapist and Certified Strength Coach for over 20 years, I have seen many seasons and careers cut short by injuries.  I do not believe that all injuries can be avoided because there are freak accidents but I do know that a majority of injuries occur at two times, Preseason and when an athlete is fatigued.  Preseason injuries are directly related to not being ready for the sudden increase in activity and type of activity.  It doesn't matter the sport, once conditioning and 'full practices' start, especially 2-a-days, the strains and sprains start to pile up.  And the reason?  The training program was not adequately planned to prevent these injuries, but, make no mistake the effect on performance is immediate and can last a long time, as you miss out on reps or watch someone else 'fill in' for you.  The other high incidents of sports injuries are when athletes are fatigued, both late in the game or late in the season.  Again, this is directly related to they off season training program. 

I find it very interesting that regardless of the sport, the people who have long careers and hold all the records have something in common.  They were all know for how hard they worked when they were NOT PLAYING!!  Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Nolan Ryan, etc were all know for working out incredibly hard during the offseason and then putting in extra work during the season.  So why don't more athletes follow this example?  Because it is Hard Work and it takes a tremendous metal discipline to work at high levels.  The secret behind a great training program is to have the year planned out and to start with the end goal in mindand then put in the work necessary (plus some).  There are a variety of phases that make up a yearly plan to maximize performance, so if you strength coach/trainer has a one program fits all mentality or the same program no matter what time of the year, then you need to find a new one who understands the science of training.   Regardless of who is putting the program together, the first goal is to prevent injuries by preparing the body for the stresses of practice and games. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Game Changers


Concussion Warning! Spread the Word!

Thanks to a good friend of mine I was privliged to attend an event in Dallas yesterday put on by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine.  Chris Nowinski presented their research and I was amazed by how far they have come.  You can just google the program if you want more information but here are the main points.  Concussions like any other injury if not treated properly meaning allowing full recovery can begin to compound.  Through studing the brains of athletes who have died after multiple concussions they have seen actual chemical changes to the brain with damage to certain parts of the brain.  They have also differentiated this phenomenon from "punch drunk" disease that boxers can get.  They have a lot of research and are still working to determine earlier signs and symptoms but for now it is vital that we begin to give injuries to the brain top priority and allow the proper amount of time for the brain to heal prior to jumping back into activity.   We will be working with Chris's group to try and set up some events in California to educate our athletes, coaches and trainers about the dangers of letting athletes with concussions continue to participate but I want to get the basic information out immediately.  With all of the publicity that concussions have been getting, I realize that some athletes are deciding not to report any concussions because they don't want to be held out or have other players telling them not to tell because they will be held out.  This is a very dangerous situation, we need to determine who has a brain injury and make sure they receive the appropriate treatment and recovery for it.