Author Topic: Varsity  (Read 2373 times)

Offline Mathew C

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Varsity
« on: June 29, 2009, 07:29:39 PM »
My goal is simple: I want to become a part of my school's varsity basketball team during my senior year, having recently graduated from sophomore status.

I've been thinking about it for a long, and after much indecision I'm sure this is what I want to pursue athletically. Although I recognize that some elements of my chosen sport run contrary to the principles of parkour (thus my conflicting thoughts on the matter), I view these differences as obstacles to overcome as a traceur. In short, this means approaching basketball through the ideals of safe and patient training, only truly competing to overcome the self of two weeks prior.

In the next post, stay tuned for anticipated struggles and advantages (including a short lesson on the various positions of basketball players) and the corresponding set of goals.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 07:55:43 PM »
http://www.basketball-plays-and-tips.com/basketball-positions.html

Advantages
  • My school has small classes seldom exceeding 40 people, and my height is somewhere near the 98th percentile at 6'2.5" with 2 more inches left to grow, so my height will offer some advantage
  • I'm as big and strong as any of the player in my class or the class below, so strength and size aren't a priority and I can focus on my more lacking technical prowess

Obstacles
  • More than half of the certs for the 2010-2011 varsity team are centers or big forwards who have been playing for many years, so either position is out of the question despite my size
  • Long-term tendonitis in my right tricep
  • Very flat, flexible arches
  • Minor shin splints that are only even detectable during running vertical leaps off of one foot

Solutions
  • I'll have to become an amazing shooter
  • I'm set up to begin physical therapy in the next few weeks; in the mean time, I'll keep fine-tuning my one-handed shot and fundamentals (for those without specialized knowledge, a basketball shot in its purest form uses only one hand)
  • Support muscles FTW; it's one thing to maintain a mechanically healthy footstrike/strike over the course of a typical school day, but walking long distances is another animal, and running is a third - right now I'm working to tame the middle beast
  • Rest, focus on my shot, and do ankle exercises with a focus on the shins

Exact goals are TBD

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 04:42:40 PM »
Short-term goals
1) Run with GOOD footstrike/stride/pronation, maintain for 1/3 miles (uphill)
2) Complete a fundamentals drill perfectly (80% accuracy, sets of 5)
3) 3 sets of 3 pistols per leg

Long-term goals
1) Run with GOOD footstrike/stride/pronation, maintain for 1 mile (uphill)
2) Complete a fundamentals drill perfectly (90% accuracy, sets of 10)
3) 3 sets of 10 pistols per leg

Explanations
1) The plan is to do the distance regularly; first I'll run the first 10 steps and walk the rest, then run the first 20 steps and walk the rest, and so on until I'm running the whole distance and walking back. I'm running uphill because I can't drive to a track, and I have a 1/3-mile inclined sidewalk 200m from my house that connects to a similar 1-mile  sidewalk.

2) In this drill, I take sets of 5 (then 10) shots from a given spot. Once I complete a set that meets the accuracy goal (4 out of 5, then 9 out of 10) I move to the next spot and repeat. Along either side of the paint are markers placed in 3' intervals, the first of which is 4' from the baseline behind the net. Spots 1 and 2 are at the edge of the paint, parallel with the basket on the left and right side respectively; in terms of distance from the baseline, they are between the first and second sets of markers. Shots 3-7 are along the imaginary line between the second pair of markers: 3, 5 and 7 are halfway between the markers, while 4 and 6 are the markers themselves (left side, the right). The last 5 spots follow the same pattern, but the imaginary line is between the third pair of markers. There are 12 spots in total, so a perfect drill would be to take 60 shots, of which the fewest I could make would be 48. In the more difficult version, that becomes at least 108 successful shots out of 120 attempts. It's simpler than I might have made it sound, so ask questions if I was unclear.

http://www.basketball-goals.com/IMAGES/spalding/basketball-court-dimensions.gif

3) Vertical leap improvement is a really efficient way to become a more formidable basketball player, especially for people like me who are just a few inches from dunking. I'm certain that the relevant muscles are 'plyometrically maxed out', meaning that some increased force production is needed. Ideally I would just be a good boy and do what Mister Riptoe tells me, but I have yet to find a lift that primarily uses the posterior chain but doesn't use the right tricep; I had hope for deadlifts until I read that bit about holding the bar to your shins. Now I get to choose between pistols and leg presses. I'm more inclined towards pistols because I can do them anywhere, and I've heard talk of leg presses being inefficient.

That's where I'll leave off. In review:
  • Ask questions if my drill explanation was unclear
  • Leg presses or pistols?

Peace

Offline Max G

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 08:26:48 PM »
squats are the way to go. squats don't use your triceps and they get the posterior chain just fine while being more effective than leg presses

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 09:32:09 PM »
Triceps are support muscles when you squat. Let your elbows go limp and the bar will fall out of position over ur traps.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 10:34:36 PM »
So... I, uh, just discovered split-leg squats with dumbells. I almost cried. Then I tried an unweighted set of 10. I cried that time. No triceps, as much potential for variable resistance as I could ask for, balancing was a challenge for my support muscles, and I REALLY felt it in my glutes and hips.

Now I'm thinking about using split-leg squats and pistols. The former would remain a base strength exercise, while the latter has lots of potential as an explosive strength exercise, a reactive strength exercise, or a balancing exercise (I'm that wierdo who does pistols on the metro). Actually, the more I think about that the smarter it sounds. Any thoughts?

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2009, 12:41:44 AM »
tried some split-leg squats
BW x 10
BW x 10
BW x 9
BW x 8

Rested, then tried out a downsized sampler of a strength-training set: starting at bodyweight, 5 warmup sets then a work set
BW x 8
5 lbs x 7   PR!
10 lbs x 6   PR!
15 lbs x 5   PR!
20 lbs x 4   PR!
25 lbs x 3   PR!!!!!
As you can see, I had a very successful workout.





I have to work on balance during split-leg squats. My alignment was jittery, and my knees didn't enjoy the momentary torque. I'll spend tomorrow shooting and try again friday.

Peace

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2009, 03:02:15 PM »
I ran a fundamentals drill today, and I didn't do too well. the only 'perfect' spot was 3... right in front of the basket and 2 feet back. I also lost focus around spot 9, so 9-12 took longer than they should have.

In other news, I was siezed by a momentary urge today. As a result, I dunked for the first time in my life while all 6 of my peers in the room were looking the other way.  :P That's not important - I'm ecstatic - but it would have been nice if someone had seen it.

Overall, today was OK, kind of bad, then wonderful.

Peace.

Offline Max G

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2009, 07:25:56 PM »
Triceps are support muscles when you squat. Let your elbows go limp and the bar will fall out of position over ur traps.

i suppose then it comes down to how you squat. i go with a thumbless grip and actually pull the bar down slightly onto my traps; you don't have to push up. If you do and you can't squat then i suppose that's fine-the split squats will do a solid job.

also, nice going on the dunk! bet that felt good.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2009, 07:30:53 PM »
It felt amazing, Max. I was curious afterwards, so I went to a calculator from a link in that posterior chain sticky and I put in my weight and vertical leap. It told me that, even assuming I have an optimum fast-twitch ratio, I must be able to squat at least 310 lbs.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2009, 10:10:47 AM »
Here's the plan for improving power: I'm going to run a workout A / workout B split, like that described in SS.

Workout A
Pistol jumps (quad-based power)
Natural leg curl (hammy-based strength)

Workout B
Uphill sprints (hammy-based power)
Split-leg squat (quad-based strength)

Here's the plan for progression over the next 8 weeks (after which point school starts up again):

Weeks 1-2
I'm doing some summer work for the next couple of weeks, leaving limited time for workouts. So the next two weeks will just be natural leg curls and split-leg squats at a static resistance. This also gives me time to rest and strengthen my shin, let my body adapt to a new routine, and master the balancing aspect of split-leg squats.

Weeks 3-4
After that, two weeks of legit strength training at the community center starting with finding my work set weight (knowing my body, the figure will be interesting). This will also include continued shin work.


The rest of the summer will be full-on power and strength as originally described. In the last week, I'll have some fun dunking  ;D

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2009, 05:57:41 PM »
Sunday, July 5, 2009

I tried the first strength workout of my 8-week plan.

Split-leg squats

Bodyweight x 3
10 lbs x 3
20 lbs x 3
30 lbs x 3
40 lbs x 3 x 3

I also tried those natural leg curls, and they're tough. I was able to maintain control down to a 45-degree angle to the ground, but that's it. Time to rethink some goals...

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2009, 05:20:20 PM »
Monday, July 6, 2009
Shooting - I stood right in front of the basket and shot until I made 3 shots in a row; Move back a foot, repeat. It ended with 5 non-consecutive free throws.

One-foot shin raises on a ledge (only the back half of the heel was on solid ground): 5x5 per foot

Lots of stretching

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2009, 11:55:11 AM »
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Just the usual one-handed straight-shooting work today. All shots were made from directly in front of the basket.
5 from the first set of markers
5 from between the first and second
5 from the second
5 from between the second and third
5 from the third
5 from between the third and fourth
5 from the fourth
2 from the foul line
(37 total)

As planned, strength was the same reps, etc. as last time.
Warm-up included unweighted basic mobility stuff for the posterior chain (seated knee extensions, standing knee contractions, and leg raises in the front, sides and back)

Split-leg squat
Bodyweight x 5
10 lbs x 5
20 lbs x 5
30 lbs x 5
40 lbs x 5 x 3

Natural leg curls (slow negatives, one attempt every 60 seconds)
4.3 seconds
4.5 seconds
4.0 seconds
4.9 seconds
5.0 seconds
5.8 seconds
5.5 seconds
6.5 seconds
6.4 seconds
8.9 seconds PR!!!

Average = 5.58 seconds
Max = 8.9 seconds
All-time max = 8.9 seconds

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2009, 09:43:01 PM »
Wednesday, July 8
Shooting
5 from the first set of markers
5 from between the first and second
5 from the second
5 from between the second and third
5 from the third
5 from between the third and fourth
5 from the fourth
3 from the foul line
(38 total)

It was the same straight-shooting drill from yesterday, but I included one more foul shot.

Thursday, July 9
No shooting today

Strength was the typical:
Mobility warm-up

Split-leg squats
Bodyweight x 5
10 lbs x 5
20 lbs x 5
30 lbs x 5
40 lbs x 5 x 3

Natural leg curls
Controlled negatives, for time
9.3 seconds PR
11.1 seconds PR
15.5 seconds PR
14.5 seconds (I managed to hold steady for 3-4 seconds when I was about 4 inches off the ground)
15.9 seconds PR

Chris says that it's time to start looking at holds and concentric movements once I'm consistently getting 7-8 second negatives. So for my next workout, I'm going to focus less on fighting gravity every inch of the negatives, which leaves me quite tired by the time I get to the bottom. Instead, I'll try easing myself down at a moderate pace, then fighting to come back up.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Varsity
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2009, 06:17:56 AM »
Friday, July 10 - Sunday, July 12
I've been trapped in my house for the last few days, working on an essay. It's got to be finished by the end of this weekend, and I still have a few more pages to right, so I don't have much time for training. I've just been doing that mobility warm-up every couple of hours. To be honest, it's growing on me - it's SO slow, gradual and thorough.