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The Importance of a Strong Work Capacity both Physically and Mentally

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Sep 29, 2012 12:45:00 PM

BSMPG Summer Seminar



By Sam Reffsin CSCS, USAW


Establishing a work capacity is key to a successful strength & conditioning program.  Given my own experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained from well-respected professionals in the industry, I define work capacity as the ability to complete a large amount of vigorous activity in an allotted amount of time.  Some consider this as simple as building an aerobic base, but I believe there are many more variables that play a role in establishing a work capacity.  The rate of lactate clearance is obviously vital, but the ability to follow directions and make the correct decisions in a fatigued state is equally important.

Too often I see high school basketball coaches administer the two mile conditioning test for their teams rather than high intensity interval tests.  This is one way to encourage your team to build an aerobic base but it will simultaneously take away from the anaerobic athlete by recruiting slow twitch muscle fibers and incorrectly prioritizing energy system development within the sport.  As most strength coaches know, high intensity interval training and/or resistance training would be more beneficial conditioning methods for this sport.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work under Art Horne at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.  The methods that I learned from my time with Art have stayed with me and continue to play a large role in how I train my own athletes today.  At Northeastern, Art put the Men’s Basketball Team through a very fast paced movement preparation period that lasted about 25 minutes.  Not only did he push his athletes to complete a large amount of work in a small amount of time, but he made sure their form was on point with vertical tibias during their lunge series, minimal to no rotation during their plank variations and tremendous focus and effort throughout the entire session. 

Having learned from Art’s example at Northeastern, I have incorporated his methods into the training of my own Basketball athletes at Athercare Fitness & Rehabilitation Facility in Castro Valley, CA.  In order to boost each athlete’s mental work capacity, I have started using tactics during their group training sessions such as distracting them with blowing air horns, providing four bands for five athletes for problem solving purposes and having each athlete transition to their next station, on time, and in a fatigued state. I believe this type of training will increase the athletes’ abilities to find solutions and allow them to make correct decisions on their own even if they are extremely fatigued.

At the beginning of these training sessions, I start my basketball athletes off with a mobility circuit targeting the big three (ankle, anterior hip and T-spine).  Next, the athletes transition into a ladder series focusing on linear/lateral acceleration and deceleration.  I keep the tempo fast by shifting the players to a bear crawl series in the same space as the ladder work, where the main focus is on anti-rotation at the hips.  Next up is the hip series (gluteus medius/gluteus maximus) where each player grabs a mini band and performs a variety of linear and lateral movements with the band around their ankles or knees.  By this point, the athletes are sufficiently warm and are able to shift right into the next phase which is a lunge series usually with valslides and/or slideboards.  I like to give the players a variety of lunges hitting all planes.  Once they display high quality form, I will give them a dynamax ball to incorporate chopping/lifting, chest presses and shoulder flexion patterns while lunging simultaneously.  Vertical tibias during the lunges are needed to correct their quad dominant movements on the court so it is important not to progress the athlete with the dynamax movements until they can execute a proper lunge!

Once the athletes have completed their movement preparation/prehab period, I then have them begin the lift.  One of the workouts I actively prescribe to increase work capacity is the EDT (escalating density training) workout.  EDT is a method designed by Charles Staley.  His traditional method is to choose two exercises, pick a 10RM weight and perform each exercise for five reps.  The goal is to complete as many sets as possible in an allotted amount of time.  For example, I most recently prescribed my players this EDT Workout:  Lat Pull-down and rear foot elevated split squats for five reps each for 11 minutes.  Over time, I have found that once you understand the method you have a little bit of freedom with the amount of reps/time you prescribe.  This is a great way to increase an individual’s lactate threshold, lactate clearance, hypertrophy and work capacity.  Another method I’ve used to obtain similar results is having an athlete complete a certain amount of reps in an allotted amount of time in a given exercise.  Most recently I’ve had my athletes perform 100 supine barbell hip extensions with very short rest periods.  Not only is this a great way to buffer lactic acid and increase hypertrophy, but it establishes a great competitive attitude amongst teammates and gives each individual a goal for the next training session. 

Establishing a physical work capacity is vital to a successful strength & conditioning program but establishing a mental work capacity is just as important.  As a coach I can’t expect proper form and tremendous effort under harsh conditions unless I’ve established the importance of it during previous sessions.  This is just one aspect of a successful program and a way to maximize efficiency during training sessions.  None of this information is new and I’m sure a lot of coaches are already using it to formulate their own training sessions.  Study, learn, then do!


Sam Reffsin is the Director of Sports Performance at Don Chu’s Athercare Fitness & Rehabilitation facility located in Castro Valley, CA.  Sam has an open door policy and if you are in the area and would like to come by, email him at


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Topics: Basketball Related, Guest Author

Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience in Collegiate Basketball Athletes

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jul 31, 2012 6:39:00 AM

by Art Horne



basketball performance resized 600


Just recently Dr. Stuart McGill, Jordan Andersen and myself published an article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examining the link between traditional pre-season strength, fitness, and sports medicine testing to overall on-court basketball performance and injury resilience throughout the course of two collegiate basketball seasons.  Although I would be the first to admit that there are some clear limitations to this study (number of participants for example), key performance predictors (points scored, ability to rebound, block shots, etc) were NOT associated with traditional strength or performance measures so often pursued in collegiate basketball strength programs.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will review this article in detail and provide insight into how actual on-court basketball performance may be improved upon beyond simply finding better parents or recruiting.  


Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience From Movement Quality and Fitness Scores in a Basketball Team Over 2 Years

McGill, Stuart M.1; Andersen, Jordan T.1; Horne, Arthur D.2

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

July 2012



The ability to successfully predict injury resilience and competition performance from preseason testing is a very wishful goal; however, questions remain regarding this objective: Do tests of fitness have a predictive ability for injury and are there other factors that can be assessed that may predict injury? Are there specific indicators that predict performance? This study was motivated by these questions.

Attempts to understand injury mechanisms and performance sometimes consider links to fitness. Traditionally, fitness testing, at least in occupational settings, has included the assessment of strength (13), joint range of motion (ROM) (23), and physiological variables such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen uptake (2), but the performance scores in the occupational context are difficult to quantify. In contrast, there have been some studies relating fitness to sporting performance that are more tangible. In studies of ice hockey players (6,24), success could be more tangibly quantified from on-ice measures such as total minutes played and scoring chances. Green at al. stated that “goals scored” was not the best measure of hockey skill. Studies of football players suggest that those who score higher on movement quality tests have few injuries (11,12); however, preseason football combine testing is dominated by tests of strength and running speed. Recognizing that movement asymmetry and compromises to neuromuscular control have been linked to both future injury (11,12) and with having a history of back injury (17), movement assessments have been developed (3,4) and have been suggested to predict injury rates. Further, several fitness and movement tests have been implicitly assumed to predict “playing” performance by their inclusion into standard preseason tests. These include tests of endurance, strength, joint ROM, agility, and speed. The question remains as to the validity of these factors when attempting to predict injury resilience and performance.

Although links between moving well and injury resilience and performance seem intuitive, this notion remains controversial. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that fitness training alone may not ensure peak performance or injury resilience (8,20). In addition, movement quality has been suggested to predict future injury (12). A possible mechanism may be that injury changes the way a person moves as an accommodation to pain (consider, e.g., the changes in mechanics throughout the anatomical linkage when limping from foot pain). Having a history of injury, in particular back injury, appears to change movement patterns (17). Movement patterns determine important injury criteria, such as joint and tissue load, together with influencing the length of time and repetitions an individual is able to perform a task with uncompromised form. Compromised form exposes the tissues to inordinate load elevating the risk of injury. Several examples of this link are available, for example, not maintaining a neutral curve in the lumbar spine while bending and lifting decreases the tolerable load at injury (in this case tissue failure [18]); having restricted hip motion is linked to having more spine motion when bending (17). Movement competency has also been linked with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rates, for example, having larger knee abduction moments and angles when landing from a jump predicted higher ACL injury rates (9). Given the variety of considerations for interpreting the links between movement, fitness, performance, and potential injury, the goal of this study was to first evaluate some traditional fitness test scores in a controlled athletic group that has a variety of challenging movement demands and also perform an assessment of the quality of movement. It was hoped that following a test group for a period of time would reveal links between specific fitness scores and movement quality with variables to predict injury resilience and performance. If such links exist, they could form a rationale for specific tests to be included in preseason testing.

The purpose of this study was to see if specific tests of fitness, and movement quality, could predict injury resilience and performance in a team of basketball players over 2 years (playing seasons).

It was hypothesized that in a university basketball population, (a) Preseason movement quality and fitness scores would predict in-season performance scores. (b). Preseason movement quality and fitness scores would predict in-season injury resilience.




Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Must Reads For The Basketball Strength Coach

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jun 17, 2012 7:53:00 PM

Basketball Injuries


Injury Prevention for the Basketball Athlete - Warm-Up


Basketball is a popular and competitive team sport across the world with injuries commonly occurring.  Across all sports, there has been a recent focus on warm-up programs designed to prevent injuries.  The purpose of this randomized cluster trial was to assess the effectiveness of a warm-up program involving running exercises, strengthing, balance, jumping and hamstring exercises, as well as speed training with sport specific changes in direction in elite male basketball players.  This warm-up program was previously proven to be successful in reducing the prevalence of injuries in a soccer population and the specific exercises can be found here.  Eleven elite men’s basketball teams (121 players) were randomized as a team to either the intervention (7 teams) or control group (4 teams).  The coaches and captains of the teams allocated to the intervention group were trained on how to perform a specific set of exercises that they would show their respective teams.  The control teams were instructed to warm-up as they normally would, and there was no standardization or instruction given to any of the control teams.  Injuries, body part, activity, and exposure hours were reported.  Throughout the course of the season, the intervention group had significantly lower overall injury rates (0.95 vs. 2.16), lower extremity injuries (0.68 vs. 1.4), training injuries (0.14 vs. 0.76), acute injuries (0.61 vs. 1.91) and severe (fracture) injuries (0 vs. 0.25) than the control group.

Continue to read this article by clicking HERE.


Sleep Impacts Value In Professional Sports


Data from new research looking at the impact of daytime “sleepiness” on the careers of professional athletes was recently presented at the SLEEP 2012 conference.  These data demonstrate the impact of increased daytime “sleepiness” on a players career.  Essentially this research found that athletes who experienced higher levels of daytime “sleepiness” were less likely to remain with their team after they were drafted.  Those athletes who had low levels of daytime “sleepiness” were more likely to remain with their team in the following years after they were drafted.

These findings have two important implications.  First, it may be important to consider an athlete’s sleep habits as part of the player evaluation process when considering to draft an athlete.  These findings suggest that athletes with high daytime “sleepiness” levels are more likely to not remain with that team in the coming years after being drafted, as such they are a low value.  Conversely, athletes with better sleep habits and low daytime “sleepiness” levels are a higher value pick as they are more likely to remain with their team that drafted them.  Second, the ability to quantify the level of “sleepiness” can be easily quantified using standard survey instruments.  Thus, this is an easy assessment to incorporate into player evaluations and recovery programs to ensure they are maximizing their athletic and regeneration potential.


Continue to read this article by clicking HERE.



Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Offensive Analysis - Peeling Layers Away For Deeper Understanding

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jun 3, 2012 4:20:00 PM

by Steve Scalzi


Coaching the game of basketball simply by “feel” is obsolete.  Across today’s coaching landscape, there are numerous resources available to shape your methods of attack for personnel, developmental and strategic decisions.  Whether utilizing free resources such as or subscription services such as Synergy, it is reasonable to expect various coaching decisions be backed by one of three justifications: numbers (the old fashioned points per game, win/loss records, streaks etc.), statistics (analytics such as floor percentage, plus/minus, points per possession etc.) and video (game and/or practice film spliced appropriately).  Making a point in a coaching meeting without one of these three is modern day basketball blasphemy.  The evidence and resources that are mere clicks away can cut through varying opinions on the coaching staff and move closer to a consensus, provide a player an honest portrait of themselves, and spark innovation to play to your strengths and address weaknesses. 

This off-season, I took it upon myself to re-watch every single offensive possession from the 2011-2012 season.  The reason was two-fold.  From an X and O’s perspective – 1.are we using the best parts of each other through our designed offensive schemes?  And 2. in what areas of each player’s game do there exist development opportunities? 

After watching 2,293 offensive possessions, opinions are formed or revised.  If what you see is contrary to prior perceptions, then presenting a suggestion to the coaching staff, designing on-court or strength training programs for a player requires the evidence from which they’re devised.  But asking players, coaches, or strength coaches to sit through 31 games is unrealistic. In order to deliver your findings, they must be clear, concise, and cogent in an easily understood format. 

For our coaches, I resorted to radar graphs.  I created visual representations of offensive actions - their success rates and their frequency.  Synergy identifies every offensive possession outcome.  I focused on each action/possession outcome that occurred a minimum of 20 times through our 31 games.

NOTE: by offensive outcome I mean both possession result (i.e. pull up jumper, scoring off a pick and roll) and the specific player who ultimately used that possession. Focusing on deliberate offensive choices, I left out transition possessions and offensive rebounds, whose frequency may have more to do with opportunity than deliberate design.

The radar graphs attached show two different pieces of information for each outcome – points per possession (the scoring outcome Northeastern netted on average) and the total number of times it occurred this season.

scoring frequency


Points per  


Coaching by "feel" originally had me believing that Player 3 was not a great isolation player.  He wasn't used very frequently in isolations – meaning we didn't resort to them often, and we didn't do it by design either.  But his ratio of frequency to effectiveness was surprisingly good.  He was far better than Player 2 in a ball screen and Player 4 taking a short jump shot (things we DID have in our offense deliberately and by design). 

This doesn’t necessarily require we suddenly use him in all isolation scenarios and clear out his teammates.  Watching our practices with minimal basketball experience will tell you Player 3 can get out of control and thereby less effective.  He would even admit so himself.  But it’s on us as coaches to review the Synergy clips associated with his isolations that result in positive and negative outcomes.

The moves in which he failed, he failed convincingly – validating our “feel.”  Yes, if Player 3 tries to take you off the dribble from the top down, with no ball movement or player movement, things could get dicey.

However, in what Synergy defined as successful isolations, themes emerged. His moves were compact with economy of motion to his footwork and his attack.  When the ball was swung side to side and his defender was forced into a closeout, he looked like a pro! One and two dribble moves that were both high level and mature. 

From a strength and conditioning perspective, Player 3 was simply at a stage in his career where his foot speed, core strength, elevation, and quick release combined to create a surprisingly efficient athletic move when the game called for it.  More of these designed into our offense is more responsible (a wiser investment if you will) than designing post-ups for Player 2 (a tall and talented freshman) at this juncture in their respective development.

Taking a deeper look at Player 2 revealed its own world of information and images as well.  As a freshman, he simply was not physically defined enough to establish a post-up game and not yet great at aggressively slashing to the rim in isolations.  Here is where "feel" comes into play. What was missing in his game?  What moves would you add? How much increased explosiveness can combine with an improved skill set in his next three years? Reviewing his clips I would say he lacked the ability to get low and explosive. He can cover ground with length, but where is the first step?  It’s time to collaborate with our strength coach.  It is clear he has got work to do in the weight room. 

I’m always intrigued by the science of the game.  Using modern resources at our disposal provide avenues for us to creatively relay what we’ve learned and to maximize efficiency.  Often times, conflicts arise with what our initial “feel” for the game may say.  Numbers, statistics, and video are getting easier and easier to find.  Interpreting what they reveal and collaborating with coaches, players, and strength coaches to address what’s been discovered is the responsibility of today’s modern coach. 

Topics: Basketball Related, Steve Scalzi

One and Done by Steve Scalzi

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Apr 28, 2012 8:37:00 AM

by Steve Scalzi





During the lockout summer of 2011, Nike's marketing department sported a "basketball never stops" campaign.   Nike capitalized on Kobe, Durant, LeBron, D. Wade et al. barnstorming the country playing in the Goodman League, Melo League and at famed Rucker Park.  They reminded fans that, despite the uncertainty of the season, the lockout couldn't possibly hold down the purity of the game and the willingness of the game's greatest to simply pick up and play.

This year, after Kentucky clinched the 2011-2012 National Championship, many basketball purists rolled their eyes to the notion that Coach Calipari, king of the "one and done," system was now a champion.  Nike might want to answer to the purists and reprise their "basketball never stops" campaign to: "basketball will go on." 

The NBA has their well-established and unbending age limit, and, as David Stern noted this week, it won't be changing anytime soon.  With the system set up as is, essentially forcing even the most talented and physically gifted (see: Anthony Davis) through the college ranks, John Calipari has done a masterful job of annually attracting talent to Lexington and melding it together to compete for a national title.  Now that he's finally won a championship, all the naysayers and traditionalists who said it couldn't be done must be mute.  Is it good for the game?  Good for the kids?  Has Calipari created an academy churning out professional drones over well-rounded, educated college graduates?  The debate of whether Calipari embodies what is flawed about modern-day college basketball can be left for another day. 

Basketball will go on.  It is our job as coaches, strength coaches, and athletic trainers to shape the next move. 

To the readers and minds of BSMPG I have two questions that I hope to be a spring board for ideas, dialogue, and debate. 

If you are, have ever been, or strive to be, at the high major level of college basketball, how would the “one and done” system impact the way in which you train your athletes?

Compare these two scenarios:  you've been entrusted with Anthony Davis. An absolute monster of raw talent and potential.  He's more than capable at the college level to change the entire tenor of a game with his defensive prowess.  With added weight and improved agility, he may soon be amongst the best in professional basketball at protecting the rim and finishing around the basket. Knowing what we know now, that there was truth in the hype, as he swept national player of the year awards, would your focus be more on Davis’ physical development or simply keeping him healthy enough to compete?  How drastically, if at all, would this change your training?  Is your responsibility to your current institution only?  To ensure he stays fresh and ready to give your school a chance to win a national championship?

Or is it your responsibility to get the player ready for an 82 game grind of the NBA?  The calling card of the “ringless” Coach Cal was, while he had yet won the big one, he did right by the player and gave them the best chance at preparing them for the professional game.  This extended his brand and combined with Kentucky’s winning tradition to create some incredible recruiting advantages. 

How would this scenario compare to that of Harrison Barnes at University of North Carolina?  Barnes came into his freshmen year perhaps more physically ready to compete at the professional level than Davis.  Is this a prime example of a player you would take a relatively hands-off approach with?  Ensure he’s healthy so that he can perform out on the court and further physical development is pushed to the backburner?  From what meets the eye, Barnes appeared to come to campus with a body that was NBA-ready. 

Unfortunately for Barnes, his career has shown glimpses of greatness, but is viewed by some as underwhelming compared to the hype.  What if you were keeping him healthy, not taxing him physically, but then he is back on campus for his sophomore season?  Did you do him a disservice?  How would this change your training approach?

What about at the mid-major level? When “one and done’s” dominate the media, how do you tell a student-athlete that this career track is unrealistic and virtually impossible? 

The supposed “LeBronification” of America has led to high school players loving the drama surrounding their college decision, the increased influence of advising voices, and an unrealistic approach to the college assimilation process.  Many coaches refer to “de-recruiting” a player when they arrive on campus.  After spending months chasing a player and begging for their services, they finally step foot in the gym where coaches often break them down before once again building them up.

Lost in the recruiting hoopla are simple facts: for a prospective student-athlete to choose their highest offer, it doesn’t mean they’ve arrived, it ensures increased competition at their position.  And, for a prospective student-athlete who received high major interest to choose a mid-major school, he’s not choosing a lesser level and will thus dominate.  The challenges of acclimating to the college game will exist nonetheless and become apparent in practice and in the opening weeks of competition. For coaches, athletic trainers, and strength coaches alike, what role should we play in educating them on the draft process? Players may need to be de-recruited and educated about the virtual impossibility of a “one and done” scenario.  What is most glorified on television is not their likely career track. 

At Northeastern University, JJ Barea arrived on campus and was immediately named to the America East all-rookie team.  He finished out as a four time all-conference team member, was a CAA player of the year, and was a two-time finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (given annually to the nation’s best point guard).  After graduation, Barea dominated the Portsmouth Invitational pre-draft camp and set a tournament record with 41 assists in 3 games.  After his body of work, draft day came and went without him being selected.  Don’t worry, things turned out alright in the end. 

One thing is for certain, it’s called the NBA lottery for a reason.  Having your name called by the commissioner is akin to winning the lottery.  Your odds may be about the same even after an impressive career.  It is our responsibility to educate our athletes about the challenges, the work involved, and to remind them, a “one and done” career is nearly unattainable and nowhere close to the norm. 

Yes, the champions of college basketball are a collection of “one and done” talent.  The notion of a senior-led cast waiting their turn before reaching national prominence does not rule the day.  Traditionalists may balk, but basketball will go on.  Us coaches and trainers get to shape the direction it’s headed, despite the perception that the trend of the nation’s elite is the vast majority. 

Topics: Basketball Related, Guest Author

Interview with former Toronto Raptors Strength Coach, Francesco Cuzzolin

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Apr 14, 2012 6:45:00 AM



Click HERE to read this article.




Topics: Basketball Related, Francesco Cuzzolin

Championship Mindset by Alan Stein

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mar 20, 2012 7:13:00 AM

by Alan Stein


“I always visualized my success. The process of seeing success before it happened put me in a positive frame of mind and prepared me to play the game.”

-        Michael Jordan

“Being in the zone means a higher state of concentration. When you let your mind wander, you make mistakes.  When you start thinking about bad things that have happened, or good things that could happen, your focus isn’t where it should be – on this play, right here, right now.”

-        Joe Montana

Here is some wisdom from my friend and colleague, Graham Betchart (performance coach who specializes in mental skills training). For more on Graham, check out


Mindset of a Champion:

  • Believe in yourselflove your talent
  • Challenge limiting beliefsunlock your true potential
  • Motivate yourself from withinset personal goals
  • Think like a championconsistent mind equals consistent performance
  • Visualize successsee it, feel it, believe it, be it
  • Mentally prepare for competitioncreate a consistent pre-game routine
  • Approach each game the sameconsistency leads to success
  • Welcome pressureembrace all challenges and obstacles as opportunities
  • Play to play greatnot to avoid mistakes
  • Focus on the moment at handstay ‘present’ when you compete
  • Trust your abilitiesplay without worry
  • Competeevery moment and every play
  • Control what you canlet everything else go
  • Keep it simplefocus on the next play
  • Attitude, effort, and focus are in your controldiscipline yourself
  • Learn from losswisdom often lies in defeat
  • Write your own storyhow do you want to be remembered
  • Commit to the mental gamework on your mental skills every day
  • Love hard worklearn to be comfortable being uncomfortable

Commit yourself to living these ‘sound bytes’ and you will take a huge step forward in maximizing your potential on the court.



Remember to Save the Date for the BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar - May 19-20th in Boston MA. 

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Topics: Basketball Related, Alan Stein

Time Helps... Quality required when it comes to practice by Adam Naylor

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mar 19, 2012 8:05:00 AM

by Adam Naylor


Dr. K. Anders Ericsson has been the leading researcher on practice and mastery of skills in all domains of performance. Many people have heard his theory that it takes 10 years and 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at anything. It’s clear that time is a critical factor in skill development; however, time is only one aspect of the theory. What defines practice as “deliberate” is possibly even more important than the time aspect, since the 10 year / 10,000 hour clock doesn’t really start ticking without it! There seem to be three important factors that dictate the quality of one’s practice time that coaches and athletes should strive to work toward. These factors might seem obvious, but there are not many athletes who train this way 100% of the time to maximize time and energy during practice sessions.

1)      Practice a task that is challenging. If the task is too easy to achieve, very little learning occurs because success is nearly automatic and eventually boredom sets in. If the task is too difficult to achieve, very little learning occurs because the individual is struggling so much that frustration typically leads to lack of effort. The designers of video games are masters at creating this first element of quality practice. They understand that if a game is too easy and the levels do not progress beyond one’s current ability, the player will get bored and quit playing the game. They also know that if they start a player at the hardest level right at the beginning without allowing them to slowly build skills and stretch their ability, the player will become extremely frustrated and quit because the challenge is too hard. In order to achieve element #1 of quality practice, practice drills and experiences should be challenging, without becoming overwhelming.

2)      Have an objective for every repetition. In golfmany players go out with a bucket of balls to the driving range and “just hit” or bring some balls to the putting green and “roll some putts”. While at the range, each ball should be directed at doing something specific (i.e., trying to hit a high draw at a target or working to feel the sensation in a specific part of your body while learning a new swing technique). While on the putting green setting up a specific drill or task to achieve will improve the quality of practice. While working on technique, training aids can assist the quality of practice, as long as the training aid is used with a specific purpose. This ensures that there is total attention and engagement in the activity. Since the mind runs the body, this is a critical element of learning and trains the body to feel the motion, rather than just making strokes with no real plan or purpose. This message clearly transfers to any sport or skill.

3)      Look for feedback from every repetition. Just to keep the golf example rolling – every shot hit at practice tells a story. If this information is ignored because of lack of attention, an emotional reaction, or any other distraction the learning curve is not advancing as quickly as it would from total engagement in the activity. Feedback allows for the recognition of patterns, immediate error correction from poorly executed shots, and positive reinforcement from well executed ones – all critical factors for effective learning and mastery of skills.

If an athlete follows these three principles of quality practice during sessions the individual is doing everything possible to reach their potential. Add 10 years and 10,000 hours to the equation and expert performance is likely to follow!

Remember to Save the Date for the BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar - May 19-20th in Boston MA. 

Registration is open but seats are limited!


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Topics: Basketball Related, Adam Naylor

John Berardi and Basketball Nutrition

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mar 10, 2012 10:05:00 AM

Check out three of John Berardi's previous nutrition articles here:








Remember to Save the Date for the BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar - May 19-20th in Boston MA. 

Registration is open but seats are limited!



Topics: Health & Wellness, John Berardi

How to survive in the NBA when you're not a Superstar!

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Feb 19, 2012 5:49:00 PM


Click HERE to read this article.



Complete details are now available for the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar and this year looks better than ever!  In addition to another world-class speaker list, BSMPG and our sponsors are offering a ridiculous number of prizes.

Prizes: Attendees are automatically registered to win prizes from a number of our sponsors including: Freelap Timing SystemsZeo Sleep Manager and Perform Better.

Other Raffle Prizes include: Barefoot in Boston by Art Horne and Human Locomotion by Thomas Michaud


Human LocomotionBarefoot in Boston 

 freelap timing system zeo


Attendees who register before April 15th will be placed in a raffle to win a Free Registration pass to the  2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar!


Click HERE for registration and complete details.


Topics: Basketball Related