Sunday, March 15


What's the Point of it All? or, Has Anyone Seen the Missing Link?

To often in our industry, if it can be called that, we start out to improve, but just do more. Too often we just do what we were taught; what seems easy. I think we have lost our way as much as we have failed to keep a rational approach to fitness. Planning is the cornerstone of the "Fitness Industry". We must have stated and achievable objectives in order to find the pathway to our goals. Guiding people on that pathway is an honorable profession. We have a legacy to protect and hand down to the next generation. The greatest legacy we can pass on would be a more rational approach to conditioning. The need to express ourselves drives this industry. Even if one only wants to workout, for workouts sake, they still are expressing themselves through the results that are achieved. So, if you just want to workout or improve performance a rational approach is the pathway.
This picture, I found on the web, demonstrates what I am talking about. Children want to participate and will readily jump in and start working. They surrender to the adult or trainer, clinician, counselor, etc. They naturally have good form and great enthusiasm. But, they must be kept safe. Do you see the tire in the background; it terrifies me with children there. Is it secure or is it just standing there (inertia) waiting to be acted upon? Climbed on? "It looks like fun. The big people play with it"? That tire probably weighs around 300 pounds, maybe more. It is an accident waiting to happen. Metaphorically, this room is where we are as educators. Anyone who takes it upon themselves to direct physical activity is an educator. As educators we must always direct those in our charge in a rational manner. We must keep them safe.
Sports conditioning can be a very fun and rewarding venture. That has always been my objective here at I started out to just chronicle a group of fathers that would meet up after dropping off the kids at school and working out with the medicine ball. It gave me a chance to stay in contact with my background and help my friends. I started out critiquing each workout, then the week, the month, then interesting moments within a workout, and then the quarter. I enjoyed sharing my collection to medicine ball images, but as I ran out of photos I felt like I could not use the same image again. I focused on the image and not on what it could teach us in different ways. Monotony is always creeping into our lives.
I feel that at this time I want to take this blog to another level. After nearly 3 years of chronicling this group of dads I feel there is more for me to do within the context of education. Since I see myself as an educator, I am going to reach out to other educators with this blog. I will still use anecdotes from our group because we will still be working out each Tuesday & Thursday @ 8am on the basketball courts at Zilker Elementary School in Austin, TX. My main objective will be to help people focus their training in the direction of their sport. Check the quote at the top of the page and think of it in context to general conditioning. It is the missing link.

Friday, March 6


Don't Forget Your Second Sport

Since our medicine ball group went back to twice a week, Tuesday & Thursday, I am only making the Tuesday medicine ball workout, and then only if I am not playing golf. I love golf; it can only be played, not won.
This winter I have stepped up my practice and lesson taking investment. The swing change has been fun, with the motor learning and watching that cute little white ball fly higher and prettier. I am having the feeling that I "Own-My-Swing". A guy from Canada named Moe Norman coined the phrase "Own-My-Swing". Moe had his own style but his accuracy was uncanny. Once he was partnered with the great Sam Snead. Sam hit a mid iron to layup and it stopped just short of the hazard. Sam was shocked to see Moe grab his driver; Moe winked at him and said, " See the bridge up there, watch this." Moe proceeded to drive the ball right across the bridge and won the hole. Tiger Woods has used the phrase to describe his goal for his own swing. So, all this practice has me swinging in a more predictable fashion. My coach Tee Jay Burge has guided me and helped me discover my own swing. But has my game, the playing, improved? Not yet. But as Tiger and millions of other say, "I'm getting close".
Which bring me to my Second Sport, medicine ball exercise. While playing I can sense my conditioning is lacking. Late in the round it is becoming difficult to maintain my mechanics. Because I walk and carry my bag or use a hand cart my conditioning is more closely related to my performance than if I used a motor cart. Walking and carrying adds an additional load when playing golf; the bag and clubs weigh around 25-30 pounds. One must stay within them self to finish on a competitive level but my game has been falling off near the end of the round. Strength is not the answer and aerobic endurance won't help that much. I need to address my Stamina, which my medicine ball workouts delivered. I recently acquired a rowing machine and feel I can develop a routine to supplement my lack of medicine ball opportunities. This machine will stress the trunk, the legs and the arms. The trunk being the shoulders, spine and hips. A well conditioned trunk allows the body to maintain the critical posture needed to swing the golf club predictably and consistently. All sports movement breaks down in the trunk first but it is the least understood and last recognized. We "see" the arms and legs fail first, but it is the trunk that has failed. One's posture has been lost. The trunk has the unstable mass and the arms and legs flail because they work from the trunks stability.
Oh, you may have recognized the two golfers in the photos. Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in their now famous round of golf at The Havana CC after The Revolution. Well, Che won and Fidel closed the course until recently. And, the rest is history.

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