Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fury Performance Newsletter: February 2011

Select Saturday Training Times Available In February - Click Here

January Featured Athletes - Lacye Walker & Katie Henderson
These awesome ladies were some of my first clients four years ago - we go wayyyyyy back! When they started training with me, they had little training history and needed a ton of work going forward. However, with lots of hard & consistent effort over the last few years, these studs have morphed into two of the most dominant, power pitchers in Tennessee. Lacye has signed to continue her softball career at Chattanooga State and Katie has committed to pitch for Kentucky. Here are their respective Fury Performance "stories".

Lacye Walker
I think Lacye would admit that she didn't quite understand at first why she had to come over to UTC on Sundays to work with me. After all, she was already a pretty good softball player at the time. However, I don't think she appreciated (like most goofy 14 year olds) how much work it would take to reach the next level as a pitcher. She was easily distracted and had lots of energy (despite not always knowing what to do with it all). It would be fair to say that we didn't always "get" each other those first few months.

However, over the course of the next few months, as she started to hit with more power, steal some bases, and have less pain in her back after long days in the circle, Lacye's attitude towards training began to change. It was like a switch went on and she got "hooked" on being strong and fit. While she has taken some breaks at times to recover from the grind of back to back softball seasons, I haven't been able to get rid of her since! As an example, she has been training 3x per week for most of the last year just to get ready for senior season even though she is already signed to play college ball. That is some serious dedication!  

Lacye, who has a tendency to pound on her body a bit, is currently on a program that features an even mix of performance and preventative maintenance work designed to keep her healthy and feeling good for the long grind of pitching and playing the field for both Grace Academy and Fury Gold. Even though we still get on each others nerves at times, I get a kick out of following her success and wish her all the best this coming season. I really am proud to say that I have trained her all these years.

Katie Henderson
I met Katie right after she joined the new Fury 14's team and she had the reputation of being a flame thrower beyond her years. At the time, Katie was having some trouble with her lower back and her mom wanted to strengthen her legs and core in order to work on the issue. Unfortunately, working around injuries would become the story of Katie's softball career over the course of the next few years.

As I started to work with Katie, I discovered that, while she was a very strong and explosive young lady, she also had tight hips and shoulders. When you combine high levels of strength and power production with this kind of inflexibility, all kinds of problems can occur - especially power "leaks". While Katie could create a ton of power for her pitches, her lack of flexibility caused some of her massive power output to "leak" into the wrong places, namely her low back and wrist. While we were able to fix the first leak by strengthening her core and legs, the second leak caused Katie to develop a stress fracture in her wrist, forcing her to shut it down at the end of the summer. After taking some time off in the fall, Katie was cleared to pitch again for her freshman year but developed a stress fracture in a different spot in her forearm! 

This second fracture forced Katie to wear a cast for several months and was particularly stubborn in the healing process. I recommended to her parents that she train as much as possible while she waited for her wrist to heal in order to prepare her for her return to pitching. Basically, my goal became to find and fix that 2nd leak! They agreed and for the next 6-8 months, Katie would embark on a challenging (and often miserable) workout program designed to totally overhaul her body. We made her core and legs even stronger than before (for improved body control) and increased the flexibility in her hips and shoulders as well (for improved fluidity/force transfer). We also did some pretty brutal conditioning to ensure that her stamina was up to snuff to keep her from getting sloppy as she "re-learned" how to pitch. Katie was a total trooper through out and somehow managed to keep her chin up despite the tough circumstances.

The end result of all of Katie's trials and tribulations in the past two years? After her total body "overhaul", she has been healthy and has experienced zero wrist pain. She also hit a new velocity best of 65mph  last summer despite having not pitched for full year. Her performances over the summer  helped her to earn a scholarship to Kentucky in the process. The perseverance that Katie showed in all of this was remarkable and the Wildcats are lucky to have her. The process of helping Katie through her injuries to ultimately become successful will always be one of my most rewarding moments as a performance coach!
The "List"  
Haley Raines - Committed to Tenn. Tech to play Volleyball
Logan Long - First Fury Performance Athlete to Deadlift 315lbs.
New U13 Chin Up Co-Champs: Bailey Miller, Carolina Davis (shared w/ Bailey Sutton) x 5
New U16 Broad Jump & Vertical Jump Champion:  Emily Boyd x 24 in. & 92 in.
New U16 Chin Up Co-Champions - Emily Boyd (shared w/ Sarah Moore) - 8 reps
New U18 Push Up Champion: Allie Baker - 33 reps
Qualified for All Time Women's Record Board for Broad Jump & Chin Up - Emily Boyd
New Men's Record in Broad Jump & Chin Ups: Logan Long - 104.5 inches & 18 reps
New Men's Record in Push Ups: Zach Dean - 49 reps
All Fury Performance Record Boards Have Been Updated - Click Here

Gunshow of the Month
Some 'ol friends of mine!
Training Pic of the Month
Some VBallers getting their booties right on our custom floor clips!

Bonus Pic!
A gaggle of parents & aletes on Friday night!
Video of the Month

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