Tennessee Heat Basketball

I've recently started coaching the Tennessee Heat boys basketball team. They are an awesome group of young men who WORK THEIR TAILS OFF to GET BETTER and WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. I'm honored to coach them!

Tennessee Heat is a homeschool athletic association with all sorts of different teams -- track, football, cross country, girls volleyball, golf, baseball. And it is all for homeschool kids in the middle Tennessee area who still want to play sports but don't have access to public school programs. How frickin cool is that?!

We are lifting three days a week. These guys put in some SERIOUS WORK throughout their HOUR. Here is the hour: Shoot around -- brain warm up -- body warm up -- mobility -- dynamic warm up -- 2 or 3 supersets of compound lifts with plyos -- burner -- final shoot around.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the WORK.

Day one is focused on squats. We work full range of motion in knee, hip, and ankle to develop strength in the tendons and ligaments (and obviously the muscles). We do some heel elevated split squats to help develop foot, ankle, knee, and hip stability. We mix in plyos and explosive jumping to help develop power. I'll add in some rows or push ups as active recovery.

Day two is focused on leg pulling movements to strengthen glutes and hamstrings. Right now, we're hammering home Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs), teaching them to move through their hips rather than their spine. Proper hip hinge and a neutral spine is CRUCIAL to jumping and other explosive movements. The RDLs will be progressed in two ways: first, to deadlifts for a strong back, grip, and hips; second, to hang cleans which teach explosive hip drive. Right after RDLs we work in vertical jumps and some shoulder pressing.

Day three is focused on explosive plyometric work -- hurdles, skips, different leg drives -- and upper body strength -- bench press. The kids need to be strong in their upper bodies in order to dish out some pain in the paint. Can't miss bench press, dumbbell rows, chin ups, pull ups.

I really like our warm ups as well. Here's what the homeschool studs are doing:

Start with infinity walks while dribbling a basketball. I'm slowly adding in complexity to the infinity walks -- changing direction, changing hands of dribble, stacking them real close together to force greater focus. Infinity walks help turn on vestibular system of the brain and helps develop proprioception. With the vestibular system turned on early in the workout, the brain can better intake, process, and store information from the body. Helps get crazy good body awareness a la Patrick Mahomes.

Next, we do basic mobility, starting with the spine and working to the other major joints. We hit cat cows and side lying windmills to loosen up the rib cage and help the body know how it is moving through space. Then we go into hip internal and external rotation with leg rotations in the 90/90 position (NOT EASY). We open up the shoulder joint and turn on the back muscles with controlled articular rotations of the arm from the quadruped position. Finally we hit some deep reverse lunges with an overhead reach to open up the hip flexors, hip socket, and abs.

After our warm up, we will do an active mobility and moves to help activate the Central Nervous System. It's usually along the lines of deep set knees over toes split squats, push up negatives, and hurdle hops followed by sprints.

The First Baptist Church of Lebanon lets us use their community center, which has a full size basketball court and a weight room. It's not fanciest, biggest space or the newest equipment, but by golly we get A LOT of great work done in there. It doesn't even officially have a squat rack, but I jimmy rigged one out of a multipurpose stand and brought one of my own mobile squat racks.

After our lift is over we do a burner to compliment the lift and BUILD BASKETBALL BEASTS -- we'll blast biceps, hit some sled sprints with tire slams, we'll do some battle tire, we'll do lunges and sprints, farmer carries... Something that will build a FIERCE mentality and athleticism that will translate to the court -- fighting for rebounds, diving for loose balls, grappling for position in a box out.

The boys like to shoot around after our lifts -- here they are shooting threes after their first arm day. Notice the bricks and the air balls left and right! This was after a couple minutes of shooting around too!

Coaching these young men is so much fun and an absolute joy. They work hard, follow direction, are respectful, and WANT to get better at everything. I'm honored to be their coach and be a part of their team. I'm pumped to see how this work translates this fall to their season! They are gunna BRING THE HEAT!!

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