Feb 13, 2012
Coach Looks To Future In Player Conditioning

The Reporter-News, Scott Kirk

http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/feb/12/no-headline—trinity_christian_fitness/

Jeremy McFerrin is not only interested in having a basketball team that can run its opponents out of the gym, but also in training high school athletes to stay in shape for the rest of their lives.

“That’s what we’re trying to do, said the coach of the Trinity Christian Schools, a private school in Lubbock. The Lions are 35-2.

Conditioning in basketball has changed over the past decade. Wylie High School coach Russell Perkins said the biggest difference has been in improving the players’ initial bursts of speed.

It’s become about building much more explosive things, he said. I call them more sports specific things.”

In a TAPPS showdown, No. 3-ranked Trinity Christian squares off against No. 2-ranked Arlington Grace Prep at 6 p.m. Monday at McMurry University. The winner captures the No. 1 seed for the playoffs in TAPPS District 1-4A.

Cooper High School coach Marc Case, whose coaching career stretches back to the early 1970s, agreed there had been a big change in conditioning in basketball, particularly in the area of weight training. Case said conditioning consists of building muscle, improving flexibility and increasing cardiovascular capabilities.

“Instead of just lining up and running wind sprints, these cardiovascular activities have become more specific to the sport and incorporated into daily workouts and drills, said Case.

However, McFerrin seems to ratcheted up conditioning to a higher level, and with impressive results. There are private schools that are basketball juggernauts, populating their rosters with 7-footers who are looking for a halfway point before going to a Division I university or the NBA. McFerrin doesn’t run one of those programs.

Our best player is a 5-(foot-)8 kid who’s going to Abilene Christian, said McFerrin, in his first year as the head coach but his fourth at the school. So, our best athlete is a Division II player.”

McFerrin has a couple of 6-6 players, but after that the height drops considerably. The Lions don’t scare opponents when they walk onto the court, but the feeling may be different in the second half of their games.

“Typically, our games are close in the first quarter, going back and forth, he said. Then in the second quarter, we’ll pull ahead. The third quarter is the one we try to win. This year, we’ve only lost one third quarter and that was by two points.”

The key is fitness, and that’s where McFerrin’s training might diverge from the typical high school basketball coach. A graduate of Texas Tech, McFerrin’s major was exercise sports science and he majored in sports management. When he came to Trinity Christian four years ago, he immediately sent the players through a summer of grueling workouts.

“They had good bodies but not a lot of muscle tone, he said. We did heavy lifting that summer to shock their muscles.”

Not surprisingly, the players were sore in ways in which they had never been sore. They even came up with a phrase for it.

“They say they’ve been ‘McFerrinized, ‘” the coach joked.

Trinity Christian doesn’t play football, and the Lions play in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial schools (TAPPS), so they’re able to play year-round. Summers include workouts four days a week.

“I run my own clinics four days a week two hours a day in the summer, said McFerrin.

Once the school year starts, the lifting is condensed into 35-minute sessions four days a week. Coaches lift along with the players.

It’s good for the players to see us lifting with them to show it’s something you should do for now on, he said. We’ll have former players show up and work out with us, even though they’re not playing anymore.”

On top of the training regimen, McFerrin also stresses good eating habits, including healthy snacks before practicing. The results are undeniable.

For instance, the Lions recently played in the championship game of a tournament after playing four games while their opponent had played just two. It wasn’t the Lions who appeared to be tired in the second half, said McFerrin.

The training also plays dividends in other ways, too. McFerrin said the players are able to budget their time better and keep up with their studies despite a rigorous playing schedule.

McFerrin’s philosophy is starting to get noticed.

“It’s funny, but when we played in the tournament in Abilene (in December) is when people seemed to start asking questions about what we do, said McFerrin. People asked ‘What do you guys do for conditioning?'”

McFerrin will not keep it a secret, inviting coaches to visit to watch their training. The inquiries might become even more frequent if the Lions knock off Grace Prep of Arlington tonight. The Lions are the fourth-ranked team in the country and a team studded with Division I prospects.

“We’ll look like the needle in the haystack, said McFerrin.

However, don’t expect them to be run out of the gym.

, Coach Looks To Future Of Player Fitness

The Reporter-News, Scott Kirk

http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/feb/12/no-headline—trinity_christian_fitness/

Jeremy McFerrin is not only interested in having a basketball team that can run its opponents out of the gym, but also in training high school athletes to stay in shape for the rest of their lives.

That’s what we’re trying to do, said the coach of the Trinity Christian Schools, a private school in Lubbock. The Lions are 35-2.

Conditioning in basketball has changed over the past decade. Wylie High School coach Russell Perkins said the biggest difference has been in improving the players’ initial bursts of speed.

It’s become about building much more explosive things, he said. I call them more sports specific things.”

In a TAPPS showdown, No. 3-ranked Trinity Christian squares off against No. 2-ranked Arlington Grace Prep at 6 p.m. Monday at McMurry University. The winner captures the No. 1 seed for the playoffs in TAPPS District 1-4A.

Cooper High School coach Marc Case, whose coaching career stretches back to the early 1970s, agreed there had been a big change in conditioning in basketball, particularly in the area of weight training. Case said conditioning consists of building muscle, improving flexibility and increasing cardiovascular capabilities.

“Instead of just lining up and running wind sprints, these cardiovascular activities have become more specific to the sport and incorporated into daily workouts and drills, said Case.

However, McFerrin seems to ratcheted up conditioning to a higher level, and with impressive results. There are private schools that are basketball juggernauts, populating their rosters with 7-footers who are looking for a halfway point before going to a Division I university or the NBA. McFerrin doesn’t run one of those programs.

Our best player is a 5-(foot-)8 kid who’s going to Abilene Christian, said McFerrin, in his first year as the head coach but his fourth at the school. So, our best athlete is a Division II player.”

McFerrin has a couple of 6-6 players, but after that the height drops considerably. The Lions don’t scare opponents when they walk onto the court, but the feeling may be different in the second half of their games.

“Typically, our games are close in the first quarter, going back and forth, he said. Then in the second quarter, we’ll pull ahead. The third quarter is the one we try to win. This year, we’ve only lost one third quarter and that was by two points.”

The key is fitness, and that’s where McFerrin’s training might diverge from the typical high school basketball coach. A graduate of Texas Tech, McFerrin’s major was exercise sports science and he majored in sports management. When he came to Trinity Christian four years ago, he immediately sent the players through a summer of grueling workouts.

“They had good bodies but not a lot of muscle tone, he said. We did heavy lifting that summer to shock their muscles.”

Not surprisingly, the players were sore in ways in which they had never been sore. They even came up with a phrase for it.

“They say they’ve been ‘McFerrinized, ‘” the coach joked.

Trinity Christian doesn’t play football, and the Lions play in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial schools (TAPPS), so they’re able to play year-round. Summers include workouts four days a week.

“I run my own clinics four days a week two hours a day in the summer, said McFerrin.

Once the school year starts, the lifting is condensed into 35-minute sessions four days a week. Coaches lift along with the players.

It’s good for the players to see us lifting with them to show it’s something you should do for now on, he said. We’ll have former players show up and work out with us, even though they’re not playing anymore.”

On top of the training regimen, McFerrin also stresses good eating habits, including healthy snacks before practicing. The results are undeniable.

For instance, the Lions recently played in the championship game of a tournament after playing four games while their opponent had played just two. It wasn’t the Lions who appeared to be tired in the second half, said McFerrin.

The training also plays dividends in other ways, too. McFerrin said the players are able to budget their time better and keep up with their studies despite a rigorous playing schedule.

McFerrin’s philosophy is starting to get noticed.

“It’s funny, but when we played in the tournament in Abilene (in December) is when people seemed to start asking questions about what we do, said McFerrin. People asked ‘What do you guys do for conditioning?'”

McFerrin will not keep it a secret, inviting coaches to visit to watch their training. The inquiries might become even more frequent if the Lions knock off Grace Prep of Arlington tonight. The Lions are the fourth-ranked team in the country and a team studded with Division I prospects.

“We’ll look like the needle in the haystack, ” said McFerrin.

However, don’t expect them to be run out of the gym.






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