Track Workouts and Running Form

Posted March 26th, 2010 by Mackey and filed in Fitness, workout plans
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Ironside vs. Chain, Semifinals, '09 Club Nationals. Photo taken by Keegan Uhl.

While the college season is picking up steam, a lot of club players are just getting in gear for the coming tryouts and season.

Ballometrics has been maintaining a fitness list for the past few months (tryouts start soon, if you’re interested in playing competitive mixed out of Boston, drop a line); people are starting to do track workouts now that the land is thawing.

I sent the following to the list about doing pre-season track workouts, which segued into a lot of thoughts on running form. As we still have the luxury of training without the constant performance demand of weekend tournaments and practices, it’s a great time to focus on technique and go into the season not only with a good base of strength and conditioning, but efficient form, as well.
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How I Do Crossfit With Ultimate Training

Posted January 20th, 2010 by Mackey and filed in Fitness
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Xi Xua’s Huddle entries on Crossfit (a follow-up to his earlier article on play intervals in elite open ultimate) provide an informative look into what Crossfit is; however, he does not go in to much depth at all on how to go about how to incorporate it into ultimate training.

This is by design, I think; done verbatim, Crossfit is an extremely taxing regimen to adhere to.  3 on, 1 off, learning how to do technical lifts like the squat and deadlift and the Olympic lifts too can make things overwhelming (to say nothing of the renowned intensity of the workouts).

For me, there have always been two keys to keep in mind with incorporating Crossfit: Progression and Flexibility.
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A New Year’s To-Do List For You:

Posted January 5th, 2010 by Mackey and filed in Fitness, Stories
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  1. Renew your UPA membership.  With electonic waivers, you can do it all now and forget about last-minute scrambles come series time, plus you’re a member in time to get all the copies of USA Ultimate.  Apologies to international readers who aren’t beholden to the UPA.
  2. Get your fitness in gear.  The Huddle has a nice piece by Xi Xia talking about Crossfit; longtime readers will know that I’m a huge proponent of Crossfit, and I highly recommend that you look to get into it if you want a comprhensive general physical preparedness routine for your off-season training.If you’re in season (ie college), you can definitely benefit from incorporating some strength work to your practice and other training routine.  A while back I posted the routine we used at Dartmouth several years ago; it’s a solid place to start from if you’ve never lifted before, or are otherwise looking to ease into in-season training.
  3. Play ultimate.  Hopefully this is the easy one!  I’ve got coaching at Vegas and dominating in Hawaii to help me get my fix this winter (and a bit of training motivation for #2).  Hope you’re finding satisfying pursuits, too!

It always bears repeating that good goal-setting practices, keeping the process in mind as well as the end result, will help you achieve the ends you desire, ultimate or otherwise.  Best of luck with keeping your resolutions!

Good Books, Priority Shifts, and Kaimana

Posted December 15th, 2009 by Mackey and filed in Blog News, Fitness
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’tis a great season for reading, as students are about to go/are already on break…here’s what’s been on my tap of late.  Would love to hear your good stuff in the comments.

The Definitive Book of Body Language. Really easy to get in to, broken up into perusable chunks makes it a great bathroom/bedroom read. From the perspective of a neuroscience major, I find it fascinating, and from the perspective of a future physician, I find it a useful tool for reading my patients and evaluating their needs (and how they’re responding to my suggestions).  You never know, it could help make you a more persuasive call-arguer.
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Forehand Throws and Foot Turns: Follow-Up on the IO Foot

Posted December 8th, 2009 by Mackey and filed in handling, Offense, throwing
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I tried to dig up a couple pictures of what I was talking about last week with the “IO Foot”; Keeghan Uhl’s gallery of Nationals provided a few useful pictures.

Without further ado:

This picture provides one angle on the IO foot. The throw isn’t explicitly IO–which is to say, this could just be a flat throw to the open side–but you’ll note that the foot position forces the knee to follow and wind up in a position which allows a fairly clean follow-through of the arm in front of the leg.
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Posted November 3rd, 2009 by Mackey and filed in Blog News
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Two weeks ’til finals; no guarantees on posting schedule until Thanksgiving.

In the meantime, ultitraining has gotten a spate of new writers, Atlanta‘s blog is still rolling strong, and even Match has a new post up in the blogosphere.

Nationals Previews

Posted October 28th, 2009 by Mackey and filed in Stories
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Lots of words devoted to open previews; haven’t seen as much on the other divisions (feel free to chime in in the comments if you’ve found other material). Check:

UCatch (Open)
Pool A
Pool B
Pool C
Pool D
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Subbing: When to Push, When to Hold (But Change), and When to Fold

Posted October 8th, 2009 by Mackey and filed in Strategy, subbing
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Some quality content on the Atlanta Ultimate blog in the wake of South Regionals, namely two pieces on Using Your Top Seven (and when you should ease up) and When Losing is the Way to Go. (Relatedly, a bit on Changing It Up On Offense corroborating Jim P’s original post on the matter).

Good food for thought for those of us who’ve yet to play in Regionals–from my experience playing in New England College Regionals, at least, aside from the rare case (Brown ’05) where one team was clearly the class of the region, ultimately who emerged from the muddle victorious depended as much on smart subbing and use of depth as it did on whose “top seven” or whatever comparison you want to make was better on paper.

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