On Wednesday 10/13/10, Rob, Todd, and I represented isportsweb.com at the Michigan Baketball Media Day. It was a great event and our thanks go out to Tom Wyrot and Dave Ablauf for letting us be a part of the event. As part of that, Michigan invites media members to participate in a workout with the coaching staff. This is a unique opportunity to be sure. Rob took part in it last year and asked if I would do it this year. I said yes, of course.
Last year Rob was on the court at Crisler Arena performing dribbling and shooting drills. I was hoping for more of the same this year as shooting the rock is one of my best natural talents. I had visions of a 25 for 25 performance from beyond the 3-point line, an instant YouTube sensation, coach Beilein getting me into med school so I can play on the team, and isportsweb.com being the talk of the nation. Instead, I met Jon Sanderson and Adam Fletcher. Instantly, I knew I was in trouble.
Sanderson and Fletcher are the strength and conditioning coaches for Michigan basketball. They are both tall, intense, and in incredible shape. At least we have the tall part in common…
Sanderson and Fletcher put us through a simulated workout, complete with heart monitors displayed on the overhead screen to exemplify what poor shape us media hacks are really in. Once I strapped the heart monitor on I knew it was about to get real.
Fletcher guided us through some stretching exercises using rolling foam pads to stretch out the muscles. Some of it actually felt good and some of it didn’t, particularly the quad and hip flexor stretches. We all made it through that with relative ease and caught a glimpse at our rising heart rates before the drills began.
Next, we did a series of agility exercises on the floor ladder. Now you can ask anyone on my b’ball team that I can fill it up from long range with efficiency but am not about to turn on a dime and drop a reverse layup on an unsuspecting defender. As you will see in the video below I made it through the drills with a fair amount of respectability. Watch closely and you will see me misstep multiple times in the ladder. I would need a week or two of these just to get the coordination down.
After the agility drills were complete, we took a water break and then prepared for a set of workouts at 4 different stations. In the video you will see me go through the sequence of exercises.
The first one is a balance drill that also helps build ankle strength to prevent strains and sprains. Clearly, I need some time with Mr. Miyagi before I try this one again. Next up was the ball drill; throwing a weighted rubber ball off the wall from one side of my torso to the other for about 30 seconds. This actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and I probably could have gone after that a bit more. After that was another ankle stretching exercise that was so easy that I thought I must have been doing it wrong. And then came rope slams…
Rope slams are the unanimous winner for most hated drill by the basketball team so I’d like to personally thank Jon and Adam for letting us try that out! Rope slams involve a huge rope that is probably 40-50 feet long and extra thick that is looped around a weight bench for stability. You take one end of the rope in each hand and lift it up as high as you can and slam it down to the floor as many times as possible in 30 seconds. Rope slams are an abdominal workout and it is intense. I have to believe my heart monitor was smoking during this drill. Fortunately, just as I was about to pass out, the buzzer sounded and I was done. We wrapped it up with a cool down stretching session aided by ropes and then headed out for the coach’s press conference and player interviews.
This was definitely a cool event although I did take the opportunity to chat with new asst. coach LaVall Jordan and highly recommended a 3-pt. contest for next year’s event. He just laughed. I did take some solace in the fact that my heart rate seemed to be at the bottom of the collective group so I must be doing something right. Anyhow, enjoy the video, don’t rip on me too hard with the comments, and know that Michigan’s basketball team is in good hands when it comes to strength and conditioning.