Saving Our National Pastime

Saving Our National Pastime

Somewhere across America, an early-maturing 12U All-Star is pitching in his third game in two days for his second team. Elsewhere, in an operating room, an orthopedic surgeon performs Tommy John surgery on a 16-year-old. Our national pastime is facing some challenges — but luckily, USA Baseball is implementing a Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) plan to combat them. Volt’s Head of Sport Science, Joe Eisenmann, PhD, takes us through USA Baseball’s model for developing athletes and discusses potential solutions to the challenges facing America’s game.

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Life in the NBA: Damaged Goods and Youth Training Habits

Life in the NBA: Damaged Goods and Youth Training Habits

Life in the NBA is a grind. And with athletes playing for 9 to 10 months straight—or even longer, if they make the Playoffs—it’s not surprising that the NBA is plagued by an injury epidemic. A $350-million-per-year epidemic. Volt’s Head of Sports Science, Joe Eisenmann, PhD, addresses the underlying causes behind this influx of injuries and asks: What if it’s related to how youth basketball is structured in the U.S.? Read on to learn more about the state of youth basketball in America, and how several organizations are working diligently to turn it around.

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The NBA Combine, Correlation, and Tryouts: Individuality Matters!

The NBA Combine, Correlation, and Tryouts: Individuality Matters!

Each May, the NBA invites top college basketball players to participate in their annual Combine, a series of physical measurements and athletic tests that can help determine a player’s fate in the NBA Draft in June. But combine performance doesn’t necessarily correlate to performance in the NBA (just look at Kevin Durant’s failed combine bench press attempt!). Breaking down the research on the validity of the NBA Combine, Joe Eisenmann, PhD, examines the statistical concept of correlation and how it relates to combine testing, and shares some valuable lessons for coaches about tryouts at the youth and high school levels.

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LTAD Part 2: Is Early Specialization Good or Bad for Athletes?

LTAD Part 2: Is Early Specialization Good or Bad for Athletes?

We live in an age of youth sports where our kids' schedules are jam-packed with practices, camps, private coaching sessions, and pay-to-play leagues—all specific to a single sport. But we also live an age of research, and studies are now showing that athletes who participate in a variety of sports have fewer injuries and play sports longer than those who specialize before puberty. Volt's Head of Sport Science, Joe Eisenmann, tackles this issue as part of his series on long-term athlete development (LTAD) and unpacks the research about early specialization, and what parents and coaches should do.

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LTAD Part 1: Definition and History

LTAD Part 1: Definition and History

What is the purpose of youth sports? Are we trying to produce 8-year-old city champions—or healthy, active adults who can give back to the game? Volt's Head of Sport Science, Joe Eisenmann, kicks off his series on long-term-athlete-development (LTAD) in this new article, which unpacks the definition of athleticism and the history of athlete development—from Ancient Sparta to JFK's America to today.

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The Science of the NFL Combine: What High School Coaches Should Know

The Science of the NFL Combine: What High School Coaches Should Know

Every February, 300 or so of the country's best college football athletes gather in Indianapolis to participate in the NFL Combine: essentially a job interview consisting of a battery of physical, medical, and psychological tests in advance of the NFL draft. So what does the Combine measure? How do those measurements correlate to on-field performance? And—most importantly—should high school coaches test their players the same way? Volt's Head of Sport Science, Dr. Joe Eisenmann, unpacks the research and takes a hard look at the purpose of testing, asking: are we measuring what really matters?

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Long-Term Athlete Development: From Cradle to Grave with Dr. Joe Eisenmann

Long-Term Athlete Development: From Cradle to Grave with Dr. Joe Eisenmann

How should we be training young athletes? Issues around youth fitness and sports—like whether early specialization in a single sport is beneficial for young athletes—are becoming more prominent. That's why we're excited to team up with Volt's new Head of Sport Science, Joe Eisenmann, PhD, to address these topics in an article series on long-term athlete development, or LTAD. In this initial article, Dr. Eisenmann outlines his approach on "cradle-to-grave" physical development, and why parents and coaches should pay attention.

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The Importance of a Flexible Training Program

The Importance of a Flexible Training Program

If you want to train athletes safely and effectively for performance, your program MUST be flexible. This is why static programs just don't work for athletes. Period. Volt Advisory Board members Patrick McHenry and Mike Nitka weigh in on the importance of a dynamic, nimble training program, and why rigid, off-the-shelf plans just don't cut it.

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3 Rules for Testing Your Athletes

3 Rules for Testing Your Athletes

Testing your athletes is crucial for implementing a successful strength and conditioning program. After all, how else will you know if your program is working?! But to obtain the most accurate and objective data, there are a few important rules to follow. Coach Christye explains the 3 most important rules to remember when testing your athletes, to help you get the most out of your data.

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