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How to be Great Part 2 - Stephan Curry

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 As I mentioned in a recent blog post, How to be Great Part 1 - Kobe Bryant, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC for a conference that has left me excited and eager to apply what I have learned.

I learned from the thought leaders in the areas of health and wellness and experts in physiotherapy.

Alan Stein was one of the speakers that had a profound impact on me. As a young boy, I was enamored with the NBA and Michael Jordan. My interests have changed over the years and watching sports, in general, is not where I choose to spend my time. I do, however, appreciate learning about how people become great.

When Alan spoke about Stephan Curry there were similarities between what makes him great and what made Kobe Bryant great.

Tenacity is not enough, it is all about the preparation.

Stephan would do drills over and over again until he got them right. If he messed up, he would take him self out of the line and work with a coach to help him get the fundamentals right. He was terrified of repeating the wrong execution of a move or shot. Doing it once is one thing, but he wanted to break himself of deficiencies as quickly as possible because he was afraid of the long-term consequence of poor muscle memory.

In therapy, we use a method from the 1970s called Medical Exercise Therapy. It focuses on precision and proper movement over and over again. While this is great for treating conditions like knee, shoulder, back and neck pain. It doesn’t by itself train coordination and higher-level skill.

In order to train performance and coordination of movement, we incorporate Redcord neurologic activation exercises in combination with trigger point dry needing in order to get the neuro-muscular system to activate optimally.

Alan also told us about a vow Stephan made to himself. Namely, Stephane doesn’t leave the gym without “swishing” 5 free throws. For those of you who know about basketball, you score regardless of whether or not you hit the rim provided the ball goes through the hole. But that wasn’t good enough for Stephan. He pushed himself to going above and beyond what is necessary, so that when he was in a game situation there would be room for error.

He will go down as the best shooter in NBA history one day thanks to his dedication to doing things properly and going above and beyond average.

What made Stephan Curry Great?

1.     He was afraid of what repeating a bad habit would do.

2.     He wouldn’t leave the gym until he “swished” 5 free throws

This means he wanted to go above and beyond acceptable, he was seeking “perfection”

Take away for those of us not in the NBA:  

First, we have to analyze what habits we do in our personal and professional lives that we are repeating and needs to stop. We need to be “afraid” of the long-term consequence of performing in a way that is less than our best. 

Second, in preparation, we need to set our sights on performing in a way that is far above what is expected of everybody else. We need to be better than average by doing the hard work on the front end sot that we can do our absolute best when it’s necessary.

Enjoy Life,

Dr. Nate Kloosterman

PhysioPoint Therapy and Wellness

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About the Author: 

Dr. Nate Kloosterman earned his doctorate in Physical Therapy from Andrews University. He is a board certified Physical Therapist with the advanced designation of orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS). He has extensive post-graduate training in manual therapy including a trigger point dry needling certification.

Nate has been involved in teaching at Andrews University for the differential diagnosis in the doctor of physical therapy program. He was instrumental in developing curriculum for advanced courses in medical exercise therapy (MET) which is taught to practitioners throughout the United States.

Nate founded PhysioPoint Therapy and Wellness in January of 2014. He enjoys spending time with family, biking, skiing, playing golf and participating in community events. 

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How to be Great Part 1 - Kobe Bryant

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While I was away on a conference I ran across Alan Stein who is a strength & conditioning and mindset coach for the NBA’s top athletes.  He spoke on the topic of greatness and how we can be the best at what we choose to do. 

Alan and I share something in common. We study successful people to see what makes them tick. While I know that I will never play in the NBA, I was able to glean some ideas about what it takes to be great at what I choose to do in life.

I want to be a great father, son, husband and the best at delivering healing and wellness through exercise and hands-on treatments.

This is why I learned from the best mentors in the world for hands-on therapy, the best at trigger point dry needling, the best at sports performance and the best at corrective exercise.

Kobe Bryant dominated the league in the mid 2000s.

He was able to reach a higher level of greatness because he enjoyed the basics and prepared better than his fellow athletes.

Alan told the story about meeting Kobe to observe a workout early in the morning. Kobe apparently scheduled his workouts at 4am.  Alan wanted to get there before Kobe to impress him so he decided to show up at 3:30am only to hear the bouncing of the basketball and squeaking of sneakers. He was in a full sweat and had been doing his own training long before his grueling 2 hour “formal” training session.

The session, according to Alan, was extremely boring. He did basic drills you would see most junior high basketballers doing. Alan asked Kobe why on earth the best basketball player on the planet would be repeating the basics over and over.

Kobe’s answer was something like, “Now you know why I’m the best basketball player on the planet”

 What made Kobe Bryant great?

1.     He was the first one to the gym. (Preparation)

2.     He didn’t skip the basics (He enjoyed them)

Take away for those of us not in the NBA:

First, we need to prepare. We need to look at what our colleagues and competitors are doing and “Out-Prepare” them. Whether this means going into work before everyone else, being the first to accept a challenge, or spending time in continuing education.

Second, not only did he repeat the basics, he enjoyed them. When you can do the fundamentals well you can be a great parent, spouse or be the best at what you choose to do for work or pleasure. Don’t forget the basics and where you come from.

Enjoy Life,

Dr. Nate Kloosterman

PhysioPoint Therapy

 

 

 

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About the Author: 

Dr. Nate Kloosterman earned his doctorate in Physical Therapy from Andrews University. He is a board certified Physical Therapist with the advanced designation of orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS). He has extensive post-graduate training in manual therapy including a trigger point dry needling certification.

Nate has been involved in teaching at Andrews University for the differential diagnosis in the doctor of physical therapy program. He was instrumental in developing curriculum for advanced courses in medical exercise therapy (MET) which is taught to practitioners throughout the United States.

Nate founded PhysioPoint Therapy and Wellness in January of 2014. He enjoys spending time with family, biking, skiing, playing golf and participating in community events. 

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What is Muscle Memory?

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As an Olympic athlete, my coaches used to talk a lot about ‘building muscle memory’. 

Now as a doctor of physical therapy at PhysioPoint Therapy in Crown Point, many patients of all ages ask me about similar concepts in order to improve or return to high school sports, golfing or other hobbies.  The term muscle memory is kind of a misnomer- after all there isn’t a mini brain inside every muscle! 

So what does muscle memory really mean?

Muscle memory relates to coordinating movement.  For example, asking your body to swing a golf club requires the muscles throughout your body to contract in a coordinated fashion.  How does this happen?  Your muscles contract due to your brain and nervous system telling them to. 

For complex movements, that requires your brain to get the exact sequence and strength of contraction for a large numbers of muscles.  Even a little bit off and you end up with a slice.

Basically, muscle memory is the brain and nervous system’s ability to fire muscles better.

The more you do a particular motion, the better your brain gets at communicating with the muscles.  This process of building muscle memory is called neuroplasticity- the brain actually changes! 

Just think of when you learn a new skill.  At first it takes time and a lot of conscious thought and the movements might seem jerky or uncoordinated. Your brain is receiving feedback from all those movements and fine-tuning the motion.  As you do the movement more, it takes less thought and you can do the movement faster and smoother. 

Besides just sports, this concept of muscle memory relates to physical therapy in a number of ways. 

For example, if you have a painful shoulder every time you lift your arm overhead your body might compensate to avoid pain by doing a shoulder shrug.  The body is very good at figuring out ways to move in a pain free manner. If you do this long enough, it becomes a habit even though it is a dysfunctional movement that eventually leads to other problems. 

Many people have heard that ‘practice makes perfect’ but my Olympic coaches used to preach “Perfect practice makes perfect”. 

This is because the brain doesn’t care what the movement is, it will help build muscle memory for that movement.  A golf swing has a huge variability in movement patterns, and you can actually reinforce bad muscle memory.  If you can go to the driving range, and slice it every time, you are building muscle memory for that particular (bad) movement.  Luckily, the fact that the brain can change in one direction means that it can also change in the other. 

Hopefully being intentional about your movements will help you in your sport or hobby.  If you have any other questions, contact Doctor of Physical Therapy and 2x Olympic Wrestler Matt Gentry at mattg.physio@gmail.com

 

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About the Author: 

Dr. Matt Gentry grew up in Oregon and attended StanfordUniversity on a wrestling scholarship, where he received a degree in human biology.

After graduation, Matt coached Division I wrestling at his alma mater while also competing internationally on the Canadian national team which culminated in representing Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

After retiring from competition following a fifth place finish in the London Olympics, he and and his wife relocated to the Midwest where he received his doctoral degree in physical therapy from Governor State University.

Dr. Matt has an interest in serving clients with sports performance needs, orthopedic conditions, and pediatric clients with neurological conditions. He now resides in Manteno Illinois with his wife and three small children. 

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How to Improve Your Golf Handicap (….. with NEEDLES!?!?!)

If you enjoy golf or would like to return to the sport, consider dry needling as an option to get you moving better and feeling better! I believe that the combination of moving with more range of motion coupled with using that new range of motion in a coordinated way is what restores painful joints, muscles and nerves.

 

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