A Week at IMG Academy

#HowIRolled at the IMG Academy
October 2014

An opportunity of a lifetime! As a fitness junkie and ex-collegiate athlete turned fitness professional, you cannot get a more influential experience than this! I spent one of the best fitness weeks in the most beautiful weather thanks to TriggerPoint Performance Therapy, IMG Academy and all of my friends, clients and students who voted for me in TriggerPoint’s #howiroll contest.

For those of you who don’t know about TriggerPoint’s #howiroll contest, they held a social media contest in which you were asked to upload a picture of yourself using your favorite TriggerPoint product, tag it with #howiroll and get your friends to like your picture. The entry with the most likes won a week stay at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL and I won!

Here’s a snap shot of my incredible week on campus.

#howiroll

I chose to split up my week with a little bit of everything available through IMG’s adult programs. I started golfing two summers ago and played tennis in high school and am now interested in playing more consistently so I was looking to improve my skills in these areas. I also wanted a week where I got to be the client and focus on my own personal fitness to gain a better understanding and empathy for my clients and students.

My first session at the Academy was with Jorge in physical therapy. I have been experiencing significant foot pain since beginning to train for the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in Chicago this past summer. I have been diligently using my TriggerPoint FootBaller and Massage Balls to roll out before every run which I greatly attribute to being a critical factor in finishing the Urbanathlon – my first race ever! I felt amazing during the race, but my feet continue to be a problem so it was great to have them looked at by a professional. Working with Jorge was my first experience in working with the caring, patient, and experienced coaches and trainers at IMG.

On Monday and Wednesday, I trained with my personal trainer Sarah doing movement and strength training work specific to tennis and golf. On Tuesday and Thursday, I played tennis with Carlos, Jimmy and Enrique and on Friday to finish off the week, I spent the morning in a golf lesson with Daniel. In between I met with Kate for a mental training and nutrition session which were the perfect complements during an amazing week of personal and professional fitness development.

My Best Takeaways From the Week:

  • Find health strategies that work for you: Kate, my dietician, helped create a great hydration strategy that I am actually sustaining at home. I have a 45 minute commute to work where I drink one water bottle then another one during the day at work and one on the drive home. This new strategy is working and I feel the most energized and focused since incorporating this habit!
  • Rule of Specificity: I loved incorporating dynamic warm-ups, specific movement patterns and strength building exercises related to the specific sport I was about to play. It reaffirmed that by using your warm-up time and TriggerPoint’s specific Myofascial Compression Techniques to prepare and activate your muscles, each movement could have a greater purpose. It also enable me to get rid of unnecessary movements in tennis and golf that were inhibiting perfect technique and execution.
  • Mental Focus is Key: When it comes to not letting your performance fears and distracting thoughts ruin your game, focusing on what you want or need to do in a simple way is crucial. I loved and continue to use the following mental training metaphor the coach described.

Imagine an empty glass of water immersed in water. If you try to get the water out of the glass, the water around it will continually fill back in. Iinstead of fighting against the water – which represents your distracting thoughts and performance fears – fill your glass with sand so the water cannot come in.”

Here the sand represents the things you want to focus on – the specific things you want to do during your performance. In tennis for instance, I focused on the small cues in my swing, the exact place where I wanted to hit the ball or on exhaling during my overhead slam. As a yoga teacher, I have used this metaphor in classes to train my client’s minds to relax, center and focus, all of which are crucial skills in athletics.

After this amazing week at IMG, I returned to work at the Wisconsin Athletic Club, in Milwaukee, WI with renewed excitement, passion, knowledge and motivation to continue working with my clients and students, to develop a more in depth yoga for athletes program, and I got a huge kick start into the next phase on my personal fitness.

I absolutely love TriggerPoint products and use them regularly with my clients and in my yoga classes. It was great to see their products everywhere in the IMG gym and all of the players using them consistently in preparation of their workouts. I feel incredibly fortunate to have won this trip and I cannot believe how much it has enhanced my career and personal focus. THANK YOU!

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