SECRET TO ATHLETICISM
I am always fascinated with the workings of the human body. I am always trying to find a “secret” or a finding that can help it work better, perform smoother and make it run faster. I like to also believe I am an out of the box thinker AND I am always willing to change my beliefs to make my players become better and more athletic players.
A few months ago I came across Chong Xie through a basketball shooting group on Facebook. I started talking to him and realized not only is he incredibly smart, but his theories can revolutionize the way the world looks at athletics.
I endorse very few things to my coaching friends and players. I don’t believe in shooting contraptions for the most part. Already in this March series I endorsed the book, “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle (some of you read it and wrote back that it changed the way you look at training and athletes). Today I give my full support to Chong Xie and his website (www.secret-of-athleticism.com) and book “Secret of Athleticism.”
If you have some time today please visit the links below. One is a great 8 minute interview with Chong and BBall Breakdown that came out only two days ago. Also please visit his website (the link is provided below). Both the website and interview explain that a basketball player CAN prevent injuries to the ankle and CAN improve on speed and quickness.
A little bit about Chong’s findings in his words: “My research reveals there is a very subtle mode of the foot no doctors talk about it today which locks up the ankle naturally to prevent ankle sprains and at the same time allows the gluteus maximus to engage properly.
Elite basketball players like Lebron James, Ray Allen, Kobe, MJ use this special mode at a subconscious level. It’s exactly like what you have described the sweep and sway. Players do it subconsciously without noticing it! But it exists!”
Chong believes we all were born to walk on on the balls of the feet. Toddlers don’t learn to walk on their heels. Through time, however, we unfortunately model our feet to go along with the heel. We get used to the shoe and where does the normal basketball shoe have all of it’s padding? In the heel of course.
As athletes get used to the shoe restraints, a VERY high percentage start walking on the heel, running on the heel and even sometimes making basketball cuts on the heel. There are some athletes that can overcome the shoe and still are able to walk and run using the balls of their feet.
Think of a track shoe and how a track shoe lacks any kind of heel. Track sprinters run 100% on the balls of their feet. Recently Nike approached Kevin Durant and asked him, “in your new shoe, what would you like us to do with it? Any thing special you would like to see that would be different.” Durant responded back, “What about no heel. I never use my heel when I play.” Durant may have the best feet in the game.
Chong believes a player must lock the ankles while running on the balls of the feet forcing an almost “bouncing” motion. When this occurs, the Glutes are engaged forcing the player to become quicker and more agile. I have seen results in a matter of minutes, though permanent results takes weeks in an athlete.
Locking the ankle also allows less chance for injury prevention. We have all had the athlete that constantly gets ankle sprains and strains. Why is this occurring? There are many coaches that believe that a player that gets injured a lot is just “unlucky.” I truly believe along with Chong that the athlete continues getting injured simply because he/she is not locking the ankle when cutting and running. I also believe it can help the knee region as well.
Lastly, I train a Division I mens basketball player in New York City that has been prone to injury and is not a great athlete (he’s a 6-4 shooter). After working with Chong for 90 minutes he returned to practice the next day and his coaches said, “You’re running differently. You look more active. You are bouncing when you run.” He had not told them that he was training with Chong.