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Finish First Insider, Issue #35
November 28, 2008
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Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Analyzing Sports for Better Performance Programming

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

In order to create effective performance training programs, it is important to understand how to analyze the functions/demands of a sport. In this newsletter, I’d like to mention six fundamental movement patters and examples of each.

Using these six fundamental movement patters, it is possible for a less experienced coach design functionally based performance programs. I will address these from the perspective of a coach that is unable to effectively analyze a sport by the specific protocols used by Finish First Sports Performance coaches. (I’ve written several newsletters regarding the various specific components of sport analysis, so I will only touch on touch on these briefly).

Advanced Sport Analysis

As a performance coach, I inspect a sport in great detail to determine the following needs:

1. Biomechanical Functions/Demands (fundamental movement patterns, planes of movement, etc.)

2. Physiological Functions/Demands (neurological demands, time frames of events, specific energy systems utilized, power, strength, etc.)

3. Injury Statistics (most prevalent, common, gender specific, age specific, overuse, etc.)

4. Additional Concerns (gender, age, position/event specific needs, etc.)

According to Dr. Stuart McGill (Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance, Backfitpro Inc., 2006, p. 127), all movement can be broken down into six fundamental patters:

Six Fundamental Movement Patterns

1. Squat/Lift

2. Push/Pull

3. Lunge

4. Gait

5. Twist

6. Maintaining Balance

McGill is internationally identified as an expert in spine function and back injuries, but is not recognized as an expert in biomechanics. He says that he possesses some expertise in spine function but that doesn’t mean that he understands the best way to perform all performance tasks (p. 128). As a result, he uses the six fundamental movement patterns to analyze the biomechanical functions of sports.

To understand how to use the six fundamental patterns, McGill uses the example of a baseball pitcher performing the pitching motion. At initial observation of the movement, you should see a lunge, a push, and a twist, all within an upright balance environment (p. 128).

So, what does this tell you?

Well, this tells you that from a functional perspective, the baseball pitcher needs to be able to perform these movements well in addition to addressing the other needs of the sport (items #1 - #4 above). A well-planned program should address these needs. Understand, however, that not all of the identified patterns can be trained initially in the program—some movements require additional foundational movements to be addressed first before advancing to the specific movement.

As a rule, general skills, general fitness, and general movements should be trained before progressing to specific/advanced training. Remember, there always needs to be a foundation laid before you can build on top of it.

Understanding movement is very important to successful performance programming. If you do not have a detailed understanding, begin by using the six fundamental movement patterns. For more specific information, I can be reached at

5 'Need to Know' Strategies for Staying Hydrated

By Heather Rae Mangieri, MS, RD, LDN, Finish First Sports Performance Sports Nutrition Advisor

I recently attended a wrestling team parents meeting to speak about nutrition for recovery. During my discussion, I encountered many questions on hydration and the best fluid choices to meet the increased fluid loss via sweat. I want to use this opportunity to provide a concrete plan for staying hydrated and maintaining peak performance.

Fluid intake is the most significant nutrition consideration for any athlete. Research has shown that a loss of body weight of just 1% (1.5 pounds in a 150 pound athlete) can adversely affect the body’s ability to cope with stress (1) and a loss of 2% of body weight can impair athletic performance. For that reason, it is important for athletes to develop a fluid plan that includes drinking before, during and after exercise.

Often times it may be difficult to drink during exercise and therefore your fluid plan should start prior to the activity. The best way to achieve your hydration goal is to make sure you are properly hydrated before the activity begins.

Use the following tips to help in your planning:

1. Drink at least 2 cups (16 oz) of fluids 2 hours before exercise. Drinking 2-3 hours before exercise allows enough time for fluid to be lost through urine before exercise begins.

2. Drink 5-10 ounces of fluid ~ 30 minutes prior to exercise. There is no benefit to chugging fluids in an attempt to stay hydrated. While everybody is different, the body can only absorb fluid so fast, and you do not want to have extra fluid hanging out in the stomach when it is time to start your activity.

3. Try to drink ˝ cup- 1 cup of fluid every 15 minutes during activity. The goal is not to chug but rather to replace some of the fluid lost during the activity. Drinking 8 ounces every fifteen minutes allows you the ability to consume thirty-two ounces of fluid over an hour without overloading the body and causing GI distress. (One gulp= ~ 1ounce, so aim for 8 gulps of fluid every 15 minutes)

4. Check your weight before and after practice to find out how much water weight is lost during exercise. Drink 20-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost.

5. Choose your beverage based on your workout. Water is a good choice for activities that are completed in less than 45 minutes or activity in light to moderate conditions. Any activity over 45 minutes, or moderate to heavy exercise in warm, humid weather would better be met with a sports drink. Sports drinks replace the electrolytes lost in sweat; water does not. Also, choose a sport drink that provides 6-8% carbohydrate (14-19 grams per 8 ounces) to provide added energy (and possibly improved absorption).

There is no benefit to dehydration. For optimal performance, be sure to remember what many nutrition professionals consider the body’s most essential nutrient--water.

References: 1. Bergeron MF. Sodium: the forgotten nutrient. Sports Sci Exch. 2000;13:1-8.

Motivational Sports Quotes

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. -- John Wooden

If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt very much and winning is not very exciting. -- Dick Vermeil

It's not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it's what you put into the practice. -- Eric Lindros

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Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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