Podcast #92: The Evolution of a Basketball Strength Coach with Cory Schlesinger


“I think the missing link between true performance is skill.”

“There’s a direct correlation between in game free throw percentage and in game three point percentage.”

“How people miss is an indicator of vestibular, visual, or a physical alteration.”

Swaying: “They’re shooting baskets on a canoe. It’s a moving target. Makes it a lot harder. You see a gunked up ankle. Lack of IR at the hip. Lack of big toe extension. These can inherently affect something not as ‘explosive’ as a CMJ but as a jump shot.”

A deep squatter on a free throw: “The movement variability throughout that is crazy so they’re creating all sorts of inconsistencies on their way up. So we just shorten it. We call it sitting in a chair or sitting in a barstool. So they sit on a barstool, limit the range of motion, and limit the variability that can happen, and increase in shot consistency.”

The best shooters in the world even with significant injuries: “They self-correct on the way up.”

“Peja, Dirk… it’s wild on the way up. But the thing that is pretty consistent is how they release it.”

“Variability is the king of everything. In skill development, we really good guys back… once you’ve mastered that [canned movement], we need to create a lot of variability.”

“The variability within the skill set is what makes you better at your skill.”

“People think bigger, stronger, faster is where it’s at. No, it’s skill.”

“The ones that look the way we think we want them to look, they’re not playing at the NBA level.”

“You’re actually putting them in a worse spot (compressing them).”

“You look at some of these guys, they’re dad bods. But they’re the most skillful athlete.”

“When you think of injury mitigation or a long, healthy career, skill wins. The more skillful you are, the more efficient you are, the more efficient you are, the less random cuts and harsh loads on your body that you need. If you have a high IQ and know where to be on the court, you’re doing less work, and that’s what you want.”

“When you first start, yes general physical preparation. Be competent at those movements.”

“Legit hall of farmers, their movements are so stiff and harsh and that’s what allows them to be special… you gotta go even more dumbed down than you did even in the very beginning of their development.”

“If your athlete, when they’re doing the exercise, looks sick, you’re giving them a sickness, you’re introducing a virus. That’s not for them.”

“Are we really hitting outputs like we think we are? We gotta find environments that allows them to express the outputs that they can do.”

Playing college bball: “Every time, the best weightlifter sat beside me.”

“Watch their structure, add general movement preparation (squat, hinge, push, pull), and watch which one makes them look sick and go, not doing that one.”

Heel elevation on a squat: “That’s a perfect case of healing someone as opposed to making someone sick.”

“Those things alone (non skill based outputs) will tell you everything that you’re doing right or everything that you’re doing wrong.”

“The performance training is his outputs on the court (closeout, decel, etc.)”

“Take the ball away and just watch them move… that is a lot of plyometrics, that’s my outputs, that is performance training, not what is happening in the weightroom.”

“Performance can come from skill sessions if done right… then you remove junk volume.”

“Performance training and skill development.. why would we not combine that?”

“If you’re a really good player development coach and you just do 1×20, you’ll probably be just fine.”

“Micro dosing makes the most sense because you know you’re going to do no harm.”

Getting back on the court after bodybuilding: “I felt the sickness, I was so compressed.”

“The last thing they need is more speed. They need to quiet the room.”

“Once you see it [departments not being managed], you can’t unsee it. And so you’re constantly dissatisfied.”

“If you have GPS data. You can measure IQ. They’re the lowest outputs on the day. Your best basketball players, IQ included, they’re the ones that do the least amount of effort. The ones that do the most amount of effort are always the ones that don’t know where to be so they have to make up for it with physical outputs.”

“That is malpractice when you don’t have any understanding of the human body.”

“90% of winning is talent.”

“You don’t have to get to that (keep them healthy, continually develop them) if you just got the guys.”

“There can be tradition that is principle based. But as far as prescription and application, absolutely not.”

“Those who prescribe physical stress, they’re under the same scrutiny (injury).”

“Your Honda civic, it still gets you to McDonald’s and back. It does its job. You’re not taking your lambo for your daily drive, you’re taking your lambo to do some things.”

Training high output guys: “I don’t make them do the things that Honda civics do. I make them do the things that Lamborghinis do.”

“When you tear an Achilles specifically, rehab never ends.”

“I would take two ACLs over one Achilles.”

“If your feet and heels and are truly springs, just imagine taking a spring out and that’s what it feels like.”

“Open chain chaos to open chain loading to eventual progression out of the pool to progression of bodyweight… a lot of iso holds.”

Plantarflexed calf raises: “Would hang out up top and that’s what gave me the best stressor that made my tendon feel the best.”

“ISOs and low level plyos and that cleans it up.”

“I think we can build better shooters in the weight room… but you don’t do it through traditional training.”

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