Remember the Fundamentals: Jayhawks’ Philosophy on Court and in Water
In this year of true madness in college basketball, as one highly-ranked team after another falls to Cinderella, the University of Kansas was one of two number one seeds left. As the Jayhawks play in the Midwest Regional in Omaha tonight, 100 miles north of the Kansas border, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!” will be loud!
Sticking to the Fundamentals
Jayhawks hoops teams are known for sticking to fundamentals. This attitude permeates their athletics, including their sports medicine tactics.
In the midst of all this madness, Murphy Grant, associate athletic director of sports medicine, drives his athletic training staff to get the Jayhawks ready to continue their march to what they hope will be another championship. Grant has always used simple, fundamental techniques to get his athletes — especially those recovering from injuries — back into top performancing shape.
A series of videos in the HydroWorx video library shows Grant giving an introduction to core essentials, then moving into lower body and upper body workouts:
Starting the Aquatic Therapy Process
Grant says when working in the pool, make sure athletes start with the proper stance.
Noting that the water’s buoyancy may make some patients and trainers take risks they shouldn’t, or start too aggressively, he says, “I just get them to stand in the water, to get used to it.”
Whether for rehab, or for performance conditioning, he always makes certain that patients’ feet are apart and that they are “standing in a good, balanced stance” before starting. Grant points out that the HydroWorx pool is smaller than a normal pool. “When you push the water to the side, it’s going to bounce back. When you push the water forward, it’s going to bounce back. So I always have them stand in the pool and get used to that.”
Grant’s aquatic therapy philosophy mirrors a phrase popular with this year’s Jayhawks men’s basketball team: “Start right, you’ll be right.” He starts slowly, patiently. Once he’s gotten the patient comfortable enough in the pool to be able to pull, breathe and talk at the same time, Grant says, “THEN we can move on to some other exercises.”
A few of the core exercises Grant uses for both recovering athletes and for athletes improving their performance include:
* Isomatic Crunches (using a SMALL Swiss ball)
* Low ab crunches (using the safety bars with the HydroWorx pool)
* Box patterns
* Figure 8 patterns
* The wood chop (using flat hand resistance at first, then more resistance later on.)
“Just Move Water”
The important thing to remember, says Grant, is that you want to “move water.” It will resist. He points out that pushing against the water, and having the water bounce back, not only increases strength, but also helps patients regain and retain their balance in a safe environment.
Working with HydroWorx pools and aquatic therapy, means that, especially with injuries, athletes and trainers can be super aggressive, super efficient and safe at the same time. Just like the men’s basketball team, Grant always starts with and works on the fundamentals.
To learn more about how Murphy Grant and the University of Kansas Jayhawks use HydroWorx pools in rehab, physical therapy and performance improvement, visit the HydroWorx video library and search “Grant.”