SPORTS PERFORMANCE WITH KU PERFORMANCE

Ku Performance is a space based around improving human performance and has the ability to work with individuals from different backgrounds and goals.  

One of the newest offerings at Ku Performance will be our Sports Performance Training created for athletes who are participating in sports.  We are lucky to have our Founder and Head Coach, Daniel Aipa, bring his years of experience coaching in the strength and conditioning field for over a decade and working with 21 sports.

Our Sports Performance Training session will be limited in size in order to deliver the Ku quality of coaching.  We work with athletes who are offseason and looking to build and improve their performance, pre-season to prepare themselves for training camp or ensure they are ready for the season, and in-season training to maintain, build, and continue to work on injury prevention. 

The program emphasizes instruction on proper movement training, speed and agility, energy systems conditioning, and injury reduction. We also look beyond the training and educate athletes about how decisions off the field and away from training can have a direct effect on their overall performance.  Our sports performance program takes athletes through an intense 75-minute session with attention always being paid to proper technique, optimal performance, and safety.

Coach Aipa brings his college coaching background to Hawaii and keeps a high expectation for his athletes.  He promotes his coaching philosophy of Dedication, Determination, Discipline, to help teach the athletes that in order to become better not only in sports but in life, you must:

  • DEDICATE yourself to what you are passionate about, your goals, and WHY you want to succeed, and Ku Performance will dedicate themselves to you and provide you with the guidance and tools you need to do so.
     
  • Be DETERMINED to show-up every day like it's game day and prepared to apply yourself to each session.  Ku Performance is determined to keep your fire lit and remind you of your WHY
     
  • Have DISCIPLINE to not deviate from the plan of becoming the best athlete you can be and reach your highest potential.  Ku Performance will stay disciplined by making sure we show up every day ready to coach you to our best ability because we believe you deserve the best

We are excited to welcome our first class of athletes come July, while we build up our facility in Kailua to prepare to offer our program.  Until then, if you are interested and would like to be added to our list, or have any questions, please fill out the form below.  

This will not guarantee a spot but will put you on the email list once enrollment time comes.  Mahalo and Stay Ku.

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SportsDaniel Aipa
Is it Good to Specialize Young Athletes in One Sport?
youth athlete

Coaches, parents, and even young athletes become excited when there are early signs of talent in a particular sport.  As a passion and devotion for that one sport sinks in, the majority of time and effort are spent on that one sport.

However, there is not much dialogue amongst the youth sport community about the risk these young athletes are putting themselves in when only focusing on that sport.

In 2015, the American Journal of Sports Medicine published a study of young athletes at the ages 7-18 years that presented data which brought the risk of injuries to one-sport young athletes tot he surface .[1] The study showed that injured athletes tended to be older (14.1 years vs 12.9 years; P < .001). Also, the young injured athletes also tended to spend more hours per week in organized sports.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, found sports-related ER diagnoses for kids ages 6 to 19 — at a cost of more than $935 million each year.  That's big.

The reason why playing multiple sports during a young age is because the athlete will not spend hours, days, and month using the same movement pattern.  Through the overuse of movements leads to overuse injuries.  Kids are either stuck in one sport year around or playing multiple sports at once and not having enough time to recover.

Dr. Cynthia LaBella, medical director of the Institute for Sports Medicine at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, shared that while parents may mention that they were constantly active throughout their own childhoods and didn't experience any serious injuries, LaBella pointed out that youngsters used to be the masters of their own activity.

Now that parents are the driving force behind getting their children involved in sports and staying active, kids have the tendency to push beyond what they would do on their own which then leads to injury.

Overall, this is a topic where more conversations needs to take place amongst coaches, parents, and the young athletes.  At Ku Performance, we promote rest and recovery for our athletes to ensure safety and the longevity of our haumana, or athletes.  In order to accommodate athletes who do play multiple sports it's important for us to take extra measures to compliment their movements with proper training protocols to maintain performance, strength, and recovery.

Proper Height for Box Jumps

This is a common exercise you come across today.  People seeing how high they can jump by piling up boxes, or piling up bumper plates onto boxes.

Now this is not an article saying that box jumping to test how high you can jump is completely a waste of time.  I am not here to say what is wrong or right but to share with you what WE do at Ku Performance.

Our main concern when coaching the box jump is to reinforce proper landing mechanics and training explosive power. I've done these jumps in the past and it was cool to see how high athletes and myself could jump, but realized that the height of the box wasn't so important.

Coach Mike Boyle shared: "Our rule is simple. Jimmy Radcliffe said it best; “jump and land from the same position”. This means that take off and landing should look identical. If you jump from a ½ squat, land in a half squat."

Sounds simple.  I like simple.

We like to see our athletes jump onto a box and still be in a proper landing position with hips back, chest up, looking straight ahead, knees not collapsed in, and arms behind you.  

In today's culture, it seems as if box jumps became an ego exercise which usually means a higher chance of injuries bound to happen.  

When working with athletes, we always weigh out the risk to benefit ratio because the safety of our athletes and haumana are a priority.  Lastly, when performing box jumps - don't jump off the box to the ground, place a lower box next to the jumping box and have the athlete step down.  

Again, safety.  

Daniel AipaComment
Plyometric Exercises for Volleyball

Volleyball in Hawaii is a big thing and anything you can do to improve your game will help you stand Ku on the court.  

A common mistake when performing plyometrics drills is when coaches or athletes turn them into a conditioning drill.  When that happens, it is no longer considered plyometrics.  When doing plyometric drills, you want to ensure that each set is just as good if not better as the set before. You want to make sure that each rep is just as good if not better as the rep before.  

What are Plyometrics?

According to Dr. Mel Siff in his book Supertraining, he states, "It consists of stimulating the muscles by means of a sudden stretch preceeding any voluntary effort"

For example: when you prepare to jump, you perform a quick downward movement which creates a stretch in your legs before you jump up.  

To go further into understanding, this takes into account the stretch shortening cycle  (SSC):  Using a jump again as an example, the muscles and tendons lengthen and stretch upon lower your body down before you jump (eccentric), this creates a  buildup of energy which is then released in a muscle shortening motion (concentric) that propels you up to jump.

The key component of plyometrics, is the amortization phase, which is the middle phase of SSC. The amortization phase happens between the eccentric and concentric portion of a movement.  The longer the phase is, the longer it takes to apply force into the surface which causes the movement to be slower.

Plyometrics are used to make the amortization phase shorter.  

With that in mind, it is essential for the coach or athlete to have the awareness to understand the importance of ensuring the drills are done properly and chase after performance not fatigue.

Plyometric Drills for Volleyball

The three main categories for plyometrics are: 

  • Jumps - landing on both feet but can have a take off with one or two feet
  • Hops - take off on one foot and land on the same foot.  Hops require more strength than jumps
  • Bounds - take off on one food and land on opposite foot.  Usually done for distance and can be one of the more challenging plyometrics.   

JUMP PRIMER PLYO (DROP SQUAT)

  1. Stand with arms out in front of you bent at a 90˚ with elbows facing forward and feet shoulder width apart
  2. Quickly drop into a squat position driving your arms behind you
  3. Hold the landing position keeping chest up and not allowing knees to collapse inwards
  4. Rise back up to the starting position

This exercise primes the athlete's body for jumping and activates the proper muscles for jumping.  When you drop into the squat position, both feet should be off the floor before you land.  This drill can also be used as part of the warm-up. Perform 2 sets of 5-10 reps.

STEP OFF JUMP LANDING

  1. Standing on a low box with feet shoulder width apart and arms to your side
  2. Step off (DO NOT jump off) the box
  3. Land in a proper landing position with hips back and down, chest up, arms behind you as if you are ready to jump again
  4. Objective is to land softly, one of our cues being to "land like a ninja"
  5. Do not allow knees to collapse in

We emphasize proper landing mechanics because majority of injuries during volleyball occur while landing after a jump. A progression of this drill is STEP OFF HOP LANDING which emphasizes on stepping down and landing on one foot following the same landing mechanics.

VERTICAL JUMP (MULTIPLE RESPONSE)

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart
  2. On command perform vertical jumps by jumping as high as possible
  3. Keep your core tight and legs extended
  4. Once you land on the ground, immediately jump again

The purpose of this drill is to jump as high as possible after each contact with the ground.  During this drill you do not lower down into a squat position.  Start off with performing 2 sets of 6-10 repetitions with at least 30-45 seconds rest between sets.

LATERAL HIGH JUMPS w/ OVERHEAD EXTENSION

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart
  2. Jump as high as possible to the side, extending arms above your head
  3. Land on both feet driving arms behind you 
  4. Upon landing immediately jump and extend your arms overhead back to the start position and stick the landing in the proper landing position
  5. Reset and perform again on command

Volleyball involves lateral movements especially for those playing up at the net. This drill also works on deceleration from jumping side to side. Do 2-3 sets of 4-6 repetitions per side. 

SPLIT JUMPS (SINGLE RESPONSE)

  1. Long split stance in an up position standing tall with elbows bent 90˚ at your side
  2. Drop in split squat position, drive elbows back, and immediately begin jump with both arms and hips
  3. Land in the split squat position, stabilize and show control, then reset for the following jumps for the prescribed repetitions
  4. Switch legs and repeat on the other side

During the movement, keep the back knee from hitting the ground and front knees behind the toes.  Throughout the drill, maintain a strong posture during the jump and landing with eye fixated ahead.  Do 2 sets of 5-8 reps per side.

Coaching Reminder

Do not turn plyometric drills into a conditioning drill.  The emphasis on plyometric drills is to maintain performance and be explosive.  As a coach, if you observe an athlete's performance diminish during the drill, let them rest a little longer or do fewer reps.  For plyometrics, quality over quantity.

Mahalo and A hui hou.

How Much Water to Drink?

Making sure you are consuming enough fluids is essential to fitness, health, and overall performance.  Proper hydration can also help you with losing weight.

While we all know drinking water is good for you, many ask, "How much water should I be drinking?"

Now we all heard of the "8 by 8" rule, which is eight 8-ounce glasses of water, and is an easy standard for many people to remember.  That's a good starting point. But here at Kū Performance, we like to go beyond the standard and find ways in how we can improve our performance.

First...

You may be wondering how water can aid in weight loss.  Proper hydrations actually regulates your appetite and most people find themselves hungry when they are thirsty.  Having a glass of water or two will increase your satiety while you eat which will prevent you from overeating.

Speaking of proper hydration - how do you know if you are dehydrated? The easiest way is by observing your urine.  Generally, the clearer your urine is the more hydrated you are. If it's a dark yellow like an apple juice color, you are dehydrated.  And if it's dark and cloudy like a Pale Ale beer, you are severely dehydrated and should get some medical health.

According to the book Sport Nutrition by Asker Jeukendrup, PhD, and Michael Gleeson, PhD., they wrote:

"The main reasons dehydration has an adverse effect on exercise performance can be summarized as follows:

• Reduction in blood volume

• Decreased skin blood flow

• Decreased sweat rate

• Decreased heat dissipation

• Increased core temperature

• Increased rate of muscle glycogen use"

Finally - How much water should you drink?

We suggest to consume 0.5-1 ounce per pound of bodyweight.  So if you weigh 180lbs, then that's 90-180 ounces. 

The Ku Mindset for Human Performance

In Hawaii, Kū means to stand tall, to anchor down, to achieve, and to transform.  Author of ʻAs a Man Thinketh", James Allen, wrote, "Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound."

The Ku Mindset of Human Performance is the first step towards the realization that in order to reach a high level of performance in life, not just in sports or work, one must be willing to improve themselves to reach for higher heights.  We call this ʻKulia i ka nuʻu", meaning to reach for the highest summit.

Ku is also a known as the god of War and is called upon to build, strengthen, and gain control.  We view this aspect of Ku when it comes to competition with no thought of the competition.  The Ku Mindset for Human Performance is to focus on the task at hand and prepare ourselves for success and execute.  The more you think of what the competition is doing, the less focus you have on what YOU should be doing.  

To reach a high level of performance, it starts with the Ku Mindset.  Only when you develop the proper mindset, you will remain to be bound to mediocrity and to us, thatʻs not what it means to Be Ku.

STEPS TO BUILD A KU MINDSET

  1. Find your WHY: Think of what brought you to where you are today, then ask yourself, "Why do I want to improve? Why do I want to take my performance to the next level?" The WHY is higher purpose that is unique to each individual, team, or organization.
  2. Communicate it: When you find your WHY, you must put it out there.  You can write it down in a journal, put it on your mirror so you see it every day, or share it with the rest of the organization.  Putting it out there to the universe and constantly revisiting does wonders to your motivation and what you do every day.
  3. Hana Ka Lima: Hana Ka Lima, to us, means to put your head down and get to work.  You must make sure your behaviors and actions match your WHY and what you want to achieve.  This takes works - hard work.

Everything starts with your mindset.  It sets the setting for the way you approach tasks, your intention behind what you do, the choices you make, and your behavior.  When you have a Ku Mindset, then everything else comes with purpose and meaning which makes you on your way towards being Ku.