New Study: Outdoor Micro Breaks Restore Your Attention


    • Neuroscience techniques provide direct empirical support for attention restoration theory.
    • A micro-break viewing a green, but not concrete roof city scene, sustains attention
    • The green roof city scene perceived as more restorative than concrete roof city scene.
    • Results suggest city nature is valuable for healthy cities and workplaces.


Based on attention restoration theory we proposed that micro-breaks spent viewing a city scene with a flowering meadow green roof would boost sustained attention. Sustained attention is crucial in daily life and underlies successful cognitive functioning. We compared the effects of 40-s views of two different city scenes on 150 university students’ sustained attention. Participants completed the task at baseline, were randomly assigned to view a flowering meadow green roof or a bare concrete roof, and completed the task again at post-treatment. Participants who briefly viewed the green roof made significantly lower omission errors, and showed more consistent responding to the task compared to participants who viewed the concrete roof. We argue that this reflects boosts to sub-cortical arousal and cortical attention control. Our results extend attention restoration theory by providing direct experimental evidence for the benefits of micro-breaks and for city green roofs.

Click here for entire study.

New Study: Healthy eating and reduced risk of cognitive decline

A cohort from 40 countries

peppers-99627_640Andrew Smyth, MMedSc*, Mahshid Dehghan, PhD*, Martin O’Donnell, PhD, Craig Anderson, MD, Koon Teo, MD, Peggy Gao, MSc, Peter Sleight, DM, Gilles Dagenais, MD, Jeffrey L. Probstfield, MD, Andrew Mente, PhD and Salim Yusuf, DPhil

Results: During 56 months of follow-up, 4,699 cases of cognitive decline occurred. We observed lower risk of cognitive decline among those in the healthiest dietary quintile of modified Alternative Healthy Eating Index compared with lowest quintile (hazard ratio 0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.66–0.86, Q5 vs Q1). Lower risk of cognitive decline was consistent regardless of baseline cognitive level.

Conclusion: We found that higher diet quality was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline. Improved diet quality represents an important potential target for reducing the global burden of cognitive decline.

For Entire Study, click here

Video: What happens When a Family Eats Only Organic for Two Weeks

by Christina Sarich | | May 18, 2015

As said by Dr. Jesse Henley, pesticides kill pests by damaging their cellular structure. Though pesticides, fungicides, growth regulators, and herbicides were meant to control how a plant grows, there is no doubt that they affect us too – and we are using more pesticides and herbicides than ever.

Strangely, these chemicals aren’t destroying pests – they are likely destroying us.

As Dr. Henley explains, when pesticides and herbicides were invented, 37 percent of our crops were being lost to pests – 57 years later, more than 37 percent of our crops are being destroyed. What else is being harmed in the process of all this spraying? Complete article

UAB Coach Coleman on “Why Sand Volleyball?”

UAB Sand Volleyball coach Bailey Coleman joined Stephen McCarthy coleman_uab-sand-volleyball-wallpaperto talk about the love of the game and the benefits players receive by playing outside in the sand, as well as, her perspective on young athletes and the game of sand volleyball.

Coach Coleman grew up playing volleyball on the beach in South Carolina.  At that time there was no sand volleyball, so she played indoor at Georgia Southern.  When the opportunity arose for her to coach outside in the sand, she was very excited about the possibilities, not only for herself, but the athletes as well.  She talked about how her athletes improved in ways you would expect, passing, setting, and hitting, but with a couple additional benefits, the athletes improved their ability to think independently, they became better teammates, and shortened the amount of time they needed to get over the bad plays.  For the entire interview, click here.

Coach Bailey Coleman Bio:

UAB Sand Volleyball Coach Bailey Coleman

Bailey Coleman enters her second season as an assistant coach at UAB for the indoor volleyball team and first season as head coach of the sand volleyball team.  Coleman comes to Birmingham from the University of Montevallo, where she spent the pervious two seasons as an assistant coach under Katie O’Brien. While with the Falcons, she assisted in all aspects of coaching, including recruiting, travel and constructing scouting reports. For additional information, visit here.

Olympian and Olympic coach on “The Love of The Game”

3 Time Olympian Lindsey Berg
3 Time Olympian Lindsey Berg

As a player, 3 time Olympian and Professional volleyball player Lindsey Berg has been at the forefront of USA Olympic volleyball for over 10 years and she admits that she was not always the most athletic person on the floor. How did this happen? She attributes her success to the early development of her “love of the game.”  Today’s world of sport is littered with how-to camps and power tripping coaches who just think they have all the answers, our hope is more coaches will encourage young people to shake off all the reasons why they can’t, and find within their heart a deeper motive for playing the game of volleyball.

Click here to hear Lindsey on how she did not take the traditional path to elite performance, how some in the volleyball community did not see her potential, and how she overcame with the understanding that elite performance has to be deeper than just athletic ability. The link is about have way down the page.

University of Minnesota coach Hugh McCutcheon

Secondly, former Olympic and current University of Minnesota coach, Hugh McCutcheon attacked the same question.  The unique part of this discussion is how close their thoughts match.  Click here for the entire interview.

The answer.. When you are young, play numerous sports in a pickup game format. Come to realize the sport you love and become really good at that one you choose.

Sadly, easy to understand and agree, but hard to go against the grain and therefore, not used very often.

Cell Activation: Key To High End Performance, Part 1

Cell Activation: Chemical reactions within the body that are suppressing performance

In this three part series, we will attempt to cover the suppression of performance, increase of performance, and lastly, recovery as it relates to cellular activation.

hard-labour-285215_1280Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, not a scientist, not a biologist, just a intellectual omnivore who is a certified personal trainer connecting the dots to elite performance. As always, this post is meant to be a starting point for additional research and debate as each one of these subjects have thousands of books, articles and studies previously published.

In today’s world of sport, it occurred to me that we always ask the question, “What can I do to improve my performance?” But why don’t we ask the question, “What am I doing to suppress my performance?”  I believe thousands of athletes are attempting to be their best, but they are like the gentleman pulling a heavy cart all day, every day, eventually, you breakdown and will not able to perform your best.  Hence, the former question seems to be the starting point, but I would argue that is is the later.

With that said,  what actions we are taking against ourselves to suppress our very own performance?

1.  Doses of fluoride via the water, toothpaste, and food:  We have all heard that fluoride is naturally occurring and aids in preventing dental caries.  Well, it is time to rip the band-aid off the “good reputation” and look further into the research.  Check out this study completed in 2010 titled, ” Molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity” For additional information, visit The Fluoride Action Network

Until the 1990’s, the toxicity of fluoride was largely ignored due to its “good reputation” for  preventing caries via topical application and in dental toothpastes. However, in the last decade, interest in its undesirable effects has resurfaced due to the awareness that those element interacts with cellular system even at low does.  In recent years, several investigations demonstrated that fluoride can induce oxidative stress … Genes modulated by fluoride include those related to the stress response, metabolic enzymes, the cell cycle communications and signal transportation.

2.  Endocrine Disruptors and Estrogen Mimickers: Endocrine disruptors are group of chemicals found in our every day life that mess with our endocrine systems, BPA in plastic bottles, Teflon on  cooking utensils, to name a few.  For a complete list, visit Environment Working Group   Estrogen mimickers are another group of chemicals and pharmaceuticals that mimics estrogen in both men and women, which lead to a change in each persons hormonal balance, more specifically, in men the lowering of testosterone. List on Natural News.

4.  Genetic engineering of the food supply:

5.  Excitotoxins:

6.  Over use of pesticides and herbicides within the food supply:

5.  Heavy metals in the vaccines, and food supply:

6.  Systematic, non-creative, command and control, “kill yourself” workouts:

So how do we eliminate the harmful effects of the aforementioned? Simply, to the best of your ability eliminate them from your life. Agreed, easier said than done, but for those seeking elite performance in life and sport, it would simply be the starting point of your journey and part of the price on the journey to attaining your absolute best in life.

Next week, we will move onto the ways and steps we can take to improve the performance of our bodies.



Sand Volleyball Camps 2015

volleyball-451581_1280Designed for boys and girls aged 12 and up. Our Sand Volleyball Camp is a great combination of instruction, fitness, and fun outside in the sun and the sand. Our hope is to create an positive environment for enjoying the game of volleyball, while having a great week outside.

The camps will be held at Lord Fletchers Old Lake Lodge in Spring Park, MN. Lord Fletchers has a great view of Lake Minnetonka, as well as, a great atmosphere to play volleyball.  The Thursday camp will be held at Theodore Wirth Lake Beach in Golden Valley, MN. A beautiful beach centrally-located off Hwy 100.

Each day will consist of 1.5 hours of technique and athlete development drills, while the last 1.5 hours will be playing the game. If time permits after each session, open volleyball will be available.

On the last day of the camp, we will be holding a camp wide tournament.  The top 3 teams will be entered in a local Junior event. to be determined. Each camp is $130.00.

Camp #2 1pm-4pm, July 27th through July 31st at Lord Fletchers

Camp #3 Tuesday afternoons from 1pm-4pm starting June 16 through July 21st, except July 7th at Lord Fletchers

online registration

Location Information:
Camp #1, #2, #3
Lord Fletchers
3746 Sunset Drive
Spring Park, MN. 55384
Phone: (952) 471-8513
Cost: $130 per player

Camp Directors:

Stephen McCarthy: Stephen has researched and developed innovative training techniques specific to life and sport for over 15 years. His clients have accomplished their goals of performance. His athletes have received college scholarships and played professionally, as well as, won state championships and national championships.

Stephanie Chapek: Steph is a Big Ten All-Conference selection and All-American from the University of Minnesota.  She played on the USA national team and professionally in Europe.  Most recently, Steph played beach volleyball including time on the AVP tour and several international tournaments.  Steph coached both indoor and outdoor teams and camps and has worked with several top beach coaches.


Outdoor Rock Climbing and Zip Line

If you are looking for an afternoon of adventure, The McCarthy zipline_summer_2Project is ready to help you test your limits. Join us for a fun outdoor experience:

Outdoor Climbing Only: 3 hours on the high and low ropes challenge course.

• $80 for three hours of outdoor rock climbing for one
• $160 for three hours of outdoor rock climbing for two
• $320 for three hours of outdoor rock climbing for four

Camp Eden Wood
6350 Indian Chief Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55436

Rock Climbing and Zipline: 3 hours on the high and low ropes challenge course, as well as, up to 4 zip lines. zipline_summer_4

• $110 for three hours for one
• $220 for three hours for two
• $400 for three hours for four

Uncle Fogy Nature Center
10454 108th Street Nw
Annandale, MN 55302

Climbs include: Cargo Net, Flat Climbing Wall, Incline Wall, Donkey Kong, The Giants Ladder, and X-Climb.  The McCarthy Project provides all needed gear and will train first-timers on-site before they climb — so no prior experience or certification is needed to participate.

Each session is by appointment only, we do not have traditional retail hours with staff on site available for walk-ups.

For additional questions or information, contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982. Group discounts available.

Feedback from customers:

Thanks again my group had a great time yesterday!, Katie, September 13, 2015

Be sure to bring your own water and snacks, August 02, 2015

Great bonding and teamwork experience — Instructors were amazing and provided excellent encouragement! Tons of fun!, July 11, 2015

Dear Steve and Crew,
I want to tell you how much I appreciate your help in accomplishing my desire to try zip-lining! I was on the lung transplant list at the U. of MN. fifteen years ago, but I decided to forego the transplant when the time came. The thought of spending the rest of my life taking anti-rejection meds and all the attending protocols didn’t appeal. It hasn’t been an easy fight back, but today was an affirmation of my decision and a truly awesome experience! I’ll be 70 this November and I’m looking forward to a few more good years! Thanks again for your help – you’re terrific!,  Pat  p.s. (can’t wait to show the Dr. the pics!)
June 19, 2016

We had a great time. It was hot, but fun. Bring plenty of water!, July 11, 2015

Great afternoon of fun! Excellent instruction with great gear, June 27, 2015

AWESOME instructor!!!! Lots of FUN!!!!! January 25, 2015

Important Information for Attendees:

1.  Each session will start with safety and climbing/gear instruction, with that said, the best case scenario is to arrive approximately 15 min before the start time. Bring a copy of your waiver for each participant. Lastly, the zipline is located in the woods, so pack plenty of water and snacks for the session.

2.  If you do not receive email confirmation of your reservation, you should assume that you are not added to the attendee list or the session has been cancelled and re-attempt to contact myself via email or a phone call.

3.  Verify the location of the session, the majority are scheduled at Uncle Fogy Nature Center in Annandale, MN.  If in doubt, contact us immediately to avoid arrival at the incorrect location.

4.  When you arrive at Uncle Fogy, you will need to take a right into the nature center and park in the lot on the right.  Then follow the road all the way to the back of the property to the zipline tower.  FYI, if using Google maps, it will bring you to the left side of the road, which is Camp Friendship.  Uncle Fogy is on the opposite side of the road about a 100ft to the east of the Camp Friendship parking lot.

View of Climbing Tower in Annandale, MN

5.  Weather related questions.  The general rule of thumb is the session will not be cancelled unless lightning is present.    In the case of a cancellation, we will contact you as soon as decision is made, at that time, we will reschedule.  If bad weather arrives during the session, we will delay the session and make a decision based on the circumstances of the day.

For additional questions or information, contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982.


Non-GMO, Organic Sales Booming

By Jeffrey Jaxon, Infowars April 20th, 2015

peppers-99627_640Due to massive government subsidies given to farmers to grow genetically engineered crops in the past, U.S. food manufacturers and farmers are now being caught blindsided by the sweeping demand for non-gmo and organic crops. In a twist of irony, this is driving a massive increase of organic crop imports from nations that are largely free of bioengineering.

Bloomberg news recently reported that:

“Most of the corn and soybean shipments become feed for chickens and cows so they can be certified organic under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Organic poultry and dairy operators shun feed made with seeds from Monsanto Co. and other domestic suppliers in favor of foreign products even as the U.S. remains the world’s top grower of corn and soybeans. As a result, imports to the United States of Romanian corn rose to $11.6 million in 2014 from $545,000 the year before. Soybean imports from India more than doubled to $73.8 million.”

After countless years of the public voting with their dollars against GMO food and its associated toxins, the impact is now measurable on every level of the supply chain. At the top, Monsanto is sustaining continual financial loss, major chains like whole foods are being forced to go GMO free, and product manufacturers unwilling to switch are instantly losing market share.

A quick look at the trend confirms the sustained strength of growth in organic food sales is real:

2011: Americans spent $29.2 billion on organic foods
2012: Americans spent $31.5 billion on organic foods
2013: Americans spent $35 billion on organic foods
2014: Americans spent $39.1 billion on organic foods

For entire post, click here.

Off Court Development for Volleyball Players

volleyball-673552_1280Our Sunday night training sessions are designed to elevate performance through training, nutrition,  and education. Each 90 minute session’s goal is to develop full spectrum athleticism, while addressing ways to prevent repetitive movement injuries.

Time and Location:
Sunday, May 17th at 6:30pm
Northdale Middle School.
11301 Dogwood St NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55448

Cost is $25.00 per person.

Call Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982 for more information.

Adult Sand Volleyball Clinics

volleyball-713649_1280Designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players aged 18 and up.  Our Adult Sand Volleyball Clinics are a great combination of practical instruction, dynamic fitness, and fun.  Our hope is to help players of all ages and abilities become the best they can be. Check below for clinic locations, schedules, pricing and other details. After each clinic, open volleyball will be available for all attendees.  Team sessions are available upon request. For additional information, call Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982.

Walk up’s are welcome.

Dates and Locations:

Eagles Club-Shakopee, MN
220 2nd Ave W. (Fuller St. and 2nd Ave.)
Date: TBD
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Cost: $35.00 per person

online registration

Lord Fletchers
3746 Sunset Drive
Spring Park, MN. 55384
Phone: (952) 471-8513
Date: TBD
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Cost: $35.00 per person

online registration

Location To Be Determined
Date: TBD
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Cost: $35.00 per person

online registration

Camp Instructors:

Stephen McCarthy:  Stephen has researched and developed innovative training techniques specific to life and sport for over 15 years. His corporate and individual clients have accomplished their goals of a higher standard of health and wellness. His athletes have received college scholarships and played professionally, as well as, won state championships and national championships.  Currently, Stephen is a USAV certified official,  a certified USAV BeachImpact beach volleyball coach, as well as, a certified personal trainer holding a degree in Liberal Studies from St. Cloud State University.

JUCO Jamboree Attendees


Ben Glover, 6’4″ PG, Gillete JUCO, Sophomore, Mid-Major D1 prospect, high major athleticism, high basketball IQ

Darrion Strong, 6’1″ Combo Guard, Coffeyville CC, Freshman, Mid Plus D1 prospect, 3rd Team All-American, 22ppg, Athtetic and quick first step, 40% 3pt

Diallo Powell, 6’3″ Wing, Lake Region CC, Sophomore, Lowt to Mid Major D1 prospect, All-Conference, big time defendor, 19ppg, athletic, explosive in lane, mid-range game

Darrien Butler, 6’6″ Wing, HRSA Academy 2015, athletic, 43″ vertical, good mid range, Currently unsigned JUCO/Prep School prospect

Devoris Wright, 6’5″ Combo Guard, HRSA Academy 2015, athletic, 39″ vertical, good mid range game, raw, big time finisher. Currently unsigned JUCO/Prep school prospect

Nick Anderson, 6’0″ Point Guard, JUCO Prospect, high basketball IQ, great ballhandler and elite passer, good mid range.

Jeremy Johnson, 6’4″ Combo Guard, Champlin Park High School 2015, Mid Major D1 prospect, 2 time all-conference, qualifier, high major athletic, excellent 3pt shooter.

Players for NAIA, JUCO, D2, D3

Jerry Pratt, 6’4″ Wing, Hibbing Community College, All-conference, athletic, rebounder and finisher, 1 year of eligibility

Train Sandifer, 6’4″ Combo Guard, North Hennepin CC, 3pt shooter and mid range, athletic, 2 years of eligibility

Lamar Anderson, 6’3″ Combo Guard, NIAC JUCO, All-conference, athletic, 3pt shooter, 2 years of eligibility

Abdulsalan Osman, 6’7″ Center, St Paul Academy 2015, Qualifier, skilled post-game, all-conference, Low major D1/D2 prospect

Rickey Suggs, 6’4″ Wing, Gillette JUCO, Athletic, big-time defender, rebounder

Best of the Rest

Allen Anderson, 5’11” Point Guard, Osseo High School 2016

March Taylor Knight 6’5″ Wing, Saint Johns Prep 2016

Joevon Walker, 6’5″ Wing, Sound Doctrine Prep 2018


Factory Farm Antibiotics Making Children ‘Allergic to Fruits and Vegetables’

By Christina Sarich, Infowars, March 11, 2015

Farmers who are using antibiotics to keep pests away from their crops are making children allergic to the fruits and vegetables they grow, research suggests.

Several years ago, more than 150 scientists and 50 farmers came out in support of stricter limits on antibiotics used in animal agriculture as part of a broader effort to tackle the public health crisis caused by growing antibiotic resistance. But now, in a case highlighted in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, this concern rears its head more aggressively. Not only are antibiotics that are used in livestock harmful, but the antibiotics being used on fruits and vegetables are causing other problems.

The journal had detailed how a 10-year-old girl who ate a blueberry pie had a near-fatal allergic reaction. It turns out the problem wasn’t the blueberries, but the antibiotic streptomycin. The blueberries had been treated with the antibiotic to keep bacteria, fungi, and algae from growing on the fruit.

Is Fluoride and Elite Performance Linked?

bathroom-15612_1280By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

This week I ask the question, Is fluoride usage linked to decreasing performance within athletes?

The notion that fluoride improves our dental health, as well as, limits bacteria in our mouth has been around for my entire lifetime. My hope to challenge the “status quo” enough to spark a conversation by asking hard and potentially, controversial questions.

  • Is fluoridation of drinking water and fluoride toothpaste tied to an athletes performance?
  • Can fluoridation even be mentioned in the same conversation as elite performance?
  • Is fluoride in our body an enhancer or inhibitor?
  • Can you improve your brain’s ability to communicate with your body and function at a higher level with or without fluoride?
  • If you chose non-fluoridated water, could you make decisions quicker? Could you see things before your competition?

The research leads me to believe that fluoride has decreased an athlete’s ability to perform and by limiting its use, you can improve performance.

Here are a few links available to start the journey.

“If fluoride is really the panacea for dental disease that it’s been portrayed as, then why is it that the United States is one of the only developed countries that fluoridates their citizens’ drinking water?

Hint: It’s not because the other countries aren’t aware of fluoride’s supposed “miracle” powers for your teeth … it’s because they fully realize that adding a known poison to your population’s water supply is probably not a good idea.”

  • water-90781_640Fluoride linked to negative brain functions. Click here, here, and here .

So I beg the question.. Is it plausible to improve athlete’s performance by drinking a non-fluoridated water source?

I would love to hear your thoughts or comments.

Additional Research:

7 studies that did not connect IQ and Fluoride

American Dental Association Fluoridation Facts A great read about all the positives, with no studies on the side effects of fluoridation.

Quote from an Alcoa-backed book named. “Fluorides in the Environment

Fluoride emissions from volcanoes and the natural occurrence of excessive amounts of fluoride in drinking water have affected the health of humans and livestock for centuries, if not millennia. In addition to these natural sources, the use of fluoride as a flux, as a feed material in the chemical industry, its occurrence as a contaminant in phosphates and coal, and its use in a myriad of organic compounds have led to widespread air pollution and environmental damage. For over a century inorganic fluoride emissions damaged crops, forests and natural vegetation, and they caused fluorosis in factory workers, livestock and wild mammals. There is no doubt that inorganic fluoride was one of the major air pollutants of the 20th century but in the last 40 years there have been enormous improvements in the containment and scrubbing of emissions, so at the present time modern fluorideemitting industries generally have little or no environmental impact outside the factory fence.

Entire book Fluorides in the Environment This book is a very interesting read, but confirms that inorganic fluoride has negative side effects and even, high amounts of natural or organic fluoride causes human health to deteriorate.

Additional Website:

Fluoride Action Network

MYAS Super Saver And Team Quest

Team Quest will be hosting a MYAS Super Saver Tournament in Elk River, MNlinsainlty

36 teams from all over Minnesota will be playing at Salk Middle School and Vandeberg Middle School in Elk River, MN on March 1st, 2015.

About Team Quest:
Spend the day on our challenge course and experience the fun and creative low ropes and the daring high ropes. Bring your team closer, be more productive and focus on the strengths of individuals. teamMore information on Team Quest, click here.

About MYAS:
The Minnesota Youth Athletic Services, Inc. (MYAS) was organized in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the delivery of youth sports services to young athletes, coaches and parents. The MYAS is Minnesota’s largest multi-sport organization focused solely on youth athletics with more than 150,000 kids participating in our programs annually. The MYAS is a central clearinghouse for youth sports, serving as an information channel linking hundreds of youth associations, coaches, and thousands of parents. For more information on MYAS, click here.

Would more milk do NBA players good?

drip-175551_640When Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle suffered a broken leg in his NBA debut, most believed it was just a freak accident. Dr. Cate Shanahan, the director of the Lakers PRO Nutrition Program, has a different view.

“He just didn’t have enough dairy in his life,” Shanahan said.

It’s not an issue that she believes is exclusive to Randle.

From the broken leg suffered by Indiana Pacers forward in August to the broken leg that Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered in the 2013 NCAA tournament, Shanahan believes there’s a dangerous trend, one that she said she predicted would happen a few years ago.

“From my perspective, there’s an epidemic of bone health problems in pro sports because guys are drinking soda instead of milk,” Shanahan said. “They’re just not getting enough calcium.”

She said she has calculated that some players are only getting 25 to 30 percent of the recommended daily calcium intake. ( recommends that adult males between 19 and 50 take 1,000 milligrams of calcium on a daily basis.)

But she also stressed that taking calcium pills isn’t enough to help strengthen bones. “We’re not designed to eat pills,” she said.

Shanahan said a key issue is the stigma surrounding dairy products.

“The big thing you get from dieticians is you have to worry about fat,” she said. “Dieticians are obsessed with calories. For some reason, they’re more obsessed about fat calories than sugar calories.”

That notion has largely carried over into the world of professional sports, she said. The end result, she said, is more catastrophic leg injuries from something as innocuous as a misplaced landing, such as what happened to George.

“It’s more what you’d expect when somebody is hit by a car versus when somebody is landing wrong,” she said.

Randle’s injury was even more perplexing to her.

“According to what I saw [with Randle], it wasn’t even the landing,” she said. “The problem started on takeoff. It looked to me like he twisted his leg when he broke off the ground.”

Regardless, Shanahan said the Lakers don’t look at dairy in a negative light. They serve players grass-fed cheese and Kobe Bryant drinks a low-sugar chocolate milk after games specially prepared by Whole Foods.

“We promote dairy,” Shanahan said. “We try to downplay the role of soda and even energy drinks.”

For complete article, click here.  If you would like to know more on how real milk can improve performance, contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982.

Chicken soup for the aging star’s soul

Bone broth helping to keep Kobe Bryant on the court in the twilight of his career

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant lay crumpled on the court, his left ankle severely sprained after landing on an opponent’s foot. Dr. Cate Shanahan saw it all unfold on TV and immediately picked up the phone. She knew the Lakers’ star needed soup — fast.

Shanahan, the director of the Lakers PRO Nutrition Program, called the chef at the Atlanta hotel where the Lakers were staying that March 2013 night and ordered two bowls of hot chicken vegetable soup to be delivered to Bryant’s room.

This wasn’t your basic, store-bought soup, though. It was made with bone broth, a nourishing concoction rich in nutrient and minerals — and especially collagen — produced by simmering bones (pig, cow, fish, etc.) and other ingredients for hours.

Bryant called the sprain his worst since 2000. His ankle swelled to the size of a tennis ball. He was out “indefinitely.”

He missed only two games.

As Bryant creeps toward the two-decade mark in the NBA, every element of how he prepares, trains and recovers is so much more important, so much more amplified. Including what’s in his soup bowl, bone broth has become a daily staple of Bryant’s diet over the past three years. It’s the foundation of his pregame meal at home and on the road, and the Lakers put in long hours to make sure it’s carefully prepared for him at all times.”I’ve been doing the bone broth for a while now,” Bryant said. “It’s great – energy, inflammation. It’s great.”

For complete article, click here. Or Bone Broth: One of Your Most Healing Diet Stapes By Joseph Mercola

If you would like more information on other ways to improve performance with your diet, call Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982.

Cordyceps: Natural Herb For Improved Stamina

man-80086_640In Chinese medicine there are approximate 120 herbs (out of thousands) that are ‘tonics.’ Some tonics are also known as ‘superior’ herbs – Superior tonic herbs can rebuild organ systems and repair damage from chronic diseases.For an herb to get classified as a ‘tonic,’ it must meet the following six specific qualifications (these qualifications are observed over literally thousands of years of use), Anti-aging characteristics include:
1. Broad and profound health; promoting actions that result in a radiant healthy life
2. Must help balance emotional and psychic energies to help improve one’s emotional and spiritual well-being.
3. Must have NO NEGATIVE side effects with reasonable use over a long period of time
4. Must be consumed easily and must be easily digestible and assimilated.
5. Must contain at least one of the three treasures, which are in Chinese medicine distinct types of energy, Jing, Qi and Shen. These 3 energies are complete as a human being.

My favorite of these tonic herbs is Cordyceps. As many of you know we use Cordyceps Sinensis in our NutriCafe Organic Coffees, Cocoa Mojo and our Protein Powder!

Cordyceps is highly regarded as an athlete’s herb, it improves stamina and increases muscle capacity. It is an oxygenating herb, i.e. it allows the body to assimilate oxygen more efficiently. For this reason, cordyceps is given to race horses.

Cordyceps is also known for its ability to improve sexual activity/performance – Many are unaware of this and there are absolutely no side effects!

Click here to read more about Cordyceps, it’s properties and benefits!

Be well!

Steve St. Clair
EnerHealth Botanicals

New Study: Soda Ingredient Poses Cancer Risk to Millions of Americans

By Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars, Febraury 24, 2015

pepsi_canA new study carried out by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has found that millions Americans who consume soda every day are putting themselves at risk of developing cancer as a result of an ingredient contained in many soft drinks.

4-Methylimidazole, commonly known as 4-MEI, is a coloring used by soft drink makers to give their beverages that distinctive dark hue. It can be found in many popular soft drinks, including Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Diet Cola.

However, 4-MEI is a carcinogen that has been found to increase rates of malignant tumors when fed to mice and rats in laboratory studies. Despite this research, the FDA has not restricted its use as a caramel coloring agent in food and drinks.

Sampling 110 brands of soda and soft drinks, the Johns Hopkins researchers found levels of 4-MEI ranging from 9.5 micrograms per liter to 963 micrograms per liter, with diet colas generally having higher concentrations.

The study found that the majority of the beverages sampled contained potentially harmful levels of 4-MEI.

“Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” said senior author Keeve Nachman, PhD. “This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.”

The study concludes that, “Federal regulation of 4-MEI in caramel color may be appropriate”.

Consumer Reports notes that the study is “another reason to cut back on soda, warning that 4-MEI is also, “found in a wide variety of foods, including bread and other baked goods, dark sauces such as soy or barbecue, pancake syrup, and soups.”

“This new analysis underscores our belief that people consume significant amounts of soda that unnecessarily elevate their risk of cancer over the course of a lifetime,” asserted Urvashi Rangan, PhD, adding that the federal government should follow California’s example of setting a threshold for 4-MEI exposure. In the golden state, sodas need to be sold with a cancer warning label if they exceed the 29 ug per day limit.

Previous studies have found levels of 4-MEI that reach almost 700 ug per liter in cola soft drinks, up to 2000 ug per liter in coffee, and up to 28,000 ug/liter in dark beer.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of and Prison

Research Exposes How our Water is Making us Depressed, Sick

Is Fluoride To Blame?

By Mike Barrett, Infowars, February 25, 2015

water-90781_640Adding to the evidence that backs many U.S. communities’ decisions to end water fluoridation, a recent study has found that fluoride within our water supply may be fueling thyroid issues experienced by millions of Americans, leading to depression and more.

After analyzing 98% of GP practices in England, the study found specifically that rates of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) were 30% more likely in areas that fluoridated their water. In the study, it equated to approximately 15,000 needlessly suffering from the ailment.

As mentioned, hypothyroidism is an issue that affects millions – often without anyone knowing it. It’s an issue that can lead to depression, weight gain, fatigue, aching muscles, weakness, and much more. While there are a number of causes of hypothyroidism, as well as numerous hypothyroidism natural treatments, this recent study suggests that limiting fluoride ingestion is one many should consider.

The study abstract’s findings concluded:

“Findings We found that higher levels of fluoride in drinking water provide a useful contribution for predicting prevalence of hypothyroidism. We found that practices located in the West Midlands (a wholly fluoridated area) are nearly twice as likely to report high hypothyroidism prevalence in comparison to Greater Manchester (non-fluoridated area)”

Professor Stephen Peckham, of the University’s Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS), said that research was ‘observational,’ and thus no definitive conclusions should be drawn about cause and effect. He also notes how other sources of fluoride were not taken into account, such as toothpaste, food, or other drinks.

In the end, professor Peckham does say that a switch to other approaches to protecting tooth health should be considered.

You can Prevent Fluoridate Ingestion, and Prevent Any Potential Damage

In the guise of protecting and strengthening our teeth, the U.S. government has been adding fluoride to public water supplies for decades. But due to health toxicity and health concerns, many communities have voted to end fluoridation locally. However, if your city hasn’t made the shift yet, don’t worry; you can still avoid ingesting this substance.

While helping to end water fluoridation is the most official way to end fluoride consumption, there are numerous measures you can take to not only avoid fluoride, but reverse the damage it might have done.

Start by investing in a high quality water filtration system that removes fluoride. The filter will note if it filters our fluoride or not, but if you don’t want to look, you can’t go wrong with a reverse osmosis system. Just be sure to add in some apple cider vinegar or Himalayan sea salt to re-mineralize the water.

Additionally, you can utilize selenium, tamarind, and especially iodine to combat fluoride exposure, A compound in the spice turmeric has even been found to attenuate neurotoxicity induced by fluoride, meaning that the spice turmeric can prevent and even reverse damage from exposure to toxic fluoride.

Tell us what you think about water fluoridation – have you fought for your right to drink clean water?

This post originally appeared at Natural Society

All Skills Volleyball Camp-Morris

Lindsey Berg, Stephen McCarthy, Coach Chad Braegelmann Create a Unique Volleyball Experience

We will be holding an All Skills Camp July 23rd on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Morris in Morris, MN. Former University of Minnesota, 3 time Olympian, and professional volleyball player, Lindsey Berg will be sharing her story of rising from a high school player in Hawaii to attending college in Minnesota to the Olympics, as well as, how she developed her game by playing with her heart and a love of the game, first and foremost. Secondly, Minnesota Morris Head Coach Chad Braegelmann and his athletes will be on staff sharing their thoughts on high level performance within life and sport.

Stephen McCarthy and Lindsey Berg with some of the camp participants at 2013 Cuore Volleyball Camp.

Here is a quick overview:

The camp is designed to not only teach the fundamentals of volleyball, but to also teach the fundamentals of life. The camp will show how you can develop the love of the game, while playing your best. The camp teaches life lessons through volleyball and promises to be an experience you won’t soon forget. Lindsey Berg, Coach Braegelman, and MN-Morris athletes will be on court for all sessions, while Stephen McCarthy off-court.

The cost is $60 for the 2.5 hour session. The session is for girls aged 10 and up.

Special Offer: As of 7/17/2015, we only have 10 spaces remaining for the camp, so we are offering a special price of $40 for the next 10 registrants.

U of M Alum and 3-time USA Olympic Team Setter Lindsey Napela Berg from December 2013 camp in Minnesota.

Parents are welcome to attend all sessions.

Camp Schedule:

10:45: Arrive and check-in
11:00 am Introductions and Warmup
11:15 am On-court drills, stories, and ways to develop the love of the game for high school players
1:00 pm Pillars of Nutrition and Training
1:15 pm Question and Answer Session with Lindsey
1:30 pm Session completed

online registration

All Skills Volleyball Camp- Rochester

Lindsey Berg and Stephen McCarthy Partner to Create a Unique, Creative Volleyball Experience

We are excited to announce an All Skills Camp July 27th at the National Volleyball Center in Rochester, MN.  Former University of Minnesota, 3 time Olympian, and professional volleyball player, Lindsey Berg will be sharing her story of rising from a high school player in Hawaii to attending college in Minnesota to the Olympics, as well as, how she developed her game by playing with her heart and a love of the game, first and foremost.

Stephen McCarthy and Lindsey Berg with some of the camp participants at 2013 Cuore Volleyball Camp.

Here is a quick overview:

The camp is designed to not only teach the fundamentals of volleyball, but to also teach the fundamentals of life.  The camp will show how you can develop the love of the game, while playing your best.  The camp teaches life lessons through volleyball and promises to be an experience you won’t soon forget. Lindsey Berg will be on court for all sessions, while Stephen McCarthy off-court.

The cost is $60 for the 2.5 hour session. The morning session is for girls aged 10-14 and the afternoon for 15 and up.

U of M Alum and 3-time USA Olympic Team Setter Lindsey Napela Berg from December 2013 camp in Minnesota.

Parents are welcome to attend all sessions.

Camp Schedule:

Morning Session:

8:30am Arrive and check-in
9:00 am Introductions and Warmup
9:15 am On-court drills, stories, and ways to develop the love of the game specific to younger players
10:45 pm Pillars of Nutrition for Young People
11:30 pm Morning session completed

Afternoon Session:
12:30 pm Arrive and check-in
1:00 pm Introductions and Warmup
1:15 pm On-court drills, stories, and ways to develop the love of the game for high school players
3:45 pm Pillars of Nutrition for Elite Performance
4:30 pm Afternoon session completed

online registration

Potential Root Cause of Decreased Performance

For 14 years, we have been researching this concept called elite performance. One of the changes we have noticed is young people are not able to hold their attention on a subject as they could years ago. Secondly, they seem to be more complacent, sort of like ho-hum, just another day.

Well, I would like to open the discussion to the potential that vaccines could be one of the roots causes for these trends. You might say, this is not possible. Vaccines are for the flu and other diseases. Stephen, you are out in left field on this one..

All I ask that you open your mind to the following thought.

Some of the major side effects of vaccines are neurological damage like autism, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, to name a few. Well, what is the complete story on the negative chemical reactions taking place inside our body that we are not able to see with the naked eye? Are the vaccines slowing down our thoughts, as well as, changing how our body works? If this is so, I believe coaches would agree that a high sport IQ and quicker decisions are a major competitive advantage for athletes and teams, not talent alone? So I beg the question, by not taking the flu shot and other vaccines, can you improve the performance of yourself and your team or at least allow your team to perform at its best?

As a starting point, review the research. Does this seem plausible? I would be open to hearing your comments.

Additional Research:

Dr. Joseph Mercola on Aluminum, Vaccines and ADHD

Dr. Joseph Mercola on Vaccines and The Spread of Disease

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny on history of vaccines and other information

Dr. Russell Blaylock on the “Dangers of Excessive Vaccination”

Vaccination Council on all subjects of interest

Stephen’s Additional Thoughts:

I would like to thank everyone for their feedback.  Below is an opening statement and some of the responses to the “plausible question” mentioned earlier.  My responses to the feedback are italicized.

As a starter, I would agree that vaccination technology and research is not phony and is legitimate, my question resided in the side effects and the need to have an honest, open debate on what is really the truth related to vaccines.   If I could be assured that each component of the vaccine would not have side effects, it is reasonable to take vaccines.  The difficulty I have is the studies from NIH and CDC have contradicted themselves and sometimes,  even omitted data that link neurological problems to vaccines.

Response #1

Clearly, your research is neglecting to examine Nordic skiing, tennis, track, cross country, swimming, etc. I have coached for 44 years, encourage my athletes to stay current in vaccinations, avoid persistent sanitized environments, encouraging exposure to expand personal immunity. My skiers are top performers with an average GPA of 3.674, they are leaders in school, highly competitive, involved in student government, etc. Thank god for polio vaccinations, and a whole host of others. The anti science madness is a disease spawned by ignorant individuals who have no understanding of immunity, health, and vaccines.


Dangerous proposition you make for young people.  My team is motivated and state level as well as national competitors.  They are all vaccinated and your thesis is dangerous and unsupported by real science.

I am not diminishing the possibility that athletes can perform while being vaccinated.  It would be the same as saying, “Every athlete needs to do heavy barbell squats in the weight room for elite performance,” when that has been clearly found to be false.  As there are many elite athletes, who have never seen a weight room and are able to compete at the highest levels.

My question arose out of a more global position and how it may be effecting individual athletes and the following possibilities:

1.  Is it plausible, some, not everyone, could be effected by the use vaccines and their performance had been diminished.

2.  Looking at the known side effects and the chemical makeup of the vaccines begs the question… What are each individual athletes responses to the vaccines.. What is the grey in-between the black and white? Click here, here or here for additional information.

3.  See response #2 for accuracy of clinical trials

4.  I do agree that vaccination technology is solid, I would just like the accurate documentation and a vaccine not filled with heavy metals and other chemicals harmful to our mind and bodies.

Response #2

The CDC and several studies show their is no causal link between Autism and vaccines.

One of the major foundation articles for this response is a 2004 article in the Journal Pediatrics by William S. Thompson, a Senior Scientist at the CDC and his co authors.  On August 27th, 2014, William S. Thompson has admitted that the article “omitted data that suggested connection to Autism.”  See link here

Response #3

Your conclusions are founded on hysteria, not facts. You are not a doctor or a scientist and what you are trying to promote can cause a great deal of harm.

Agreed, I am not a doctor or a scientist, but I am a trainer and have observed athletes for a long time, seen the side effects of athletes who are not able to perform to their full potential.  My intention was to ask the question, Could vaccines be a cause for the decreasing of performance in athletes?  And based on the side effects and scientific evidence, on both sides, it is worth asking the question.  Secondly, see above link to William Thompson about the accuracy of clinical studies, as well as, the two additional sources listed below.

Note: While the subject is GMO’s, just replace “GMO” with vaccines and the statements look eerily similar.  I ask the question, who is not open to a honest debate? Or Cathleen may not realize that genetically modified organisms have been linked to health disorders.  Possible, but I doubt it.

According to Cathleen Enright, executive vice president food & agriculture, for the Biotech Industry Organization (BIO), there is nothing to debate. GMO agriculture is “sustainable” and GMO foods are “safe.” Anyone who says otherwise is making “scary” statements that have no basis in fact—because every shred of scientific evidence suggesting health or safety concerns related to GMOs “has been discredited,” Enright told me during a March 3 (2015) phone conversation. Click here for entire article


One of the most important responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in protecting public health is to conduct regular inspections of clinical trial sites to ensure that good clinical practices are being followed. But a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine has found that nearly half of all clinical trials are based on false information, and the FDA typically does nothing to address this widespread problem

Charles Seife, M.S., from the Institute of Journalism at New York University conducted a cross-sectional analysis of publicly available documents that describe FDA inspections of clinical trial sites where significant evidence of objectionable conditions or practices was found. Narrowing down the pool to only those documents that contained enough information to fully identify the violations described, Seife came up with 57 trials for which evidence of “significant departures” was abundant. Click here for entire article

So I will stand form on asking the question and opening the conversation. It must be discussed.

Response #3

Please do not spread propaganda based on hearsay.  This kind of stuff put out to unsuspecting people is one of the reasons we are seeing outbreaks of diseases long ago eradicated.

See above.. The question must be asked and a solid debate must occur, so an informed decision can be made for you, others and your athletes.

The Outdoors and Athletes Do Mix

image_bluejaysBy Jonnie Gall, GrindTV, February 15, 2015

Peek into the garage of any professional baseball player and you’re likely to see a shiny sports car with a hefty price tag.

But not Daniel Norris’, as the 21-year-old Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect from Johnson City, Tennessee, doesn’t even have a garage. In fact, his house is void of many of the luxuries that come with a lucrative pro sports career and a $2 million signing bonus.

That’s because Norris lives in a van.

“To keep this simple, they think I’m pretty weird,” laughs Norris, who says the people running the Blue Jays organization were wary at first of his unorthodox living situation. “They find it rather interesting.”

But the more you know about Norris, the more apparent it becomes that it’s the alternative—four walls lined with electronics and shiny appliances—that would be “weird.”

[Related: Daniel Norris showing drive in journey to Majors]

Norris, who made his major-league debut last September and is competing for a starting job this spring, grew up roaming the racks of tires and helmets at his father’s mountain bike shop in Tennessee, a local haven for outdoorsmen that had been in the family for two generations. On the weekends, his family rode bikes and went camping; Norris picked up rock climbing from his sister. Even during the first two offseasons of his pro baseball career (Norris was drafted from high school in the second round in 2011), he worked part-time at a local outdoor retailer, where he was introduced to even more new ways to get outdoors, like kayaking and backpacking.

For full article, visit GrindTV site

Officials Declare ‘Eating Healthy’ A Mental Disorder

Can We Be Mentally Ill?

peppers-99627_640By Jeffery Jaxon,

In an attempt to curb the mass rush for food change and reform, psychiatry has green lighted a public relations push to spread awareness about their new buzzword “orthorexia nervosa,” defined as “a pathological obsession for biologically pure and healthy nutrition.” In other words, experts are saying that our demand for nutrient-dense, healthful food is a mental disorder that must be treated.

CNN, Fast Company, Popular Science, and other top outlets have all began to trumpet the talking points on cue relatively recently:

“Orthorexia nervosa is a label designated to those who are concerned about eating healthy. Characterized by disordered eating fueled by a desire for “clean” or “healthy” foods, those diagnosed with the condition are overly pre-occupied with the nutritional makeup of what they eat”.

In short, if you turn your back on low quality, corporate food containing known cancer causing toxic additives and a rich history of dishonesty rooted in a continuous “profits over people” modus operandi, then you may suffer from a mental illness. The cherry on top is that if you have the pseudo-science labeled disorder of orthorexia nervosa, you will be prescribed known toxic, pharmaceutical drugs from some of the same conglomerate corporations that you are trying to avoid by eating healthy in the first place.

Orthorexia has not yet found its way into the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), yet is commonly being lumped in with other eating disorders. Stepping back and looking at the ones pushing this label on us shows highly questionable motives.

Psychiatry as a whole is deeply in bed with a pharmaceutical industry that makes the drugs to “treat” every one of these “disorders.” It is often these companies that are wielding influence behind the scenes to invent more mental health categories with their toxic products as the answer. This latest media push to popularize orthorexia as a mental disorder with a goal to marginalize or derail the food revolution appears to have been dead on arrival.

The psychiatric community has even deemed creativity to be a mental illness.

As the people continue to walk away from the broken medical and agricultural/food systems like any abusive relationship, the food makers are willing to do anything to maintain their waning control. Organic and non-GMO food markets have exploded in the last 5 years, so much so that any corporation wishing to not follow the trend risks financial hardship or ruin. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are feeling the strain as less people want their toxic medications and crippling side effects.

Perhaps some people to take it too far to the point of self-harm, but the problem we face with a toxic food system is a much larger threat. In closing, let’s be aware of some of the overall BS fed to us by the pharmaceutical bankrolled industry of psychiatry. When healthy eating and creativity are mental issues, something is amiss.

For additional sources and links, click here

Cutting The Strings That Suppress Leadership Development

Imagine the sled as holding you back from the pursuit of a goal. Cut the sled and your performance will increase, right or wrong?

Over the weekend, I had the honor of speaking to high school coaches at the Minnesota Track Coaches Association annual meeting. In preparation, I asked the following questions:

“Why do we feel that so many young people, who are working diligently to become great leaders and athletes, fail to accomplish the mission?” and “Is it the leadership model we are using in pursuit of the goal or is it suppression from reaching the goal?”

I do not feel the answer is the leadership model, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of high-quality models published over the last 100 years alone that have been used hundreds of times with much success. On top of that, most coaches use one of these models at present, so how could a new and improved model be the answer?

From my point of view, we must create connection amongst the team, as well as, eliminate the strings that hold athletes hostage from the attainment of their absolute best performance. Once free from suppression, we can give athletes the proper guidance on the subject of leadership, and only then, will athletes find their way to becoming a great leader.


I realized pretty quickly that my points of emphasis are merely a starting point for a major discussion and in no way, did I feel I had all the conclusive answers.  With that said, here are of the points of the presentation and a link to the prezi notes.

1.  athletes thinking in the moment with full and complete thoughts of the entire situation, not just “Get Mine First.” See Phil Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops and Michael Johnson’s Slaying the Dragon for more information.

2.  Begin to understand the concept of life scripts or episcripts and their influence on view points and actions. Search Eric Berne, father of transactional analysis, with the word “fairy tales.”

3.  Eliminate the toxins in and outside your body for the purpose of increasing IQ, mind-body connection, and increased energy.

  1. Only eat real organic, non-gmo food
  2. Filter fluoride from your water
  3. Find ways to eliminate synthetic materials from your environment and your food.   For additional information, see all the sources on this site.

Again, my goal was to create a starting point only, rather than a comprehensive list of solutions.  If you have any feedback, I would welcome an email.  Again, for the complete presentation, click here for the presentation notes.  Enjoy.


Elite Wing Camp

gofastgohardcombineWe are excited to announce The McCarthy Project will be holding its Elite Wing Camp in July at the Colin Powell Leadership Center in Minneapolis, MN.

The camp is designed to not only teach the fundamentals of the playing the position of wing, but to also teach the fundamentals of life. You will learn how to play from some of the most influential coaches in Minnesota basketball, and will gain important life skills including how to be a leader and a better teammate. In addition, you will receive instruction on how to train and fuel your body for elite level competition. The camp teaches life lessons through basketball.

The following areas will be covered

1. Classroom and film session based on point guard position
2. NBA-like combine testing
3. On-court technique coaching
4. Off court training and nutrition sessions

gofastgohardcombine_2Final details will be posted February 1st, 2015.

Elite Point Guard Camp

gofastgohardcombineWe are excited to announce The McCarthy Project will be holding its Elite Point Guard Camp in July at the Colin Powell Leadership Center in Minneapolis, MN.

The camp is designed to not only teach the fundamentals of the playing the position of point guard, but to also teach the fundamentals of life. You will learn how to play from some of the most influential coaches in Minnesota basketball, and will gain important life skills including how to be a leader and a better teammate. In addition, you will receive instruction on how to train and fuel your body for elite level competition. The camp teaches life lessons through basketball.

The following areas will be covered

1. Classroom and film session based on point guard position
2. NBA-like combine testing
3. On-court technique coaching
4. Off court training and nutrition sessions

gofastgohardcombine_2Final details will be posted February 1st, 2015.

All Skills and Setter Volleyball Camp

Lindsey Berg and Stephen McCarthy Partner to Create a Unique, Creative Volleyball Experience

We are excited to announce we will be holding an All Skills and Setter Camp July 25th and 26th at Ralia Sports Center in Maple Grove, MN.

Stephen McCarthy and Lindsey Berg with some of the camp participants at 2013 Cuore Volleyball Camp.

Here is a quick overview:

The camp is designed to not only teach the fundamentals of volleyball, but to also teach the fundamentals of life. You will learn how to play from some of the volleyball greats, and will gain important life skills including how to be a leader and a better teammate. In addition, you will receive instruction on how to train and fuel your body for elite level competition. The camp teaches life lessons through volleyball and promises to be an experience you won’t soon forget.  Lindsey Berg will be on court for all sessions, while Stephen McCarthy off-court.

The cost is $250 for All Skills, $300 for Setter. Attend both All Skills and Setter for $400. See below for camp schedule.

Ralia Sports Center, Home of Minnesota Select Volleyball Club

Ralia Sports Center
8686 Valley Forge Lane
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Camp is for girls aged 10-18.  Smaller groups will be created within the camp selected by age, skill level and special request.

U of M Alum and 3-time USA Olympic Team Setter Lindsey Napela Berg from December 2013 camp in Minnesota.

Parents are welcome to attend all classroom and on-court sessions.

Camp Schedule:

12:00pm Arrive and check-in
12:30pm Introductions and Warmup
100pm to 330 pm On-court
330pm to 430pm Pillars of Nutrition for Elite Performance

900am to 1000am Training for Recovery and Performance
1000am to 1230pm On-court
1230pm 100pm Final Thoughts by Coaches

All Skills #1:
800am Arrive and check-in
830am Introductions and Warmup
900am to 1130am On-court
1130am to 1230pm Pillars of Nutrition for Elite Performance

1200pm to 1pm Training for Recovery and Performance
1pm to 330pm On-court
330pm 400pm Final Thoughts by Coaches

online registration

All Skills #2:lindsey_berg_1
4:00pm Arrive and check-in
4:30pm Introductions and Warmup
500pm to 730 pm On-court
730pm to 830pm Pillars of Nutrition for Elite Performance

400pm to 5pm Training for Recovery and Performance
5pm to 730pm On-court
730pm to 800pm Final Thoughts by Coaches

online registration

5 Foods That Decrease Performance

This post was on the Infowars Newsletter.. While it was meant for obesity.. The same foods items decrease performance. Check out the list.

Are your ‘healthy’ food choices actually making you fat and going against your entire diet and exercise regimen? Chances are, you may unknowingly be consuming a number of food items that should in fact be on your ‘food hazard’ list.

Looking at the research and the opinions of top nutrition experts, here are the 5 foods that are making people fat (and no one probably even knows they’re eating them):

1. Foods with the Popular Plastic Chemical BPA


While not technically a ‘food’, you are most likely taking in the plastic chemical known as bisphenol-A as if it were a staple food in your diet. This chemical, found in numerous items which I will list for you, disrupts what’s known as your body’s endocrine system — which encompasses key biological systems like your pineal gland and reproductive glands.

Numerous studies have connected BPA exposure with everything from obesity to cancer. One study out of NYU School of Medicine analyzed 2,938 young people, and found that the most obese individuals also had the highest concentrations of BPA in their urine. Only 10% of the obese children actually had lower BPA levels.

BPA can be found in:

  • Plastic water bottles
  • The inner lining of canned foods
  • Paper money
  • Receipts that you touch

2. The New ‘Secret’ High-Fructose Corn Syrup


Watch out for deceptive corporate food labeling tactics. When you’re not buying from a trustworthy company that has certified organic and high quality ingredients, you always run the risk of consuming what I would call ‘food land mines.’

This is the case with the infamous high-fructose corn syrup, which was recently ‘renamed’ and ‘rebranded’ by mega food corporations and corn organizations to trick you into eating it again.

According to the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the term ‘fructose’ is now being used to denote a product that was previously known as HFCS-90 (the original high-fructose corn syrup). Meaning it is 90 percent pure fructose. Compare this to what is termed ‘regular’ HFCS, which contains either 42 or 55 percent fructose, and you will know why they are so eager to keep you in the dark.

3. Flavor Enhancers


A major player when eating out, and notorious for being extremely pervasive at Chinese food restaurants, flavor enhancers like MSG can add some serious salty flavor to your dish. They will also add detrimental visceral (stomach) fat onto your body with ease, and trigger some concerning reactions in your brain.

study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed MSG led to animal obesity but also applied to human subjects.

“We found that prevalence of overweight was significantly higher in MSG users than in non-users,” said Ka He, MD, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. “We saw this risk even when we controlled for physical activity, total calorie intake and other possible explanations for the difference in body mass. The positive associations between MSG intake and overweight were consistent with data from animal studies.”

4. Antibiotics in Your Meat and Dairy


Have you seen some of the latest whistleblower footage exposing the extremely disturbing practices deep inside some of the largest factory farm compounds? Topping the list of how these animals are treated so poorly is the mega dosing of antibiotics, which are given to many animals no matter what.

From the cows that provide milk or meat, to the chickens that end up on your dinner table — you are ultimately consuming these antibiotics in your diet. As a result, your ‘good bacteria’ (probiotic) bacteria is suffering. When your gut bacteria balance gets out of whack, such as when the bad bacteria outweighs the good, sickness and obesity occurs.

5. Your Water


Are you drinking tap water? How about tap water in a major US city? You’re more than likely drinking in a host of heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, and even viruses. Antibiotics residue is likely being consumed with each gulp, and if you’re drinking tap water from a plastic container, then you are also exposing yourself to BPA (item #1).

Drinking tap water may not necessarily be the cause of one’s weight gain, but it certainly isn’t helping like it should be.

Drop the tap water and opt for a reverse osmosis water filtration system or purified water that has gone through that process. As always, remember that R/O filters also remove some necessary minerals from the water so it’s important to add a small amount of Himalayan sea salt or apple cider vinegar to regain them. If available, natural spring water that has been tested for purity is even better.

Don’t let these hidden food land mines hinder your fat loss journey. Instead, eliminate and substitute them for powerful weight loss foods.

Under The Radar Showcase 2015

Grassroots Hoops Club, The McCarthy Project and MinnesotaHoopersStandUp will hold its annual 2015 Under the Radar Showcase of the top prospects from in coming high school freshman through senior classes. The showcase for the utr_logoboys event will be held on August 1st, 2015 at the Leonard Center on the campus of Macalester College  in St. Paul, MN.

Under The Radar Showcase will consist of 20-25 of the top players playing in a “battle within the class” game within each class. 8 teams, 4 games, one court.

All Under the Radar teams will have a top 5 performers list selected, as well as, game MVP’s will be announced after the games. Games will be recorded for highlights and posted online. Each participant will be expected to bring a jersey from their high school or summer team of theirs, we ask that each athlete arrive approximately 1 hour before your scheduled game time with exception of the 2018 class. The following is a list of last years players from each class and corresponding highlight tape. under_the_radar

Dates and Location: August 1st, 2015 at Leonard Center on the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.   Doors open at 3pm. Admisson: $10 Adults/Students $8

For this years roster, click here.

The rosters from last year:

2015 Class

Team Elite

Jarvis Johnson, 6’1″ PG, Pulley’s EYBL, DeLaSalle
Jalen Mobley 6’1 PG, D1 Minnesota, St. Paul Johnson
JT Gibson 6’3 PG, Net Gain, Champlin Park
Sam Neumann 6’6 F, Pulley’s EYBL, Cretin Derham Hall
Josh Collins 6’5 SF, Pulley’s EYBL, DeLaSalle
Sacar Amin, 6’4 SG, Pulley’s EYBL, DeLaSalle
Sid Tomes 6’3 G, Net Gain, East Ridge
Jacoby Ford 6’0 PG, E1T1, Minneapolis Henry
Kyle McKinley 6’10 Net Gain, Stillwater
Mike Gutierrez 6’1 G, St.Croix Prep
Justin Dahl, 6’11 C, Hoopmasters, Holy Family
Jonathan Conyers 6’9 PF, Heat, Fridley
Abdulsalan Osman 6’7″ C, St. Paul Academy

Team Hype

Donnell Gresham 6’1 PG, Wisconsin United, Cretin Derham Hall
Marshawn Wilson 6’3 G, Wisconsin United, Hill Murray
Grantham Gillard 6’4 SG, D1 Minnesota, Eden Prairie
Jeremy Johnson 6’3 G Wisconsin United, Champlin Park
Trenton McCarthy 6’0 PG, Grassroots, Minnehaha Academy
Randy Matthews 6’8 F E1T1, Minneapolis North
Gach Gach, 6’5 SF, Cyclones, Austin
Isaiah Sims 6’2 PG, Prior Lake
Connor Gamble 5’11” SG, Cyclones, Stillwater
Kyle Sorenson, 6’6 C, Lacrosse, Caledonia
Jordan Johnson, 6’1″ G, Iowa Elite, Roosevelt (IA)
Mario Manuel, 6’7″ PF, Iowa Elite, Roosevelt (IA)

2016 Class

Team Elite

Amar Miller 5’10 PG, Pulley’s 16’s EYBL, Hopkins
Tyler Johnson 6’2 G, D1 Minnesota, Minneapolis North
Jamil Jackson 6’5 SG / SF Pulley’s 16’s EYBL, Minneapolis North
Brock Bertram 6’11 C Pulley’s EYBL, Apple Valley
Tyler Peterson 6’2 G, Pulley 16s EYBL, Centennial
Colton Lampart 6’4 SF, Lacrosse Boys and Girls Club, Caledonia
Jubie Alade 6’3 G, Fury, Armstrong
Austin Slater 6’8 F, Net Gain, Wayzata
Jalen Brown 6’3 SG, Pulley’s 16’s EYBL, Cretin Derham Hall
Ade Lamir 6’4 G, Pulley, St. Croix Lutheran
Chris Perry, 6’3′ SF, Net Gain, Cretin

Team Hype

Nikko Reed, 6’9″ PF, Net Gain, Maple Grove
Patrick Dembley 6’1 PG, Net Gain, Minneapolis North
Langdon Kirkwood 6’3 G, Pulley 16s EYBL, Brooklyn Center
Sam Baker 6’2 G, Pulley, Benilde St Margaret
Melvin Newbern 6’4 SG, Net Gain, Armstrong
Steffon Mitchell 6’7 SF, Fury, Shakopee
Dexter Dillard 6’2 G, Grassroots, Fond du Lac
Damario Armstrong 6’1 G, D1 Minnesota, Maranatha Academy
Jarrett Baptiste 6’2 G, Phenom, Columbia Heights
Teathloach Pal, 6’7 F, Heat, Fridley
Trenton Krueger 6’5 F, Pulley’s 16’s EYBL, St. Croix Lutheran
True Thompson, 6’3″ G, Heat, Armstrong

2017 Class

Team Elite

Brad Davidson 6’2 PG, Pulley 16s EYBL, Maple Grove
Gary Trent Jr 6’4 SG, Pulley 16s EYBL, Apple Valley
McKinley Wright 5’10 PG, Real Athletics, Champlin Park
Tywhon Pickford 6’1 G, Real Athletics, Maple Grove
Alex Falcon 6’4 SF, Real Athletics, Centennial
Theo John 6’8 F, Pulley 16s EYBL, Champlin Park
Dedoch Chan 6’4 F, Fury, Albertville
Darryl Mayfield 6’2 SG, Real Athletics, Hopkins
Jericho Sims 6’5″ SF, Cristo Rey
Trae Berhow 6’4 SF, MN Lockdown 16’s, Watertown

Team Hype

Jordan Horn 6’1 G, Pulley 16s, Tartan
Simeon Davis 6’4 G, Wisconsin United, Minnehaha Academy
DJ Hunter 6’3 SG, Pulley, Minneapolis North
Isaac Johnson 6’3 SG, Pulley, Minneapolis North
Joevon Walker 6’5 SF, Wisconsin United, Minnehaha Academy
Emanuel Humphrey 6’4 F, MN Lockdown 16’s, Tartan
Jerimah Coddon 6’1 G, Woodbury
Kingston Myles 6’2 G, MN Lockdown 16’s, Tartan
Joe Haggard, 6’6″ F, Stillwater
Gonnar Mar, 6’6 F, DeLaSalle
Dom Marshall, 6’3″ F, Iowa Elite, Hoover (IA)

2018 Class

Team Elite

Anders Nelson 5’10 PG, D1 Minnesota, Edina
Anthony Davis 6’2 SG, MN Lockdown, Hopkins
Race Thomson 6’4 F, D1 Minnesota, Armstrong
Sage Booker 6’0 G, 43 Hoops, DeLaSalle
Delawrence Aaron 6’2 F, 43 Hoops, Hopkins
Shae Mitchell, 6’4″ F, Future Stars, Lakeville South
Odell Wilson 6’5 F, Future Stars, Minneapolis North
Markel Aune 5’10 PG, Future Stars, Bloomington Kennedy
Kire Mayfield, 5’8″ PG, 43 Hoops, St. Louis Park/Hopkins
Sam Ingoli, 6’3″ F, Iowa Elite, Dowling (IA)

Team Hype

Goodnews Kpegeol 6’2 G, Rice Street, North St.Paul
Gary Smith 6’3 SF, Heat, St. Agnes
Charlie Dennis 6’2 F, Rice Street, Cretin Derham Hall
Tayler Johnson 5’11 G, El-Amin Basketball Academy, Minneapolis North
Daniel Oturu 6’5 F, Pulley, Cretin Derham Hall
Owen King 5’10 PG, Wisconsin Playmakers, Caledonia
Demillon Randle 6’0 G, Rice Street, Cretin Derham Hall
John Waggoner, 6’4″ F, Iowa Elite, Dowling (IA)


To be determined, last years event was at the Leonard Center at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

For media inquires contact:
Stephen McCarthy
The McCarthy Project

Brian Sandifer
Grassroots Hoops Club

Aaron Edwards
Minnesota Hoopers StandUp

Grassroots Alumni Game 2015

Brian Sandifer and Trevor Mbakwe (2014)

December 29, 2014, St. Paul, MN, Ques Promotions present the Grassroots Hoops Club All-Star Alumni Event.  Attending will be the top past and present talent in Minnesota.  The event will be held June 21st. Event flyer, click here.

The Alumni event will be held at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN and doors will open at 12pm. The event includes a dunk contest, 3 point shootout, and All-star game.

Past players include:
Jordair Jett, Atlantic 10 Player of Year, University of St. Louis
TDUBB, Number One Dunker in the World
Troy Bell, NBA 1st Round Draft Choice Memphis, Boston College
Trevor Mbakwe, European Pro, University of Minnesota
Rodney Williams, NBA Pro, University of Minnesota
Moe Hargow, European Pro, University of Minnesota

The following list of local celebrities have attended:
Trent Tucker, NBA pro and University of Minnesota
Barry Wohler, University of Minnesota
Zeb Howell, University of Minnesota
Randy Carter, University of Minnesota
Talance Sawyer. NFL Pro
Dan Speak, DJ.

Listen to Brian Sandifer as he joined Stephen McCarthy on Blog Talk Radio discussing his event.

Event Archives:
Under The Radar Showcase 2014
Go Fast, Go Hard Combine 2014

Media Contacts:

Brian Sandifer
Grassroots Hoops Club

Stephen McCarthy
The McCarthy Project

Under The Radar: JUCO Jamboree 2015

Grassroots Hoops Club and The McCarthy Project will hold its oregon_2inaugural Under the Radar: JUCO Jamboree. This two-day event will be April 11th-12th.  Athletes who will be participating include prospects with college eligibility remaining, as well as, high school athletes from the following classes 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The event will be held at the Davis Community Center in Golden Valley, MN. 5430 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55422, Each day will start at 9am.

Updated Information:
Note: We had to make a adjustment in location for Sunday’s session..
Saturday Session #1 12pm-3pm Davis Community Center
Saturday Session #2 5pm-8pm Davis Community Center
Sunday Session #3 8am-1pm Eisenhower Community Center Hopkins, MN

After morning registration, NBA like Combine and station drills, and the mandatoryutah_state_2 video, there will be a lunch break followed by team practice. Games will start at 1pm with two 18-minute halves running clock. All players will receive equal playing time with each player receiving 3 rounds of games for maximum exposure, which will allow for a real evaluation to be done. We then put together an event recap with information on every athlete in attendance. The information will be made available to over 100 coaches at every level of college from NAIA, Div I, II, III and Junior Colleges on regional and national basis, as well as, the college coaches who are in attendance. For coaches who would like to register, (See section below For Coaches Only)

The cost is $35.00 per participant. When you register, as well as, start your recruiting profile.

online registration

Grassroots Alumni:athlete_2
Santino Clay San Jacinto/ South Dakota
Stavon Williams San Jacinto/ Utah State
Zac Lofton San Jacinto/ Minnesota
Joe Bright Howard JC/ Stephen F Austin
Carlos Emory Howard JC/ Oregon
Taylor Stafford Eastern Arizona/ Evansville
Lee Stevens San Jacinto/ Augustana College
Dre Gilbert San Jacinto/ Kansas State
Dejuan Flowers San Jacinto/ North Dakota State
James Eayrs North Dakota School of Science/ Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Sammy Ricks North Dakota School of Science/ Concordia Saint Paul
Aba Kapaka  North Dakota School of Science/ Grambling State
Calvin Godfrey Howard JC/ Memphis
Alonzo Traylor Iowa Western/ North Dakota
Steven Baker SE Iowa/ Wisconsin-Green Bay
Lou Cox Kirkwood/ Presentation University
AJ Wilson NE Colorado/ Murray State
Sly Walker North Dakota School of Science/ Valley City
Jerry Pratt Hibbing/ Rockford University
Thomas Ford Fergus Falls/ Waldorf
Robin Jackson San Diego JC/ Sioux Falls
Dre Ellis Waldorf JC/ Southwest State
Torio Williams Highland JC/ Mankato State

The McCarthy Project and Grassroots Event Archives:
Under The Radar Showcase 2014
Go Fast, Go Hard Combine 2014

For Coaches Only:
College Coaches Packets are $75 per coach.  Payment methods are cash or credit card – All credit card payments must be received by April 6th.  Please contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982 for credit card payment details. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS AT THE DOOR. ALL PAYMENTS AT THE DOOR MUST BE CASH.  Note: Entry for 1st coach from a school is the coaches packet. Additional coaches from the same school can purchase a day pass for $25 for each day each additional coach attends.

For media inquires contact:
Stephen McCarthy
The McCarthy Project

Go Fast, Go Hard Combine 2015

gofastgohardcombineThe world of basketball has become enamored with physical talent and spectacular plays, but the question remains how do we know where we are at as athletes or need to be in order to compete at our absolute best.

The answer… “The Combine”

A May 2014 post on Draft Express confirms this simple truth, gfgh_2015“Trying to pinpoint a player’s athleticism based on their combine testing is akin to trying to get a feel for their basketball IQ by watching them play one-on-zero –it simply doesn’t make all that much sense. It does help us get a very general idea of where a player is at in terms of physical conditioning and strength, which often speaks to their work ethic, but rarely sheds much light on what it really aims to portray.“

The Go Fast, Go Hard Combine powered by Game Face Training will give you the feedback on where you stand against other players, in and out of your age group, and where you need to improve.

Stephen McCarthy with 2014 attendees

The following tests will be administered and results posted: ¾ Court Sprint, Lane Agility, Lane Shuffle, Standing Vertical Jump, and Maximum Vertical Jump.  Lastly, the Go Fast, Go Hard Combine staff will select top 24 players to play in a Top 24 game.

Secondly, we will have two breakout sessions for parents and participants titled, “Becoming A Leader on the Court” and “Pillars of Nutrition and Recovery” These 1 hour breakout sessions times will be announced the morning of the event.

Dates and Location: August 29 and 30th  Link to flyer

Cost: $110.00
What is included:
Combine Testing and Shot Testing
Ball Skill Drills
Highlight Session
Top 24 game, if selected
Go Fast, Go Hard T-Shirt

online registration

Walk ups welcome. The cost will be $135.00

For more information, contact:

Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

Aaron Edwards, MinnesotaHoopersStandup

The McCarthy Project Event Archives:
Under The Radar Showcase 2014
Go Fast, Go Hard Combine 2014
Youtube video of Go Fast, Go Hard Combine 2014


The Real Truth about Chewing Gum?

By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project, December 23rd, 2014

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is darn near an American icon, on par with baseball. We all remember the fascination and glory of chewing gum when we were young. So I get it.. Oh, one other thing. I do realize the benefit of having nice, cool breath on top of the joy while chewing gum. Like all good things, they sometimes have to come to an end, not because they are wrong, but the situation has been distorted in some way that it makes the simple act not good for our lives.

The deal changer for chewing gum and many other products (soft drinks, frozen foods, diet foods, vitamins and in some medicines.. Sorry) is aspartame. Here is a list of potential side effects: seizures, depression, brain damage, memory loss, migraine headaches, numbness, and blindness.


You say, wow, that is quite a list.  Yes, it is.. and I do not expect you to believe on my word only.. Do the research for yourself.. Find out the truth.. I am firmly convinced that elite performance is in your hands, not always finding ways to make your body run better, but simply finding the ways that it is being suppressed and cut the cord from the seemingly innocent, suppressive activities.

If I told you how to make decisions come faster and clearer, increase your awareness of your surroundings, or how to eliminate moodiness or depression from your life, are in a pill, I am confident you would take that pill for sure.

So why won’t you stop chewing gum, just because you like the taste or it freshens your breath.  Unfortunately, you may have to find a different item to chew or freshen your breath to increase your performance.

Or this one..all my friends chew gum and they don’t have any of these side effects. Well, how influential of leader are you or are you willing to walk the road by yourself until they do see the wisdom.

Again as it should, success and failure are in your hands.

For the research completed during the 1970’s, 1980’s and 90’s, click apartame and msg.

Mounting Evidence Exposes Dangers of Energy Drinks

by Natasha Longo | Prevent Disease | December 22, 2014

energy-drink-517211_1280Two research papers, each published separately, suggest that concerns over levels of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks, and their effects on young people who drink them, are mounting.

Energy drinks are beverages that claim to “make you more alert and give you energy.” Most have ingredients like caffeine, sugar, taurine, vitamins and herbs. They can be found anywhere you buy beverages beside the pop, juices and sports drinks.

The amount of caffeine in energy drinks is more than what is recommended for children. Most government public health agencies say that children under 12 years of age should have less than 85 mg of caffeine per day depending on their age. This means that one energy drink can easily put children over their caffeine limits.

Energy Drinks have previously been found to cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel and detrimentally affect the contraction of the heart. A study published in the issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth–specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.

The FDA says they are powerless to change formulation of energy drinks. “We have no guidance or regulations that govern the formulation of energy drinks,” said FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan. The agency does not have the authority to do that.Cruzan said. “Under current law, the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that its products are safe and such products do not require FDA premarket review or approval.” Full article

Basketball Speed Drills: Consistency Doing the Drills is the Key

Stephen McCarthy

Every player in the nation is looking for the set of basketball speed drills that will push them to the next level. The best drill is consistently doing the drills, not the speed drills themselves. Most people will just blow off this article or say it can’t be that easy. Simply, choose the move you want to develop, select the proper speed drills for that move, do them consistently each week for a long period and you will become faster.

To prove my point, here is a quote from Yuri Verkoshansky, an industry icon in the area of developing athletes:

“Systemization of the training stimuli. The work load should be considered as a complete unit, in which great care has been taken over the chronological order of the training stimuli. This implies continuity, consistency, and interdependence of the effects of the training stimuli on the athlete’s organism.”

While he is speaking to the overall training load of an athlete and what is needed to complete the goal, we can apply the same concepts to developing a set of basketball speed drills. Here are the steps to take your game to the next level:

  1. Define what you want to accomplish and break it down into pieces.
  2. Take your time and choose drills that will develop those particular pieces or actions.
  3. Make sure all the drills work together to create the desired outcome.
  4. Consistently work on those drills until they are mastered.
  5. Put the pieces together and test your results.

The path mentioned may seem over simplistic. Just because your favorite player does a certain drill, it does not mean that it will make you faster than everybody else. Break down your crossover or turnaround jumper into smaller pieces. Locate drills that work on those areas.  Consistently and systematically work on each component, and you will accomplish your goal in due time.

Off-Ice Hockey Training Program: 6 Main Components

mccarthy_imageWhen looking for an off-ice hockey training program, you will not have a shortage of choices. You will find companies selling new gadgets promising speed development. Physio-ball training for hockey players variation 1001. Ab-rollers that are the key to a rock hard core. If you step into the college weight rooms around the US, you may see one or two of these pieces. One difference.. They are all supplementary methods, not the primary focus of the training. Be careful not to get sidetracked with really technical drills or a cool new piece of equipment. More times than not, you can accomplish the same result with equipment you already own.

Here are 5 pillars of an off-ice hockey training program that will produce results.

  1. Strength Training- Make sure you are in the weight room working with loads and other forms of resistance. Too many programs only include the physio-ball and use trendy terms like “strengthening your core.” There is no substitute lifting a load and the stresses it causes. Not to say that bodyweight and ball exercises are not useful, but they should not be the primary method used during the workout.
  2. Speed Development- Science has proven that there is a correlation between running speed and skating speed. A program that works on your ability to move fast on dry land will only make you a faster player on the ice. Watch for getting too technical. Off-ice you are developing athleticism, not a skating stride.
  3. Coordination Development– The Russians strength coaches always talk about the athlete’s ability to make connections within the human body.       If you make these connections quicker or more efficiently, you will have an advantage over the competition.       A program must include a way to challenge your ability to understand where you are in space and how to move in the most efficient way possible. One way would be neural confusion drills.
  4. Cardio-This is one of the most common components of off-ice programs. We all hear about running the hill behind the rink and sprinting up and down the bleachers 20 times. A different angle would be for the program to include metabolic running. This type of conditioning is more closely aligned with how hockey is actually played. Short 30-40 sec sprints with rest in between.
  5. Joint Flexibility- Every athlete could benefit from their joints being more mobile. While there has been considerable debate on the value of stretching, for and against. I am of the belief that strong, flexible, bolted on limbs are able to produce more consistent results over the long time than tight, inflexible joints.
  6. Off-Ice Hockey Specific Drills- Look for programs that challenge your skills and make them better. The only ditch you can fall in would be doing too many things at one time, like stick handling with one hand, juggling a ball in the other hand, hoping on one foot and kicking a soccer ball with the opposite foot. Remember, it is one thing to develop your ability to multitask and another to be in the circus.

A program that is well-balanced and properly thought out will develop all different areas of your game, not just make you strong. Lastly, if your program includes the six mentioned areas of training and stay away from the quick-fix gimmicks, you will be on the road to success.

Dryland Swim Team Workouts Outside of the Weight Room

As Seen on By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

mccarthy_prepsOne the biggest challenges in dryland workouts for swimmers is the combination of facilities, the sheer number of athletes and the amount of time to complete the workouts. Weight rooms are impossible for 30-40 athletes to get in a good workout in 40-45 minutes or less. Secondly, more times than not, you are on the pool deck or in a hallway outside of the pool anyways. One solution is metabolic running. This type of training allows for a great number of athletes to workout at the same time without any equipment. More importantly, we observed a 10-15% improvement in our times in the pool after 4 weeks of implementing the metabolic swim team workouts.

Not only does metabolic running develop a swimmers overall conditioning, it will develop swimmer’s overall athletic ability. The metabolic training will challenge their overall speed of movements, coordination, as well as, their conditioning. The workouts are as follows; a set of 10 exercises with a 10-15 sec rest period between each exercise. Repeat 10 times and then allow a 3 min rest.

The program is only limited by the coach’s creativity. Program the sets longer (3-5 min-500 free lengths) or shorter (20-30 sec, 50 free lengths) based on your team needs. You can make them as hard and as easy as you see fit. You can add complex movements or simply, skip for 50 meters.

Here are a couple sets we have used with our swimmers:

  1. Set 1: 10 pushups, Sprint , Carioca , Jog, Streamline jumps, Jog, Power Skips, Shuffle, Backpedal, and 5 sit-ups
  2. Rest 3 minutes
  3. Set 2: Jog 10 sec, 5 pushups, Backpedal, Sprint, Zigzag Run, High Knees Backwards, Carioca, Shuffle, Sprint
  4. Rest 3 minutes and repeat for 1-2 additional sets

By the end of this 20-25 minute workout, they will be pushed to their limits. Add a 15-20 cool down flexibility program and you will see performance gains in the pool almost immediately.