permission to quit

I was listening to Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl, Wash Your Face.  Side--This book is great for people in romantic relationships. It is a great way to communicate and it is entertaining.  Highly recommend!

At the beginning of the book she discusses the promises we break with ourselves comparing it to trusting someone in your life who always breaks plans with you or seems to always over promise and underdeliver.  It begins to have a diminishing effect. You can’t trust. You can’t believe. You can’t assume. When this happens with yourself, what can you do?

Hollis likes to call our moments of tension as opportunities to quit.

She claims that when we decide to use our trained (comfortable) self to answer actions to hardships, we essentially are quitting.

That every excuse we make for ourselves is permission to quit.

She then movingly yells at the readers she would not give people permission to quite specifically when it comes to the challenges of self-care, dreams, and the road ahead towards change.

I am yelling too.

A lot of people think that I am missing mindfulness--especially working with young people and families.  That I am too hard. Have too many expectations. All unrealistic. That I don’t listen to the world around us telling us to stop pushing. 

But there are two types of energies when it comes to our dreams--ways to fuel and ways to progress.

Our fuel--our sense of self and fullness--comes in many different ways, most of which none of us care to engage with.  It’s our attention to our health. Our ability to ask for help. Identifying the isolating effect of perfection. Somehow self care has been disguised as inaction for fear of “busyness” and I call bologna.  Sense of self is recognizing your health and well being...not just stopping. It is foundational and it commands community. Identification of value--individually and collectively.  

On the flip--progress towards goals demands a maturity that embraces a little chaos.  A lot of trust in imperfection. A lot of discomfort. A lot of vulnerability.

IF we begin making excuses in ourselves, giving ourselves permission to not embrace the collective storytelling of progress, we will stagnate and become overwhelmed by our own self judgement.

YES.  Absolutely a problem.  

But finding enough love in yourself, those around you, and an attention to uncertainty that scares you a are on the path of strength.

Stop giving yourself excuses and start giving yourself a community, a cup full of love, and the chip on your shoulder to try uncertainty.


30 Days of Self care

30 Days of self-care

What does self care look and feel like?  It feels like a warm feeling that comes when you matter to you and you do it often.

Misinterpretations that get a bad rep?

Weight as indicative of value

Inaction due to overwhelm

Cheat days as a way to not care about your goals 

Perpetual restarting as though a restart is different than just starting the day as YOU

Prioritizing as time is indicative of rest

Productivity is indicative of anxiety

Criticizing the world around as though it somehow is the only catalyst of challenge

I found this great calendar which I am sharing at the top of the page and I think it is so important to be deeply aware of your self care.  

Are you loving yourself, approaching yourself as special and important?  Or are you building your self care with the idea that you are somehow not complete?

I think there is a misconception of the fitness industry...that somehow it builds on the perpetuity of negative self image, but that is a small part of the negativity surrounding functional health.  People have insecurity and that is an internal dialogue of LACK. A misinterpretation of our interactions with the world. If we want to feel better about ourselves, we have GOT to pay attention to what we think of ourselves.

The change starts during that communication of Lack...NOT when you feel bad if an outside judgment joins your internal conversation…

The self hate model of judgment needs to stop and that starts inside.

I love you and you should love you toooooo.




This past couple of weeks have been some of the most challenging weeks of my life from my motherhood and business point of view.

I have been extremely exposed...fear of pain and uncertainty for my child, emotional pain of seeing as a business owner, other not fun business lessons,  bike accidents, sick kids, new staff, and an up and coming expansion…

A lot of unknowns and my ego getting ripped up and anxiety triggers of unrealistic understanding of reality…

All in a week.  And I’m not in a great place.  I’m actually pretty freaked out...and yet through all of my irrational responses to moments of uncertainty, I knew I needed to reset.  So I’m writing to you.

In fact, most of my newsletters are not inspired by problems around me, but imbalances within.

I certainly have a high level of resilience.  High level of fighting through the ease of comfort, but sometimes life does get the best of me and I get pretty bummed and then I bouce back.  I try not to be stuck in my understanding of the presence and move forward when it is clear that the irritations of lessons are invisible high school English teachers...Poking you to analyze, revise, read more closely, and say it without excess.

English teachers always gave me much more than simply learning the art in the English language, so I played with this idea of grappling with emotional responses and our ability to reflect.

Like I said...analyze, revise, read more closely, and say it without excess.

Analyze what really is happening.  It is YOU. Completely. You can’t know others the way you know yourself and if that means leading with empathy instead of self imposed confusion then do that.  Your fear can make you self preserve instead of grow. Shift to growing. Shift to finding your loving response to yourself and others.  

Revise how you are responding...PLEASE FEEL.  Discomfort is a lesson, however, revise what that discomfort is making you do.  Find a diffuser. Neutralize pain’s power over your perception of reality. Break it up.  Read a book. Walk. Recognize that action unless love filled will not work as quickly or effectively in the long run.

Read more closely to your wisdom.  You know way more than you think, but rarely do you really trust intuition of love.  We can be impulsive. Full of fear. Inactive. Angry. Mean. But, that isn’t the complexity of your influence in the world or in yourself.  Ride the wave of endorphins when you feel like you have found a truth. Feel warm when you problem solve.  

Then when you find a solution say it without excess.  Don’t fill your head or those around you with pomp and circumstance...just find the words after the pain is felt.  Simplicity and being concise is the best way to communicate yourself and to others.

Rinse and repeat =)

Do you have other ways?


30 Days of Uncertainty

30 Days of uncertainty!

The next 30 days I would like you to focus on uncertain moments and how you handle them.  

What is uncertainty to you?

Why is it so bad?

Why is it so uncomfortable?

Aren’t all things uncertain?

Who are you to know?

Is control a necessity to peace?

When have you known for sure that you were balanced and perfect?

Have you ever been?

How have you developed your sense of expectations, goals?

Why have you?

This is just a start, but a worthwhile thought exercise to tear open some understanding of the impossibility of perfection and certainty.

Prove them wrong!



Finally...the first version of my Journal.

About a year ago I created a planner and journal for my clients and members to use, and the first version is finally here.  Download a print off by responding with “yes, please” and enjoy my strategy on feeling a comprehensive sense of progress when it is easy to get distracted on where we are not.

I think dreaming and reminding ourselves of all of our “parts” is essential to our truth.  Deficit thinking, while productive, has an effect on our spirit. Many times, there is a lot happening that is amazing, but we look at what is NOT currently indicative of our effort, our dreams, our strengths and this somehow defines our entire life for the moment.  

No amount of self talk can take us out of stress mode when we define our entire life based off of a moment of change or uncertainty.

So recognize ALL your parts.  Write down in an accompanying journal what makes you feel the most energized.

Next I have “personal dreams.”  These are my ideals for how I want to feel progress for myself (professional, personal).

Self Care dreams are my ideals for caring for myself.  I include exercise, movement, nutrition, stress breakers, etc.

Family is how I interact with my family and how we develop our own plans and presence.

Travel is a personal love of mine.  I like to be out of my element to keep a complex sense of truth inside of my head.  It keeps me pleasantly unclear.

Talents and creativity are meant to be for the individual that has an art that they love!  Reading, writing, playing an instrument, speaking, language, craft, etc. Keep this a part of you!!  Boredom happens when we lose aesthetic and creative challenge.

Thoughts on society is healthy as it keeps my perspective in check.  Social media makes people seem mean and I think to maintain a sense of love towards life, you can’t write out the world.  You have to find empathy and authority balance. This would be a place for that monthly reflection and outlet.

Ideal day is how I would structure my time to feel complete.  Where my attentions would go. How I would use my energy. Monthly assessment is a necessity.

My Ideal Connection is most important.  The energy you use is the energy you make.  

Finally, I include reflection.  SO MUCH REFLECTION and explanation.  You can’t know your effect without truly thinking about it.  Do it all the time. Write about what has happened and how it changed you and vice versa.

This is a work in progress, but something finally put together.

Fear first, right?

I think creating a monthly way to see yourself comprehensively is interesting and a way to pass down your authenticity =)



Becoming a Leader

When someone steps into the gym for the first time, they are starting their journey into a new and improved lifestyle. Training in a controlled, coached and supportive environment not only brings increased quality of life from a physical perspective, but also changes a person’s confidence levels and leadership skills. Young athletes are a prime example of this.

An athlete’s first day in the gym can be scary. This is a new, unfamiliar and sometimes intimidating environment. But watching them grow and change into a comfortable, confident athlete is a transformation unlike any other. I believe when an athlete begins training, they go through stages..

  1. There are two types of athletes on their first day. They come in either anxious and unsure, but willing to try...kind of like a puppy, coming into a new home for the first time; interested in what is in front of them, but leiry of change and newness. Or, overly confident, already “knows how to lift”, may not feel like they need to be here.

  2. Humbling. No matter how an athlete starts their journey, there is always a point in their training where they realize they do need this, that it is okay to ask for help and that there are things they do not know how to do.

  3. Support. This is the stage where the athlete becomes more comfortable in their surroundings. They show up ready to learn and feel the support of their coach and surroundings. They begin branching out more and more, stepping closer to the edge because they know we will be there to catch them when they fall.

  4. Increased confidence. After some time has passed, the athlete will begin to feel confident in their choices and decisions, their bodies will begin to change and see the fruits of their labor. This is the point when the coaches also gain confidence in their athletes to receive information, process it appropriately and carry out their task. In my experience, increased confidence equals increased independence. Not only in the weight room, but in life. 

  5. Leadership. This is by far the most exciting and rewarding step to see an athlete transition through. This is when the athlete can come in, lead a group through a warm up, lend a hand to a new athlete, make others feel comfortable and be a figure to help guide others through the same stages they just processed. Leadership is a vital quality that is applied throughout life in jobs, school, sports, training and even everyday life. Being able to see someone develop the confidence in themselves and their experience to improve the quality of experience for people around them is unrivaled. 

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone can fall into this skeleton of a process. However, with commitment, open mindedness and a willingness to grow, the transformation from shy and anxious to confident leader will change an athlete’s career forever.

Lauren Powell

Conditioning in Bloomington, IN

My Child Needs Better Conditioning.  Is Cardio the Cure?

One of the most frequent things I see as a coach is the parent who feels his or her child is never in good enough shape.  While conditioning woes may be the case for a handful, it’s probably fair to say that if your child is playing heavy minutes in 3+ basketball games every weekend, he or she is doing just fine.  

It is important to realize that at the end of a game, any athlete who has played significant minutes is likely a little tired.  The athlete who feels 100% at the end of a competitive game either rode the bench or put forth less than his or her best effort.  

A classic example that I like to refer to when talking about conditioning is former North Carolina Tarheel and Indiana Pacer, Tyler Hansbrough.  During his college days, he would frequently play only 2-3 minutes after the tip before taking a small break. Hansbrough required these breaks because his effort and adrenaline were so high at the beginning of each game, he would need a minute or two on the bench to catch his second wind.  With all that said, Tyler’s college teams were some of the fastest playing teams in current memory, and one look at Hansbrough is enough to tell you that he was a man amongst boys.  

If a guy like Hansbrough can afford to take a break after just 2-3 minutes of hard play, maybe you should rethink what it is that your child requires to be a successful basketball player.  Would you rather be the most exceptional athlete on the court for 34 out of 40 minutes or play a full 40 at a lesser capacity? Would you rather feel you can exert your strength against your opponent at the end of the game, or just hang on for the ride?  

The sport of basketball is highly anaerobic, meaning oxygen is expended far faster than it is taken in.  The average athletes work at 85-90% of their max heart rate at any given point that the clock is running.  When the heart is racing this fast, it is simply impossible to maintain near maximal power output for long durations.  The fittest basketball players are able to exert near maximal power for a handful of possessions and recover during short stoppages (free throws, timeouts, a short rest on the bench).  

Another common asymmetry between parental and coaching philosophy is the effect of distance running on the basketball player.  Many players like to run cross country in an effort to prepare for an upcoming season. Unfortunately, putting in heavy mileage at a relatively slow pace can have detrimental effects on power output.  Athletes who train at a slower, oxidative state are teaching their bodies that it is okay to perform at a middle-of-the-road intensity for a long period of time. The heart rate percentage of a healthy distance runner is rarely close to the 85-90% range, as performing at that capacity for a 20+ minute race is essentially impossible. In summary, not only is the athlete working at a capacity well below basketball speed, but they are also biasing their muscle fibers away from the fast twitch fiber type that is so valuable for sprinting and jumping.  

Hopefully the information above has provided better understanding of the energy systems required for elite performance on the basketball court.  Rather than quite literally running your athlete ragged, consider using shorter, more intense bursts with similar amounts or shorter rest. Also, consider the role of your child on his or her team.  If they frequently shoulder the burden of scoring heavily or guarding the other team’s best player and they consistently perform well, attempt to reframe your mindset. An athlete who carries his or her team on a nightly basis will be tired.  The well trained athlete will not allow fatigue to act as a detriment.

Seth Eash

Knee Pain

Athlete: “My knee hurts.”

Coach: “Can you show me where?”

Athlete: Motions generally at entire knee.

Coach: “Can you rate your pain out of ten?”

Athlete: “I don’t know how to do that.”

Coach: “How long has it been bothering you?”

Athlete: “Since I tried to put my foot behind my head this morning.”

One of the most common concerns shared by parents, athletes, and coaches alike is pain.  Obviously, physical pain is a sign that something is not working as it should. However, not all pain is created equal.  Pain is a part of sport, and understanding this sentiment begs the age old question of being injured versus being hurt. If an athlete’s perceived pain is below a three out of ten, odds are they can work around it or perhaps even work out of the pain within a training session.  If pain is severe, we can back off and work around the issue until more information is gathered by a healthcare professional. The most important thing to realize if you are an athlete experiencing pain is that consistently working to become healthy will always trump taking time off.

When it comes to pain, a simple question you can ask your athlete is whether their pain is a product of injury (sharp, impossible to work around) or exertion (difficult training session, fatigue, or even a dull, nagging ache).  Especially in our increasingly sedentary world, young athletes are having an increasingly difficult time understanding whether the pain they are in is worth acknowledging as a serious issue. For those of you concerned parents, here are a few things you might consider before taking your child in for an MRI.

  1. Is your child in the middle of a growth spurt?

  2. Is your child sitting excessively? Sitting during the school day alone can make the hips extremely tight.

  3. Has your child recently experienced a rapid change in physical activity?

  4. Is your child taking care of their soft tissue? Stretching and foam rolling areas such as the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes can make a huge difference in helping with knee and low back pain.

  5. Is your child eating and sleeping enough?  Under-recovering can have a huge impact on overall health and perceived pain.

  6. Is your child wearing poor fitting or new/old shoes?  Our feet are our connection to the world and if they are put in a poor position, so is everything from the ankle up.

  7. Is pain an opportunity for your child to gain attention or escape a prior commitment?  While this may sound harsh, I’m sure many of us can agree our children are far smarter than we give them credit for.  

Hopefully this checklist will provide you with some peace of mind as it relates to caring for your child as an athlete.  Pain is absolutely a subject that needs to be taken seriously, but that also means it is the athlete’s responsibility to try and understand his or her body.  While we can do everything in our power to stop it, pain is still a part of life. If it weren’t for pain, we wouldn’t be as grateful as we are for good health.  Will you allow pain to control you, or will you treat it as an obstacle to overcome?

Seth Eash

"I'm Tired"

Every day when athletes walk into the gym, we make a point to check in on them, ask how their day has been, ask about any games or practices they have had since we last saw them, check on any aches and pains we know about or new ones that may have come up. It is our job to be sure we know as much about our athletes as we can, in order to train to their individual needs to the best of our ability. 

And each day when we ask this we have some common responses. Practice was good, or hard, or long. We hear about how many points someone scored, or frustrations with playing times. We discuss those aches and pains from the long or hard practice and multi-game tournaments and work through them. All of these are things as a coach, that we can help work through for a productive and successful session. However, there is one response that may seem simple, but is arguably the hardest to work through: “I’m tired.”

I had a mentor during grad school that refused to let his athletes say they were tired. He said, “You are not tired, you are fatigued. Saying you are tired is making a decision to let your mind defeat your body.” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling the exhaustion that comes with a day of work, school, camp or practice, being able to push yourself to a positive mental state will result in a much more productive session.

So, next time you show up to get some work in and it is time to push a sled or pick up some weight, tell yourself you can do it. It is just fatigue. There will be time to be tired, but until then, it is time to get better. Positive energy not only helps yourself, but those around you. Trade “I’m tired” for “I’m ready” and watch how it changes your every day.

Lauren Powell

Teamwork Bloomington Testing Breakdown

Teamwork Bloomington Testing Breakdown

At Teamwork Bloomington, we test our athletes ~five times per year in a battery of tests measuring vertical jump, change of direction, linear speed, total body strength, and mobility/body control.  Below you can read about each of our tests and what these tests measure.

Vertical Jump — The king of measurements for basketball players, the vertical jump reflects increases in relative strength and ability to produce force.

Ground Contact Time — This measurement goes hand-in-hand with vertical jump and reflects how quickly an athlete is able to get off of the floor once they put force into the ground.  When you look into the ground contact time of collegiate athletes, their ground contact times are shockingly similar.

Pro Agility Test — This test involves sprinting five to ten yards and rapidly changing direction.  If your child plays a court sport, a great deal of success depends on ability to change direction without losing control.

75 foot sprint — This straight-line sprint reflects the greatest average distance on a basketball court that a player could sprint during play.  

Trap Bar Deadlift — This is a strength movement that has a near-perfect positional relationship to that of vertical jump.  The trap bar deadlift also does the best job of covering a wide variety of strength qualities, from hip, back, and leg strength to core stability under great load.  

Max Chin-Ups — Similar to that of the deadlift, there is a great correlation between the chin-up and total body strength development.  For a chin up to count, the athlete must reach full extension of the arms at the bottom, and touch their chest to the bar at the peak.

Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR) — This is a movement testing lower body control and flexibility of the hamstrings.  The ASLR allows us to determine whether an athlete should be permitted to deadlift, as well as whether an athlete’s training should be biased toward unilateral (single leg) training as opposed to bilateral training (both legs at once).

Trunk Stability Push Up (TSPU) — The TSPU is a push up that puts the athlete in a disadvantageous position and requires them to complete a single push up without the body breaking a straight line from head to toe.  A requirement of training and sport that many athletes fail to possess is that of core stability. If an athlete cannot control his or her abdominals and hips, there is simply no chance that an athlete can be efficient on the court or field.

Deep Squat — The deep squat is a mobility test performed while holding a rod overhead.  The Deep Squat highlight mobility of the ankle, as well as the upper back and shoulders.  In general, the vast majority of athletes lack ankle mobility, putting them at risk for sprains, inefficient movement, and decreased power in the vertical jump. Many throwers also tend to lack upper back mobility, which can place greater stress on the arm and shoulder over time.

Who Wants to Dunk? Training Vertical Jump

Who Wants to Dunk?

Check out our video on training vertical jump here!

When it comes to basketball, the vertical jump reigns supreme.  Whether you browse NBA Combine numbers, watch the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest, or watched Zion Williamson dominate the college ranks this year, the best leapers have an uncanny ability to fill seats.  While a specimen like Zion is hard to come by, even the average athlete can improve his or her vertical jump more than one would expect. By moving appropriately and training with some knowledge behind the principles of vertical force production, some of our own athletes have seen vertical jump increases of 6 of more inches of the course of 6 weeks.  

While six inches in six weeks sounds more like an infomercial than a training reality, there are a few basic principles that when applied, can make a significant difference in an athlete’s performance.  The first of these principles is relative strength. If Athlete A can squat 100 pounds at a bodyweight of 100 pounds, he is likely to have a lower vertical jump than Athlete B, who can squat 200 pounds at the same bodyweight.  Not only would that double-bodyweight squat call for stronger legs, but also near-perfect positioning of the hips, knees, and ankles (in a well coached environment). It is also likely that Athlete B has a significantly better neurological ability to connect his abdominal strength to his hip strength, something more commonly referred to as “core” strength.

The beauty of relative strength is that a well-coached athlete who is consistent in his or her training can get far stronger than the average person in an extremely short amount of time.  Within the first four to six weeks of training alone, many athletes see significant changes from simply learning how to position their bodies correctly. While reaching the capacity of Athlete B might take years, Athlete A can happen within weeks to months.

Relative strength is a significant portion of the puzzle, but the best athletes are able to absorb and reproduce force faster than their peers.  When you look at the quickest athletes, or “quick second-jumpers,” you get some insight into a quality known as rate of force development (RFD). Athletes with a high vertical jump that can also produce force quickly are far more likely to be successful when compared to their less athletic counterparts.

At Teamwork Bloomington, we group our athletes into Kangaroos and Gorillas based upon their athletic qualities.  Kangaroos are elastic in that they rely heavily on their tendons to absorb and reproduce force quickly, just like a rubber band.  Gorillas are more muscular, and usually more highly trained. While Teamwork Bloomington is able to use RFD to categorize our athletes, those of you at home might picture the wiry middle school hooper versus the muscularly dense college running back.  Interestingly enough, some of the best basketball players are nearly a perfect mix of the two: elastic enough to move quickly but muscular enough to absorb contact, jump out of the gym, and protect their joints.

The biggest issue in training RFD is getting your athlete to understand the value of intention when jumping, running, or producing force.  As popular strength coach Mike Guadango once stated, “you can’t run a bunch of 4.8’s [40-yard dash] and expect to run a 4.4 [on testing day].”  In other words, if there isn’t effort to make the next jump your highest, you shouldn’t expect your force production to increase. Practice does not make perfect, but perfect practice sure does.

If you’ve followed this article closely, you may have noticed an underlying theme.  While understanding the physiology behind all of these training qualities is interesting, the athlete who is consistent in both movement quality and mindset will reign supreme.  Not many of us are blessed with the body of Zion, but you can control your work ethic. Train with attention to detail and an understanding that progress takes time, and just maybe you’ll have a shot at reaching your full potential.

6-Packs and Athleticism: Social Media vs Reality

6-Packs and Athleticism: Social Media vs Reality

Check out our video on training abdominals here!

One of the most frequently asked questions from our athletes is how to achieve the six pack abs that are seemingly everywhere you look.  Unfortunately, this thought process is focussed solely on the visual and very little on the abdominal strength required to move heavy loads and change direction more efficiently.  In reality, there are 3 separate layers of abdominal musculature that play different roles in stability and athleticism. The three layers in order of discussion are the rectus abdominis, the obliques, and finally the transverse abdominis.  As you read on, consider your own views on abs and whether your way of thinking is helping you to meet your athletic goals.

The first layer of abdominals is referred to as the Rectus Abdominis (RA).  These muscles are the “washboard abs” that so many dream of having. The primary role of the RA is to flex the spine (think about your typical sit-up or crunch).  While the RA plays a small role in preventing extended posture (bubble butt), their larger role in athletic performance is relatively small. In fact, the visual appeal of these abs is primarily achieved through nutrition. With that said, visible ridges in your abs can be symbolic of your body fat percentage, which may need to change depending on your sport’s requirements.  While a football-playing offensive lineman and a cross country athlete may be polar opposite in appearance, it does not mean that the runner has strong abs.

While the rectus abdominis makes up the most clearly visible layer of the abs, the obliques come in as a close second.  The obliques are comprised of an outer, external layer, as well as an internal layer below them with muscle fibers running in the opposite direction.  This “X” shape created by the obliques plays a significant role in supporting the spine and allowing us to stand upright. The obliques also provide stability during side bending and rotation of your torso.  When your coaches talk about getting 360-degree expansion with you brace, the obliques make up a big portion of the area you are trying to fill with air. The obliques work in conjunction with the third layer of the abs, the transverse abdominis, to create intra-abdominal pressure (the pressure you create with your breathing), the most important aspect of athletic stabilization.

The final, and arguably the most important layer of the abdominals is the transverse abdominis.  The TA sits deepest inside the body and refers to the muscles we are trying to activate when your coach tells you to brace against a belly breath or shrink your ribcage.  There is a part of the TA below each of the muscles mentioned above, almost acting as the glue the holds everything else together. While this layer sits deepest into the body and is therefor invisible to the naked eye, it’s proof that there is far more to strong abs than the stereotypical beach body.  

There exists a saying in the athletic world that proximal stability will allow for distal mobility.  What this technical expression means is that if your abs are stable, you allow for your hips, shoulders, and everything farther away from the middle of your body to function optimally.  If you as an athlete can learn to breath and brace efficiently, you have the potential to move safely and become significantly more athletic. Stop worrying about the six pack and start thinking about the success you want on the court or field.

Reference Photos:

Rectus Abdominis:

Obliques and RA:

Transverse Abdominis:

At Home Arm Care For Youth Athletes

Arm Care for the Baseball or Softball Athlete


It’s that time of year, folks.  Baseball/Softball season is going strong and athletes are feeling the aches and pains that accompany all of their throwing.  Before long, an athlete who isn’t taking care of himself will likely complain of a rotator cuff that feels more like beef jerky than strong, athletic muscle.  Fortunately, a proactive athlete can keep the majority of these nagging issues at bay.  Through rigorous foam rolling and dedicated training on the small group of muscles that maintain shoulder stability, there is no reason an athlete should break down over the course of a season.


The simplest action an athlete can take in preventative care is dedicated use of a foam roller or ball.  If you lack a roller at home, you can use a softball, tennis ball, or even a golf ball to relax inflamed or “knotted up” tissue. By placing a ball against a wall and leaning into it, you can cover the area where the shoulder meets the outer chest, the deltoid (the round mass on the outside of the shoulder), and more importantly, the posterior side of the body.  


When rolling out the back, it’s important to pay attention to the musculature surrounding the shoulder blade.  Typical hot spots in overhead athletes include the area between the shoulder blade and the spine (middle of the upper back), as well as the meat below the armpit and the back portion of the shoulder itself, known as the posterior deltoid.  By taking care of these general areas and performing additional arm care, a great deal of the risk associated with throwing can be averted.  Please note that when foam rolling, you should not roll on top of the shoulder blades or the armpits themselves, as you could potentially do damage to the underlying tissues or lymph nodes. 


The above areas are likely to be tender in athletes who are in season or have recently increased their pitch count.  It is important to remember that when foam rolling tissue, you should do your best to relax into the ball or roller.  By remaining tense, you diminish the effects of foam rolling.  If you are simply unable to relax, try using a tool that is less dense.  For example, it is rare that I can tolerate a golf ball around my shoulder blades, but a tennis ball does wonders.  


Now that we have addressed mobility, we can also discuss stability and strengthening of the shoulder girdle.  The shoulder is by far the most mobile joint in the body.  While this allows us more function as humans, there is a cost.  A mobile joint suffers from greater risk of injury.  The more capacity for movement, the more likely something is to go wrong.  If the musculature surrounding the shoulder girdle is not strong enough to absorb the repetitive trauma of max effort throwing, an athlete is placed at greater risk of injury.  If you are looking for some sample exercises to cover stability through the majority of shoulder range of motion, please see this video.  Just as stated in the video, it should be noted that these movements are best performed with lighter weights or minimal band tension.  Controlling the shoulder blades can be difficult for young athletes who are still developing body awareness, but moving with intent is vastly more important than moving heavy weight in these small muscle groups.


While the information above may seem as though it is a lot to digest, an athlete who takes his or her time to complete this body care on a regular basis is only looking at 10-15 minutes of work.  The exercises mentioned above are all easily accomplished at home, and the foam rolling can be performed while watching television or lounging around before bed.  Just like studying for a big exam, the individual who partakes in smaller, more focused bouts of arm care will be better prepared for any test that stands in their way.


For those of you interested in the benefits of self massage and foam rolling, we at Teamwork Bloomington are fortunate to have the aid of Sports Massage Therapist Leisa Parks, who not only offers her services regularly, but also holds tissue health classes around the first week of every month.  Stay tuned on social media for posts about upcoming dates.  For more about Arm Care, please feel free to contact Teamwork Bloomington.

By: Seth Eash

Keto in Bloomington


The following research really peaked my interest in the technology of exogenous ketones.


The Keto//OS products contain b-hydroxybutyrate salts (BHB). This magical molecule is powerful! While I included a few studies related to the ketogenic DIET, the presence of ketones in the blood (ketosis) is what we are after. You can elevate your blood BHB levels either through fasting, eating a high-fat/low-carb diet, or by drinking a serving of Keto//OS, or ideally, some combination of the three. With that being said, one does NOT have to follow a ketogenic diet to  benefit from Keto//OS. In fact, I would argue that someone not following a ketogenic diet would be the perfect candidate for Keto//OS, since they DO NOT have ketones circulating in their bodies!

HERE is an excellent beginners guide to Ketone Supplementation by our friends over at

Click here if you're ready to request your FIVE DAY SAMPLE.


Rod Root, the legend

Want to learn more about how Rod Root trains athletes in Bloomington, Indiana? Listen to this podcast as he talks about training youth athletes and basketball development with world renowned strength coach and thought leader, Mike Robertson.


Cupping at Teamwork Bloomington--quick facts!

Quick Fact Sheet about Cupping!

1) Cupping marks are NOT bruises. The discolorations come from the blood being brought to the surface of the skin. The marks show where congestion and issues in the tissues are located!

2) Benefits - removes toxins through the skin, increases blood flow and lymph flow, softens muscles quicker, reduces hypersensitive pain areas, helps with digestion, increases range of motion, helps reduce cellulite

3) There are three different kinds of cups - silicon suction cups, plastic cups which use a suction gun, and glass cups which use fire to bring the skin into the cup

4) Cups can be used for muscle recovery, chronic conditions, injury recovery, maintaining optimal health, cellulite reduction, and detoxing the body.

5) Cupping does not hurt as it is applied. There can be some discomfort or pulling at first, but the skin and muscles get used to the cups being applied.

Feel free to ask me any other questions you might have about cupping!

Leisa Parks, CMT, CCT, CORE Myofascial Therapist

Sports Training at Teamwork Bloomington

What is sports training at Teamwork Bloomington?

There are always buzzwords surrounding strength training in athletics and one of those is sports performance and training.

Why sports performance?

Sports performance is about the ability to have excellence in athleticism for the demands of your sport.

Training for sports performance helps the athlete become robust, explosive, elastic, fast, agile, healthy in the places that demand excellence from the athlete in that sport.

For example, a sprinter needs to be built in the places the way their body is situated in competition and practice.  A sprinter will work on becoming powerful and elastic in their “sagittal plane” in both single and double leg positions.  The programming also will be accompanied with health movements so the athlete does not overtrain or over pattern their competitive movement.  We also will take care of their tissues and encourage recovery so the practice, training, and competitive edge are comprehensive.

For example a sports training session will look like this…

Repositioning of hips and ribcage through breathing, Dynamic warm up and myofascial release (stretching, rolling out)

Fast twitch muscle training warm up--throwing medicine balls, hurdles, vertimax jumping

Speed training

Strength movements

Single leg or arm movements to accompany the strength movements the best


Myofascial release and breathing

Recap with coach on session

All of this will be done in one session at Teamwork Bloomington and usually done 3-4 times a week depending on the seriousness of the athlete.

If you have interest in getting the best results for your sports training and off season, please contact us!  We can have a plan ready for you!

Erin Parks

Owner of Teamwork Bloomington

What is Personal Training at Teamwork Bloomington?

What is “personal training” at Teamwork Bloomington?

Teamwork Bloomington builds all of their experience off of results for their members.  We continually educate and check ourselves to ensure that our programming fits the needs of our members.

One of the most important parts of results if the personalization of the coaching.  At one time, there was an idea that we could build programming for that person and because they were doing that, they would get better.

On the flip, there also have been trends where if the weight of the lift is going up, then we know it is going to show up as better.

Even more...we have seen one program given to multiple people which probably would work to get results if it was done well, but it does not get results because it is not coached for movement and quality, but only intensity and progress.

Because our main goal is to get our members results, do the least amount of harm, and make them feel progressive and seen, we changed our programming to a coaching intensive environment.

This means the burden of expertise is on the coach to personalize the training experience.

This is different than anything in Bloomington, Indiana.

Our personal training is not private, but about seeing the person for their strengths, their weaknesses, their movements, their goals, their energy levels, their aches and pains, their enjoyment!

We create a template program which is designed based off of the potential result of the lift.  From there, the coach coaches for form, for consistency, for intensity, for productivity, and for safety.  

We do this because it is essential that the coach know the person and it is essential that the coach knows the program really well.

Because we have these two effects happening, there is always direction in the training session.

One size NEVER FITS ALL.  But a coach who believes in PERSONAL TRAINING will know that a lift can be fit to anyone, the coach just needs to know the person.

If you are looking for a personal trainer in Bloomington, consider Teamwork Bloomington.  

We build communities in health, fitness, sports performance, and results.  We are a gym family and a high level performance environment.

Those who want results and a coach will thrive in our environment.


Introducing Our NEW Blog!

I’ve been a teacher for a long time.  I’m hard nosed.  I’m creative.  I’m driven.  I’m goal oriented.


Now as I am in the youth development work, it is important to write on the state of change.


Every week I will discuss tactics, climates, challenges, along with tips and lessons on working with young athletes.


What will fluctuate is the fitness level, personality, and goal of athlete.  All will be relevant.


Today I wanted to give my philosophy on coaching young athletes.  


Arguably, I would never consider myself an expert, but I do have an understanding of human behavior.


When it comes to coaching athletes, I have 2 things I am hoping to accomplish.


  1. Create trust.

  2. Instill excellence.


And in this order.


The creating trust is probably the easiest because it is all about the athlete.  The relationship is driven by my interest in their success.  


On the other hand, instilling excellence is much more challenging.  Specifically in a strength training setting.


Athletes are busy and parents are protective.


Now that does not mean I am trying to beat them up as a coach, but as the only person that does not punish for poor performance, I have to be really good at influence.


This involves parent interaction, being present, and being much more interested in the athlete than anyone else.


Weird, right?  


Strength coaches get the least attention and respect, but probably develop an athlete more than most coaches.


In our first 3 blogs, I will be talking about YOUNG athletes.  8-10 year old children that are either pushed by parents to be great, need to get moving because they have got energy to expel, or their parents are trying to instill a sense of health in their athlete.


I start here because it is the easiest age, but most physically demanding as a coach.


If you are out there, reading this and trying to figure out how to get your kiddo moving, this will be a great theme for you!


Let’s take care of our athletes and build some mental resilience along the way!!