Saturday, April 30, 2016


Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Friday, April 29, 2016


Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Scottsdale Sports Medicine

I Don’t Look Like a Fitness Model and That’s OK

For all of us who aren’t really happy with the way we look ( and that’s all of us),

I_dont_work_outread this from the folks at Precision Nutrition

That Fit Person Who’s Got It All Together Doesn’t

from Michael Boyle's Blog
Visit Us At:

Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Thursday, April 28, 2016


Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Summer Training for Nine Year Olds

I  wanted to re-post this again as we move into the summer. This was originally written a few years ago in response to a question for a former athlete.

With the new Facebook and Twitter feeds I think it will get a lot more views.

Q- I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr old hockey team. Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but it would be something that I think could be good for my own kids as well. Is it too young?

My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.

Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as it has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This does not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the off season.

Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week. Pick your favorite that has the largest number of your friends attending and go to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only has you on the ice once a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t get better in a week anyway.

Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for. The best players in the world never play summer hockey and, they never have. The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill session lasting one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If ice is available and the kids can play, let them. Please remember play means NO COACHES or COACHING.

Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in youth sports is parents applying adult values to children’s activities.

Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone in the family

Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.

Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.

Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.

Now that is an off-season plan for any nine year old.

from Michael Boyle's Blog
Visit Us At:

Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Want a Copy of the StrengthCoach “Top 10 Articles- Performance”?

We want you to be experience some of the great content on, so we are giving everyone the opportunity to grab one of the Member Bonuses

“Top Ten Articles- Performance”


This is a group of articles I have compiled from the last few years on  I put it into one PDF to make it easy to ramp up with some of the must-know concepts in Strength & Conditioning.

Click here to grab your Free pdf!

from Michael Boyle's Blog
Visit Us At:

Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lateral & Cross-Over Lunges for Stronger Glutes

Lateral Lunge & Cross-Over Lunge Exercises for Strong Glutes [Ep47]

Lateral Lunge & Cross-Over Lunge Exercises for Strong Glutes


Free Download: Glute Activation & Hip Mobility Routine [PDF]

Multiplanar Lunge Variations

I’ve previously posted about the benefits of multiplanar strength exercises for runners, triathletes and others like us who engage in linear running activities.

As distance runners, we spend a lot of time moving in straight lines, with even the action of running itself being a very repetitive largely linear movement.

I guess that’s why so many of us fall in to the trap of replicating this linear motion with the exercises we do to strengthen our bodies to stand up to the demands of running. Lots of squats, step-ups and other forward and backward motions. Motions we’d refer to as being in the sagittal plane.

Now when you break the action of running down a little further, it becomes clear to see that there’s not just lots of back-and-forth motion going on, but also lots of rotation and lateral (side-to-side) motion also.

In fact, at every joint, there’s movement going-on in all three planes of motion.

Think of this way, the stronger you become in the frontal and transverse planes of motion – movements occurring side to side and into rotation – the better you can focus your running efforts on moving forwards efficiently.

That’s why we need to make sure that we strength the body in all planes of motion also.

A great place to start with this is at the hip, and I want to quickly show you two exercises to help you become stronger in both these side-to-side and rotational movements.

Lateral Lunges

The first of the two exercises featured in the video above, the lateral lunge, often highlights just how tight many runners are through the adductor muscles of the inner thigh, so take it gently to begin with.

Begin standing tall with your feet much wider than shoulder width apart, and toes slightly pointed out.

From there keep one knee straight and flex the other, as you shift your bodyweight across and down towards the same side as the bent knee.

Sit back into the movement, and keep your torso relatively upright.

When you’re as low as you can comfortably go, push yourself back up to the start position in one powerful movement.

Remember you’re a runner – not a dancer – I don’t need you to be able to do the splits, but we are going to work though the range of motion you have available.

You should aim for three sets of 10-15 on each side, 4 or 5 times per week.

The lateral lunge is a great exercise for working your lateral quads and glutes on the bending leg, and adductors on the straight leg.

Cross-Over Lunges

This next exercise is a cross-over lunge and is brilliant for challenging your glutes in the transverse and frontal planes.

From a standing position, reach one foot back and across your body as you bend both knees. Be sure to reach way back and across at roughly 45 degrees, almost like you’re doing a giant curtsy, which is why you’ll sometimes see these referred to as curtsy lunges!

As you reach back and across, the hip on your front leg is being loaded into adduction and internal rotation, which the glutes have to work hard to pull you out of as you down down with the front leg and stand up tall, returning to the start position.

I usually get runners performing cross-over lunges on alternating legs, but you can also do a set on one leg then the other. The choice is yours!

Maintain a relatively upright torso throughout the exercise and remember to breathe out as you push your self back to the start position of this cross-over lunge.

As with any exercise, make sure you focus on form primarily, and stop if you feel any pain.

Let me know in the comments how you get on with these two simple but effective exercises.

The post Lateral & Cross-Over Lunges for Stronger Glutes appeared first on Run Coaching, Ironman and Triathlon Specialists - Kinetic Revolution.

from Run Coaching, Ironman and Triathlon Specialists – Kinetic Revolution

Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Friday, April 22, 2016

Running Technique Research: Listening to The Experts

In this article, I want to share the findings of a recent paper which brings together the two worlds of scientific research, and expert coaches. This unusual approach helps us greatly in further understanding how running technique can be coached to help athletes recover from injury.

I was fortunate enough to be amongst a group of authors from across the world that completed a ‘mixed-methods’ study on what we now term ‘running retraining’.

Let’s get some terminology out of the way to start with:

  • By ‘mixed methods’, we mean a systematic review (the highest level of scientific evidence) combined with the opinions of world experts who meet some pre-determined criteria.
  • By ‘running retraining’, we mean any form of feedback designed to change the way that someone runs (ideally for the better!).

The project was lead by Dr. Christian Barton from Melbourne and was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM).

If you want to read the hard science, good for you, please follow this link. The article is open access for a short while, but it won’t be forever. Be quick!

Running Biomechanics Research

So what did we find?

Existing Research

I’d say the primary point is to stress that running retraining is still an emerging scientific area: just 6 studies investigated if running retraining produced in a change in pain. The good news, is that 2 very common running injuries were found to be improved significantly by running retraining:

For Runner’s Knee, retraining should focus on reducing what is known as hip adduction, often referred to as a crossover gait or medial collapse. To do this, we found that increasing step rate (running cadence) or using visual/verbal cues was most effective.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Runner’s Knee Rehab Resources [PDF]

For Anterior Compartment Syndrome, the strongest evidence identified suggested that switching to a forefoot strike pattern is best for reducing pain.

However, we would like to exercise caution in this regard, remembering that running load cannot disappear, it simply gets moved around the body as we adopt a new technique, so please consider seeking the advice of a running professional before you attempt this.

Running Technique Research

Expert Opinion

So what did the experts suggest?

As always, opinion will allow for much more data than hard science. Despite this, the experts interviewed suggest that running retraining has a role in the management of iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome, hamstring or gluteal tendinopathy and running related calf pain.

As many of the experts interviewed are active researchers, lots of these hypotheses (ideas) are currently being tested.

A strong theme of interest, however, was that approaches often need individualising for specific injuries and runners.

What that means for the running community, is that at present, trying to change your running technique to help an injury is best done so under the guidance of an excellent therapist or coach.

Take Home Message

The final point I would make is that running retraining, or changing running technique, is just one of many tools to apply when managing injured runners.

For some athletes and/or injuries, it may be the most important tool. For others, exercise-based rehabilitation may be more important.

In reality, a good combination of both approaches is probably best.

We can be guilty of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when a new approach comes along, so please do not forget that good old exercise has a significant role to play in both injured and uninjured runners.

As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any burning questions, then please post them in the comments below.

The post Running Technique Research: Listening to The Experts appeared first on Run Coaching, Ironman and Triathlon Specialists - Kinetic Revolution.

from Run Coaching, Ironman and Triathlon Specialists – Kinetic Revolution

Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Guest Post and Staying Injury Free in Soccer

Former MBSC athlete Lexi Poyant has started a blog for young soccer players thinking about playing in college.

Check out her post on Playing Injury Free

from Michael Boyle's Blog
Visit Us At:

Scottsdale Sports Medicine


Monday, April 18, 2016


Scottsdale Sports Medicine

2016 NBA Draft – How do you put together a winning team?

The 2015-2016 NBA playoffs have just begun meaning 16 fortunate teams are still playing ball while 14 others are preparing for the 2016 Draft and beginning to set up the structure of their team for next season (“There’s always next season”).

The concept of drafting players is an interesting one. So much goes into it – athleticism, physical stature, game smarts, college performance, and the player’s mentality (IE, will they be able to handle the pressure, will they fit in with the guys and have good team chemistry, etc). Recently, Motomura and colleagues (2016) discussed the role the draft can playing in building an NBA franchise. More importantly, they set out to understand whether having more or higher draft picks actually made an NBA team better. They concluded,

“We find that the draft is not necessarily the best road to success. An excellent organization and General Manager better enable teams to succeed even without high draft picks.”

This got me thinking – could we potentially try and understand which teams are “excellent” organizations in terms of selecting players that enjoy success at in the NBA? Additionally, I am really interested in the Philadelphia 76ers. Year after year they always seem to be in the conversation of tanking at the end of the season, in order to increase their chances of obtaining higher round draft picks in the NBA Draft Lottery. In fact, they have been so good at this over the past few seasons that the 2016 season is supposed to the final season of the tanking era in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, their efforts to tank and stock pile great players has not payed off. They seem to have a hard time either:

  1. Selecting good players. If you are going to tank you better not miss on your draft picks!
  2. Developing players or bringing in veteran players who can surround the young stars so that they don’t have to play a high number of minutes their rookie season and carry the team (something also addressed in the Motomura above).

The Data

2011 – 2015 NBA Draft data was obtained from


  • With 60 picks in the NBA Draft (300 total over the 5 year period) how many players, on average, do teams pick up?
  • What is the average value of players selected in each of the draft number spots?
  • Which teams have been most successful at picking players that added a high amount of value to their team?
  • What is going on in Philly?

Number of Draft Picks

Over the 2011 – 2015 NBA Draft 300 total players have been chosen, with teams averaging 9 players drafted during that period. The 76ers certainly are leading the way, selecting 21 players over this 5 year stretch. (NOTE: You will notice there are 34 teams in the table below. This is because I left in expansion teams and teams that moved from one city to another during this 5 year period. I did this to just represent what took place in the draft between 2011 – 2015).

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 8.02.38 PM
What is the value of a draft pick?

Value or Success metrics are often one of the more difficult things to pin down when studying team sport athletes. Lots of things players do can add value to a team without ever making it into the box score (which primarily consists of count metrics). The writers at display two metrics which I used to quantify a player’s value – Win Shares and Value Over Replacement Player. Both of these metrics are the type of metrics that were born out of Baseball’s Sabermetrics as a way of trying to provide more context to the box score metrics presented to fans everyday on websites or in newspapers. Win Shares is a metric that takes the teams success and divides up credit for that success among the participating players. Value Over a Replacement Player is a metric which projects the player’s value versus a fictitious replacement player. Both of these metrics have limitations and people argue frequently over which is more useful or whether we should use a different metric to represent value (E.g., Player Efficiency Rating or something like +/- or Adjusted +/-. Both of which have their own limitations). I simply chose these metrics because they were readily available and they would provide me with a quick way to represent player value. Any metric one deems important would suffice, though.

To reflect value per pick I summarized the data in a few ways:

  • I binned the picks into groups of ten (Picks 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, and 51-60). Because I was dealing with a five year period it meant that there would only be 5 picks for each selection (1-60), which wouldn’t provide enough data. Thus, binning it this way helped me group more players together.
  • Since I am using 5 years of data it isn’t really fair to look at something like Win Shares for all of the players, since players who were drafted in 2011 have a much longer time to contribute to their win share compared to a player drafted in 2015 (a rookie). Thus, I reflected Win Shares over Games Played, to attempt to look at each player’s contribution to their teams success relative to the amount of games they participated in.
  • Finally, I added in Minutes Per Game, simply because I wanted to see what the participation differences were between the bins of draft picks.

The data in the below table is the average of each metric for the six different draft pick bins.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.29.23 PM

As we would expect (or should expect) there is a monotonic decrease in each of the three metrics as we move from Pick 1-10 to Pick 51-60. This is to be expected and tells us that the quality of player begins to decrease as we move down the draft board (better players are being selected higher up). The only place this doesn’t seem to happen is in Pick 41-50 for the Average Value Over Replacement Player. I’m not really certain why this is. It could be that during this five year stretch there were a lot of players selected from those picks that had minimal to no contribution to their team.

Draft Pick Value Per Team

First, we look at the sum of Win Shares Per Game for each draft pick bin. I added up the win shares per game for each player the team selected in each of the draft pick bins and then summed those up to obtain a 5 year “Value Add”. I then standardized the scores in order to see how each team did relative to the average Value Add during this 5 year stretch.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.35.42 PM
There is a limitation with this analysis in that I didn’t have a way of going through each player to see if they played for their draft team over the entire 5 year period. It is entirely possible that some players moved on or maybe got drafted and immediately traded and never had a chance to play with their draft team (as we will see when we discuss Philadelphia). That being said, what quickly jumps out is that 6 teams appear to be very good at identifying those who will be valuable NBA players, whether they still play on their draft team or not – Houston, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Minnesota, and Utah. It is important to keep in mind, however, that some of these scores might be coming from one or two players during this five year period. For example, guys like Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland) make significant contributions to their teams in terms of Value Add. Both players were also #1 draft picks.

Another interesting observation is the value Houston, Cleveland, and Detroit were able to find in Picks 31-40. Those three teams stand alone in that draft pick bin as all of the other teams seem to lack the ability to find valuable players. Houston looks to be pretty incredible at identifying talented players as they are green in several of the draft bins and have had the most success in drafting (using Wins Shares as the metric of success) compared to other teams over this period. Houston also happens to be a team that is praised for their analytic savviness and perhaps this helps contribute to their ability to scout talent.

In looking at this chart, Philadelphia doesn’t appear to be doing too bad (7th ranked team). However, it is important to keep in mind the limitation of this chart in that some players might be adding value for teams other than the team which drafted them. I do give Philly credit for identifying some of the players as potentially successful players but trading them away doesn’t help. This will be discussed later in the article.

 Next, we turn our attention to the Value Over Replacement Metric. For this analysis I took the average Value Over Replacement for each of the draft pick bins for each team. I then took the average of every draft pick bin for each team and created a 5 Year Average Value Over Replacement Player. This metric was then standardized for all teams to investigate how they did relative to the rest of the league.

 Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.54.03 PM

Now we get a little bit of a different look at the league and how successful teams draft players. As in the above analysis, there is a similar limitation in that players may have moved on from the team that drafted them; however, the main goal is to understand who is good at identifying talent.

We still see Houston in the top 6. Not only are they selecting players that are adding win value but these players are also contributing more than the replacement player would. Golden State, who was in the top 10 on the previous chart, looks to steal the show here with players above the replacement level player. Philadelphia takes a bit of a hit in this chart.

So What is Going on in Philly?

This is a tough one to sort out. As I alluded to above, sometimes teams draft players and then move those players on to other teams. Philly has been accused of tanking in order to get better draft picks and if you are going to try and go out of your way to get better draft picks then you need to ensure those draft picks actually turn into great players. Otherwise, you just end up being in the same position next year. Philly drafted 21 players over the past 5 years – well above the norm for an NBA team during this time.

  • Of the 21 players drafted only 7 of those players actually ended up playing for the team in some capacity.
  • Of those 7 players, only 4 of them remain with the team.
  • Of those 4 players, one is Joel Embiid, who has not played a game in his first 2 seasons with the team due to injury. Embiid was the 3rd round pick in the 2014 draft and has proven, thus far, to be a very costly selection for the franchise.

Here is an overview of the 21 players Philly has selected in the past 5 years:

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 5.26.42 PMPlayers in red are players that are no longer in the NBA or never even made it into an NBA game. That is 10 out of Philadelphia’s 21 picks (48%) who either don’t play in the NBA anymore or never made it in the first place. Stockpiling picks in the hope that a few of them turn into something valuable might not be a horrible idea, but when almost 50% of the players have washed out of the league it may be hard to justify this strategy. Moreover, 33% of the players drafted no longer play on the team. This is including the former Rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams and Maurice Harkless (8.5 win shares and a value above replacement player of 1.9) who was traded for Andrew Bynum (who turned out to be an NBA bust). With only 19% (4 out of 21) of the drafted players still on the team (counting Embiid who has made no contribution at all due to injury) it appears to have been a pretty unsuccessful 5 years of drafting. The team was 10-72 this season and didn’t show much improvement over years past. Perhaps the tanking era isn’t over yet in Philly?


Drafting players is really difficult. There are a lot of things that go into it and some may say it is a lot of luck. That being said, there are some teams that seem to come out on top or near the top, year-after-year. You can have those big luck years where you snag a lot of great talent and hit a home run but I think more importantly you just need to be consistent. The big luck years are good but the years where you are consistently bad end up setting you back. As discussed in the Motomura paper, having a well run organization that understands how to not only develop talent but also bring in veteran players to surround the younger players and take some of the pressure off might be the most important thing. Too often I think teams try and tank with the idea that their first round pick is going to save the franchise next season. Instead, they should consider the things they need to do to help that first round pick develop into the player they need him to be, down the road, in order to save the franchise.


Motomura A, Roberts KV, Leeds DM, Leeds MA. Does it Pay to Build Through the Draft in the National Basketball Association? J Sports Economics 2016. 1-16.


from Optimum Sports Performance LLC

Scottsdale Sports Medicine

Making Lacrosse Fun

My son is pretty good at lacrosse. This year I had to force him to play ( I know, I shouldn’t do that). The number one reason he didn’t want to play? Practice wasn’t fun. Practice was boring.

Take a look at how USA Lacrosse is following USA Hockey in keeping more kids in the sport by making it more fun.

MBSC client Bob Bigelow ( father of MBSC coach Steve Bigelow) wrote a book called Just Let the Kids Play. That’s the key, play.

Small Sided Games for Lacrosse

from Michael Boyle's Blog
Visit Us At:

Scottsdale Sports Medicine


School Athletes Often Lack Adequate Protection

By JANE E. BRODY from NYT Health