This past April, MAD launched a new training program with the Abraham Lincoln High School Boys Basketball team in San Francisco. Working with Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach, Carl Jacobs, Assistant Coach, Matt Fegan and members of both the Frosh-Soph and Varsity Boys teams, MAD enlisted the pandemic friendly services of Zoom Technology to address the shelter in place training challenges. As the distance training approach presented an entire new set of challenges for both players and coaches, technology posed the most daunting obstacle. To provide support in navigating the tech needs for this project, MAD managing director, John Murray, was fortunate to enlist the highly skilled computer services of Tayo Sobomehin.
Tayo, also a MAD trainee, is a promising young point guard at Woodside Priory High School as well as the son of East Palo Alto based Street Code Academy founder and former Stanford Men’s basketball player, Olatunde Sobomehin (Tunde). It was at Stanford in the early 2000s where Murray, then Stanford Basketball’s Director of Strength & Conditioning, and Tunde, Team manager and eventual Walk On team member, first connected. Almost 20 years later, MAD was able to delve into its extensive alumni family and recruit the much needed expertise to help kick start this new project with Lincoln basketball. With the tech in tow, everyone has rallied to answer the call. Though very different from the “normal way” of training in person, both the players and Coaches have done an amazing job of working together to maximize the training impact for the team.
Even though the players are all space challenged in their homes, they are consistently valiant in their effort and their laser sharp focus. Whether in the confined spaces of a bedroom, family room, back yard or basement, the Lincoln hoopsters get after it.
Each training session begins with them completing their MAD Daily Health Survey, requiring them to answer basic questions assessing their sleep, nutrition, hydration, tech usage and outdoor exposure for that day. Next, players are taken through High Performance Psychology exercises to focus their breathing, their minds and their bodies for that day's training session. Then, for the next 80 minutes, Coaches Bringas and Munoz guide the players through a regimented program covering trunk and core stability & mobility movements, sprint mechanics and balance, agility & strength training exercises. In addition to the athletic development work, MAD Director of Player Development, Ali Thomas provides customized video instruction of specific drills aimed at honing the players fundamental basketball skills. Each training session therefore aims to address players' minds, their bodies and their skills. Though everyone misses working together in person, the workouts have proved to be very effective in combating the challenges of the Corona pandemic. To ensure that each day ends with a unifying moment, at the completion of every workout, one player and one coach read a quote that they find inspiring. Of the many famous quotes that have been submitted, probably the simplest one best fits this group: “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.”
Overall, it's been an amazing experience for both coaches and players. As Coach Jacobs noted, “the players have been great! They are fully committed to working to better themselves and the team. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”