By Taylor Renshaw | Strength and Conditioning Development for an elite junior basketballer
A couple of athletes working out at Taylor's custom built gym.
Preface by Janx
I have asked Taylor to talk about all aspects of athlete development for elite basketballers be it nutrition, strength and conditioning, motivating elite juniors to work hard, long hours on their development.
I met Taylor Renshaw when he was coaching with me at Sturt with the U18 men's program. He was commencing his journey in coaching whilst he was also establishing a personal training business. We would have Taylor lead rigorous warmups which included ladder work and post training strength and conditioning. His enthusiasm, work ethic and ability to build strong working relationships with the athletes he works with meant he was able to entice a number of the young men in my team to join his personal training service too. He took to helping the guys in areas such as supplements, training sessions and personal programs.
Guys like Alex Mudronja class of 2018 and Isaac White class of 2017, arguably the 2 best combo guards in Australia in their respective class, were amongst the most regular of patrons to Taylor’s business, TPT Elite Athlete Services. This key component of their development was well taken care of by Taylor.
He continues to invest in his coaching development, as well as his athlete development knowledge, having just taken on a support role on the Adelaide 36ers coaching staff, as well recently taking on a player development role with the Sturt Sabres.
The advice and tips he offers in this blog would appeal to many readers from coaches, strength and conditioning staff, players, parents to help develop elite kids, as well as US Coaches to see the journey of some of our featured athletes.
Over to Taylor
Thanks Janx. I officially started TPT in December of 2012 after suffering a long term back injury. I had been offering individual skill development and some general strength and conditioning up until this point. Quitting my job as a PT at the local commercial gym and taking a financial risk to set up my own studio was the first big move I made. 4 years on and a lot has changed. Here are some short stories on some of my clients (including featured athletes on this site)
Alex Mudronja has accepted a full scholarship to the AIS. Returning in the school holidays to see family, friends and train with TeamTPT. Alex's ability to stay focused on long term goals while battling short term hurdles is a testament to him as a professional athlete.
Isaac White is tearing up the local Premier League, working hard to complete year 12 and prepare for the NCAA. Leading the league in 3 point % is a reflection of this young mans ruthless work ethic.
Angus Rodman and Taylor Renshaw pictured above
Angus Rodman, a former Sturt Sabre who has taken on modelling full time while playing for West Adelaide Men's footy team and completing year 12. We are currently preparing him for a modelling trip around Europe. He is my training partner and trains with a ultra impressive amount of intensity.
Nik Desantis, a former West Adelaide player who made the move to sturt in 2014 was someone who instantly gained my attention. His combo of length, speed and bounce gave him a lot of potential. 2016 he is now 6"2, 85kg (190lbs), dunking effortlessly, knocking down the 3 and had his first game on the bench for Sturt's Premier League team all while studying year 12.
Seb Vozzo wins the quiet achiever award hands down. From playing div 3 as a first year in U18 and getting over looked by coaches his now completed his first season of Premier League averaging 4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.3 apg and 40 fg%. Good day, bad day it's the same Seb. Young, energetic and just happy to be alive his one young man I have all the time in the world for and truly feel honoured to be apart of his development not only as an athlete but as a person
Jack Cousins, where do I start.. I met this young man in 2012 when I was coaching his older sisters. Jacks ability to bounce back no matter what happens in life is a example of how strong he truly is as a person. Spending his younger years at South Adelaide and wanting some extra physical development I invited him to come and train with me. Years later he is now progressing through Sturt's men's program and smashing out personal best in the gym. Squatting 135kg (300lbs) for multiple reps at age 16 is insanely impressive and opens doors for Jack in power lifting and body building pathways. My goal is not to build a huge client base and keep clients as long as possibly to maximise profits. It's actually the complete opposite. I research and learn what they are doing at the professional level and modify it to suit the younger generation. My mentality behind this is simple. Teach what the professionals are doing today and watch how good our current generation will be tomorrow. Teaching life lessons such as self discipline, resilience and confidence is far more rewarding then any materialist goods or financial gain could ever be.
Where to start with a athlete?
My idea of a professional level athlete... Bench press their body weight for 1 rep, squat 1.5x your body weight for 1 rep, dead lift 2x their body weight for 1 rep, 60cm+ vertical leap and a beep test score of level 13 or higher.
Of course I do not expect that from everyone but do you expect everyone to make it as a professional athlete? If it where easy wouldn't everyone do it?
Starting out with a new client is always great fun. I like to spend the first 10-15 minutes together simply on the ground with a foam roller discussing where they have been, where they are going and how we are going to get them there. Moving into the workout I like to teach the bench press as the first compound (multi joint) movement as it's the most basic of the 3 and uses the least amount of energy. The second half of the workout I start to teach the basics of the squat. By this point I know how confident an athlete is, how flexible they are and where they are in terms of their development as a professional athlete. This gives me a good indication of what they are going to be capable of. The first time an athlete squats it starts out very basic and with a few tricks and tips to make it easier on a less experienced athlete. A good example of this is placing a small weight plate under their heels to take some pressure of their calfs. Generally athletes from fast paced stop start sporting backgrounds such as basketball, netball, tennis etc have tight calfs that restricts their range of motion when squatting. On the second session I begin to teach the basics of the dead lift and depending how capable the athlete is depends where the session goes from there in terms of pairing the deadlift with some fast twitch plyometrics or simply doing some resistance bands or core work for the less developed athletes.
Athletes 12 years or under will generally only use resistance bands if any at all
Athletes 14 years or under will generally only use equipment with no weights on it
Athletes 15 years or older will progressively overload until they reach their goal of becoming a "professional level" athlete, as I have defined above.
A good example of this is both Alex Mudronja and Isaac White who have both ticked all of the boxes that I previously mentioned about what the expectation is of a professional level athlete and they have done this while still being in high school.
Keeping track of clients progress is essential to ensure they are progressing. I use a word document for each client. I don't track every exercise, set and rep an athlete does but What I do keep track of... when they trained, what they trained, if a new personal best was broken, how they where feeling both mentally and physically, weight, body fat %, height and what they are eating and if it's to much or not enough for their goals.
This one might just be me being a young energetic bloke but I like to think of nutrition and athletes like a racing cars... If you owned a racing car wouldn't you want the best fuel available? This is no different to how you should treat your body. If you want it to perform at its peak you need to cleanest fuel available. Food is fuel! No way around that. Food is simply a combination of macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs) that get added together and counted in calories. Average male of 6 foot, 80kg has a maintenance of 2500 calories. Average female of 5'6, 60kg has a maintenance of 2000 calories. This is their maintenance just to simply not lose any weight throughout the day. Adding another 500 calories for every hour of exercise and another 500 on top of that to ensure there is enough excess "fuel" to repair/grow with. You can now see how professional level athletes have these huge 5,000 calorie+ diets.
Example: 6'6 100kg. Maintenance 3,500cal
+3 hours on court (1,500) +2 hours gym (1,000) +repair/grow (500) =6,500 calories
***a diet of this size would be consumed across 8 meals in which two of those meals would be protein shakes post training and before bed
How I run my sessions:
I like to mix it and keep everyone excited, energetic and motivated. Small group sessions are a great way to do this. It keeps it competitive, allows a group of similar standard athletes to progress together and gives opportunity for life long friendships with others who share the same goals.
In the off season/school holidays I like to take these small groups of athletes on more boot camp style workouts. Hill sprints in the Adelaide hills is always one of my favourites. Summer workouts on the beach are also a big winner. Neither would be complete with out a big cook up on the BBQ for a post workout feed and sitting around having a laugh together.
I have recently completed the third renovation of the TPT Gym. Bright blue walls, high end equipment direct from the USA and a powerful 1,600watt 7.4 channel sound system makes for a lot of fun while we are working out.
The future for TPT is to continue growing and leaning from the those at the top of their field, to be able to offer the highest standard of services possible for athletes of today and prepare them for the challenges they face tomorrow.
Personally I have a very exciting 12 months ahead of me. Resigning from a steady part time job at a local supplement store to step into a role with the Adelaide 36ers was a huge fork in the road for me. One that I knew was going to be one of those tipping points.
Taylor is pictured above at Adelaide 36ers training.
Tired is not an option, something I have pushed since the beginning. You either want it bad enough or you don't. I can help make the road that little bit straighter but it still falls back on the athlete to walk the hard road. Tired is not an option! You either want it bad enough or you don't. Put in X effort and you'll get X result.
My up bringing, childhood and life experiences played a huge role in who I am today. The toddler mentality... He falls time and time again learning to walk but never stops and think "this isn't for me".
I welcome everyone with open arms. big, small, short or tall. If your ready to get to work, have any questions or simply want to chat and exchange stories please feel free to contact me at any time