Saturday, September 24, 2011
The NorCal Finest 100
What we decided to do this time around was interview a trio of player participants in order to get their takeaway from the gathering since that was the primary purpose.
David Ahern, a 6-foot backcourter from Marin Catholic has previously experience training with Russotti. His description: "We began with a warmup from Coach Stein, then did 90 minutes of basketball skill work followed by 60 minutes of core and strength training."
After lunch, it was matchups involving the participants.
What did Ahern like best? "Because of my training with Jeremy, the skills training was a review for me. I liked the tips Alan Stein offered about strength training and recovery and diet. Having the chance to go to him and ask questions was nice."
He added, "the talent level was higher than usual at these kind of events." Ahern also credited Russotti for making a good effort to 'get the guys to play the right way" in the afternoon portion.
Grant Vermeer is a 6-foot-1 guard at Bellarmine Prep, a member of the West Catholic Athletic League (ECAL). Having no previous exposure to the offerings of Russotti and Stein, all was a new experience for him. "Everyone was focused and paying attention,: he said, "and every single drill by the coaches were things I hadn't seen before. Both Alan and Jeremy were great, like the way to do pushups (Stein) and always work on dribbling with one ball, not two (Russotti). I'm incorporating what we were taught into my training.
Vermeer added (about the p.m. portion), "It was fun to play with the great players and watch them succeed."
He concluded with "I want to thank the sponsors of the event. It allowed me to work with two of the best trainers in the world."
St. Ignatius' Stephen Domingo has also trained with Russotti. His succinct take: "Going through the drills with NBA level staff helps build a solid foundation. I learned balance techniques and how to do weight training without the need for a weight room."
He added, “Kids today play too many games as is. What made the NorCal’s Finest Top 100 Clinic special was the emphasis on proper training both from the skill standpoint and the strength & conditioning standpoint. Players learned how to workout, a concept that most high school players don’t get exposed to.”
Stein offers a weekly blog, plus a YouTube channel and a Twitter account for those wanting further inspiration and information.
Russotti went on to say "We don't want this event to be labeled a showcase event since that is not the true focus. These kids do not need anymore exposure. We want to expose the players on how professional athletes train, their mindsets, and how you have to take advantage of the opportunities they have in front of them."
"I think every year we will reflect and find ways to improve the event. I think we will add more skill training to the event, while making changes to the games format. The games definitely can become more competitive. The top kids need to learn how to always compete and give their fullest effort on both sides of the floor. I firmly believe that if we can get our top players to learn this mindset, we will be producing bona fide NBA caliber players year in and year out. I truly believe that!"