Meet Joe Griffin | Evolution Performance Trainer

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Joe Griffin has been a Strength and Conditioning Coach for over 15 years. He has worked with athletes from the MLB, NFL, as well as hundreds of Division I athletes.Coach Griffin is also a Sports Medicine and Personal Fitness Teacher at Herndon High School.  Before joining the Evolution Basketball team, he spent five years as a Strength and Conditioning Strength Coach for the Los Angeles Angels and was a college strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University in Baltimore and York College in Pennsylvania.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland and is currently finishing his Master of Science in Athletic Coaching Education with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning from West Virginia University.  He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Below Joe answers a series of questions:

  1. What are the benefits of performance training for basketball?
  2. What are the areas of focus?
  3. What separates his program from the competition?
  4. What are some misconceptions about youth players and performance training?

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What are the benefits of performance training for basketball?

The benefits of a well-designed strength and conditioning program are endless.  A few of these benefits are improved on court performance, reduced injury risk, and stronger, faster recovery from injury.  That is why every college and NBA team has a detailed strength and conditioning regimen.  An overlooked benefit of a strength and conditioning program is the confidence that comes with consistent performance training.  I have witnessed a lot of young people enhance their confidence and self-esteem by progressing through a well-rounded strength program.  

What are the areas of focus of your performance training program?

A Kobe Bryant quote I love is “I never get bored with the basics.”  This is basically how I run my strength and conditioning programs.  I design a program around the basic movements of the body including squat, hinge, single leg squat or lunge, upper body push and upper body pull.  These exercises have withheld the test of time and for good reason.  The latest workout crazes come and go, but basic strength movements like the squat, deadlift, bench press, pull ups and a lunge have outlasted them all.  Consistently and correctly performing fundamentals is key to progress and success. 

In general, you can expect three phases to every workout:

  • Phase 1: Flexibility and Mobility
  • Phase 2: Speed and Agility
  • Phase 3: Power and Strength

What separates your program from the competition?

Unfortunately, in this field there are many people who try to become strength coaches overnight.  These people watch a few videos on YouTube or Instagram and think this is all they need to know to develop athletes.  With over 15 years of experience, I have learned what to do and what not to do as a strength coach.  I focus on designing programs that are backed by science and concentrate on the enhancement of the basketball athlete.  I approach this field with professionalism and enthusiasm and always put 100% of my attention on the athletes in front of me.  When you display care for your athletes, they will be inspired to work hard for results

What are some misconceptions about youth players and performance training?

I’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about strength training throughout my years of working in this field including things like “strength training will make you slower”, “you could get hurt” or “I will get too bulky”.  The safest thing a strength coach can do is design a program that is conducive to an athlete’s training or developmental age.  I will not let a young athlete bench press before they can do a push up or perform a back squat before they can do a proper goblet squat.  A strength coach must have a set of standards that will be used to measure an athlete’s progress.  The best way for an athlete to improve in their performance training is consistency.  A coach can write the greatest program in the world for a basketball player, but if they do not perform it on a consistent basis then it is worthless.  

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