I’m pretty excited to write this. It’s been a a long time in the making for Sami and I to launch a training campaign together. It first started when we had a chance to work together before he first stint in France which lead onto a 2 year deal with the Seattle Storm. She came to me in a little F45 near the beach (of which holds some of my most enjoyable training memories with amazing people) for a quick training program before she had to head overseas. We kept in contact ever since then and kept each other in the loop from a far. But it was only until late in 2020 that we got in front of each other and finally started what we said we would do...
Create a monster!
Now, for those of you that know Sami, she’s a driven and dedicated human of the highest order. She trains the house down and leaves no stone unturned. She humble, quiet in her pursuits but her passion for development screams volumes.
She came to me at our new facility (Land Performance Centre) in Perth and we devised a plan of what we wanted and needed in the 8 weeks that we had before she had to head off to the Australian Opals training camp in Townsville. To be honest, these goals were scary. They were possibly the most outrageous I’ve devised with an athletes and I really did have my doubts. So did Sami, but that’s why we knew they were the right ones to tackle.
The areas we aimed to tackle were;
- Overall Strength (using the major lifts I use for Basketball athletes)
- Body composition (mainly looking at overall fat loss and maintaining muscle mass)
- Fixing posture and enhancing on-court
I’ll walk through what we did with these and give you an insight into how we did it because there is so much confusing information as to how you can train and develop elite athletic talent yet with simple pripples and specific methods, you’ll see that it’s easy when everyone is on board with the same line of thinking.
*These programs are the ones we used and adapted to suit Sami and her goals. Many of them were tweaked and adjusted session to session but these are the actual workouts that were done.*
Developing Sami’s lower limbs was a huge focus. She’s a very fast women to begin with but the aim was to make her stronger to handle the speeds that she plays at as well as increase her ability to take off and brake. I always say that it’s great having a Ferrari going 100km/h but it means nothing if you don’t have good brakes!
Something I learned a long time ago from some amazing strength coaches in the past was that focussing on only squats for lower limb strength is to your detriment. If you’ve ever worked with me, you’ll see a lot of unilateral movements in programs because most speed and agility work is based off of individual leg movements. Moral of the story, make sure you get the legs strong individually before you try to get them strong bilaterally.
The upper limb training was built on getting her stronger and more powerful through the press and the pull. Nothing fancy, just a lot of heavy weight and grind went into this workout. Here is one of the push / pull sessions we did which was once completed, pretty gruelling when we executed the tempo correctly. It’s so important that push/pull workouts are done with a sense of balance in mind. You need to be thinking about how can you get the greatest bang for buck as well as have the greatest range of motion in a workout.
A question I get asked a lot about it what did we do for her nutrition. To be honest, there was a lot that went into it but the basis was a slight energy deficit. Not much I might add. There are very few people that work as hard as Sami and not many of those work for as long as she does. We needed to make sure she had enough energy for the demands she was putting on herself as well as keeping her fuelled up for performance. Don’t overthink the nutrition and make sure you are getting enough energy to sustain what you’re needing to do. From there, you can scale it up or down depending on the major goals you’re chasing.