Bigger, Stronger, Faster – What serious athlete doesn’t worship at the altar of this holy trinity? But putting blind faith in the size of biceps or tics on a stopwatch doesn’t necessarily square with optimizing performance, according to the sports science philosophy at the newly opened BAT in Mahopac on 4 Miller Road.
“You don’t want to get bigger, stronger, faster – you want to get bigger, stronger, faster and more efficient,” says Dr. Peter Gorman, whose firm Microgate.it provides the medical science and technology behind the sports for BAT co-owners, John Robinson and Joe Panarese.
So BAT won’t just size up a young athlete up with a questionnaire and a passing glance before letting them loose on the elliptical. “Why would you build a house if the foundation is not ready,” Dr. Gorman reasons.
And they literally begin from the bottom up. “You get your biomechanical footprint because we want to know that you’re becoming more able and more agile in all directions,” said Dr. Gorman. “In other words, is your left side working equally with your right side?
This involves a high tech treadmill that doesn’t get ahead itself. Utilizing 97 beams of light, the OptoGait machine unravels asymmetric movement patterns – leaving the science of baby steps to take over. “Once we have you walking correctly, we let you jog, Once we have you jogging correctly, we let you run,” says Dr. Gorman.
Also holding performance clinics at the Somers Sports Arena on Route 100, the baseline that ensures proper progression is known as the gait cycle. “This is the movement of your foot from heel strike to flat to toe off to swing through the air to heel strike again,” says Gorman. “We measure each of these parameters precisely to know where there are any weaknesses.”
OptoGait also uses the technology to make sure that your sneakers aren’t holding you back, and once your shoes and stride are in place, BAT’s goes full swing with their core four. “Do you have good balance control,” Dr. Gorman voices the first pillar.
Nothing sophisticated, can the athlete stand on one leg for 15 seconds with their eyes closed, and the lesson plans are easier than a take home test. “We give them balance training that they can do any time,” says Gorman.
Once the other shoe is ready to drop, standing on their own two feet holds sway. “Are you neutral?” asks Dr. Gorman.
Marching in place, would you hold steady or stray left or right? If not, extra energy will be required to move in the less inclined direction. “You want to be able to go equally in either direction,” Dr. Gorman instructs.
The optimum edge also means being strong up the middle in terms of core and strength. “The squat is the classic example of strength in an athlete,” says Dr. Gorman, but their backs will still be to the wall without equilibrium.
So toes on the wall and a perfect squat doesn’t emerge unless their balanced. “You can’t add weight to training until the foundation is in place,” says Dr. Gorman whose firm serves athletes on all levels including NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and Olympic Athletes.
Finally, the core culminates by going point break. “It’s a muscle of propulsion,” says Dr. Gorman of the Soleus muscle.
Known as the second heart and situated deep inside the calf, it must be contracting properly to get blood back to the heart so the athlete can get on her horse. “Very quickly in our core four we check your soleus,” he says.
The building blocks in place, BAT lives up to its acronym. “Biometric Awareness Training means when training you are aware of your body internally and externally,” says Robinson. “So you’re not just lifting. You’re doing everything the right way, and we can measure performance to determine if the regimen is working.”
However, athletes go nowhere if the body isn’t in sync with the brain. “We do a test here called AIM – arc interpretation of movement,” says Gorman. “We put kids through a simulation of athletic play to see how they are at all phases of movement.”
Even so, athletes still have to be able to stare down the barrel at the hot corner or get the stick up at point blank. Else, hesitation takes aim and leaves an unwanted bullseye regardless of their fluidity. “This is what we’re trying to eliminate,” says Robinson.
The Witty SEM machine keeps track of progress. A series of lights, letters, numbers and sound, the athlete must identify each prompt by hand movement. “They have to recognize, process and react,” says Joe Panarese, who leads the conditioning and training part of co-ownership.
So if there are delays, the deficiency isn’t just worked out through repetition on the machine. “We go to BrainHQ.com. They give a free brain training program that has been shown to improve white matter and physically changes your brain,” says Dr. Gorman.
But nothing is left to chance. “We’re the execution of the training, and Microgate is the lab and sports science behind us,” says Robinson who leads the data analytics, and helps his colleagues set the athletic agenda.
Moving forward, BAT would like to connect to area schools and act as a compliment. “Let us come in and be the science arm to the trainers,” says Robinson.
Proposing a once a semester evaluation, their philosophy would leave the strengths to coaches and clue them in on something more valuable. “We can help trainers recognize weaknesses – not train strengths, because fixing weakness is how you develop the well-rounded athlete,” concludes Gorman.
BAT is beginning their enterprise with Sports Performance Evaluations before they kick off a full training program
For more info : www.batcomplex.com