In its six years of existence, the No. 1 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) basketball team has quickly established itself as one of the top programs in the country.
The team has produced six McDonald's and six Jordan Brand Classic All-Americans, and every player who has passed through the program has walked away with a Division-I scholarship, according to coach Todd Simon.
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Findlay Prep lost seven of its top eight contributors from last season and former coach Michael Peck left in September to take the job as coach of the Portland Trail Blazers’ Development League team. But that’s hardly stopped the Pilots from dominating. The team is currently 21-0.
We went one-on-one with Simon to find out some of the training involved in keeping his players at the top of their game.
What was involved with the team's preseason conditioning?
Simon: We have NFL field turf at our school and in September our players were on the field at 6 a.m. to condition. Three times a week they'd run 150s, 40s, 100s — all kinds of conditioning exercises to get in the best shape possible.
Tell us about the team’s in-season lifting.
We try to keep lifting to twice a week, depending on when we travel. We don’t bring in a lot outside-the-box techniques. The basics can take you a long way. We’ll do a lot of pullups, basic bench work, dumbbell raises and assisted pullups.
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What part of training is especially key to keeping your athletes strong?
We’re big into basic core strength. We perform 15 minutes of core work using just body weight. We’ll do plank work and leg raises. The plank work is always tough. We’ll lift one arm and the opposite leg and hold for 30 seconds. That’s an exercise guys adapt to as they get stronger. We build the hold time as the year goes on.
How do you keep training fun and interactive?
These guys take ownership. It’s fun to relinquish control and let them go a little bit. We’ll put the core training into the guys' hands once in a while. They’ll challenge each other to doing something the longest or the most reps of a specific exercise. On some days, I’ll ask four players to pick a core exercise, and each guy will lead the team in repping it out.
What’s an update you’ve made to the training program this season?
We’ve added more jumping rope as part of our 10-minute stretch routine. We’ll put three minutes on the clock and all the players jump nonstop. It’s tough, especially for the taller guys.