Beyond Weight Lifting and Agility Training


Max Cook, senior, Lincoln Community High School

Max Cook is serious about improving his basketball game.

A senior this fall at Lincoln Community High School, Max has his sights set on earning an athletic scholarship. The 17-year-old is turning to the staff at Memorial SportsCare at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital to help him sharpen his game.

“Staying ahead of the competition is never easy. For some local athletes, weight lifting and agility training may not be enough,” said Missy Anderson, athletic trainer. “That’s why we offer an 18-session Performance Plus Program for those athletes ready to get a step ahead of the competition.”

Max has already taken the Performance Plus Program once during the summer before his junior year and is planning to take it again.

168-13-04“I wanted to increase my athletics and move quicker and jump higher,” Max said. “I feel like the program really helped me out and strengthened some of my weaknesses.”

He was able to increase his vertical jump, for example, by 3 to 4 inches.

Anderson discussed three exercises in which she worked with Max to help him improve his game:

  • Squat jumps: Using specialized training equipment known as the VertiMax, Max wore a belt to which strong elastic cords were attached. The other ends of the cords were attached to the VertiMax, which is a large, flat platform that rests on the floor. Max spent 30 to 45 minutes squatting and jumping as high as he could. The exercise gave him more power and helped him to jump higher.


  • Agility ladder drill: A ladder rested flat on the floor. Max ran through it, with one foot landing in each square space between the rungs. For a variation of this exercise, Max ran through it sideways. The exercise lasted about 10 to 15 minutes and was designed to give him quicker feet, faster agility and allowed him to change directions more quickly.


  • Rip throughs: Again using the VertiMax, the elastic cords were attached to Max’s hands, and the other ends to the base of the VertiMax. Max carried a medicine ball, which weighed about 6 to 10 pounds and mimicked being on the basketball court. He moved his hands and the ball in different directions, keeping it away from an imaginary opponent trying to steal the ball away. Between the medicine ball and the resistance from the cords, Max increased his upper body strength, including his chest and core, and developed quicker movements through his shoulders and arms.

For more information, visit Memorial SportsCare at ALMH or call 217-605-5500.

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