How I’d Coach Tacko Fall
Have you seen this dude?
He’s 7 foot 6, one of the tallest 20 people in the world, and he almost upset Zion Williamson and the rest of the star-studded Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament.
Seeing this dude play is pretty incredible…
He can dunk without jumping,
Block shots on his tippy toes,
He looks like a dad playing basketball with his 8 year old children… But, he’s also a little sloppy, uncoordinated,
And that’s to be expected when you’re that big.
All that being said…
If I saw this monster of a man step through the garage doors of my training facility, here’s what I’d do to make him an overall better athlete…
Increase His Kinesthetic Awareness
Kinesthetic awareness is essentially your ability to be aware of how your body is positioned, and how it moves, through space…
And when your limbs are as long and wiry as Tacko Fall’s are, chances are your movement is going to be a little awkward and gangly. Developing kinesthetic awareness will help with that.
Funny enough, yoga is a practice that it’s famous for it’s ability to increase kinesthetic awareness because of practice’s utilization of integrated movements…
But will I have Tacko Fall doing downward dogs and warrior two’s?
I will, however, use integrated movements to decrease his clumsy movement.
Movements such as a bird dog push-up, lunges with a twist, and even some unilateral movements will help fix his movement patterns.
Even more, to develop his balance and stability in his joints and limbs, I would have him perform tempo movements. Things like tempo push-ups, unilateral eccentric-focused box squats, and unstable surface training would be staples in his program.
Core, Core, Core
If he wants to play in the league, he’s going to bang with the big boys.
At his current level of play, he’s a man among boys. There’s really nobody who can stand toe-to-toe with him.
However, if Duke’s DeLaurier can body him every once in a while, Tacko Fall’s got a world of hurt coming with the bigs in the NBA.
One of the reasons smaller guys like DeLaurier can best Tacko Fall is because of Tacko’s high center of gravity. It contributes to his instability, awkward movement patterns, and his inability to stay strong when he’s pushed or pulled on.
A rock-solid core.
And I’d help him develop this through a series of progressive stability movements and anti-rotations, which will help prevent him from being jolted by a push or pull.
Tacko Fall’s a heavy dude. He weighs a whopping 270 pounds, and when you’re that heavy, it’s difficult to be light on your feet like a ballet dancer.
But you’d be wrong if you thought I wasn’t up to the challenge.
Yes, when he moves, Tacko Fall regularly gets stuck in the mud. But the root cause of that is his inability to absorb force, and even more, the inefficiency in his amortization phase.
Now, if you don’t know, any movement has three phases. The absorption phase (eccentric portion), the amortization phase (isometric portion, also known as the transition phase), and the production phase (concentric portion).
If your ability to absorb force is lacking… And if the time between force absorption and production is too long, you’ll be slow moving as a salted slug.
And this is where Tacko Fall needs work.
To fix these issues, I’d put him through a series of low-level connected jumps, reactive plyometrics, and depth jumps. To read more about my approach to plyometrics, click here.
Making a Monster
There’s no doubt… Tacko Fall has steadily improved during his time at UCF.
And while he’s not as sloppy, awkward, and clumsy as this post might make him out to be, there’s always room for improvement. For a guy like him, his movement style is a sticking point.
All that said, I applaud the training staff at UCF for making him into a monster, and hope that the NBA strength and conditioning coaches can do right by him as well.
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