When the difference between a first or fifth round selection can hinge upon tenths of a second, athletes will do everything they can for that extra advantage. Within IMG Academy’s NFL Combine training program, the Athletic and Personal Development staff have been proactive in the research and application of performance technologies to encourage their athletes to reach the next level. ALINE Systems, a leader in movement efficiency and functional mechanics, is one of a number of performance companies who lend their expertise. ALINE’s role during the initial NFL Combine athlete assessments was to evaluate each athlete’s lower body mechanics. Adrian Hubbard, a 6’6’’, 252-lb standout linebacker for the Alabama Crimson Tide, was one of several players who took special interest in the ALINE advantage.
As part of the initial assessment, Hubbard was fit using cutting-edge fit stand technology and provided a pair of ALINE Performance Insoles. He quickly noticed the difference in power transfer and response when working on his approach and agility drills, “I can really feel my legs staying straighter and my knees don’t collapse inwards. A lot more powerful and quicker response.” With his body in the correct bio-mechanical position, power was being driven to the proper engines to fuel him. Hubbard, a Georgia native, opted out of his final year of eligibility to chase his NFL dreams. During his tenure at Alabama with Coach Nick Saban, Hubbard won 2 BCS National Championships, 1 SEC Championship and garnered multiple personal accolades.
Recently, Hubbard was fortunate enough to be one of the elite athlet’s selected to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. In the midst of a hectic training and travel schedule he forgot to transfer his ALINEs into his practice cleats on Day 1 of Senior Bowl practice, and felt something was off. He did not make that mistake again during practice or during his game, and made an impressive six tackles at the Senior Bowl. At the conclusion of the game, in the hustle and bustle of interviews and saying goodbye to fellow pigskin warriors, Hubbard forgot to retrieve his cleats with the ALINEs inside. Once back on the IMG Academy campus, he was relieved to find another pair waiting for him.
IMG Academy aligns with a variety of industry leading performance companies to provide each NFL Combine athlete with every edge possible leading up to the ‘world’s toughest job interview’. The integration of ALINE provides athletes with a product and service that not only prevents future injuries, but also helps increase athletic performance though proper alignment.
ALINE is excited to share our list of Winter Games Athletes using our product at ESPN X Games and now to represent their countries. These elite athletes are like you, they want to Move Better so they Feel Better and Perform Better. If ALINE can do it for them, we can do it for you! Let’s root on our US Winter athletes as well as our athlete friends from around the world!
|Danny DavisLouis Vito||Snowboard HalfpipeSnowboard Halfpipe||USAUSA|
|Aimee Fuller||Slope Style Board||Great Britain|
|AJ Kemppainen||Free Style Skiing||Finland|
|Henrick Harlaut||Free Style Skiing||Sweden|
|David Wise||Free Style Skiing||USA|
|Isabel Derungs||Slope Style Board||Switzerland|
|Silje Norendal||Slope Style Board||Norway|
|Yuki Tsubota||Free Style Skiing||Canada|
|James Woods||Free Style Skiiing||Great Britain|
|Sven Thorgren||Slope Style Board||Sweden|
|Charles Guldemond||Slope Style Board||USA|
|Kim Lamarre||Free Style Skiing||Canada|
|Jamie Anderson||Slope Style Board||USA|
The IMG Junior Golf Tour teed off in Oxford, Pa. for the ALINE Systems Junior Open at Wyncote Golf Club, Oct. 26-27. Chilly temperatures and high wind gusts could not stop the competition from heating up among a field of 68 players from seven states. In the Boys 15-18 division, Liam McAnally of Downingtown, Pa. carded solid rounds of 76-79 to secure his first-career Tour victory. “It was very cold and windy out there so I just tried to focus on keeping my shots low and out of the wind as much as possible,” McAnally said of his performance. “The key for me was my short game; being able to get up and down when I missed greens.”
McAnally recently finished fifth in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state tournament. Incidentally, McAnally wore a pair of ALINE insoles, which he says he has in every pair of shoes he owns, through the weekend.
In the Girls division, 13-year old Kaitlyn Lees of Bryn Mawr, Pa. turned in scores of 87-76 to secure the victory. Meanwhile, Alex Chin of Chatham, N.J. finished with rounds of 78-81 to claim his second Tour title after winning his division at Berkshire Valley earlier this month.
Title sponsor ALINE Systems provided all participants with free ALINEment analysis on site, and sponsored the #PowerStraightUp par-five contest on the ninth hole. Winners in the par-five contest were chosen for achieving the lowest aggregate score, with Andrew Bowyer of Summit, N.J. and Kaitlyn Lees earning free pairs of ALINE insoles for their performance.
The ALINE Systems Junior Open marked the sixth event on the IMG Junior Golf Tour calendar, and the last Northeast event in 2013. The event was hosted by Wyncote Golf Club, which is ranked by Golf Magazine as the ‘No. 5 course you can play in Pennsylvania.’ AJGA Performance Based Entry was awarded to the top five finishers in the Boys division and the Girls division winner. The Tour gets back underway at the PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Nov. 9-10. The Tour will return to the Northeast in 2014 at Heron Glen Golf Club in Ringoes, N.J., April 5-6.
– To see original article plus more visit IMG Junior Golf Tour site at: http://www.imgjuniorgolftour.com
Recently the Puerto Rican National Basketball team made the pilgrimage to IMG Academy in Bradenton to prepare for the FIBA Americas Cup taking place in Caracas, Venezuela through August and September. ALINE was in the house to evaluate and assess our caribbean neighbors. The Puerto Rican team is comprised of Puerto Rican nationals, NBA, and NCAA Division 1 players that took advantage of all IMG had to offer. One of the services the guys immediately we’re intrigued by was the ALINE Systems Functional ALINEment Assessment. Andres Rodriguez was the first to enter the ALINEment Center inquiring about the assessment and ALINE Performance Insoles. Once the ice was broken, the rest of the team fell in. They could all immediately see the benefit and impact ALINE had on their lower bodies and could see how this would reflect on the court. Enrico Encarnacion, the director of Sports Medicine for the National Team, took a special interest in the assessment. Seeing players on a day to day basis, treating for overuse issues, and dealing with the previous injuries from years of high level competition, he was acutely aware of the beneficial impact a product such as ALINEs would have on his athletes.
Being selected as a member the national team creates a feeling of pride, professional success and patriotism while selecting a coach from a foreign nation to manage your national team brings about a feeling of failure, question and thievery for some. Nonetheless, its still a common occurrence. A perfect example of this is in the world of soccer. From 2008 to 2012 Fabio Capello, an Italian, coached the English National Soccer Team, who are widely known as the birthplace of “footy”. More recently Jurgen Klinsmann, from the Netherlands, was hired to the helm of the US National soccer team. The lack of success of a previous regime lends itself to heading in a new direction, with a new coach, adopting a completely new style which has proven more successful.
On July 18th, Francisco “Paco” Olmos, a Spaniard, was hired as the new coach for the Puerto Rican National Basketball team. Amid much controversy Carlos Beltran, the President of the Basketball Federation for Puerto Rico stated, “I had to, the team needed a change”. If you follow basketball on an international scale, you should be well aware of the success of the Spanish National Team. They have been consistently ranked in the top 5 internationally over the past decade as well as claiming silver in the past two summer olympic games
One of the early decisions Coach Olmos made was to remove the team from the hoopla associated with the change and bring the team to IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL to train for the FIBA Americas Cup. IMG is quickly becoming the chosen destination for the world’s elite athletics. The “one-stop shop” of athletics, performance, and medical facilities on one campus has made IMG even more attractive than the year round perfect weather. While on campus, some of the more noteworthy athletes to cross the path of ALINE’s own, Jonna Pento, were JJ Barea (NBA – Minnesota Timberwolves/Dallas Mavericks), Carlos Arroyo (Ex-NBA – Miami Heat), and Renaldo Balkman (Ex-NBA – NYKnicks/Denver Nuggets). The overriding trend seen throughout the entire PR Team’s evaluation were the typical signs of the stress from playing on an unnatural and unforgiving surface associated with basketball. Collapsed arches, repetitive ankle sprains/strains and excessive pronation syndrome. ALINE to the rescue!!! Before the team’s departure they invited Jonna into their private practice at IMG for pictures and to present him with official team apparel.
A last second three point shot by Alex Galindo ricocheted out as the Boricuas claimed silver 91-89 on September 11th as Puerto Rico lost a thrilling game to Mexico in the finals of the FIBA Americas Cup. Before the final game began both teams had already clinched spots for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Since then all of the Puerto Rican players have dispersed to professional teams throughout the globe.
Just the other day the phone rang with a mysterious unknown number from Louisiana. When I picked up Renaldo Balkman was on the other end. The Dallas Mavericks had seen how productive his performance was during the America’s Cup and picked him up for a pre-season contract. Renaldo was so impressed with his performance on top of ALINE Insoles all he wanted to know was…”Jonna, what do I have to do to get my hands on more pairs?!”
- Written/Edited by: Jonna Pento
If you’re looking for the Gridiron/Battle in the Trenches style of football played upon the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, you will NOT find it here my friends. This is 7v7 football – a high speed, lightning intensity paced game where the focus falls upon the skill players. If the vertical attack of the quarterback to his gravity-defying wide receivers virtually dicing the defense apart as a skilled butcher would take apart a side of beef sounds appealing to you, then this is your game!
On the weekend of June 21st, the Third Annual Cam Newton Skills Challenge kicked off the IMG7v7 National Championship weekend festivities, which took place at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. This event attracts some of the nation’s most elite high school talent reaching from Delaware, Canada, Colorado, Florida and all points between. Teams qualified through a series of events held all across the United States. This was one of the last opportunities to watch players by the names of Quincy Wilson(48 D1 offers), Richard Yeargin(40 D1 offers), Sam Bruce(Nephew of NFL great Isaac Bruce), Bo Scarborough(RB – Alabama commit), Jeff Holland(45 D1 offers), or Kevin Toliver II(CB – LSU commit) without paying top dollar for a ticket.
As an Official Sponsor of IMG, ALINE Systems was in attendance to evaluate and analyze all of the athlete’s functional lower body alignment. The results were, in a word, shocking. In this context shocking has dual meaning, as you will see.
The Skills Challenge kicked off the weekend’s competition. After a motivating speech from Cam Newton himself, the battle was underway to crown the tournament’s top Quarterback and Wide Receiver. The ALINE Team was placed just outside the End Zone ready to Evaluate Like Champions…(insert Notre Dame Fight Song)
As the day progressed two things became blatantly apparent. 1 – These young men were amazing physical specimens and individuals. 2 – Overuse Syndrome has become an epidemic! The amount and frequency of injuries along with severe mal-alignments were, as I mentioned earlier, quite shocking. Running the gamut from chronic lateral ankle sprain to medial tibial stress syndrome through ACL/PCL complete tears. Even at this youthful age, Lower Back Pain was a common complaint. Historically an issue developed late in life from the punishment placed upon the body from years of movement, now seems to have translated to the youth athletic population. The ALINE Team was in amazement at the contradiction of elite level athletic performance and severe injury frequency and history.
On the positive side, in most all cases the youth foot is flexible. Still malleable and not rigid from decades of punishment, we were able to place these young men on the ALINE Foot Suspension Systems and correct most of their alignment maladies. The severe pronation and correlated genu-valgum(knock-knees) knee patterns disappeared as the ALINEment advanced. Instant comfort was felt and healthier tracking patterns seen. The simplistic joy seen on the faces of these pigskin warriors when the Red Line bisected their well muscled legs and ALINE under foot was a constant pleasure. Again the ALINE Advantage was able to identify lower extremity alignment issues and aid in the prevention of further injury or deformity allowing these young athletes to perform to their utmost potential!
The event weekend concluded on Sunday with Team Tampa being crowned the NFA 7v7 National Champions for the second year in a row! It was an intra-Floridian battle with Tampa overtaking Miami’s own South Florida Express Elite, 25-24. Cam Newton was in attendance throughout the entire event. If his physical presence and personality didn’t alert you to his NFL pedigree, you would think he another one of the kids. As an outsider looking in, it’s always refreshing to see an athlete of his acclaim and success able to interact with young, aspiring student-athletes. Also, at the conclusion of the Skills Challenge, Cam was there to hand out award packages including ALINE Performance Insoles!
The facts are clear about the importance of alignment and foot care. The human body is not made up of separate parts. “The knee bone’s connected to the shin bone…”as the song goes. It is this kinetic chain that must be maintained and assessed over time. The challenge is changing the knowledge base of youth, coaches and families so they all understand that their foundation directly affects their function. This fact alone will have positive long term effects on not only their football careers, but their quality of life beyond the Gridiron.
- Written/Edited by: Jonna Pento
Kenya’s Olympic 4×400 Squad and ALINE Make a “Splash” at IMG Academy
Strolling across the nation’s most prestigious athletic training facility, IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., you are bound to see some of today’s most recognizable and exciting athletes preparing, training, and sweating through one of IMG Academy’s many renowned and grueling training programs. As upcoming professional combines and drafts; Olympic events; and other serious career endeavors grow closer, so does preparation intensity and concentration at IMG Academy. Yet, one particular group of athletes stood out and made a “splash” with their program on campus this summer. After meeting with and fitting the visiting Kenyan National 4×400 Sprint Team with their first pair of ALINEs, brand rep Jonna Pento had only this to say about the visiting Olympians, “I am in awe.”
Initially recruited to IMG Academy by Coach Loren Seagrave, arguably one of the most decorated speed coaches on the planet, Alphas Kishoyian, Newton Rottich, Boniface Mweresa, and Vincent Koskei have been learning and training alongside some of the US’ top sprinters and trainers during their time on campus. Their burning speed on the track and incredible natural ability has attracted plenty of attention, yet the inseparable crew became known for something slightly different. At midday, you won’t find the team sweating on the track, in the weight room, nor receiving treatment from one of the many elite sports physicians. No, midday at IMG Academy alongside the country’s athletic elite, the Kenyan National 4×400 Sprint Team was found making a splash in one of the academy’s premier pools, simply enjoying the impressive facilities and life down at IMG Academy.
Alphas, Newton, Boniface, and Vincent, four of the fastest built humans on the planet, quickly established themselves at IMG Academy, becoming equally famous for their lighthearted, easygoing, and approachable personalities as their track talents. When Jonna Pento, ALINE Brand Manager stationed at IMG Academy, met with the team for their official ALINE fitting, he found that the Kenyans continued to prove what ALINE has found time and time again while working with elite athletes; the most proficient and successful have the greatest natural ALINEment! Alphas, the fastest of the group, had impressive natural posture, while the largest, Newton, was plagued by collapsed arches and medial drifts. After ALINE insoles were applied, all four teammates were measured to have near-perfect alignment. We are incredibly excited to have worked with these world class athletes and gentleman, and look forward to watching their improvement with their new ALINEment technology.
“To put it simply, that’s why we are here. We aim to level the playing field, not just for the elite but for everyone,” stated Jonna, reflecting on ALINE as a whole. “This product is being used with success by the best, and we are here to provide it for the masses. We have the technology and ability to bring nearly EVERYONE into ALINEment!” he added passionately.
The Kenyan National Team made a lasting impact on IMG Academy and the ALINE staff, and we are both looking forward to seeing the impact ALINE might have on them…whether it be through world records, or simply the 2,000,000 steps per year they will now take in perfect ALINEment.
by Greg Rothman and Kathryn McGonagle