The Toughest Workout of MY LIFE! (Impact Basketball: Day 1)

by Kenny Eller on November 2, 2010

Monday night:  I’m sitting in my hotel room, at a small desk, feeling so unbelievably excited and worn out at the same time.  I just finished my first workout of Impact Basketball Training and it far exceeded my expectations.  Here’s the best rundown I can give right now, as my whole body is tired.

Monday:  The Journey Begins!

I left for Sarasota at a little after 1pm.  The original plan was to leave very early Monday morning, as the first workout was scheduled for 8am. However, during the first part of last week, Matt (trainer) emailed and asked if I could begin at 5pm on Monday and then finish on Saturday because he was going to be out of town until Monday afternoon.

I checked with the hotel and the change was made.

I got to the hotel around 3:30pm, brought all my stuff up to the room and unpacked.  I then changed into my basketball clothes and before I knew it, it was time to make the short drive to Impact Basketball.

The Arrival and Realization

I got to Impact Basketball around 4:50pm, entered the building and as I came to the end of a corridor I could hear sneakers squeaking and basketballs bouncing.

A few more steps and I saw some BIG kids playing hoops.

I mean BIG!  7 foot 3 inches of BIG!

There were 6 foot 5 inch shooting guards and lightning quick point guards.

Blocked shots against the backboard, bodies flying, it was intense.

I watched for a few minutes, a little shocked at the skill level and size of the players and then continued on looking for my trainer for the week, Matt.

The realization that this was going to be perhaps more than I even expected, rushed over me.

Quick chat, Tour and Medical Check

I found Matt, who is the director of player development at Impact, we talked for a bit and he gave me a tour of the facility.  He let me know that today he wanted to get a sense of where I was as a player on the court, so we would only be doing court work today.

He double checked my medical history and to the court we went.

Keep in mind that Matt, besides training a current group of young men in which four of every five will go on to play college ball…at least, has also trained the likes of Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups and Rudy Gay.  To have him as my trainer for the week is beyond special!

Toughest Workout of My Life

After he cleared the court of the younger guys, Matt took me through some stretching.  Things I’ve never seen or done before.

He explained that he would be able to tell based upon my flexibility, how explosive I would be.  I then asked him to make me 1,000 times more explosive. :-)

On one stretch, he said, “You’ve probably seen this one before,” I did the stretch and then let him know that I hadn’t…haha.

After stretching, we worked on numerous shooting drills all at GAME SPEED.

Now, if you’ve been following along, you know that I’m in pretty decent shape these days.  I run +15 miles a week and play hoops twice a week.  When I’m on the court, I’m the guy that can always keep going.

Well, I say that to say this…I GOT MY BUTT KICKED!!!

I can’t remember ever gasping for air like I did tonight.  EVER!

Near the end of the workout I was standing at the free throw line, trying to pull myself together for two free throws and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get my wind.

Umm, and tonight’s workout was only 55 minutes!

In those 55 minutes I took around 400 shots at game speed.  Everything off of some movement, no set shots.

Matt broke everything down from my footwork, to explosiveness, to how I should prepare myself to receive the pass, to where my shoulder and foot should be coming around a screen.

The guy kicked my butt and I LOVED IT!!!

I feel like I learned so much in such a short period of time and I can’t wait for tomorrow (Tuesday)!

“Are you the guy playing Michael Jordan?”

About midway through the workout, as I was coming back from a short water break, one of the young guys working on the other end of the court asked, “Are you the guy playing Michael Jordan?”

I was really surprised by this!

We chatted for a second, chuckled about my age, and he asked if I had ever seen Jordan play.  When I told him I had as a member of the Chicago Bulls, he and the other young guy thought that was the coolest thing.

You see, the two guys I was talking with are just 19 years old, so the only Jordan they really get to see is highlight reels.

As I walked back to continue the workout, I felt very fortunate to have seen Greatness!

“You’re better than I expected.”

At the close of the workout, Matt handed me a protein shake and said, “You’re better than I expected.”

I took that as a huge compliment, thanked him again for doing this whole thing and was on my way back to the hotel.

Rest and Day 2

As I type this post Monday evening, my legs are toast.  My arms feel like noodles and my eyes are even tired.  I’m exhausted in every sense of the word.

Day two is going to be interesting.  It is to consist of two sessions, with the first being around four hours.  Mentally I can’t even wrap my head around that right now, but I’ll be there at 8am ready to give it my all!

By the time most of you are reading this, I will be heavy into session two.

Pray for me, wish me luck, whatever it is you do…please do.  I will be needing it for sure!

me vs. MJ…this journey is getting very interesting!!! 😀

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Kerkvliet November 2, 2010 at 7:58 am

Wow, sounds like an amazing experience. To hear you describe the work out gives a person an appreciation of the skill level and endurance of players that go to the next level.

I will offer a prayer that you are given the strength and endurance to make the most of this experience.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Jim, it has been amazing thus far. I’m trying to soak up every detail. So much to learn.

I without a doubt have a great appreciation for the pro/college players at this point.

Thanks for the prayer!!!


Karol Gajda November 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

Proud of you Kenny. This is so awesome!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Thanks Karol! I appreciate it! 😀


Emily Youngs November 2, 2010 at 10:51 am

This is giving me major flashbacks of the time I tried out for the Olympic Women’s Basketball team!! Heart palpitations and adrenaline rushing watching the incredible talent all around me… Are you going to be playing with the others there? Or are you just getting solo training?

Without having looked through your other posts yet, I’ll just say the one thing I did in my training for NCAA D1 hoops that crippled me a bit was a lot of long-distance running. Too much of it trains those slow-twitch muscles. Make sure you work in lots of wind sprints of varying distances to develop explosive power and the ability to change gears with lightning speed.

Thanks so much for the adrenaline shot this morning with this post!! Best of luck and I’ll definitely be following your progress :) Makes me want to play bball again…

Emily :)


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Thanks for stopping by Emily!!!

Wow, what an experience you’ve had. We will have to talk, when I have more energy…haha. 😉

The training is solo, but I will be able to play with the guys at some point. Should be interesting.

As far as the fast twitch muscles, I’m not sure how many of those I have anymore, haha! You are totally right though, which I’m learning this week. It is all about that explosiveness, which in my game needs a lot of work. It’s fun to learn and get better though. I’m loving it!

Thanks again for the kind words and following along! :-)


Charissa Eller November 2, 2010 at 10:59 am

One of your best articles yet! Your excitement and passion for this process shows through your writing. So, proud of you and I can’t wait to hear about day two!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for the all the support! It’s the greatest blessing to have someone that wants you to achieve your dreams!


Kellie Kowalski November 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

Sounds like you’re having a great time, Kenny, despite the exhaustion. =]

Good luck in the coming week!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Hey Kellie! Yeah, having a blast! Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!!!


Sunil November 2, 2010 at 4:14 pm

What an amazing experience. Even if you never get to play Jordan, you’re already a winner. Good for you.

I can’t wait for the next post, and please tell me that you are getting some of this on video!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Thanks Sunil! This is blowing my mind! So much fun!!! 😀

Tomorrow I get to play a 7 foot 3 inch guy, named Akeem. Yes, they will be recording it! 😀


Marvin November 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Very cool Kenny!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thanks Marvin! 😀


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