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Somatics Puts More Power Into Powerlifting - by Danny Burke

     “Close, but no cigar!” That about sums up the quest of the 2018 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs quest for a 2018 Powerlifting National Title. A  fourth place finish is very respectable, but it still left a slightly sour taste in the mouth of many members of the Men's Team. Powerlifting competition is exceptionally fierce at the collegiate level and there are many factors that must go your way to put together a successful National Title. Despite their disappointing 4th place finish this year, Coach A.J. McFarland and Louisiana Tech are already busy recruiting and training for the 2019 season.

      Looking back over their 2018 season, I can say that individual powerlifters have shown an increased demand for, along with an overall team acceptance of, Hanna Somatic Education as an adjunct to their team training.

      I was able to travel to their campus in Ruston, Louisiana once a month. I led the team in group somatic classes, and was able to offer "hands on" sessions for up to fifteen athletes during each visit. As the season ended, I asked for feedback from some of the team members.

      Logan Rogers said: "Due to injuries, I was unable to comfortably perform all three lifts, but after one [Somatics] session, I noticed a drastic difference. I felt like I could be less conservative and this allowed me to perform every rep to the best of my ability." Grayson Brown said: "I had pain mostly on one side of my back. Somatics helped me by fixing my posture and helping me remember the correct movements to enhance my performance." Matt Reed was one of the first on the team to incorporate a daily practice of somatic movements as part of his training . He told me: "Before Somatics, I never would have thought that it was possible to be a collegiate powerlifter without some kind of chronic pain." And Casey Riley commented: "I found the experience 'life changing' because I had never heard of Somatics before, but now I don't know what I'd do without it."

      Because of the team's increased "thirst" for more Somatics in their training regimen this year, I realized that just one Somatic educator was not enough to help the twenty-five member team at Collegiate Nationals. Fortunately, two of my HSE colleagues from California called and offered to help the team.

>> This past April, William Davis and Seiji Davis flew to Texas and set up two tables in a hotel room. They offered “hands-on” HSE sessions to all the athletes on the team both before and after their competition. We ended up performing 35 individual sessions for the team. Special thanks to both of them for their great somatic contribution and hard work for the team this year. Their “hands-on” efforts with individual athletes freed me up to work directly with the athletes during their competition.

      I will be writing another article soon about how Somatics helped the team when problems came up as they competed, especially when pain, muscle cramps, and old injuries came back to haunt them. I’ll also discuss how eliminating Sensory Motor Amnesia is the key to improving sports performance for athletes from any sport who have come up against a wall in their training, and find that they aren’t improving despite their hard work ethic.