Indiana’s offseason workouts have been intense. The team has showcased just how grueling those workouts are through social media, especially on Snapchat.
Two Hoosiers featured prominently in those videos, sophomore forward Emmitt Holt and grad transfer guard Nick Zeisloft, know exactly how difficult it’s been. But they’re seeing results as the offseason workouts have brought the team together and made a difference.
“I would say more camaraderie, more understanding of what guys are going to be on the court, more timing,” Zeisloft said, when asked what having the entire summer of workouts has allowed them to do. “We had a lot of new guys come in last year and we didn’t have the months of the summer to work together.”
Having more players involved and everyone on campus for the workouts is just one of a few differences for offseason workouts this summer.
Former strength and conditioning coach Je’Ney Jackson departed for Kansas to work as the Director of Football Strength and Conditioning in January. Lyonel Anderson, formerly associate director of sports performance for the University of Houston’s football program, was hired to replace him.
With a new strength and conditioning coach came new methods and techniques, including the construction of a sand pit and the use of elevation masks during workouts.
Holt said training with the sandpit has allowed the Hoosiers to use a part of their body that they’ve previously been unable to unlock.
“(Coach Anderson) emphasizes the hip and how that can make you faster, be more explosive and whatnot,” Holt said. “Just unlocking parts of our body that we really haven’t been using before and using that to our advantage.”
Zeisloft said they’ve been using the sandpit to learn different running forms, planting and different agility drills.
“Stuff that is tougher in the sand and it can definitely increase your quickness and explosiveness,” he said. “We’ve definitely been working on that with Coach Lyonel a lot this summer.”
They’ve also been working extensively with elevation masks that simulate high-altitude training. Zeisloft said they don’t breathe as much oxygen intake, and that the masks cause them to focus on their breathing in order to sustain whatever exercise or program they’re doing that day.
“I can tell you one thing, they definitely work. It makes it tougher to breath,” Holt said.
So what do they do when they need to relax and regain control of their breath? Hot yoga.
Another addition by Anderson, both players said they had never done it before. But Holt said it’s good for them and allows them to take breaks on their bodies.
“It gets us rejuvenated for whatever is to come the rest of the week,” Holt said. “It gets us stretched out and whatnot so we can be more nimble.”
When Holt, Zeisloft and the rest of the Hoosiers work out, often Anderson is seen getting more involved and doing the workouts with them as seen in the videos. The players seem to appreciate when he jumps in.
Holt recalled doing his workouts at different time than the rest of his teammates the first day he was in there during the summer. Anderson worked out with the first group, then did the same workout again with Holt.
“He’s very passionate, has a lot of energy, and doesn’t seem to get very tired ever,” Holt said.
Anderson has needed the energy in order to keep up with the players, who have all been together for summer workouts since the first day. Whereas the roster was still filling out by the end of last summer, this summer has allowed the team to have an entire one without that transition.
“This summer we’ve had everybody here the whole time,” Zeisloft said, “and it’s been great.”