ABOUT DANIEL BACK
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated with a degree in exercise science from the University of Wisconsin- Lacrosse. I made the basketball team in 2007 as a walk-on, but decided I would not be able to play the following year due to a tough financial situation that I put myself in. Nowadays I just train myself to be the best all-around athlete I can be.
I first stumbled upon vertical jump training in 7th grade. Having gained access to a weight set of my own, I eagerly began lifting after basketball season ended. The two leg lifts that I knew from my older brother were calf raises and squats. My goal was just to get strong, but I soon noticed an increase in my jumping ability, and it excited me. I began doing those two leg lifts 5 days a week. I was uneducated and ignorant at the time, but fortunately I was also on an adolescent growth spurt. My body was developing so fast that it didn't matter how ridiculous my workout plan was. I got this crazy idea that I could dunk by the next basketball season. I took a lot of criticism for this idea; my own brother told me repetitively that I was an idiot, and my father thought it was necessary to sit me down and tell me heart-to-heart that he believed I would dunk some day but not as soon as I thought. I just kept lifting and kept jumping higher. My victorious moment came in warm-ups before a championship game, yes, during my 8th grade basketball season. Overall, I had grown from 5'8" to 6'0" and increased my vertical from about 20 inches to about 32 in around seven months. In high school, I got into researching vertical jump training and learned about plyometrics. In the fall of my sophomore year, I used a workout of squats, calf raises, jump squats, stair jumps, and rim touches, to add another 8 inches to my vertical in about 2 months. I also grew from 6'1" to 6'3" during this period. For the rest of high school and into college, I never really committed to training, something I still regret today. I was only able to maintain my vertical. Basketball would always wear it down, and I'd have to build it back up.
The experience of increasing my vertical jump got me hooked on sports training and incited my passion for learning. The adaptive capabilities of my body astounded me. One week I could jump a certain height; the next week I could jump higher. One week I could lift a certain weight for 20 reps; the next week I could lift more weight. Seriously, how cool is that!?
I continued to research jump training and in the summer of 2008 finally reached a high level of understanding of the science behind sports training. I figured out why and how the training I had done when I was 13 and 15 actually worked and how I would have to train to be successful again. Having given up playing college basketball, I committed to jumping higher and also helping others train as well. Since then I have continued to learn from training myself, training others, taking sports training classes, and consulting some very knowledgeable people at my university. UW-L is one of the top 5 schools in the country for exercise science. I am privileged to have earned my degree there.
I intend to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist via the test given by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Being a CSCS provides a large measure of credibility, but all it really means is that you passed a multiple choice test. There are plenty of people who have passed that test and yet have no idea how to train an athlete properly. I believe training experience is far more valuable than any class or certification. But anyway, that's the direction I'm headed with my education.
As for what's most important to me, I believe the universe and everything in it exists to glorify the one true God who created it. "Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded, and they were created." Psalm 148:5. I am absolutely sure of this, because God reveals himself through creation, the Holy Bible, the life of Jesus Christ, and the daily work of the Holy Spirit on earth. "That they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it." Isaiah 41:20. Considering that God created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, I certainly want to follow His rules. "Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!" Psalm 33:8. However, I am cursed by a sinful nature. "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5. I often completely fail to follow God's commands, and thus deserve death according to God's rules. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. But God is loving and merciful, so he offers salvation through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16. Upon attempting to contemplate the magnitude of God's gift of salvation, I am overwhelmed by his grace and power and filled with joy. "O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!" Psalm 21:1. Thus, it is out of joyful thanksgiving that I try to serve the Lord with my life. "And you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30. My mental, physical, and personal gifts are given to me by God to use for his purpose. "Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began." 2 Timothy 1:9. God wants to bless me in my service to him. "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 28:2. But I struggle to serve God instead of sinning. "For I do not do the good I want; but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." Romans 7:19. Because of God's salvation, I am not sentenced to eternal suffering for my sin, but I do still experience consequences in this life. "The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray." Proverbs 5:22-23. So I am stuck in a continual struggle to sin no more and serve God and be blessed by God. "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 3:13-14.