The strength coach, Art Horne, starts his barefoot training sessions with some SMR stretching (self myofascial release), then moves onto some balance drills and dynamic stretching, and then onto core exercises which simulate actions seen on the basketball court. "By placing the athletes in positions that imitate live basketball action but without the usual support of their shoes, we enhance the sport-specific foot and ankle sensory system. And by improving the foot's tactile feedback and gripping strength, we provide benefits not only for the foot and ankle complex but all the way up the kinetic chain to the knee, hip, and lumbar spine."
Horne also says that the barefoot training has helped his players avoid common basketball injuries. "In fact, during the 2008-09 men's season, no one missed a game due to an ankle sprain or any form of lower extremity pain. I'm confident that our barefoot protocols contributed to this success."
Any skill requiring balance or agility can be improved by barefoot training and waking up the dormant foot muscles. Once the lower extremities are improved, positive results can be seen all the way up the kinetic chain, keeping athletes and average Joes alike healthier, fitter, and more able to conquer life's physical challenges.