An interview with David Hamilton
Performance equals potential minus interference
"Performance equals potential minus interference" is the motto of David Hamilton, Assistant Athletic Director for Applied Health and Performance Science at Penn State University and previous Director of Performance Science with USA Field Hockey. The biggest and most obvious interference is injury which can be affected by a multitude of factors, namely fatigue and recovery, for which he has strong protocols for addressing.
Q: When do you use Firefly?
A: I like to identify key points in a season when extra recovery intervention is warranted — between consecutive competitions over a series of a few days and when the athlete believes he deserves it for especially hard work. It can't be all the time though, because it's this contrast with the regular routine that provides the best results. Ice baths help me to reduce inflammation back to baseline, but they inhibit the benefits of muscular adaptation. Firefly gives me both recovery and adaptation.
Firefly is how I can get an edge on an opponent that is also in the middle of a grueling schedule and is trying to make strength and power gains. For traveling, tournament style sports such as tennis and field hockey, I use Firefly for first and last hours of flights for its DVT benefits. I have my own unofficial anecdotal evidence of comparing two 2-week tournaments with and without recovery interventions, showing huge performance differences by the last games.
Q: For what type of workload do you use Firefly?
A: I use it especially for high impact sports, when the legs are working to generate ground reaction forces for speed, power, and agility. As a general rule, if an athlete's legs feel good, their body feels good.
Q: What does Firefly do for your athletes?
A: In addition to flushing metabolic waste, Firefly has a psychophysical component so the athlete feels more ready to go, and it helps bring an athlete's neuromuscular control back to baseline — reducing interference with Central Nervous System feedback, speed of contraction and ability to generate power, motor control and coordination, and most importantly — the body's natural protective mechanisms against injury.