James Training this Offseason at Saddlebrook
January 2010 - Tampa, Florida- Q&A session with Rory Cordial, James's Physical Trainer.
When did you start working with James? What/who were you working with prior to that?
RC: I started to work with James during the Australian Open last year (2009) and continued to work with him the entire year with the exception of Feb and March where I worked with Nick Barnett (Middle Linebacker for GB Packers).
At the Australian Open I worked with James, Amer Delic, and the Bryan Brothers. I continued to work with the Bryans half the year until the French OpenI started to work only with James after Wimbledon through the rest of the year.
Nick (www.barnett56.com) is a good friend of mine from college. We both went to Oregon State University together and played football. Nick tore his ACL during November of 2008 and asked me to help him with his rehab. I started to work with Nick February 1st of 2009 right off the plane from Australia after the Bryan Brothers won the tournament. I worked with Nick for the next two months helping him rehab his ACL until he returned to Green Bay in April.
What approach did you take with James as to how to improve his fitness/health?
RC: When I started to work with James I wanted to meld into his normal routine and slowly make changes as the year went on. I spent many hours working with Mark Merklein (James trainer) and Brian Barker (James coach) in regard to James’s fitness/health. Every athlete that I start to work with I evaluate both from the physical therapy side as well as performance side. As a physical therapist I do a full evaluation including a medical history, neuromuskuloskeletal exam, and a movement analysis. As a performance coach I evaluate the athletes strength, speed, power, stability, mobility, and cardiovascular system through a variety of tests. These evaluations help you to get a baseline to start your training and make measurements as the year goes on.
James was relatively healthy with the exception of some over-use type injuries that would come and go throughout the year. My job is to eliminate those injuries and help James to fire on all cylinders throughout the year.
Did the approach you took with James differ in any way from how you normally work with people at the outset?
RC: Every athlete is unique so things are always a little different but the theory and methodology is the same with every athlete.
Has your routine with James changed at all since you started with him?
RC: Yes. The routine with James is always evolving. Throughout last year I started to make small changes in his normal training and recovery strategies and today we are at quite a different place than a year ago.
James had a few injuries last year. To what degree did you oversee his rehab? Did you work with his physician?
RC: I was in full charge of James’s rehab during all the injuries he had last year and was in direct communication with not only physicians but other experts in the field to ensure James received the best possible care.
How did you two spend the off-season working out?
RC: Our off-season program was very well organized and separated into several areas (tennis, lift, ESD, movement, treatment, regeneration, nutrition). The number one goal for the off-season this year was to get healthy after an injury-plagued season. Kelly Jones (James’s coach) and I carefully designed his training with this in mind. In order to do this we had to cross train a bit more than usual and had to be very conscious of the overall volume of training on the court and in the gym.
A little insight into James training…
James did a combine (much like the NFL combine) to establish some pre-training criteria and aid in goals for the off-season. For example, James performed a V02 max test in order to get his max HR and anaerobic threshold to establish HR zones for specific energy systems. The cardiovascular system is built up of both an aerobic and anaerobic system. Both systems are utilized in tennis and we are able to make zones with HR’s to train these specific systems.
What is your background- work and education?
RC: Straight from the resume:
Rory Cordial PT, DPT, CSCS
Rory graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Sports Science. He then attended Physical Therapy School at the University of Montana and obtained his Clinical Doctorate (D.P.T) in May of 2007.
Throughout his undergraduate studies, Rory competed in Division I football as a quarterback. His passion for athletics and strong academic foundation fueled his career in physical therapy. In December of 2003, Rory became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), enhancing his knowledge of injury prevention through physical training.
Starting in May 2007, Rory founded Performance Therapy and began working as a personal physical therapist and performance coach for Mardy Fish. Through a complex integration of physical therapy and sports enhancement training, Rory successfully rehabilitated Mardy from several injuries and guided him through competition at Wimbledon and an extensive hard court season, including the US Open. In 2008, Rory worked full-time with Mardy throughout the entire tennis season. Mardy had an exceptional year on and off the court in ’08 jumping from #98 in the world to a year end ranking of #23. In 2009, Rory began working with James Blake and the Bryan Brothers. As the year went on he also worked with several of the top American players including Sam Querrey and John Isner.
Rory switched gears back and forth from tennis to football in 2009, helping Nick Barnett of the Green Bay Packers successfully rehab after ACL surgery. Nick went on to have an excellent season for the Packers leading the defense with tackles for the 5th time in 7 years.
Prior to starting Performance Therapy, Rory spent nine months at Athletes Performance, a world-class training center located in Tempe, Arizona. During this time he worked with a variety of elite athletes including multiple 1st Round NFL Draft picks, NFL Pro Bowl players, MLB, NHL, LPGA, and PGA athletes.
Any details about your personal/family life you care to share? Where you're from, family, hobbies/interests, anything unusual, etc.
I really enjoy music. I play guitar and write my own songs. I have recorded a handful of original songs over the past year in Nick Barnett’s studio. Nick has a recording studio in his house and his own production company. I wrote “spending my days” which is on the Bryan Brothers album Let it Rip, and had an original song of mine that I recorded with the Bryans last year during the Australian Open, played on the tennis channel during the championship match in Melbourne.
I am right in the middle between two younger brothers and older sister and older brother (Casey, Clint, Brittnea, Shea). My mom is a high school teacher in Missoula and my dad is a physical therapist with his own practice.