Weekend Week in Review

It’s Sunday which means I review some of the podcasts I listened to and articles that I read throughout the last week.

When it comes to the podcasts, Devan McConnell on the True Strength Podcast was great. The things that Devan is doing at UMass-Lowell with their Men’s Hockey teams is incredible to listen to. Top notch stuff.

For articles, without a doubt the article on female coaches by Pau Gasol is a must read. Trust me. Just read it.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

CVASP #133 with Scott Salwasser

CVASP #132 with Sean Fantuzzi

Strength Coach Podcast #231.5

True Strength with Devan McConnell

Articles

Top 5 Glute Exercise for Sprinters by Chris Korfist

An Open Letter About Female Coaches by Pau Gasol

6 Reasons Anterior Core Stability Exercises are Esential by Eric Cressey

High Performance Strength and Speed with Dr. Michael Yessis

 

Early Off-Season Nordic Hamstring Curl with Ice Hockey

Early in the off-season our major focus is fixing the athlete as they come out of a long in-season period. We look to facilitate the inbibited/weak muscles or patterns due to a long season and fix sport related issues so that we don’t hurt them in training.

As a result, we started programming Nordic Hamstring Curls early in the off-season this year after re-reading some of Anthony Donskov’s work. As Anthony states in his book, during the hockey stride the proximal areas of the hamstring take on more of a dominant role during hip extension, yet while during sprinting the more distal areas of the hamstring are relied upon during deceleration. Combine this with extremely tight hip flexors as a result of the hockey stride and you may have a recipe for injury post-season if you jump straight into sprinting, giving us another reason as to why we ease our way into sprinting in the off-season and primarily use tempo runs in the early off-season.

Post-Season Eccentric Block

A handful of times a year, 2-3 ideally, we program a block that primarily focuses on eccentric strength training, like we did here in our last block before finals started, for a couple reasons;

  1. Injury Prevention
  2. Increased Power
  3. Increased Strength
  4. Increased Sport Performance

Over the course of the calendar year we perform primarily concentric work (~70% of the year), lesser amounts of eccentric work (~20% of the year, and small amounts of isometric work (~10% of the year) to make sure we are touching all aspects of muscle contraction throughout the year.

Weekend Week in Review

It’s Sunday which means I review some of the podcasts I listened to and articles that I read throughout the last week.

When it comes to the podcasts, I really enjoyed Joe Maher’s talk on building an annual plan in ice hockey. Though it was a somewhat old podcast, all the info in it is still relevant – and the info could be applied to any sport.

For articles, the article on building a network by Brett Bartholomew was a very good read. The profession of strength and conditioning is driven by relationships and networking, yet we (I) generally do a pretty bad job at it.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

Strength Coach Podcast #231

Leo Training with Sue Falsone

OPEX with Michael Boyle

Building an Annual Plan for Hockey with Joe Maher

All Things Strength and Wellness with Derek Hansen

Articles 

The Disconnect Between Strength and Speed by Mike Young

Autoregulation by Zach Dechant

Networking by Brett Bartholomew

4 Career Tips for the Aspiring Strength Coach by Mike Robertson

Random Thoughts: May Edition

Another month, another post on some random thoughts that have been going through my head. Some of these thoughts come from books that I am reading, podcasts I have been listening to or working day to day in the weight room and coaching athletes.

Enjoy!

  1. Vertical Integration Program: we always have a thread of everything in our program at all times. We may be focuses on particular quality more then others, but everything is always in the program.
  2. If you asked me a year ago I would have told you that I do very little specific shoulder prehab work with hockey – but that’s changed. If you work with hockey you realize shoulder issues are common and as a result we do a decent amount of shoulder prehab and T-Spine work. We also have gotten away with doing a ton of pressing with a barbell – though we still do it, we’ve added more shoulder friendly pressing options like dumbbells, landmine presses, and push ups.
  3. Piggybacking off the previous thought, we have also increased the amount of pulling that we do. In the early off-season we are close to 3:1 pull:push and as the off-season progresses we’ll probably end up around a 2:1 ration.
  4. A lot of coaches talk about it but I don’t know how many really do it and do it consistently, but I think there is a ton of benefit to getting outside of the sagittal plane in training for athletes. Sports aren’t played on two legs in the sagittal plane – so I don’t know why so much training would be.
  5. I truly believer arrogance is the number one reason coaches don’t succeed in this field.
  6. Getting strong is a game-changer for many athletes. But adding more to someone’s bench press or squat isn’t always the answer.
  7. “Power is plane specific.” Eric Cressey talks about this a lot and it makes a ton of sense. If you want to build power in a specific plane (think shooting a puck or throwing a baseball) and have it carryover to sport, then you need to train power in that plane. Cleans and snatches are great and have their place, but aren’t the end all be all for power development.
  8. Athletes don’t lift for any other reason then to stay healthy and have their training carryover to sport.
  9. Impulse time on the ice with hockey players is longer then it is with sprinters or any athlete that is sprinting. As a result we have added jump squats to the off-season program with hockey as the impulse time is similar to that on the ice. Game-changer? Probably not. But every little bit helps.
  10. Working with overhead athletes (volleyball) one thing is apparent; shoulder and elbow issues are a real concern because of the repetitive motion of hitting a volleyball. Knowing that, and I think there is a place for traditional external rotation training, I don’t understand why we don’t do more shoulder prehab type work overhead where the athlete tends to have issues – it’s where they play there sport isn’t it?

Weekend Week in Review

It’s Sunday which means I review some of the podcasts I listened to and articles that I read throughout the last week.

When it comes to the podcasts, I really enjoyed Devan McConnell on the All Things Strength and Wellness podcast. It is a little old, but there is a ton of information in regards to sport science when it comes to hockey, but a lot of it could and would apply to any sport. Lots of good stuff in that podcast.

For articles, the article on SimpliFaster with Eric Renaghan on sport science in professional ice hockey was very thought provoking. The one thing that really made me think was the conditioning tests that he is currently performing with the St. Louis Blues, some really interesting stuff.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

All Things Strength and Wellness with Devan McConnell

Strength Coach Podcast #230

OPEX with Michael Boyle

Articles

Applied Sport Science in Professional Hockey by Eric Renaghan

Strength Coaches Build Athletes Not Bodybuilders by Dan John

How to Assist Training and Recovery with HRV by Carl Valle

 

Better Acceleration through Sled Marches

One of the best ways to improve acceleration? Push a heavy sled.

One of the biggest misconception is that sports are about top end speed. In reality, sports are all about acceleration, and no matter what sport you play improving acceleration will improve performance.

  • sleds develop specific strength of the muscles used in sprinting/acceleration
  • sleds teach an athlete to produce force in a more horizontal plane as they would in sprinting/acceleration