20 Random Strength & Conditioning Thoughts

Here is a very random post that has 20 different thoughts that have been going through my head.

1. Most people lack thoracic spine mobility. Correct it in some way every time you see your athletes and/or clients, chances are they need it.

2. Figure out more ways to continue to educate yourself. One of my favorite ways is to listen to podcasts in the car to and from work.

3. Strength is the gatekeeper for all performance and injury prevention.

3. Don’t judge other strength coaches programs, judge their outcomes. Are their athletes healthy? Do their teams win? Are they a positive influence on their athletes? Those are the things that matter.

4. I am extremely late to the party on this one, but Joel Jamieson’s book Ultimate MMA Conditioning is a game changer. It should be mandatory reading for all strength coaches. Why it took me till earlier this year to read it is beyond me. Also, Joel picked a terrible title for the book in my opinion, as its applicable to any and all sports.

5. It doesn’t matter how perfect your program is or how hard you push your athletes, the ability to recover from training is the key to it all. Sleep is the number one recovery tool. It also gets overlooked for some flashier things.

6. The autonomic nervous system rules everything.

7. The base of any athletic success is movement. Athletes need to move efficiently, some athletes are strong enough to muscle through movements, but in doing so it requires a lot more energy. These are also the athletes that end up getting injured.

8. Landmine Presses are incredibly underrated and should be a staple for overhead athletes.

9. There is what you know and what you can implement. Two totally different things.

10. Most sports have a HUGE aerobic component to them. An aerobic foundation will lead to a healthier, more resilient athlete. Its a no-brainer, but a fit athlete is able to perform greater amounts of high-quality skill work compared to a less fit athlete. Athletes need strength and power late in competition, and that doesn’t come from the anaerobic system.

11. Look at quad dominant movements in three different categories; bi-lateral (back squat, front squat, ggoblet squat, ect.), supported uni-lateral (front split squat, RFE split squat, ect.) and unsupported uni-lateral (1-leg squat, skater squat, ect.). All require different demands on the body, all have their place, and all are important.

12. Do more Turkish Get Ups.

13. The same goes for crawling. Do more of it. Lateral crawls, bear crawls, ect. On top of that, read Original Strength by Tim Anderson. Its an inexpensive book and a quick read that will explain the importance of rolling and crawling.

14. The Pacey Performance Podcast is right up there with the Strength Coach Podcast as one of my favorite podcast for strength coaches. Rob Pacey gets so many smart coaches, most from overseas, on the podcast that have so much to offer. In a lot of ways, the profession of strength and conditioning overseas is way ahead of us in the U.S. We can learn a ton from these coaches.

15. The Pareto’s Principle is alive in well when it comes to programming. 80% of your results come from 20% of your exercises. It’s your job to figure out what those 20% are.

16. Coaching is all about relationships. People are just more willing to follow someone with whom they have a positive relationship with. Remember, we don’t coach strength and conditioning, we coach people.

17. Training outside the sagittal plane can have a huge impact in athletic performance, yet it gets neglected in programs a lot.

18. The weight room has to be a safe environment. Low risk, high reward is always a win-win.

19. Tissue quality is important, very important. Spending 5-10 minutes a day improving it is time well invested.

20. Athletes need more eccentric/decelerative strength. Landing mechanics is huge for injury prevention. The guys at Movement As Medicine had a great post a while back on this topic called Building the Breaking System. Check it out.

As I said, these are some random thoughts that have been going through my head the last couple weeks. Hopefully it makes you think and you can take something away from a couple of the thoughts.

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