MBSC Winter Seminar

This past Saturday (1/16) I spent the day at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning for their winter seminar. Like all seminars and conferences, it is a great time to both learn from other coaches, connect with coaches, and see some other coaches that you may not have seen in a little while.

The seminar featured four speakers; Kevin Carr, Marco Sanchez, Anna Hartmann and of course Michael Boyle. Here are a few quick thoughts and takeaways from each presentation.

Kevin Carr: Managing Mobility: Practical Principles for Movement Health

Kevin’s talk was one of the talks that I was most looking forward to, he always makes me think when he speaks. Furthermore, Kevin’s work (along with Brendon Rearick and Marco Sanchez) at Movement-as-Medicine is something that I closely follow and respect.

Kevin identified five principles as it applies to movement:

  1. Pattern Competence: What do you believe in? In the case of Kevin, Movement as Medicine and MBSC, its viewing movement through the lens of the FMS and SFMA and the ability to perform basic movement patterns (goblet squat, deadlift, split squat, single leg deadlift, push up, chin up, crawling).
  2. Respiration Training: Can they breathe? Adding 90/90 or supine breathing to the program, along with using breathing during mobility as well as improving parasympathetic tone.
  3. Make the Joints Work: Can they do what they need to do? For example, can someone disassociate between the scapula and cervical spine or femur and pelvis?
  4. Fitness: Are people actually fit? Do people have general strength, aerobic fitness and lower body power?
  5. Movement Variability: Adding variability to the program (brain candy as Kevin called it) through various loading techniques.

Probably my favorite talk of the day, Kevin’s presentations confirmed some of the thoughts I already had (breathing is extremely important, aerobic fitness is crucial) and made me ponder ways of making my existing program better (adding breathing to mobility/stretching, better testing protocols for aerobic conditioning). All in all, a great talk by Kevin.

Marco Sanchez: Developing a Successful Training Brand & Programming Assessments and Interventions in Adult Populations

Marco’s presentation was broken down into two parts. The first part, Developing a Successful Training Brand, Marco spoke a lot of time management and client relationships.

Two takeaways from the time management portion; plan your day, be “scripted not reactive”, and we all need to “own the morning”.

One major takeaway from the client relationship portion; don’t be a dickhead.

Additionally, here are a couple quotes I enjoyed from this first part of the presentation;

“Find the people who are having the most success, and do what they do.” Andrew Saul, PhD

“People will continue to pay you money if you make them feel better.” Michael Boyle

“No dickheads.” from the book Legacy

In the second portion of Marco’s presentation, Programming Assessments and Interventions in Adult Populations, Marco spoke about simple assessments when training adults in group populations. Marco recommended looking at a couple assessments that will give you a quick understanding of how an adult will move; the active straight leg raise, shoulder mobility, and the toe touch. Combined this might take all of 5 minutes and you’ll have a quick assessments of where and adult is the minute they walk in the door. Simple but brilliant.

A couple quotes from this portion of his presentation;

“Assessments are in place to avoid mistakes.”

Systems are in place for long term success.”

“Do your job.”

Anna Hartman: Creating a Resilient Athlete: Assessing and Restoring Biomechanical Tune

Anna Hartman is a name that has gained a lot of steam lately and as a result was someone that I was looking forward to hearing speak. For those that don’t know, Anna is a physical therapist who recently opened her own business in Arizona called Movement REV, but previous spent time working at EXOS (formerly Athletes Performance) as the Director of Physical Therapy. Not a bad gig!

Anna spoke on Dr. Phillip Beach’s research on “recovery positions” and their implications for the athletic populations. Dr. Beach calls these recovery positions “archetypal postures of repose” which allow the body to rest and recover. The 12 positions are:

  1. Supine
  2. Prone
  3. Side Lying
  4. Neanderthal
  5. Cross-legged
  6. Half Lotus
  7. Side Sitting
  8. Long Sit
  9. Japanese Sitting
  10. Toe Sitting
  11. Drinking
  12. Full Squat

By your ability to sit in any or all of these positions comfortably, you can assess your bodies “biomechanical tune”. It is some interesting stuff that is hard to wrap your head around. My advice would be to do a little research and try some of the positions on yourself. I have been doing some at night after a long day and I seem to be recovering better from day to day. Coincidence? Placebo effect? Maybe on both accounts, but it can’t hurt to give them a try.

Michael Boyle: 25 Mistakes in 25 Years

It is always a pleasure to hear Mike speak — I always learn something that I can literally put into action the next day. Mike also makes complicated things seem simple, which certainly helps me understand concepts that I don’t know if I would have understood otherwise.

Mike spoke about mistakes that he has made over the course of his career in hopes that others will learn from his mistakes. Here are a few of the mistakes that hit home with me.

  • Thinking I Knew It All: Sometimes as coaches we think we have all the answers, but usually we don’t. Be willing to steal good ideas from other coaches. Smart people change their minds, talk less but say more, stay teachable, and always ask questions.
  • Square Pegs, Round Holes: As much as we can try to design the perfect program, there is no perfect program that is going to work for everyone. We as coaches need to be willing to lateralize off of our original program to put each athlete into the best position possible to be successful. This means we may have to ditch some of our favorite exercises with certain athletes.
  • Confusing Disagree with Dislike: I personally think this is a huge problem in our industry. If we disagree with another coach, we seem to automatically dislike them. Just because someone has a different opinion on training it doesn’t mean they are a bad person…and who knows, they may actually be correct!
  • Neglecting My Own Health: This one hit home for me as many of my goals for the new year revolve around taking better care of myself. More sleep. Less coffee. Consistent strength training. Consistent conditioning. Consistent dietary habits. Get out of the weight room when you don’t have groups/teams. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

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