Once a month I try to put something out with some random thoughts that have been going through my head, which are usually a result of some podcasts I have been listening to or a book that I have been reading. Here is the latest edition with 8 thoughts to sink your teeth into.
1. Coaching, whether you are a strength coach or a sport team coach, comes down to three things: communication, trust and respect. If you as a coach do a great job of communicating with the athletes that you work with, in a respectful manner, you will earn their trust. When you earn their trust they will run through a wall for you – and that’s a good thing!
2. A broken athlete can’t win a team games. Our number one goal should be to do everything we can to keep each and every single athlete healthy, yet I see so much training online that doesn’t exactly fit that template. Everyone moves differently, has different limitations and as a result should have slightly different variations of the same program. Be willing to adapt the strength program to the needs of the athlete and/or sport you are working with.
3. Working off the previous thought, the best way to get rid of pain during a certain exercise is to eliminate the exercise. Don’t over-complicate things. If it hurts, just stop doing it. Its really that simple.
4. It’s not hard to be cutting edge, you just have to be willing to drop your ego and learn from other people and then implement some of their thoughts to improve your existing program. I don’t care who you are there are a ton of coaches out there that can teach something. The minute you think you can’t learn from another coach or have just decided that you no longer feel the need to learn more, you’ll slowly start to lose in this industry. Whether you like it or not, there is no such thing as standing still in this field, you are either getting better or others are passing you by.
5. Piggybacking off the previous thought, it is extremely apparent that many people, strength coaches included, are afraid of change even though they say they aren’t. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo – it’s the only way the profession or the world in general has ever moved forward. You are probably going to ruffle some feathers of people that are either unwilling to change or are afraid of change, but in the long run if you feel strongly that something is the right thing to do you need to do it. Doing the right thing is always the right thing.
6. “When you force an athlete to perform an exercise their joints are capable of doing, don’t be surprised when they get hurt.” – Dr. Andreo Spina. I feel like everyone knows and understands this. On the other hand, I feel like not everyone follows this.
7. Recently Eric Cressey recorded a podcast and had some thoughts about contraindicated exercises for athletes. He thoughts were something along these lines…”Just because an exercise doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t mean it isn’t causing harm for that particular athlete.” No matter what someone tells you, throwing a baseball, hitting a volleyball or performing the skating stide a ton of times over the course of many years is not good for your body. As a result, not all exercises, even if they are pain free, are good for those joints/the body depending on the sport or athlete that you are working with. Be proactive with your program and anticipate what potential problems athletes could have, then program accordingly.
8. “The body doesn’t differentiate between stressors.” Buddy Morris. This same thought process is also something that Charlie Weingroff has written about recently in an article that he had written for his personal website. For a long while I have thought this same thing but didn’t have any ammunition to back up my feelings. I don’t think the body knows the difference between a bench press or an incline bench press, a back squat or a front squat, a pull up or a chin up. What the body does know is the stress that you have placed on it. Chase the adaptation you are after. If you can get the same adaptation with less weight or less overall stress on the body, why wouldn’t you?