Random Thoughts – February Edition

Another month, another group of random thoughts that are going through my head. Some from working day to day in the weight room, some through listening to others thoughts in podcasts, and some due to what I have been reading. Enjoy!

  1. There is a science to what we do as coaches, but more importantly there is an art to the science of coaching. Sport performance coaches need to look at themselves as human performance coaches as there is a huge social aspect to what we do.
  2. The sport of hockey requires a lot of physical qualities to perform at an elite level, but beyond the obvious that a healthy athlete is most important, I think high conditioning levels are the most important. Players get caught on the ice for longer then wanted all the time and as a result need to have high levels of conditioning to play well. Don’t get me wrong, be strong is important but not having a robust aerobic/anaerobic system is critical wont allow you to use that strength.
  3. Just some food for thought; recently I’ve added some isometric holds for PAP purposes in-season with women’s hockey on their second lift of the week (Wednesday, speed/strength emphasis going into the weekend) paired with RFE Split Squat off the advice of Anthony Donskov and after reading Matthew Van Dyke & Max Schmarzo’s book on the topic. Though it is only subjective feedback, we have had zero soreness and reports of “great legs” on the weekends.
  4. Contrary to popular belief, you can get stronger using sub-maximal loads. We live below 90% 1RM essentially all year except for the times that we test, which we also do rarely. For what its worth, our strength numbers continue to go up.
  5. The most important thing you can do for an athlete is keep them healthy.
  6. Your ‘what’ and your ‘hows’ can and probably will always be changing and evolving, but your ‘why’ should stay consistent.
  7. Med ball work is so simple and so beneficial for a variety of reasons but doesn’t always get performed all that well for two reasons. One, I think athletes need to understand they need to throw the med ball as hard as possible each rep. Two, coaches overcoach it. Assuming form is good, shut up and let the athlete be an athlete – don’t make med ball work look robotic.
  8. I think overhead pressing is important but I also don’t think you should ever overhead pressing with a barbell. If you are trying to get a strict vertical press, go with dumbbells or kettlebells, as they give the should a much safer range of motion to work their way through. If you aren’t married to being completely vertical in the pressing, try landmine press – extremely shoulder friendly.
  9. Trap Bar Jump Squats have slowly become one of my favorite exercises to build and train power. They are extremely simple to learn how to perform and extremely hard for someone to mess up which is always a win:win in my book. It’s also very rare to find someone that can’t perform the exercise because of injury concerns.
  10. It costs $0.00 to treat people well.

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