Monday Musings

Happy Monday and Happy New Years Eve! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!hello monday

  1. For strength coaches, the question shouldn’t be “how much we can do or fit in during the time we have?” The question should be “how little we can do and still get the results we are after?
  2. The sport of hockey is all about one thing – speed. The game is seemingly becoming faster and faster each year. The nature of the sport requires athletes to constantly stop, start and change direction, which doesn’t typically allow players to reach maximum speed very often. The game is really a series of short distance foot races between players. What separates player speed on the ice is explosive acceleration who can gain the most distance in a short period of time. Which is why we spend ample time and really doubled down developing acceleration off-ice with both straight ahead acceleration drills and change of direction drills.
  3. In the weight room, you don’t need variety until you have mastery. Once you master things, then you can progress.
  4. My goal is simple: Make a stronger, faster, more explosive and better conditioned athlete, and let the skill coaches teach them the specifics of the on-field task. – Loren Landow

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into. Like every other week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts.

Weekend Review

For podcasts, as you can see, I went on an Iron Game Chalk Talk binge this week. Couple reasons why I did that; one, they are always chalked full of useful info from people that are in the game, and two, they aren’t very long (usually 30 minutes or so). If I had to pick just one, I’d highly recommend listening to Jorge Carvajal – it was great!

For articles, go read Danny Foley’s article on the Landmine and why its variations should have a place in everyone’s strength and conditioning or performance program. I have also been implementing more Landmine work in our programs for a lot of the same reasons Danny brought forward.



Leave Your Mark with Fergus Connolly

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Jorge Carvajal

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Tim Kontos

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Aubrey Watts

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Bill Gillespie


The Study Every Trainer and Coach Should Read and Understand by Eric Cressey

Making Movement Better: Duct Tape or WD-40 by Eric Cressey

5 Reasons Why Landmine Variations Should be a Staple in Your Training by Danny Foley

Improving Speed in the Weight Room by Chris Korfist

The Lindy Effect by Grant Jenkins

Top 5 Books of 2018

Continuing to stick with the ‘Top 5’ theme, today I am going to share the Top 5 books that I read in 2018. As many know, I’ve become a huge reader as I’ve gotten older, something I would have never seen coming 10 years ago.

Top 5

Some of the books on the list may be new to you, some may not be. Some of the books may have come out in 2018, some may be a few years old. For some of the books it may have been the first time I read it, some of them may have been the second time. No matter the case, here are my Top 5 of 2018.

Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

In Daniel Coyle’s previous book ‘The Talent Code’ he breaks down what it has taken for some of the most talented people in each field did to get where they are and what similarities there were between all these people. In ‘Culture Code’ Coyle aims to figure out what makes the best teams the best teams, which is why I really enjoyed the book. All of us, no matter what field we work in, will most likely have to workout alongside other people and work as a team. culture code.png

Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

slight edge.pngThis was the second time I read this book and it is without a doubt one of my top 5 books of all time. The point of Olson’s book is pretty straight forward – its the little things, the simple things, that are both easy to do but just as easy not to do, that will determine the quality of life we live based on the compound effect of those decisions.

Want to lose a few pounds? Its those simple decisions you make every day, like whether or not you choose to work out and what you put in your mouth, neither of which will make a bit of a difference when you do it once, but over the course of time the little decisions will either slowly start helping you lose weight or not.

Without a doubt, I’ll read this book again for a third time at some point – it’s that good!

The One Thing by Gary Keller

“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”

Another book that has a relatively straight forward point. Gary asks, ‘What is the one thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’ Then double down and do a lot of that one thing. the one thing

Think BIG – but then focus on that one thing that will help you achieve what it is that you want to achieve.

School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes was new to me in 2018 – somehow I had never heard of the guy even though he had one of the top podcasts in the world and a best selling book.

“This book is the distillation of the eight master lessons on greatness that I (Lewis) have discovered on my journey, with help of my network of mentors and coaches, colleagues and teachers. By studying greatness this way, we will learn that it is a process of continuous education and self-realization.” – School of Greatness, page 6

Highly recommend picking this one up and giving it a read.

Intent by Devan McConnell & Justin Roethlingshoefer

The only strength and conditioning related book on the list was Intent, which was about athlete monitoring, something that I don’t have nearly enough knowledge in which this book helped with a lot. Intent.png

From the Amazon write up;

“Intent takes you inside the world of two strength and conditioning coaches and how they continue to develop a holistic approach to sport science to work with their players to help them achieve their optimum levels of strength, power, and speed. Intent explains the different aspects of sport science to give players an edge and to assist head coaches in planning their practice and game strategies. Strength and conditioning coaches help provide head coaches with a physically and emotionally better-prepared athlete. This book does not talk about a set program but shows different components that enable strength and conditioning coaches to establish individual programming while maintaining team mentality. The methodology shared in Intent can be used from high school to all levels of professional sports. It takes a mindfulness on everyone’s part to make the elements of Intent work. It takes intent. When players and coaches are on the same page, that team can reach for the highest rung.”

If you are looking to gain practical and applicable knowledge in athlete monitoring, read Intent.

Real World Strength and Conditioning

💥 Real World Sport Performance Training 🎥 UNH Women’s Basketball Day prior to a game lift 💥

🗣 The day prior to a game isn’t about developing strength or adding any new stress to the mix. It’s about doing things fast yet limiting eccentric stress in order to make sure no one is sore on game day.

✅ Sled Sprint
✅ Tall Kneel Overhead Throw
✅ Tall Kneel Anti-Rotation Press

✅ Trap Bar Jump Squat
✅ Stepping Side Toss
✅ DB Plank Row

Top 5 Things I’ve Learn in 10 Years as a Strength Coach

To stick with the ‘Top 5’ theme, today I am going to share the Top 5 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years as a Strength & Conditioning Coach, none of which have anything to do with weights or specific exercises.

And yes, I’m getting old.

1️⃣Relationships > Everything Else – no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Athletes don’t buy into coaching, they buy into coaches and the best results will come after you have built a relationship with an athlete. People first, athlete second.
2️⃣DO NO HARM – we as coaches, can’t sacrifice the health of an athlete for the sake of performance. Our goal as strength coaches should be to find the exercise(s) that yield the highest possible result with the lowest possible cost, and what we do as strength coaches matter very little if it doesn’t help in keeping athletes healthy. It’s been said before, but the best ability an athlete can have is availability. Teams don’t win with injured athletes and athletes don’t succeed watching from the stands.
3️⃣KISS Principle – most training programs are too complicated – keep training simple. Work to get great sprinting, jumping and throwing med balls in various planes to develop usable power. Think movements not muscles when it comes to strength work. Push things, pull things, squat (for us primarily on 1-leg), bridge, hinge, carry things and perform anti-extension/rotation/lateral-flexion core work. And above all else, if something hurts, don’t do it.
4️⃣Consistency – model consistency in everything you do. As a coach you need to be the same person every single day so athletes know what to expect from you. Being consistent is one of the most important qualities a coach can possess.
5️⃣Constant Learning – you don’t know what you don’t know, but the one thing I do know is that I don’t know everything and never will. There are so many tremendous coaches pushing the field forward and progressing the field to learn from. Don’t be too busy to get better.

Top 5 Most Viewed Articles of 2018

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday! Top 5

With 2018 starting to come to an end, I thought I would put together a string of posts with some of my most popular content over the last year.

Today, we are going to start with the Top 5 articles of the Year. It’s really interesting for me to see what people are clicking on and reading and what they aren’t.

Hopefully some of these articles add some value and make you think a little bit. Enjoy.

  1. 40 Quotes From a Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
  2. 50 Random Thoughts on Strength and Conditioning
  3. Thoughts on In-Season Hockey Training
  4. Developing Field of Hockey Strength and Conditioning
  5. Random Thoughts: December Edition

Med Ball Shotput Progression

💥Med Ball Shot Put Progression💥

🗣 Just like the Chest Pass and Side Toss, most all of the athletes I work with will also get used to the Shot Put for various reasons ⬇️

✅ For a throwing athlete or volleyball player, it helps to condition the scapular and humeral stabilizers to the eccentric demands of throwing a ⚾️ or hitting a 🏐. Injuries typically happen in deceleration ➡️ teaching the shoulder to decelerate properly seems like a good idea
✅ Helps to improve rotational power .
✅ Helps an athlete link power from the lower body through the upper body, teaching them to utilize their hips to develop power from the ground, something almost all athletes could benefit from.

Our progression looks something like this 👇
1️⃣ 1/2 Kneeling
2️⃣ Standing
3️⃣ Stepping
4️⃣ Cross Behind or Shuffle (not sure it matters which comes first)

🗣 We typically perform 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps per side depending on the time of the year, sport, and training effect we are after.

Monday Musings

Happy Monday and Happy Christmas Eve! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!hello monday

  1. One thing that coaches continually do is confuse quantity with quality. Less is typically more. More is just more. Better is better. You’ll be hard pressed to find a time, in-season or off-season, where we perform more then 3 sets for an exercise – and we continue to get stronger and more powerful.
  2. Jorge Carvajal on Ron McKeefery’s Iron Game Chalk Talk Podcast was asked what his best coaching advice was. His answer was a quote by Boyd Epley during Jorge’s time at Nebraska…”The great one’s adapt.” Simple & brilliant.
  3. Another piece of advice that Jorge offered revolved around be happy as a strength/performance coach, which was to build your coaching practice around the life that you want to live, not the other way around. Great advice!

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into. Like every other week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts.

For podcasts, I loved the Physical Preparation Podcast with Fergus Connolly. Fergus is a wealth of information that has held positions at a ton of different well know places – I’ll listen to most any podcast that Fergus jumps on. Cal Dietz and Chris Korfist on the Just Fly Performance Podcast was another great listen and a close second.

For articles, SimpliFaster contributor Arianna Hoffman wrote a great article on knowing when to push and when to back off when training athletes. Understanding the people you are working with and when to push and when not to push is something that I find extremely interesting.



Tim Ferriss Show with LeBron James

Physical Prep Podcast with Fergus Connolly

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Joseph Coyne

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Taylor Johnson

Just Fly Performance Q&A with Joel Smith

Just Fly Performance with Cal Dietz and Chris Korfist


Random Thoughts: December Edition by Me

Flying Dogs and Predicting Injuries with the FMS by FMS

The State of Dogma vs. Maximum Velocity by Rob Aussie

Kids Need More Physical Ed by USA Today

Don’t Sleep on Sleep with Chris Doyle

Knowing When to Push and When to Ease Off for Optimal Performance by Arianna Hoffman

Why We Still Hang Clean

💥Why We Still Clean💥

🗣 Anyone that follows me knows that we’ve started to incorporate a lot more trap bar jump squats as part of our loaded or heavier implement power work. But that doesn’t mean we’ve totally ditched traditional power work like the Hang Clean. Far from it actually ➡️ most teams are still performing the lift on a weekly basis for various reasons ⬇️

🔶 Triple Extension. The explosive triple extension of the Hang Clean is and underlying motion of jumping and sprinting. The rapid force development is crucial in almost all sports.

🔶 Eccentric Strength Development. The triple extension and explosive nature of the movement is huge, but teaching the body to absorb force is also extremely important.

🔶 Improved coordination & athleticism.

🔶 They are fun. Not many athletes enjoy a heavy deadlift or RFESS, but many athletes really enjoy the fast, athletic Hang Clean.