3 Biggest Lessons in Strength & Conditioning of 2018

Sticking with the ‘top 3 or 5’ theme, I thought I would put together a quick piece on the top 3 lessons in strength and conditioning I learned in 2018. Anyone that follows this blog or any of my social media accounts will know that I’ve put a lot of these thoughts out there already, but here we go anyway…

lessons learned

Sprint More and Time Those Sprints
“Sprinting is the most explosive exercise in the world. Nothing in the weight room moves at 10 meters per second. I’m not telling people not to lift, but sprinting, in and of itself, builds functional strength that directly transfers to athleticism.” – Tony Holler

Thank you Tony Holler and Michael Boyle for pounding this point home this year. We now sprint at least two times a week. It’s typically a combination of Timed 10’s, Sled Sprints, ½ Kneeling Lateral Starts, and ½ Kneeling Linear Starts.

Timing has also been a game changer. When the timer comes out, people sprint faster – the intent is night and day compared to when the timer isn’t out. We time our 10’s and I may start timing ½ Kneeling Linear and Lateral starts…cause why not???

Train More Horizontal Strength and Power 
Sometimes you have to trust your gut. For the last couple years I’ve thought we as coaches left a lot on the table by not training strength or power in a horizontal manner – everything we do is vertical even thought a large portion of sprinting is horizontal. It didn’t make sense to me.

This year a lot of smart people were talking about training strength and power in the horizontal plane. They talked about more sled marches for strength. They talked about broad jumps (we do a lot of band resisted broad jumps to lessen the landing forces on the knee). They talked about doing more linear based bounding.

I think we as a profession have somewhat missed the boat by not training more horizontal strength and power – and that’s why we now train plenty of horizontal strength and power.

Multiple Streams of Income
This may be the most important and I have finally started to take it to heart. Ron McKeefery has been talking about it for a while; you don’t see many (if any) college strength coaches retire as college strength coaches. At some point everyone seems to get pushed out the door for a younger strength coach. Because of this, its crucial as college strength coaches that we have multiple streams of income, whether it is online personal training, consulting, books, working in a private facility, or any of the other ways you can make money on the side. And the time to start setting these things up and developing other sources of income isn’t when you are 50 years old being pushed out, its today.

Also, fund your future. Have a retirement account. Have other investments that make you money. Pay off any of the debts that you owe. Work now to make sure your future is bright.

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