Coaches are always looking for ways to improve their training programs. Whether it is new equipment or better practices, if you are not an early adapter you might be leaving some performance gains on the table. However, what if there was a way to increase the effectiveness of your program without having to change a single aspect of it? You don’t need any new periodization scheme and you don’t need any new special exercise. You can simply make your program more effective by providing athletes with both verbal and visual feedback. What do I mean?
Verbal can come from the coach while visual can be done with a velocity measuring device/jump mat/anything that gives a quantitative value. There have been studies looking at the effects of long-term (6 weeks) and immediate feedback (verbal and visual) on performance.In all three studies, feedback was shown to be an effective way to increase the training effect (1,2,3).
Getting stronger in the weight room does not mean you are getting better on the field. However, it can increase your potential for on field success. If lifting weights made you better at a sport (aside from weightlifting) every strength coach would be a professional athlete. But, as we all sadly know, this isn’t the case.
Say we had two athletes, A and B. Both athletes are basketball players. Lets say athlete A only trained in the weight room and athlete B only trained by practicing basketball. Who do you think would be a better basketball player? Athlete B, without a doubt.
Why Weight Train?
If weight training doesn’t make you better at your sport, then why do it? Weight training is designed to increase your potential (physiologically), not your performance. This means if used properly, strength training can aid your sports training.
In all honesty, the two (sport training and weight room) should not be differentiated. The two should be used in conjunction with on another. However, if you had to only pick one, you should probably pick sports training.
The idea of “increasing potential” is predicated on systemic changes in the body (tissue, muscular, neural, bone etc…). For example, from a reductionist point of view, sport is comprised of synchronized muscular contractions to produce an outcome. Theoretically, if we can increase these most basic qualities that make up a sport, we can improve the sport as a whole. This answer to this question is yes and no. Yes, there is little doubt that we can improve the potential of the athlete. No, there is not a guarantee that improving the individual parts of the movement will increase the system as a whole.
The easiest way to think of this is in terms of cars. The car is representation of the physical potential. A Ferrari has the potential to go faster than a Prius. However, the driver (skill) is what uses the car. It doesn’t matter how fast a Ferrari can go, if the driver doesn’t know how to drive the car, the Prius will win every time
As coaches we need to understand what our role is. Getting too caught up in one aspect can hinder the athlete’s development. We need to not only build the potential of the athlete, but help the athlete learn how to use their potential. Training needs to be a complex approach designed around making the athlete better as a whole.
Technique is of obvious importance. There is no reason to dive into the big picture of why technique is important and how it can influence the safety of your athletes. However, some of the more minuet differences in technique can play a much larger role than what people may think. It is possible, that such subtle differences can actually hinder the desired stimulus of the exercise.
We will see over the next few weeks, that by following the joint by joint approach, there are ways that we can absolutely improve out joint health and orthopedic longevity, via intelligent considerations. Let’s get started.
This week we focused on the implications of ankle joint mobility/great toe mobility, as well as the implications of stability through the joints down stream. Let’s get a little more nerdy and understand further some of the anatomy as a foundation.
Accommodating resistance (Why it works)
Accommodating resistance involves the usage of an added piece of equipment (bands or chains) to increase the resistance of the load throughout the range of motion.