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Sports

Creating The Perfect Athlete

This follows on from my previous coaching post:

Problem #4:  Coaches changing their practice/ training schedule without notifying you.

Solution:  Most of the time, there is nothing you can do about this.  But if you have a set schedule, you are more apt to stick to your plan.  So if a team comes in unannounced, you may have to turn them away because you are already working with other athletes.  This will hopefully send the coach a signal that you are busy all the time and they must communicate and work with you.  On several occasions, I have shown up on a Saturday or Sunday (my days to spend with my family), only to find out that the coaches changed their mind and decided not to lift today.  I let the coaches know that in the future, they need to get a hold of me if anything changes.  And if it happens again, then that team can no longer ask me to come in on the weekends.  They lose that privilege.  It may sound harsh, and you may be thinking, “It’s not fair to cancel all weekend training sessions because of one incident.”  But if you have a family and take time out of your personal schedule to make a point to be available, then I believe it is important.  Stick to your guns and don’t let the coaches walk all over you.

Problem #5:  The Coach is afraid that lifting heavy will ruin the skill technique.

Solution:  Exercise selection will be crucial here.  Don’t trick the coach into thinking that you are doing things his way.  But let him know you are willing to work with him on this issue.  Do one heavy exercise that is important for your program (squats, deadlifts, etc.) and pick other exercises that don’t require “heavy weights”, but are still difficult (natural glute ham raises, pistol squats, etc.).  Inform the coach that a base level of strength is important for the body to run, jump, decelerate, accelerate, react and move.  Without that base level, the athletes will lack the ability to do these simple tasks.  Reassure them that we are not here to make them into weight lifters, but to improve their strength to a level that is necessary for their sport.

Problem #6:  Coach John is all about numbers and how much the athletes are lifting or the times they are running.

Solution:  Turn the focus away from just the lift number itself.  Give him a list of decreased injuries, percent increase on lifts, lifts relative to body weight (BW goes down, the lift goes up.)  This will make him more aware of the athlete’s strength level in relation to their sport or position.  This is very popular in football, as most coaches want each position to be at a certain strength level.  But if you have a kid that can barely squat 300 as an incoming freshman and squats 550 by the time he’s a junior, I’d say that’s a massive improvement!  You’ve almost doubled his squat!  Focus on the positives. 

Problem #7:  The Coach wants you to follow the workouts of another team (usually a National Championship Team).

Solution:  Let the coach know that you are always looking for new ideas and you will be more than happy to look the program over.  Explain to him that you will study it carefully to see if anything will make a good fit for your program.  Remember, give him a little of what he wants in order to get what you want in the long run.  It is also important to explain to him that the program his athletes are doing is suited JUST FOR HIS ATHLETES.  Nine times out of ten, the coach will agree with you that his athletes are not of the same caliber as Tennessee, USC, or North Carolina.  Therefore, the program you use is best suited for his athletes here and now.  And always thank the coach if he does give a good idea.  It lets him know that you are willing to work together. 

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