April 23, 2011

Evolution of an Athlete

Eventually all athletes evolve to the same place. The growth process is not always direct.

Stage 1. Youth Athlete- Limit competition, practice free play more than controlled organized play. Learn to move, move to learn.

Stage 2. JR Athlete- Narrow the sport focus. Special Movement

Stage. 3 Amateur Athlete- Has the best chance to excel to the next stage. Specific Movement

Stage. 4 Professional Athlete- Winning is not everything it's the only thing. High levels of Competitive Movements.

Stage. 5 Active Athlete- This relates to former high levels competitive athletes adjusting to sports without high- levels of competition.

Rules to coach by

there are two types of coaches 1) Those who are teaching and want you to know what they know; 2) Those who stand up and want you to be impressed by what they know*  caution, beware of both. We should listen to the experts but always trust our own instincts as a coach an athlete and parent. The litmus test is to understand which coaches truly believe in what they are saying and which ones are trying to sell a program, or system . We need to be critical coaches  regarding everything Human Performance and we should focus on the differences not the one size fits all model.

It is a fact that every athlete is the sum total of what has and has not  happened to him or her in their life, we are the sum total of what we have done and have not done in our life, with that in mind when a team of 21 hockey players or a team of 40 rowers come together to achieve a common goal, coaches need to focus on how each athlete will express and respond to the world and their current environment in different ways (climate, food, rest, stress, nature, medications, training or lack of training etc)

Physical Viability “we become the athlete we train to be” This is the ability to survive and thrive or crash and burn the ability to be adaptable or become adapted in routine.  Teach athletes to become adaptable rather than adapted could be the difference between being injured or surviving to play another day.

Athlete Appropriate before “Sports-Specific”. This rule focuses on age, training and derivatives. As parents and coaches we should focus on taking care of the person in front of us rather than trying to match the athlete to the sport. We need to watch out for the marketing science and buzz words “Train like the Pros” or gravitate towards programs that list off professional athletes as members.  Fact, “don’t worry about training like the pros until you are one”, basically what kids are doing is making sense of the world in which we give them. It is important that kids are exposed to many different activities, music, dance sports, art…. Training Derivatives focus on Competition (absolute specificity, playing the sport) Specific Training (close to the sport(s) as possible) Special (one sport focus *not for the youth) and General Movement Training (run, jump, throw, balance…) Our job as teaches, coaches and parents is about guiding the athlete in training and learning. Some parts of learning are not always easy or fun for kids but are essential in the learning process. As we progress and look at the professional athlete as a model we must understand it’s all about entertainment, money and winning and for the individual professional athlete it’s about survival. The pro athlete can be replaced at anytime and when that happens they are out of a job. Rule.  Athletic Balance, focuses on gravity and movement, force production, balance and force reduction and how most injuries happen when we are reducing force. The pearl with rule #4  is what athletic balance should look like. Athletic Balance is dynamic, reactive, responsive, explosive, athletic balance is cooperative, adaptive, trainable and rarely if ever about rooting to a single static spot. References Bruce Lee “One should seek good balance in movement and not stillness”

Rule 5 More movement training and less isolated muscle training. As athletes we should spend most of our time training movements not muscles with the respect to improving performance. If the baseball pitcher wants to be a better thrower then he should throw, hockey players that are weak skaters should ice skate. Training movements not muscles gives the athlete the ability to improve the mechanics of their respected sport(s) train movements not muscles for consistence athletic performance.

January 17, 2010

Reps and Practice

Effective training practice are those sessions that meet the need of the athlete and team to carry out the objective during the competition. Keys are planning and sound instruction both are under control of the head coach. Each training practice should list objectives and key points that will be the focus of instruction for that training practice day, identify the activities, drills and exercises, include an evaluation of injuries, strengths and weaknesses for the athletes position team and sport.

January 15, 2010

Measuring and Testing Results

Does the coach understand the technical, tactical and interpersonal skill sets for the sport? is the coaching staff fully on board, can they link the training program with the sport demands? The objective for measuring or testing is not to get the athlete ready for a fitness test but to get them fit to play the sport "Game Fit" or "Train for the Game". Are they healthy with the ability to prepare and train daily and compete optimally? are they improving? The goal is to coach the athlete for their respective sport train the athlete, not drain the athlete with more drills or how to lift heavier weight.

December 17, 2009

Questions and Quotes

What is the goal?
How long will it take to achieve?
What is needed?

"The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious" -Visionaries

"True success in life isn't rare because people are weak, lazy or lack willpower. True success in life is rare because too often people use flawed strategies for success"

December 16, 2009

Sport Demand Analysis

Coaching Fundamentals in Athletic Development

  • identify the functional demands of the sport
  • identify positional core characteristics of the athlete
  • identify the physiological demands for the sport(s)
  • identify and apply age appropriate training
  • assess the nutritional needs
  • assess the common injuries that occur in the sport(s)
  • assess the movement patterns of the athlete
  • apply the principles that guide in the application of team tactics, systems and strategies for conditioning
  • apply time sensitive concepts for performance and injury prevention
  • create an optimal environment that focuses on mastery of sport movements
  • apply long term athletic development and health education
Each sport has different demands and each athlete has different characteristics. Understanding the importance of the SDA will provide the athletic coach with direction in how, why and when to design and apply age appropriate (on and off-field/ice/court)conditioning.

December 14, 2009

The Value of PAC Development

Professional Athletic Coaching Develompnet can be a great =teacher in overall sport skills that contribute to overall development when structured properly. The values learned are simple, character, discipline, team work, perseverance, health, with the responsible to help each other. The foundation is in the culture of one individual within one team. Doing the simple things really well everyone will get better. There is more work then one coach can handle.

November 26, 2009

The Motivational Speaker

The most critical category that underpins everything a coach does is his ability to communicate with his student athletes and coaching staff. Research shows"Coaching is a skill that can be developed and enhanced" but there are many skills and sets of skills the coach must develop, maintain and organize with a systematic approach to preparation, time management and programming, the motivational speaker is only one part of the coaches skill set. Think of Herb Brooks addressing his team before the 1980 game vs the Soviets, or Knute Rockne, "one man practicing sportsmanship is far better that fifty preaching it" These are the moments coaches strive and prepare for their whole coaching life.

November 11, 2009

Causal Knowledge

True or False

if we don't anchor ourselves down and build on fundamental principles we lose sight of the forest through the trees?

What is casual knowledge? Gravity, Ground Reaction, Mass and Momentum and how it applies to the Fundamental Movement Skills, Energy Systems and Injury Patterns. The need is to understand that causal knowledge is the foundation for The Sport Demand Analysis. As well as understanding the individual athlete and position.

With this Causal Knowledge we have Current Knowledge and in fact knowledge is actually what gives imagination it's power, the ability to connect the links between all sports, athlete's and coaches. Strength and Conditioning Coaches by their very nature say a lot of stuff that is based on their opinion in the gym environment while trying to sell or argue that opinion, which may or may not be true. If we go to the Causal Knowledge of the sport and athlete we will find lots of truth and eliminate the shifting common desires, perception and emotion driven by a single sport, coach or athlete.

October 22, 2009

Why Athletes go broke

Some stats on how athletes go broke. A recent article in SI shows the reason for the importance of developing the complete student/athlete.

  • 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce 2 yrs after retirement.
  • an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke within five yrs of retirement.
Not the Lifestyle kids dreams of on the streets, courts, sandlots and parks.

October 18, 2009

The do as I do program

Learning specific movements or applying pre-made programs for another coach or book with limited ability to assess, coach, train and teach, basically a cookie cutter method, the only way this method would work is if we were in the exact same state as the coach doing. Teaching expectations requires the coach to react in the situation, teaching the expectations over the rules while practicing what you expect of others in many different environments.

October 15, 2009

Basic Training or Boot Camp

We found a sports performance site that was promoting "basic training" makes sense.

The introduction of sport to school was to prepare boys to be men for the military way back when the country was drafting men into the armed forces, those days are over.

Today the main focus of youth, high school and college sports is to prepare boys and girls to become men and women of the future to be leaders, family memebers and overall good citizens of society.

October 14, 2009

Coaching Development

 "The  leader, the teacher, the project manager, the artist. You can have all the exercises to do in a gym or all the technical and tactical layouts to apply onto a playing and practice field or classroom setting in a well packaged model but if you don't know how, when and why, it won't work. Like a great painter knows how to apply the color. Or as we see in todays pop culture, anyone can be a celebrity, not just anyone can be a true actor.

There is science in what we do, also art, habit, intuition and sometime plan old' guessing. The gap between what we know and what we aim for persists today. It's that gap that complicates everything we do.

October 10, 2009


common good
empower the athlete
we all learn something-having fun
We are better at the end of the practice/workout than the beginning
Each individual works together ina team system to achieve a common goal

Every sport requires individuals to play a team system. Even individual sports i.e. golf, tennis, runners, tri's, etc.. require a coach, caddy, sports trainer to work together with the athlete. Of course the big team sports require multiple individual athletes/coaches and positions to work together for a common good which can be very, very challenging.

Supplying High Quality Fuel For Athlete's

Athlete's need to supplement their eating habit's with the following foods.

Simple weekly shopping list or (eating out menu selection for those that don't know how to cook) ;

Protein - whole eggs, lean meats, wild game, poultry and fish

Carbohydrates - fresh or frozen fruits, beans
starchy vegetables, such as sweet potato, yams, potato, carrots,
beets turnips etc... and above ground starchy vegetables

Fats- saturated fat from lean meats and poultry,
cheese, raw butter, nuts, coconut oil, avocados, avocado oil, olives, olive oil.

Liquids- clean water, fresh or frozen 100% fruit juice, coffee + green tea decaffeinated and caffeinated, sports shake, drink.

time, type, sport, athlete are all factors to take into consideration.

High school and college student athlete's want to be-aware of their eating habit's especially during the school/game season.

October 07, 2009


Movements working in harmony.

Muscles in the gym should sing

not scream.

October 06, 2009

Coaching Labels

Assessment coach
Flexibility coach
Movement coach
Speed coach
Strength coach
Core coach
Performance coach
Power coach
Nutrition Coach

What is the common thread?

What are the fundamental principles for coaching sports and athletes?

Fundamental principles are generally accepted truths.

Listen to the expert coaches but always trust your own judgement.

October 01, 2009

Question the Coach

Do athletes learn a sport with a piece of equipment?

Do athletes increase performance with apparatus/fitness tools used in the weight room?

Do athletes decrease the chance of injury with an assessment grid?

Do athletes enhance endurance on a bike, treadmill?

Or do athletes learn, decrease risk of injury and optimize skill/ performance through play, continuous practice and great athletic coaching?

September 28, 2009

Physical Language And Your Sport {PLAYS}

The fundamental development process of coaching movement skills and sport skills, being aware with the components in your sports environment and the tools.

Sport is an activity that is governed by a set of man made rules, customs and fundamental laws, often engaged in competitively. Object to establish and maintain a competitive positive safe environment that allows the athlete to maximize their growth. To that we recognize that all members of the athletic community are to be treated with respect.

On ground
In water
On snow
On ice
In the air

Protective gear (knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand, head)



Natural skills learned 
Roll, Crawl, Balance, Pull, Push, Squat, Stand, Walk, Run, Jump, Skip, Jerk,Shuffle, Step, Hit, Check, Shoot, Pass, Skate, Ski, Swim, Surf, Slide,Paddle, Row, Cycle, Throw, Strike, Catch, Dive, Ride, Drive, Climb, Kick, Punch, Swing, Lift


"Quality leadership means knowing when it's time to guide your athletes and when it's time to allow your athletes to guide you"