Today’s subject comes from a conversation I had last week that got me, to say the very least, annoyed with coaches. One thing I wish more sport coaches would do, would be to consult outside sources for their conditioning, assuming they also don’t have a background in Exercise Science or the like.
Recently I was told of a coach that has their athletes doing 60 minutes of conditioning a practice, they practice 4-5 days a week. I may not know much, but I know that, 60 min x 4-5 days a week of conditioning, is going to run athletes into the ground. After they reach that point (at the latest), they will likely pick up an injury. It’ll likely be soft tissue which means one of two things, something serious and season ending, or something that lingers the entire season (strain, pull, slight tear). In either case, the athlete’s season is going to suffer. Some might even say, well if they're successful then their must be something to it. I'd say it's likely they are successful in spite of this, which means their potential for success is even higher and if success is that important to them, it would benefit them to wise up.
There are so many people, that would be willing to help teams and coaches with their programming of conditioning, whether it’s a club team or a school team, for the betterment of the athletes. These three people can be resources for local coaches:
School Strength and Conditioning Coach- I understand that not every local high school will have the budget for this position. You’d be surprised how many coaches don’t take advantage of this person even if they DO have them at their fingertips. Assuming this S&C coach cares about their job, they’re likely to be a very helpful resource for any sport.
Local Strength Coach or Trainer- These are available all over to any sport coach, the best part is, some of them probably would spend an hour with a coach to talk and help game plan their conditioning for either a low cost or at no cost. Yes, the sport coach might have to do a little digging and research to find one, but it’ll be time well spent in the long run.
Track Coach- Depending on the sports demands, which type of track coach could be the thing to figure out, but in lieu of not having or willing to talk to either of the above two, this could be a quality bronze medal. Track coaches’ jobs are to get their athletes faster, which is probably something sport coach is looking for too, no?
There you have it, a bit of time invested in the athletes’ long-term health, leads to less injuries on the team and likely more continuity in the team. Those things only lead to a better season for one reason or another…sign me up.
That's what I have today, I know this subject matter might not hit home for many today, but you can probably think of someone this might speak to. If that’s the case, ask them what their coach has done to get better recently?
Thanks for reading everyone, have a great week and as always, feel free to send me questions or feedback.
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS