How do you make a name for yourself?
It’s HARD work. I was fortunate to come into the game at a unique time, prime for the picking.
But things are different now.
What would I do if I had to start over today? Here’s what I would do to make a name for myself.
If nothing else, hopefully the end lights a fire under your butt.
Part 1 – An Overview & Effects on Performance
Stretching has been a part of the rehab and performance world since the beginning, but various groups of rehab and performance specialists still disagree on whether it is good, bad, or ugly. In this video series we are going to get to the bottom of things and answer the follow questions:
- What is physiology behind stretching? (I mean ALL OF THE PHYSIOLOGY)
- Does stretching prevent injury?
- How does stretching impact performance?
- What effect does stretching have on the autonomic nervous system?
- Does stretching have change motor systems?
- Does stretching alter myofibers? What about connective tissue?
You’re familiar with the pyramid of training, right? What qualities are at the bottom, the foundation, of that pyramid? What are at the top?
Do you notice what’s at the top?
Speed. That’s the last thing in the hierarchy.
That means your athletes need a ton of pre-requisite gains if they’re going to be able to demonstrate their speed.
I think it’s disheartening to say that. I think it demotivates coaches. It’s overwhelming.
Let me give you some rules instead. Some principles you can use to make fast athletes.
As a new coach entering the performance industry, you are bombarded with a ton of information that is often times difficult to make sense of.
- How do I know this is correct?
- I think this article conflicts with what someone else told me.
- My mentor says X, but this coach says Y.
I managed to pin down Ty for a few minutes on his vacation to talk with me about how traditional gym exercises — lunges, squats, bench press, etc. — transfer into athletics. It was good to hang out and, as always, good to talk shop.
Part 1 – Discussion
Walk with us through a few common movement patterns, what we see, and how these things translate into our clients’ goal-seeking language.
Books, books, and more books. I — and the rest of the IFAST crew — have shelves on shelves full of books.
Heck, Bill even has an overflow storage locker for some of his.
While I love a good popular science book or textbook, if you want to stay on top of your game, and become better coach or clinician, you are going to have to read some research. Reading research can be slow at first, but in this video we will breakdown how to get through research papers as quickly and effectively as possible. We will go through finding the correct papers to read, how to work through those papers, and deciding if the findings of the paper are relevant or important.
Take a look at this paper about landing mechanics, and we will work through it together.
Other Helpful Video
If you need help with your biomechanics, check out my Biomechanics of Performance video series.
Link to the Discussed Article (free full text)
IFASTU Research Repository
What’s one research article that really made you think? Submit it to the research repository!
Watch the Video
Now we get to use curls to fix elbows. How ’bout that?
This month, Stephen LaFlamme and I ran through a bunch of physical therapy, orthopedic testing, and advanced functional anatomy. If you’re not good at visualizing anatomy, you may find this one frustrating. Take your time, pause and research when necessary.
A note on the brachioradialis retracting the forearm: this occurs during loaded elbow movements to prevent olecranon compression at the posterior elbow. You’ll see that brachioradialis (a flexor), triceps (extensor), and anconeus (extensor) are all innervated by the radial nerve. The other flexors are innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve. Pretty cool, eh?
Any more questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
This one is for the die hards.
How can you make an athlete jump higher WITHOUT getting stronger?
Can you increase vertical jump while struggling with an injury?
This case study will talk you through what I did for our client, a female college Volleyball athlete.
For a short summary, start at 10:31-10:57.
If you watch the full thing, you’ll get:
- What kinds of athletes learn how to push well (that is, all the way through their concentric movement)
- The acceleration profile of a squat (and why that CANNOT be the only thing you train)
- A good way to maximize vertical jump height
- My car acceleration runway analogy (I’m pretty proud of this)
- How the GymAware really helped us out here (but you don’t NEED to have one to make these changes)
- Putting two inches on a vertical jump in six weeks WITHOUT getting stronger (what’s the only real difference between then and now? See 6:56)
- A simple explanation of the physics of what’s going on with some example types of athletes that you can relate to this (If you want to go deeper, you should watch Brandon’s series on biomechanics)
- How our client increased her power output in her jump by 24% (that’s MASSIVE)
- The exercise I chose to use (maybe you have better ones?)
You have to get your athlete stronger, but you CANNOT do it in spite of making them a better athlete. Don’t forgot ballistic movements! The physics is different and it needs to be trained differently.
Here’s a question on measurement:
Using the GymAware software, how did you find out how many inches prior to toe off the athlete was decelerating?
On this page, in the upper right hand part of the screen, switch to acceleration instead of force, power, velocity, etc.
Then select the rep you want to examine.
Then run the cursor across the rep to see the stats for that position. When doing a CMJ, the GymAware should zero out automatically in the resting/standing position. Toe off will be another inch or 2 above the 0 mark. You will also see a drastic drop off in acceleration just after toe off so that is a marker for it as well.
I just got back from Lee Taft’s Speed Retreat last weekend. Part as a helper, part as an observer.
Speed and agility could be so complicated if I hadn’t learned so much from him.
This weekend got me thinking. Sometimes it’s nice to circle back to the things you used to do. We get away from these basics as we explore and experiment with new ideas, but don’t lose focus on the major things that work.
Let’s not overcomplicate things. Here are five takeaways from Lee Taft’s Speed Retreat. Watch the video below for the details.
I’ll show you four different types you can use to teach sprinting mechanics, where people mess up, how to cue them, and a quick skipping progression we use with our athletes to teach sprinting mechanics.
I’ll show you the difference between rehearsed and goal-motivated drills, why deceleration is overemphasized in strength and conditioning, and what good cutting looks like (to illustrate my point)
Use bands to create better cuts
I’ll show you three different drills of three different difficulties, how you need to hold the band to get the adaptation, and why these drills work better over the long-term than spoken cues.
Use med balls to create better cuts
I’ll show you a quick progression of 4 med ball variations that create stiffness and optimal biomechanics, why upper trunk and shoulder rotation shouldn’t be here, and how to cue it.
Have Go-To correctives ready to go
I’ll show you a kid with a floppy trunk as he re-accelerates out of a cut, I’ll show you a girl who does it a lot better, and then seven different correctives of varying difficulty that I have at-the-ready to fix this issue. We’ll also talk about how your regressions might be doing your athletes a disservice.
Here are some books and articles mentioned in this month’s Q&A:
- If you want to know more about energy systems, read Exercise Metabolism by Mark Hargreaves and Lawrence Spriet.
- If you want to know more about the individual energy systems contribution to repeated sprinting, read the study I referenced Parolin et al, 1999. “Regulation of skeletal muscle glycogen phosphorylase and PDH during maximal intermittent exercise”
- Here’s a little bit on SA node adaptations: D’Souza et al, 2014. “Exercise training reduces resting heart rate via downregulation of the funny channel HCN4”
I have talked at length about the infrasternal angle. See “Choosing Corrective Exercises for the Upper Body”.
This Q&A’s Children
FYI: This Q&A gave rise to two other child posts