Coaches: Are you doing too much?
Lifting will forever be evolving with new techniques, changing modalities, and cutting edge equipment. While it is great to see all of this development and innovation in the field of strength and conditioning, have some of these transformations stemmed too far from the basics, that it is actually hindering strength? Think about how many athletes or lifters you see who are doing an advanced movement or using the newest speed or strength training device, yet they can’t squat or have bad movement patterns. This happens all the time.
I think this stems from two prominent issues: coaching mentalities and mental toughness.
Strength Coaches are always looking for their claim to fame. They want to be looked at like Bill Kazmier, Louis Simmons, or Ed Coen. They want people to come to them for advice and be a leader in the strength community. While that is noble and ambitious goal, it can lead to over evaluating every microscopic nuance in a movement pattern. They then find a particular issue within a movement pattern that seems to be prominent in a sample size. With this type of critique, coaches say that the majority of all athletes have this particular issue. Taking this small problem, coaches then try and create something that fixes this one hitch. While this may be great for some who are at an elite level of strength, people who are more inexperienced athletes may be missing out on basic training. By focusing in on minor details, the athletes are missing what will help them on a broader spectrum.
The second issue is that some athletes don’t have the same mental stamina to get strong and complete workouts daily. While Strength Coaches have some responsibility to keep the athletes interested, there is a point where the athlete needs internal motivation and drive to be there. We can’t be they hype man for every single lift. As much as we want to, you can’t teach athletes the want to always be improving themselves, that is something they have to come with.
One of the ways that coaches get athletes to work harder every workout is through exercise variation. We trade in what we know is going work, linear progressions of movement patterns, to try to allow for them to be in a more fun environment.
Half Kneeling DB Press -> Tall Kneeling DB Press -> Seated BB OH Press -> Standing BB OH Press -> Push Press
(Example of Linear Progression of a Movement)
Stay away from gimmicks and push towards proper training. Block out the other noise and keep your standards high. Confidence breeds success, but success breeds confidence. Hammer home the basic movements and your athletes will be more successful at the complicated actions.
Head Strength Coach
The Strength Feed