Anthony Donskov

Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.

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4 Things I Learned in 2012

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Another year is officially in the books.  This is always a great time to look back and reflect on the year, and how it has shaped the development of both the business and my professional growth.  Seminars, books, lectures, DVD’s, travel, and business development have all been a part of this journey to attain greatness.  Below are four things I learned along the way. 


1.)  Business Development:  The state of DSC has changed drastically in 2012 with the acquisition of a new Director of Business Operations, my brother Matt Donskov.  Matt’s background as a Business Professional and Coach place him in a unique position to help shape the future of DSC.  From balance sheets, to tax preparation, to marketing, internship coordination and business growth, Matt takes a quantitative approach in decision-making.  Lesson Learned: Have a team of professionals that have different skill sets that enhance the system!  You are only as strong as your TEAM! 


2.)  Stress Management:  Anyone can kick someone’s ass in the weight room.  It doesn’t take a great Coach to do this.  With the advent of P90X and Crossfit, too many people feel that “kick my ass” is the mark of a great workout.  In my opinion, the art of Coaching is stress management.  I have written about this topic to a large extent this year (Debit Card Strength and Conditioning: In-Season Account Withdrawals, Strength Coaches: Know When to Hold Em’, Know When to Fold Em’, System in Balance: Programming Regeneration).  How can we provide our athletes with the “least effective dose” so they can continue to train at a high level?  The mark of an elite Coach is stress management. Lesson Learned: Many times more is not better.  In fact, from my experience, less is best!  Use both subjective stress scores and other biofeedback (HRV, vertical jump) to quantify stress dosage!




3.)  BreathingThe diaphragm is a VERY important muscle for respiration.  It allows for reciprocal, alternation function of the body.  Simply stated, “neutrality”.  Postural Restoration has been a game changer for me this year.  If the diaphragm is being used as a postural muscle instead of a respiratory muscle, the system is in jeopardy and unbalanced. Lesson Learned: Teach your athletes how to achieve neutrality.  Teach them how to breathe!


4.)  MethodologiesI read plenty this year!  One of my favorite topics:  Eastern Block methodology, Westside Barbell methodology, and Advanced Periodization.  I think it’s important to know about the history of iron, how different programming parameters affect different populations and how/if these methods can be cross-pollinated and used to attain adaptation in other disciplines.  Lesson Learned:  Methods are many principals are few! We can learn a lot from the Coaches/models that come before us, what works, what doesn’t, means, methods, results and pedagogical skills. However, it must be applied to the right person, with the right experience, for the right sport, with the right schedule at the right time.  Olympic lifters carry very different needs than team sport athletes with novice experience.  It’s important to know your population.


Here’s to a healthy, safe and prosperous 2013!


Anthony Donskov, MS, CSCS, PES, is a former collegiate and professional hockey player, founder of Donskov Strength and Conditioning Inc., ( and Head Instructor/Director of Off-Ice Strength and Conditioning for Donskov Hockey Development (  He can be reached at







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