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.
“There is no progress without change, but not all change is progress.” (Wooden) There have been many advances over the years in the field of strength training: new technology, cutting edge equipment, advanced recovery tools, means, methods, published studies, internet “experts”, technical cuing, progressive motor learning and an ever-changing “ideal” of the perfect program. With all of these variables, have we forgotten the Coach? After all who is it that controls them? Which means, methods, equipment, and recovery need to be used under differing circumstances? Most importantly, who has the ability to change lives through discipline, motivation and realization of potential?
While I certainly believe many of the above-mentioned changes lead to progress, without “The Coach”, I believe that this progress may be short-lived and ill fated. I wonder what my mentor Coach John Wooden would do if he were a Strength Coach today? My guess is that many may laugh him out of the gym. He may start by teaching the athletes’ how to put their socks on properly to eliminate blisters, he may even ask today’s youth to take their hats off and pull up their pants well before he would speak about periodization and block training. My bet is that the fundamentals would be taught with constant repetition until mastered. Don’t worry about BOSU ball single leg squats, first learn how to hinge, squat, push and pull: then and only then would he worry about advanced means, fancy equipment and increased poundage. I would venture to guess that his favorite repetition scheme would be 2x3:
“Never lie; never cheat; never steal. Don’t whine; don’t complain, don’t make excuses.”
That’s not to say that Coach Wooden would not use advanced technology, video replay, and every other groundbreaking resource at his disposal, but if the players’ don’t believe in “The Coach”, it all renders useless. The Coach is the glue that holds it all together; the intangible transformational being that elicits change, and makes important decisions that may not be popular. There is no equipment, no advanced cutting edge technique, no fancy computer system, and no revolutionizing program that takes the place of “The Coach.” Care, concern, transformation, and relationship building can’t be found in technology. It is “The Coach” that has the ability to make a lifelong difference well beyond the scope of iron, chalk and one rep maxes! Coach Wooden’s legacy moves well beyond the sport of basketball. He transformed, transcended, revolutionized, and truly cared for each and every individual he coached. “The Coach” can’t be bought, sold, exchanged or bartered. It is “The Coach” that has the ability to change lives forever, and with this influence comes great responsibility.