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.
The Prisoner’s Dilemma
Poor educators take difficult material and further obscure the subject. Good teachers can take the same material and package it in a way that all can understand. There are few Coaches in the Strength and Conditioning industry that fit the mold of “teacher”. Dan John is one of those coaches. Michelangelo once said: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” The simplicity Coach John employs is an inspiration to all coaches caught in the world of quick gimmicks, fads, broken promises, Internet “gurus”, armchair trainers, Greek philosophers, unnamed forum posters, and overnight success stories. The quantity of information floating around (much with little substance and big price tags) can make you feel like your running in place sometimes. More often than not that’s exactly what happens in the fitness industry. I recently had the opportunity to hear Coach John lecture the staff of MBSC. His message is a “MUST” for all Coaches looking to fight the food fight.
The Prisoner’s Dilemma
Coach John posed the question: “If you only had 3 sessions, 15 minutes in duration with your athletes/clients each week, what would you do?” What exercises would you perform? What would you omit? What qualities would you train? Call it the 80/20 Rule, Pareto’s Principal or The Prisoners dilemma. In order to answer this question you must answer these first:
- What are the three most important keys to the sport/goal being trained?
- What are the three most important elements needed to attain these “keys” that can be trained in the weight room?
These questions seem pretty simple, unfortunately not simple enough because it takes courage to answer them. Courage? Yes courage to stand for what’s vital in the face of a plethora of overwhelming fitness trends, products, philosophies, and misinformation.
The Good Fight
At Donskov Strength and Conditioning we train collision athletes. The elements that are needed to survive and prosper in contact sports are strength, speed and power! Short, simple and sweet! This is what we believe: We believe in barbells, free weight, chalk, sweat, discipline, and adherence. We believe in pushing, pulling, squatting (single leg), dead lifting (SL, trap bar) and heavy carries. We believe in the essentials, no frills, just hard work and mastering the basics, the foundation of movement. When faced with the Prisoners dilemma you can bet your hard earned dollar that one, or several of these movements (loaded) will be exposed in those 15 minutes.
What is your Prisoners dilemma? Each answer may be different based on the population trained, the sport, or the end goal. More often than not the answer to this question gets blurred behind tweets, Facebook posts and Internet forum debates. With all the information floating around it may feel as if you are running in place not making any progress. Remember more times than not the answer is simple. It’s like the man who walked into the doctor’s office and said: “Doc I hurt everywhere. When I touch my legs, I hurt. When I touch my butt, I hurt. When I touch my stomach, I hurt. When I touch my head, I hurt.” The Doctor took a minute to look at him over and said “Sir you have a broken index finger.” Keep it simple, avoid the gimmicks and believe in the basics. Fight the good fight!