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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Anthony Donskov

Posted by on in Business

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people confuse strength and conditioning with personal training. Take a look at the chat on web site forums, so-called fitness experts and armchair trainers and you may think that personal training and strength and conditioning are the same. Conversations such as:

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Program design fascinates me!   So many unique elements make up the system that seeks to elicit results for various client populations. It takes years to master and is continuously under construction. As the saying goes, the best program is the one that you’re not currently on. Coach Boyle wrote an excellent article last year called “Should You Stick to the Recipe?”   This article is perfect for young, intermediate coaches who seek to build their own programs/recipes. The evolutionary stages of cook, sous-chef, and finally head chef are excellent analogies pertaining to learning the science of program design. Another important element is the menu. Once the recipe is mastered, there needs to be a menu set in place for your customers. What happens if a certain customer doesn’t eat red meat (they can’t squat) or is a vegetarian (had shoulder surgery)? Menu planning is an art. Here are the three stages of designing your own strength and conditioning menu. As Coaches, our goal is to design a menu that fits the needs of our customers.

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There is an evolutionary process in the strength and conditioning field that when nourished provides growth, insight and direction. This “growth” not only comes in the physical form (bodybuilder phase, power lifting phase, functional training phase), but also from our mental and personality traits. Unfortunately, this is an area where most coaches fail. I’m not suggesting that we meet with Dr. Phil to iron out our issues, but what I am suggesting is that many of our attitudes need adjustment (including my own at times).

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Accidents happen, so make sure to buckle up! The physical need(s) for athletes varies depending on the population being trained. Contact sports are subject to high impact collisions, traumatic injury mechanism and a higher rate of concussions (concussion education/testing is at an all time high within the governing bodies of contact sports, including The National Hockey League).  In other words, “accidents” happen on a daily basis. There were 44 hits in the average regular-season NHL game in 2009-10; that number went up to 63 in the playoffs, a jump of 43 percent. (NHL.com) Below are three training considerations for collision athletes. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

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The field of strength and conditioning is a delicate mix of art and science. Both play an important role in professional development. In this day and age information is at a premium. Science plays an important role in evidence-based practice. However, the art of strength and conditioning is just as important. As John Wooden once said: “The person who can answer the question “how” will always have a job. The person that can answer the question “why” will be his/her boss.” In my opinion, one without the other is like peanut butter without the jelly. We can learn the “how” from science, textbooks, Dr.’s, PT’s and Coaches, however, to learn “why” takes years of experience. This is the art of strength and conditioning.

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It takes years of hard work to reach the pinnacle of a profession: a lifetime of commitment, hard work, long hours, failure, success, passion, perseverance and enough caffeine to kill a large farm animal. Overnight success only comes from the lottery; it’s not how the best coaches reach the top of their respective fields. Our society does not conform to these standards and instead revolves around convenience and the quick fix. This has created a separation in the strength and conditioning community.   You can’t steal home plate unless you round the bases first!

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Hockey is an extremely demanding sport! A quality strength and conditioning program needs to reflect these demands. Components such as: soft tissue work, static stretching, mobility, dynamic flexibility, upper/lower body plyometrics, speed development, strength training and energy system capacity are all vital for performance gains.   When designing programs we often overlook one of the most fundamental questions, what are the demands of the sport? Does my program reflect these qualities?

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Building a strong “posterior dominant” shoulder has been shown to be of great value for the overhead athlete. Based on the demands of the sport (the fact that many great overhead athletes have acquired laxity) and the construct of the joint (the shoulder joint in and of itself sacrifices large amounts of stability for mobility) this anatomical landmark plays an important role in the athletes’ protocol. However many times direct cuff strengthening is overlooked in the practical programming for the contact athlete. Is this valid or do we need to look deeper into preparing our athletes for the demands of their sport? Lets take a look at the evidence regarding shoulder injuries in contact sports.

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I’m sure during the coarse of a regular workday many coaches feel overworked, over stretched, and under strengthened.  Being successful takes hard work, early mornings, late nights, hours of deliberate practice and plenty of caffeine.  However, the scope of this article is not about our lives as coaches, but about our athletes and their ability to perform at high levels without setback.  Through hours of screening, education and application, I believe that we have plenty of muscle groups that are either overworked, overstretched or under strengthened.  In some cases, I believe that certain muscle groups fit in all categories.  That’s right!  I do believe that in certain instances we are overstretched!  Below are several examples of the overworked, over stretched, and under strengthened thought process.

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I have had the privilege of learning from some of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world.  Attending mentorship programs from Coach Michael Boyle, listening to Alwyn Cosgrove and Gray Cook lecture, reading books from the likes of Stuart McGill, Shirley Sahrmann, Hoppenfield and Myers, and becoming a member of StrengthCoach.com, a web site leader in strength and conditioning information and research.  Some may say that I spend a lot of money on continuing education.  I would disagree wholeheartedly! I choose the word invest!  In fact, my business (2,700 sq foot facility in Columbus, Ohio) has prospered enormously from the valuable information that I have gathered from these coaches and put into practice. 

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