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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Donskov Strength and Conditioning

There is a reason the Vegas strip is plush with multi-million dollar Casinos. The house wins! More often than not the few lucky individuals that “hit it big” are overshadowed by individuals that have lost a great deal! To steal a metaphor from the great Coach Dan John in his book “Easy Strength”: strength and conditioning is a lot like Blackjack. Knowing when to “hit” and when to stay/stand is both an art and a science. Lets take a deeper look at the similarities.

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I recently had the opportunity to read Coach Dan John’s newest book “Easy Strength.” To say that I enjoyed the read would be an understatement! In my opinion, it may have been one of the best strength and conditioning books that I’ve read since graduating from University (10+years ago). Coach John is an in-the trenches coach with decades of experience, practical application and resolve. His approach is simplistic in nature, but takes commitment and adherence to implement. In other words, it’s not easy! “Easy Strength” is a systemic education of iron, chalk, quadrants, reps, sets, failures, successes, and dreams of one of the best in the business. The books is packed full of practical information for strength coaches and fitness professionals. Below are three lessons learned from a legend: 3 Lessons from Coach Dan John.

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It’s amazing how much math I’ve forgotten over the years. Basic algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, geometry and advanced statistics has left my mind faster than when it entered. It seems the quantitative information that I don’t weave into practical application on a daily basis gets weeded out and forgotten. The beautiful part of being a Strength and Conditioning Coach is that our math is easy! Easy and practical: two qualities that lie at the foundation of our practice. Below is the basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, and multiplication) of strength and conditioning.

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

As a former athlete, I loved the weight room: the smell, the feeling, and the aura. It was, and still is, a place of solace for me. It’s a place of unbridled adrenaline and potential. The potential to become one day better!   As time has passed I find myself on the other side of the weight room, from athlete to Coach. Our job as Coaches is to harness that adrenaline, grit and determination into a safe platform of adaptation for our athletes.   Iron is our friend, but it needs to be treated with respect and care. A lack of respect can often lead to injury. Training is not an end to a means; it’s the means to accomplish great things one rep at a time. Below are three virtues in making iron your friend.

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Posted by on in Programming

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.

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Posted by on in Business

There’s a lot of glimmer and sparkle in the fitness industry these days that comes at the expense of substance: Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, blogs, articles, “likes”, “follows” and every other form of social marketing under the sun. While I certainly don’t blame fellow practitioners for jumping on the social media scene (I have), finding quality information is like mining for gold.  According to Wikipedia: “Gold has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious-metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recoded history.” In other words, gold is a valuable resource! Fool’s gold on the other hand is very common, so common in fact that in the earth's crust it is found in almost every possible environment, hence it has a vast number of forms and varieties. I believe the same holds true regarding information in the fitness industry. Plenty of resources, but few that hold their value in gold. Below are three ways to mine for gold in the fitness industry.

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The use of debit card transaction has grown considerable over the years. Although I’ve never enjoyed watching money leave my account, the convenience is priceless. One swipe and magic, money has disappeared! With convenience one also has to assume risk. If you overdraw (miscalculate your funds) your account may be suspended, closed and accumulated debt is inevitable. In-Season strength and conditioning is debit card management! Too many transactions/stimulus and athletes fail to recover, leaving their accounts empty and exposed. Below are several major programming differences between an off-season and in-season hockey (insert any sport here) strength and conditioning program.

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Posted by on in Programming

As strength and conditioning professionals our job is to provide a safe platform for our athletes to develop strength, power, speed and other specific variables that can directly impact athletic performance. Simply put, we manage stress for a living. We prescribe specific doses of stress to elicit desired adaptation(s).   Too little we fail to alter performance. Too much, overtraining and organism breakdown are the result.  It is our goal to apply the right amount of stress at the right time to allow adaptation to occur (hypertrophy, strength, power ect.).

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If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years training youth athletes’ it’s to NEVER take anything for granted. Just when you think something is too obvious to be addressed, it reaches out and smacks you right between the eyes. I know that over the years I’ve learned from these encounters and now take every step necessary to avoid the “obvious” mistake of not addressing the obvious (I know the word obvious was used several times over the last few sentences, it’s obvious). Below are three Tips from the Trenches and experiences that I have learned from along the way. Hopefully this can allow you to learn from my mistakes. 

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The current state of youth development is at a crossroads. What we’ve done for the past decade or so has been sub par. Kids have been encouraged to specialize at an early age (year round), play too many games, and parents dream on behalf of their children with the cumulative result to this equation leading to burnout and an underdevelopment of our youth.   Hockey is a glaring example. Here are some of the issues currently plaguing youth development (exert taken from Misha Donskov/ADM presentation):

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