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

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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Lou Holtz is a coach that will go down in the history books as a man of integrity, passion, enthusiasm, character and charisma. He also won his fair share of football games! His philosophies can be utilized in any environment to create a WINNING organization. Strength and Conditioning is no different, the wisdom Coach Holtz delivers is contagious and paramount to building bigger, faster, and stronger athletes. It’s also important in fostering an atmosphere that builds character and teaches life lessons far beyond the confines of our gyms. “Winning Everyday” (Coach Holt’s book) shares the wisdom of a coaching legend.

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Lou Holtz is more than a Football Coach; he’s a leader, a motivator, a competitor and a winner. I am currently in the process of reading his book tilted “Winning Every Day.” In it he shares a story on the importance of fundamentals. As strength coaches, this wisdom should not fall on deaf ears. Fundamentals are the bedrock of any sound strength and conditioning program.

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Posted by on in Rehabilitation

The “Functional” training era is upon us in the strength and conditioning world. The importance of multi-joint movement is paramount in building effective, results driven programming. Just mentioning the word “isolation” elicits the same response as someone trying to steal the family dog.

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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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Posted by on in Coaching Development

I recently received a text message from my older brother (a current assistant coach in the Ontario Hockey League), outlining his philosophy on leaving a legacy behind. One powerful line stood out and made me think of what it means to aspire in reaching the ultimate goal of one’s inner potential: He said “I try and get one day better everyday!” One day better everyday, a small yet achievable goal centered on work ethic, pride, attention to detail, sacrifice, perseverance, initiative, self-control, confidence and competitive greatness.

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Posted by on in Rehabilitation

Hockey is a high impact, high intensity, physically demanding sport. At the highest level of play, the game moves at amazing speeds. Scott Niedermayer won the 1998 “fastest skater” in the NHL Skills competition by circling the rink in 13.56 seconds, which translates to about 28 mph. Can you imagine absorbing the impact of a car traveling at this speed, yet alone two cars colliding at similar speeds? Welcome to the great sport of hockey!

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Experience is a valuable teacher, arguably the single most important step in the learning process. Learning from past success and failure allows us to build efficient, effective training methods, exercise components, philosophies, coaching cues, professional, hands-on knowledge, and most importantly saves time. “Time is of essence, and the essence of success is time.” (John Wooden) There are many avoidable mistakes young coaches make to form their experiences: from the muscle head coach who creates his workout regime from a Bodybuilding Magazine, to the Coach who tries to fit square pegs in round holes and hurts his clients or himself, to the Coach that thinks a former sporting career qualifies him as a competent, effective strength and conditioning professional. The question we all need to ask ourselves is: “Can we expedite the learning process?” “Can we learn from wise coaches with years of experience making mistakes so that we may avoid them?” The answer to this question is YES! I call this Fast Forward Learning.

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

During my days as a youth, I was never a big fan of visiting the doctors’ office. Just the sight of a white coat made my heart race faster than a pace car at the Indianapolis 500. Maybe it was the fear of getting a shot, or the doctor asking me to turn and cough, either way you cut it, I had white coat syndrome! Fast forward to the present and my profession as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. The best coaches in the business use evidence based practice, meshing research with practical application to form safe, and effective protocol for their respective populations. Research however is a touchy subject. What journals are considered “credible”? How old is the study? What population was used to prove/disprove a theory? Does the study classify a “group” and not individualize certain characteristics (i.e. weight, height, age, lifestyle, sport career, previous injury, level of exercise, ect)? The list goes on and on! Research/Evidence is very important, and with all if this information at hand, many Coaches can get white coat syndrome (overwhelmed and hesitant to proceed).

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Who cut the cheese in the weight room? No, I ‘m not referring to the passing of gas; I’m referring to the QUALITY of movement and exercise selection. Too many times we as coaches sacrifice quality for quantity, quality for load, and quality for inflated ego. Any time your clients/athletes engage in training, the smell test must be passed! To pass the smell test: three questions MUST be answered with a YES. If not, your weight room will smell worse than yesterday’s left over’s.

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