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

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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There is currently a major buzz going on in the strength and conditioning field centering on the concept of thoracic spine mobility. Coaches are actively seeking ways to build mobility in this anatomic region in order to reduce lumbar rotation and enhance scapular stability. The idea revolves around the concept of Kinetic Linkage where each joint is affected by the integrity of the joint above or below. The T-Spine is extremely important. A proximal to distal linkage of the thoracic spine, scapula and GH joint is critical in long-term shoulder health (as is ankle and hip mobility). The thoracic spine needs to be mobile to allow adequate translation of the scapula over its surface. This enhances the GH joint and prevents anterior/superior humeral head migration, which leads to impingement. Take a look at the picture below.

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As a former competitive athlete, I enjoyed being pushed in the weight room and on the ice. Intense workouts, overnight bus rides, three games in three nights and a body the recovered faster than David Hasselhoff’s lifeguarding career.

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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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The glenohumeral joint is a complex joint affected by the entire Kinetic Chain. It thrives on large amounts of mobility with a sacrifice in stability. At any given time, only 25%-30% of the humeral head is in contact with the gelnoid fossa (1). Sub acromial Impingement (bursal sided) also known as Compressive Cuff disease or external impingement can affect more than just the elderly and working class, it can affect the athletic population as well. Athletes play hard, train hard and push their bodies to the limit on a daily basis. Contact athletes can sustain shoulder injuries through both macro traumatic and micro traumatic events. Shoulder injuries remain the most common site of injury in hockey (1). As strength coaches, programming can also play an important role in preventing cuff issues. A sound knowledge of functional anatomy and appropriate exercise selection can aid in preventing possible pathology.

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Posted by on in Programming

I don’t speak Italian fluently but with the help of technology I can understand each and every line of The Godfather. Foreign language is unfortunately foreign to me. Different countries speak different languages’ that their respective “tribes” understand. Seth Godin in his book “Tribes” explains that a tribe is a group of people (large or small), who are connected to one anther by an idea, common interest, principal or leader. Strength and Conditioning Coaches, we are a tribe! Our themes, connections and leaders unite us in the strength game. However, one of our biggest problems is this: We don’t speak the same language! No Habla Strength and Conditioning! Travel to France, people speak French, travel to Spain, people speak Spanish, travel to any weight room in the country and coaches simply don’t speak the same language. I can’t tell you how many programs I’ve looked at where I had NO idea what the coach was asking for from his/her athletes. If this is confusing to us, how do you think the athletes feel?

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Program design is a nearly extinct art form based on sound principals and components. It is backed by current science and practical application. It takes years to master through education, mentorship and deliberate practice. A well-educated trainer/coach can defend each and every exercise in their program and explain why it is applicable to their training population(s). One size does not fit all! Weight loss clients train differently than elite athletes. Program design is a GPS system; it guides us through the obstacles taking our clients step by step to their final destinations.

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

Another year is officially in the books.As coaches it is important to reflect on our experiences, learn from our mistakes, and plan for the future.I have had the opportunity to learn from many great coaches, PT’s, and Doctors.I have invested in DVD’s, books, seminars, and on-line programming.Most importantly however, I have learned from application, from real world experience.Below are 10 things (both business and coaching) that I learned in 2010!

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Posted by on in Rehabilitation

They say pain can be a humble teacher, a somatic response from the CNS to avoid certain movement/exercise.  After bi-lateral shoulder surgery and enough rehab to make Dr. Drew look like an amateur, I can say that pain has been a humble teacher in helping me design exercise protocol for my current athletes and clients.  In conjunction with these injuries is the education from the likes of Mike Reinold (The Athlete’s Shoulder, Optimal Shoulder Performance), Robert Donatelli  (Physical Therapy for the Shoulder), and Eric Cressey (Optimal Shoulder Performance).  These experts have aided me in the process of designing appropriate screening and protocol for my business.  As coaches, it is our job to design safe and effective exercise.  Below are five ways to enhance the function of the shoulder.

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I never thought I’d use the words billiards and strength training in the same article, but the fact is that there is some correlation.  Cuing is a tool used in both professions.  Using the proper cue in pool allows the ball to travel in its destined path with efficiency and ease.  Strength and Conditioning is no different!  Cuing is an art/tool that allows ease, understanding and efficiency in the weight room.  There are two types of cues that reinforce proper motor programming, verbal and physical.  Combined, these cues build technical proficiency without “over coaching” and confusing athletes by speaking a different language.  The key to cuing is SIMPLICITY.  Below are several of my favorite verbal and physical cues.  Some are original; many are “borrowed” from well-respected coaches in the industry.

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