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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Youth Athletes

Posted by on in Programming

Donskov Strength and Conditioning has built a niche over the years training hockey players. I would imagine my previous career in the sport (both at the college and semi-pro level) has led to the large influx of players and organizations entrusting DSC to train their athletes. I would also hope that my thirst for knowledge and professional experience in exercise science far surpasses my so-called career as a player. John Wooden once said “Don’t confuse professional experience with your ability to teach it.” Just because you played, doesn’t mean you’re a qualified coach. Although we take pride in our niche base of hockey players, I’ve never been a fan of what I would call “specificity overkill”, or sports specific overkill. Our job is defined, as Strength and Conditioning professionals not sport coaches. What’s the job of a strength and conditioning coach? Pretty simple; improve strength and conditioning qualities that can tangibly be carried over into competition!  Some qualities overlap regardless of sport. Some do not.

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Over the years I have had the privilege of working with a diverse population of athletes. Although the niche of Donskov Strength and Conditioning is hockey, we have had the opportunity of coaching athletes at each stage of the development process. I can tell you that regardless of age, our goals are similar: stay healthy, get strong, get fast, and get powerful. In addition, our recipe is very similar: “Think small. Work hard. Get good!” (Wooden) Our goal is to master the fundamentals. Basic addition is one of the biggest problems with youth training AND youth sports. By constantly adding drills on the ice/field, youth athletes fail to master the fundamentals of their respective sport. The same holds true in the weight room. Addition by subtraction is the key to development! Below are three principals of the Addition by Subtraction philosophy that we utilize at DSC.

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I write this article as a Coach, not as a niche strength and conditioning professional, but as a Coach. The word Coach has tremendous meaning and implication regardless of sport or activity, paid or unpaid. We are life changers! We have the ability to instill values, create work ethic, and provide a positive culture for young men and women. Ask any middle aged person and chances are some of the most important and influential people in their lives have been coaches. This is a responsibility, and with great responsibility comes accountability! Regardless if you are a paid professional or a volunteer, you have the ability to change lives! Just because you volunteer doesn’t mean you have any less responsibility!

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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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There are few teachers who cross the boundaries and are relevant in all walks of life: whether coaching basketball, hockey, football, strength and conditioning, or a business leader looking for better ways to allow others to attain their potential for greatness. All professionals can grow and become more complete individuals/teachers when acting on Coach John Wooden’s wisdom. I had the opportunity to read Coach Wooden’s book: “Wooden On Leadership” and my highlighter almost ran out before I finished the first chapter. Below are his important bits of advice that transcend the word “Coach”. When applied correctly, this information can bring us one step further in our quest for personal greatness.

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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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Although I am a relatively young strength and conditioning coach, I continuously take the time to educate myself through lecture, readings, DVD’s, seminars, mentorship programs, and most importantly through experience in training my athletes/general clients. I have had the opportunity to learn, apply and grow from many of the best in the industry. If this business has taught me one thing its that the learning process is truly ever evolving!

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