Oct 022017
 

I had the privilege of attending the Athletic Performance Summit Featuring the Legends of Strength and Conditioning back in May.  It was a seminar that I heard about only a few weeks before.  When I saw the lineup of speakers, I knew I had to attend.  What really attracted me to this seminar was that most of the presenters worked in the team environment successfully for several years and have the championship rings to prove it.

While the format of the seminar was outstanding, it wasn’t necessarily the information that these guys shared on their power points that made it worthwhile.  It was more of their ability to share experiences with the teams and individual athletes that they coached with the attendees.  This is something that I find extremely valuable.

These men opened up about their philosophies and programs and were accessible throughout the weekend.  For example, Johnny Parker, who was the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Giants, Patriots, Buccaneers, and 49ers, gave out his phone number and email address to everyone.  Talk about a humble human being.

What I also found refreshing was that these guys were truly there to teach, share ideas, and learn.  Their passion for what they do really showed.  These are coaches who I aspire to be like someday.

These coaches clearly have learned and helped each other with their coaching philosophies as their messages were very similar.  For example, Charlie Francis was referenced by all of them numerous times.  Tempo running was a staple for a few of them.  Also, the Javorek bar complex was also a common theme from an evaluation perspective.

Here are some takeaways that I thought were great quotes or something that I can use now with my athletes:

 

Al Vermeil

Need to create impulse- explosive power

Never take an athlete to maximum

Adapt to what the athlete can do

Clyde Emerich- “Its not about you, its about them”

Have some speed development drills in your program all the time

Best test- “Can they play?”

 

Al Miller

Get players best at the start of the season

All players are novice lifters. Takes 10 years to develop an athlete

2400 yards maximum for Tempos in a given workout

600 yards maximum for sprints

 

Johnny Parker

Cleans and squats should occupy the greatest % of your program

Work on all qualities all of the time

Don’t be afraid to lead

Real players want to be pushed

Don’t let the star mentality affect your program

 

Rob Panariello

In Season- need intensity, need to have unaccustomed stress

Butt wink- spiderman stretch and hamstring stretch

Eliminate the shift in squatting

 

Don Chu

Skills:

Start Speed- Jumps in place, standing jumps, multiple jumps, depth jumps

Acceleration- Multiple jumps, box drills, bounding

Change of Direction- Standing jumps, multiple jumps, box drills, depth jumps

Vertical Jump- Jumps in place, standing jumps, multiple jumps, box drills, depth jumps

Horizontal Jump- Standing jumps, multiple jumps, box drills, bounding

 

Derek Hansen

Elite sprinter- 35%  high intensity work, 65% low intensity work

Hamstring injuries are brain injuries- software problem, not hardware problem

Rehab- start short and progress to long

Always finish training with low intensity cyclical activity

May 232017
 

I recently attended the RPR Level 1 Coach Certification in Edina, MN.  For more info on it, check out  www.reflexiveperformance.com/about/

This is what I took away from it:

Background- I had previously heard about Cal Dietz doing RPR with his athletes at the University of Minnesota and I was intrigued.  I heard some vague descriptions on what he was doing from some of his athletes and some Strength and Conditioning Coaches.  However, to hear athletes say they felt great and to hear several Strength and Conditioning Coaches whom I respect refer to it as a “Game Changer”- I had to find out more.

Back in the fall, I was fortunate to visit with Cal and see what it was all about. For me, I have had several injuries and surgeries over the years.  I think that has made me try to become a better Strength and Conditioning Coach so my athletes can best avoid what I went through.  My body has been beat up and I feel that I have learned to live in pain.

What I found out was that I was weak in several of the muscle tests that Cal performed.  For example, my hip flexors tested pretty poorly while lying supine while my glutes tested weak while lying prone.  Cal performed the resets on me and then I re-tested.  The change in not only my strength, but the initial action of the test was unbelievable.  My posture was dramatically improved and I felt different while walking.  I was now using the right muscles in the proper sequence to move.  More importantly to me, my pain was relieved.

Over the years, I have learned that some protocols either can be short-lived or can be B.S.  Honestly, I was a little skeptical of it before hand.  However, the reality is that I felt great and the effects lasted a few days versus a few minutes.

The certification was a great experience and Cal did a terrific job ensuring that the students learned the information.

Some of my thoughts and questions about it:

  • I really think the breathing reset is key.
  • I’ve always been a believer in activation exercises but also believe something may be missing. There is something more than stretching the hip flexors and performing glute bridges to activate the glutes.  What if the psoas is stuck and we are performing glute bridges?  Are we facilitating compensations even more? Do the resets fix these compensations?
  • Is this the best way to turn on the lights on quicker when our muscles are called to action to produce movement?
  • I believe in the process of strength and conditioning and understand that processes take time. Is this a shortcut?  Could some of what I have been doing be eliminated- especially if compensations are taking place?
  • Would like to FMS an athlete and then perform RPR and re-screen. If FMS corrections are performed to help get positive changes and if RPR produces a positive change, then is it ok?
  • Should RPR be performed by Strength and Conditioning Professionals or Personal Trainers who aren’t P.T.’s, ATC’s, or massage therapists? This is interesing.  I think the system is easy to learn and execute properly.  Sure, a newly minted professional with less experience may not be ideal but who says they can’t practice?  My observation at the clinic was that each person there got it.  Is that a bad thing?
  • I do know that athletes believe in systems that help them feel and perform better. Helping them achieve that is all that matters.  Is RPR a tool that can help them do that better?
  • Strength and Conditioning Coaches are implementing RPR and are doing a good job in team settings. For example, I’ve seen some videos of it being done with athletes of performing the resets on their own during warm up periods.  Here is one of Merrimack College Athletics:

Honestly, I think that’s great.  If it is something that has a positive effect, and doesn’t take long to perform, then why not?

For me, writing this helps me with getting my thoughts about it out of my brain.  I know that I will perform the resets on myself and use it appropriately when the opportunity arises with my athletes.

Feb 182016
 

 

Total Hockey Training

Today is the official release date of my book Total Hockey Training. I can’t believe that today is actually here. The reality is that there were several days when I thought that this wasn’t going to happen. Whether it was self-doubt or I didn’t feel that I had enough time to hit certain deadlines, the completion of this always seemed way down the road.

 
I had the goal of writing a book about hockey strength and conditioning by the time I was 40 years old with an actual publisher.  The reason why I wanted to go that route is because of a few reasons:

 
– I didn’t trust my writing ability. I didn’t want to make an e-book that may have contained grammatical mistakes. The people at Human Kinetics take care of those things for a living.

 
– I remember a conversation with a friend of mine back in California several years ago about internet gurus and e-books. I remember him saying “Unless a sports or strength training book is published by a reputable publisher such as Human Kinetics, I won’t pick it up.” Now, I am not saying that e-books aren’t any good or worth the read but, hearing him say that always stuck with me.  I trusted Human Kinetics to help me create a solid product that I believed in.

 
– I wanted the challenge of going through the process from start to finish. I wanted to go through this to accomplish something big. As a result, I can say that I have a huge amount of respect admiration for anyone that has written a book.

 

 

Total Hockey Training encompasses everything I’ve learned over the years training the beginner to the professional hockey player.

 

 
You can get a copy at Amazon and Human Kinetics. I hope you enjoy it!

Jan 072016
 

A recent email exchange with some parents and coaches from a youth team that I worked with in the past inspired me to write this.

I was originally told by a parent that a person suggested that the team should participate in a 20-30 minute yoga session for a pre-practice/game warm up. The parent was concerned and asked- isn’t yoga a “static” exercise and shouldn’t they be doing something to help warm up their bodies properly instead of a cooldown?

The reality is that I like yoga for hockey players- just not right before they start practice or a game. I like yoga from a perspective of using it to help athletes recover. For example, during the off-season we may strength train and condition on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I would certainly recommend yoga on Wednesdays and Saturdays to help them recover from the previous workouts and recharge before the next one.

The yoga mentioned above is what most would consider yoga to be- a class like setting where they are doing yoga poses for an hour or so. That is something I wouldn’t recommend before practice. However, I don’t think it is a bad thing to utilize some yoga poses for a few minutes prior to performing a dynamic warm up before practices/games. Yoga poses such as Upward-Facing Dog and TableTop are good poses that can be looked at positively since they are opposite of the position that hockey players are always in. These could be performed prior to the dynamic warm up.