Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Pat Riley has a quote in his book The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players, “If you’re not getting better, you are getting worse”. I love this quote because I believe it’s true. I always want to see myself as a beginner in the Strength and Conditioning/Sports Performance profession. Honestly, there is so much that I don’t know. Which has just dawned on me that I think this is why I am not the biggest fan of some of the internet gurus who- A- really aren’t coaching anyone and B- really haven’t been doing this for a long time.
2012 was another good year that brought about some life learning experiences both personally and professionally. Here are 3 things among others that really stood out:
1- I really enjoy coaching on the floor in the weight room and on the field/ice. Professionally, this is what I love doing. Interacting and coaching my athletes while they train is what I am passionate about. This is what keeps me going. When something is taken away from you for reasons way beyond your control, you realize how much you love to doing it. Hopefully, I’m back to doing it soon.
2- The diaphragm is a really important muscle to ensure that is functioning properly. While I am still in the infant stages (no pun intended) of learning about its roles in breathing and in spinal stabilization, the reality is that I really didn’t give it the time of day up until a year or two ago.
The diaphragm is an important muscle in function because of its importance in creating deep abdominal pressure (in conjunction with other muscles including the pelvic floor and other abdominals) prior to movement of the upper and/or lower body limb(s) in function. From an injury prevention perspective, I think this a huge area of importance because if there is insufficient intra-abdominal pressure, dysfunction can easily occur in a part of the chain of events that occur in movemdddddent. Maybe I’m wrong, but I do know that I will learn more about this. Thanks to my learning about breathing and my recent attendance at the DNS-A course, this has been brought to my attention and will soon be part of my daily coaching strategies.
3- I really like USA Hockey’s long-term American Development Model which is I am pretty sure is going to be instituted at the mite level next year in Southern California. One of the main components of this model at the mite level is that kids will be playing cross-ice games instead of full ice.
What I have learned is while that I agree with the change overall, I am not sure that I agree with it when it comes to my own son. Please let me explain. In his situation, he is now playing in travel mite full-ice game hockey at the age of 6. Prior to this season, he played cross-ice mini games when he was 4 and then played full-ice In-House at age 5. All of the time however has been spent practicing in mostly station-based drills and cross-ice mini games. My question is, does he then spend the next 2 years (mites are ages 8 and under) playing cross-ice while he is now capable of playing full ice because he is as big, if not bigger than most of the kids in the mite age group while also being an average- above average skater? Would this take him backwards as I feel that he can play full ice? Maybe in my eyes, his progression is going good, however he could benefit from the small area games to develop his skills. I’m not sure, but I’m sure there will be some other kids with same questions.