Beware the Sports Performance Coach?

Having been in the strength and conditioning field for 15 or so years, I have seen my share of excellent to good to frankly very questionable strength and conditioning coaches.

Personally, I have some favorite coaches that have fit into my philosophy or have challenged it to make me grow more. They have been the big names in the industry;they have been past and present co-workers; they have also been up and coming strength coaches that I have met at either seminars or through a connection of some sort.

Nonetheless, in our industry,we may have disagreements about various training methods etc.. but we also know who is good.

Why am I writing about this? Well I recently saw an article that was in my local paper that looked intriguing at first but having read further, it really bothered me.

A so called sports performance coach who has a business wrote about a product he helped put together. The product itself looked interesting was to help enhance speed acceleration.

However,how he explained his speed cues to his athletes was..well poor. Now the uninformed athlete, parent of athlete or coach reading that would probably be "chomping at the bit" to train with this coach and the new toy. Of course it's not their fault it looks cool and the coach seems fairly knowledgable.

Unfortunately what they don't know is the number of hip flexor injuries that has occured because:

1. The coach has athletes sprinting on the toy EVERY DAY

2. The coach does not perform or educate the athletes on post recovery work

Thus these poor athletes don't have a chance to recover from such a highly demanding neuro-muscular load on their central nervous system not to mention the fatigue of their sprinting muscles. (hamstrings,glutes,hip flexors and ankle musculature).

No wonder they had flexor strains!

This is one of unfortunately too many incidents that so called sports performance coaches have done with their athletes. A good strength and conditioning coach:

1.Gets Results without injuring his/her athletes

2.Has a very solid training program (See above)

3.If injuries do occur, he/she takes the appropriate measures to correct them.

4.Listens and learns from other coaches and athletes feedback

5.Has confidence in his/her knowledge but is not afraid to be wrong

6.Has a good network of other strength coaches,therapists, sports nutritionists and physicians

As a consumer you also need to do your homework. Get referrals, check to see if the sports performance coach or strength and conditioning coach have experience, are nationally certified and keep up with their CEU's.

Are there programs injuring athletes on a consistent basis? If they are not sound in their fundamentals,you're asking for trouble.

Don't be dazzled by the glitz!

I have shared the article with some fellow well respected strength and conditioning coaches and I will briefly go over what they had to say in my next newsletter.

Thanks for reading,


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