Latest Blog Entry
How to start coaching strength and conditioning
“How can you demonstrate if you have never done the exercise?”
was one of the questions I asked the candidates on the Level 1 strength and conditioning course at the weekend.
Reading a text book or journal is one thing, setting up a good plan is another. Delivering and executing that plan, then being able to adapt it is where coaching is difficult.
There was a blend of youth and experience on the course, with 5 students and 5 people who work. As always, I started off with trying to establish coaching language used in order to dismiss folklore and create better understanding.
However, one of the candidates thought that my insistence on using simple coaching cues actually complicates matters! This came up in our discussion on how to communicate effectively when coaching.
Once again, language is important so we avoid doing “rotator cuff” dumbbell exercises (which have nothing to do with our rotator cuff works in real life) rather than thinking about the movements that our sport requires and training our shoulders accordingly (shoulder exercise video)
Walking the walk
As usual, over half the course was based on practical learning and delivery. I try to work from the premise of creating structural integrity with our athletes, then progressing to developing movement efficiency.
It is quite concerning to see young people who are in pain and who lack the ability to perform fundamental movements such as squatting, skipping and balancing on one leg.
Without these basic skills, it is hard to move fast, or sustain movement without getting injured. I took the candidates through a series of exercises and progressions that will help remedy this. We then applied this in speed and agility work.
Again, I kept this simple, but concentrated on coaching it thoroughly. The principles can then be applied to whatever other drill the candidates choose to use in their environments.
I have to be patient and realise that young people are a product of their environment and are just starting out on their coaching pathway.
During the build up to the Beijing Paralympics I was fortunate to be able to train with Excelsior. During this time James delivered a specific eleven month training block to me starting from base fitness up to more complex circuits and exercises. James would always take part in our sessions and this really helped motivate me, as we would push each other to achieve during the sessions. James was flexible around my shift work and would always answer any questions I had, however daft they sounded!
14 Oct 2017
Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course – Horsham. 14th -15th October 2017 Venue: Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, W. Sussex, RH13 0LA. Assessment Day: Sunday 3rd December 2017. Cost: £280 including materials and access to online resources. To book send a deposit of £100 here. The deposit is non refundable. Once the full balance has been paid and your place […]