Today I had a great opportunity to learn more about my craft. I thought it would be helpful to take a few moments to reflect on these pages.
For those who don’t know, besides my life as a strength & conditioning coach, I have coached Manitoba’s Provincial baseball team for varying ages from 14-17. Today, we had the opportunity to have some of the best speed development coaches in the province do a workshop for our boys, the start of a 12 week process with these coaches.
As a coach myself, getting to sit in intimately on an accomplished coach’s session is very enlightening. Besides taking in information, I get to see how top coaches interact and make corrections. Watching other coaches interact with their athletes has always been an obsession of mine. How do they criticize? How do they praise? What is the ratio? Are they harsh? comforting? demanding? Do they sit back and watch, or do they consistently cue? How long do they wait for an athlete to figure out the drill before intervening? Do they change the drill individually to create better feedback for learning?
It’s great to have information, but the ability to effectively coach that information an entirely different ballgame, pardon the pun.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have a very biased viewpoint in that I tend to view strength development as the answer to many athletic issues. However, principles of good movement and athleticism need to be applied in any motor environment, not just strength training. I loved seeing the coaches bring out dowels and talk to our boys about posture, energy transfer through the core and applying force to the ground. The things that I’ve applied countless times to deadlifting, squatting and pressing are the same. Athleticism is athleticism, and principles are broad across different domains. I’m embarrassed that prior to today I hadn’t though hard enough about applying the principles I’ve learned in other domains of motor development effectively to teaching sprinting.
I enjoyed the session today and am looking forward to learning more about speed development as the fall continues!