Monday, April 28, 2014

Some Early Thoughts from Southwest Michigan Strength Seminar with Patrick Ward

The Southwest Michigan Strength Seminar is quickly gaining traction as a very solid educational resource.  Dan John, Charlie Weingroff and this year Patrick Ward.

Patrick is a Sports Scientist for Nike,  based out of Portland, OR.  His presentation was titled. "A Holistic Approach to Athletic Development." Dude is crazy smart.  I was fortunate enough to get to work with him at a Functional Range Release seminar this past spring, so I knew what an awesome learning opportunity this weekend was going to be.  He didn't disappoint.  

One of the first slides he talked about was how he developed as a strength coach, his past thoughts and the corresponding thought process he has now.  I found this to be paradigm shifting for me.  It's almost like my mind was leaning away from an old way of thinking, but it wasn't fully pushed that way until I read it and saw it and heard it.  

It reminded me of growing up and a buddy always thought the latest supplement was going to unlock all the athletic potential he had.  I was similar in the fact that I believed if I did the right exercises I would do the same thing.  I would have said, you have to squat and run hills if you want to be good at football.  My focus was on the exercise, not on what I needed to get better at my sport.

That is essentially the way of thinking I've had for quite a long time.  Do enough of the "right exercise" and the results will be there.  That was Strength and Conditioning to me.  This is what I think Strength and Conditioning is to most SC coaches out there.  

Now it's about physical preparation.  Find the needs of the person for the needs of their sport.  You may need aerobic capacity or maybe alactic capacity.  Two very different things.  But, this could be the difference between success and failure, injury or health. What becomes important is the physiological needs, then the methods and last the exercise.  This is a big shift in thinking from choosing the exercise first. 

 Ever hear the phrase Monday is Bench day?

In the above example, athlete A need aerobic capacity and athlete B needs alactic capacity.  Again, these are highly different things.  We can choose stato-dynamic training for athlete A and repeated power for Athlete B.  We can even choose the same exercise but modified.  Athlete A does squats with a 2 tempo down and 2 tempo up for 10 reps.  Rest of 60 seconds.  This will work on the aerobic capacity at the physiological level.  Athlete B does dumbell jump squats for fast 3-5 seconds with 20 seconds rest this will work on the alactic capacity.

This is just a very small example of the thought process that was explained.  Other highlights included addressing the concept of the physiological buffer zone.  The bigger the zone, the better the performance and least likely to be hurt.  How to monitor the athlete.  How to screen the athlete.  How to put all this together.  Patrick spewed forth information for a solid 8 hours.  Each hour was packed with awesome insight into training and developing the athlete and keeping them healthy.  

If you ever get a chance to learn from Patrick, I can't encourage it enough.  His website is Optimum Sports Performance.  He keeps a great blog and has some DVD's he has presented at that you can buy if you want to learn more from him.  

No comments: