Mindful or Mindless? The best screen you EVER used!
This is a phrase that I have borrowed from Vern Gambetta since his workshop a few weeks ago.
I like it because it’s so easy to think like this and it’s a great screen for your training programme.
It’s simple: is the training you’re doing requiring cognitive processing, decision making, challenging you physically and mentally?
Sport needs decision makers, it needs people who can work under pressure, people experienced in working in a variety of conditions.
Our training should reflect this both technically and physically.
It also needs people who are adept at responding to situations that change, people who can deal with scenarios that arise with no prior knowledge.
Our training should reflect those things too.
So how can we tell if our training is mindful or mindless?
Well thinking about it is a give away!
Are you thinking about the elements in your programmes? Have you considered everything recently?
Are the athletes challenged with the concepts or is it just a routine that they have to go through?
I’ve thought about this in my own programming for some of the teams I work with lately and made some changes.
Don’t get me wrong there are things that need to be included in your training. Squats spring to mind here.
Most athletes use squats to develop strength. But are you challenging them in the right way?
Is it just a weight on the bar?
Strength work should be targeted and at the required intensity to demand intent and effort from your athletes.
Including supersets with major strength movements that are challenging neurally (such as balance work, specific movements, jumps and basic plyos) is another good method to employ.
Taking out or minimizing mindless core holds and endurance work such as planks, road work, and everything I refer to as ‘plodding’ is another strategy that helps to refocus.
We don’t need to plod along we need to do a lot more than this!
We’re not robots either, so we shouldn’t look like robots in training. Flow is a major part of any sporting movement . Our training should reflect this rather than be segmental and isolated. (There are times when isolation is required of course but I’m speaking in general terms.)
How do your athletes look in training? This is a lesson Vern shared.
For me this is one of the best screening tools.
Are they focused when they do the programme, or are they bored?
Facial expressions are a dead giveaway.
That’s your screen, now examine your programme with this in mind.
Make it mindful and enjoy the process.