We’re not rocket scientists!
Spending time with Vern Gambetta last week was a great experience for me. It’s always great to listen to your mentors talk about their experiences and Vern has so many stories to tell he could have put on a seminar purely based on anecdotes and experiences from his 40+ years in performance sport.
One of the many things I picked up from him was the concept of keeping things simple. Now those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I’m a big advocate of this approach already , but Vern really did hammer this home over the course of the 5 days I spent with him.
From my perspective let’s be honest, we’re not rocket scientists, we’re coaches. We need to look at our athletes moving and be able to say that’s wrong or that’s right, AND THAT’S IT!
What we don’t need to do is say that’s wrong because of this, this, that and something else. We just need to know it’s wrong. Then have some solutions or strategies to work on solving the issues presented.
What we don’t need to do is look for reasons, variables, intricacies that just simply aren’t required but make us sound more intelligent.
Ask yourself this question, what can I do about it if I know all this information? Chances are you’ll utilise the same strategies you’d use if you don’t know!
Are you a complexifier or a simplifier? (2 great words)
Do you look for more issues or for solutions and strategies?
I can tell you now that I’ve been guilty of complexifying things myself from time to time when I really didn’t need to.
Here are 3 examples of areas that are commonly complicated more than they need to be in our profession in my experience:
1. Endurance Training: What are we really trying to do here? Do you really need heart rate monitors, lactate tolerance, threshold training? What we really need to do is train for our sports at the speeds we encounter, start off with high intensity, low volume then gradually increase the durations towards those encountered in the sport. If our athletes can do this they are ‘fit’ enough.
Build it then learn to endure it as I’ve said before (it’s not my term by the way).
2. Assessments and Screenings: This area has gone crazy in recent years. Everyone is an expert in corrective exercise and movement patterns. Stop trying to sounds really intelligent and look at coaching instead. Good coaching solves many of the issues. Coach the hell out of your athletes and they will move better. Nobody moves perfectly, asymmetries are part of sport and life. Corrective exercise is just good programming and exercise selection.
Being a good coach and working with your athletes is the best way to get results, not selling the concept of being a corrective exercise guru.
3. Which Physical Qualities? Again this is another area that seems to be overcomplicated. Know your force velocity relationships and work the curve (as Gill Stevenson says). Check out my recent post on Load/Power spectrum which is pretty much the same thing. We don’t need to over- analyze here, if in doubt work on building strength- Basic or maximal depending on the level of the athletes you work with. This will improve other areas many times over.
Work on 3 qualities simultaneously so as to not water down your programme. (A post I wrote on the same subject).
Where do you sit on these 3 areas? Do you over-complicate things?
There are more of these, I could go on but I think you get my point.
In summary, don’t be a complexifier be a simplifier!
Be a better coach and the results (and business) will come.
That’ll do for today…..
PS You can listen to my radio show from Tuesday which is all about S&C/fitness along with some good tunes over on Sound Cloud. I come on about 8am which is about 1 hour into the show.