Friday, August 27, 2010

Reduce Injuries or Increase Performance?????

If you’ve trained for a sport chances are a coach has said (and I’m guilty of this too) “This is going to save you from a ______ injury.” Saying this can lead to players, parents and coaches to believe the training program won’t set them apart from the next player, and that you're just “maintaining” (I hate that word). I know their first priority is to keep their athletes healthy. Which is 100% correct because if you get hurt because of a bad training program that might bump your bench up an extra 5 lbs, I’m pretty sure no one will care. The next goal after that is to improve your performance in your desired sport(s).
<<<<(Can't really prevent that no matter what program you do) But are they really different? If I can limit your injuries, essentially that means you now move more efficiently, you are stronger, and more powerful. If I make you a better athlete chances are that you move more efficiently, are stronger, and more powerful. Hmmmmm…… I think there’s a connection here.

They key to this is progression. Athletes must be put in a situation where they do not try to become a professional athlete in a day. This is the coach’s responsibility to make sure they go on the right path that will lead them to long-term success. The last time I remembered you have to go to pre-school, elementary school, middle/high school, college and grad school before you become a doctor. Now we see coaches trying to push kids through ridiculous workouts and they probably can’t even do 10 REAL push ups yet.

^Don't think this guy made it to any pro league.^

A great example that comes to mind is plyometric (jumping) progressions. I love single leg hops. There’s a great progression where for 3 weeks (twice a week), they will hop in place or onto a small box. This limits the distance they have to go down and all we do is focus on landing. They we progress to jumping over a line of cones (no more than 5) and every time they have to stick and hold the landing for a 1 count. Once they prove they can do this consistently, I will progress into a little bounce in between cones. Last they can continuously jump over each cone for max height and distance.

If I were to throw them into the continuous hops, I’m guessing a couple of the kids will experience knee pain or might roll and ankle. If you establish a base to get them strong, not only will those injuries go away, they will jump higher because they’ve gotten stronger and their brain can tell the muscles how to land and take off more efficiently. This will lead to faster cutting, higher jumping, and more speed.

In six weeks he gained 200 lbs of muscle because of 1 secret lift!

Injury prevention is just smart progressive training. Increasing sport performance is just smart, progressive training. Realize, not matter how badass your workouts are, if you're hurt and can't play.... NO ONE CARES! Don’t get caught up in programs that promise results in a ridiculous time period. If they do you might want to have your physical therapist and or doctor’s number put into speed dial.

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