Friday, May 27, 2011

"FedEx Day" in Sports Performance

I recently finished the book Drive by Daniel Pink. It's a great read that discusses how people are motivated in today's world compared to past generations. Three major points Pink emphasized were developing autonomy, mastery, and purpose. At the end he suggested some techniques that companies have used, which have increased production and profit. An Australian company called Atlassian came up with "FedEx Days" that were designed to give complete freedom for the employees on certain days and times to develop new projects, and work on ways to improve how they do their job.

Brian McCormick linked a post on his website, where a basketball coach let his players make all coaching decisions for an entire game. Pretty much a "FedEx Game." He used this to see how they would react to certain situations and what they've learned from him as a coach. I wanted to try this in regards to my sports performance class. So when the kids came in for their workout, I gave them a piece of paper and pen. I told them they could do whatever they want, they just had to write down what they did, and at the end write down some reasons why they did those exercises.

I did this to evaluate how much I've connected with this group over the past 10-12 weeks. I also wanted to see if they are starting to buy into my program.

The results????

I was pretty damn happy about the results. Here's some bullet points on things I took away. Total it was about 16-20 kids who did took part.

-Not one sit-up was performed. All core work involved rollouts, planks, pallof presses, etc. Even 2 girls did some Turkish get ups!!!-------- MAJOR WIN!

-About 60% jumped on the foam roller before they started to lift.----- 60% WIN. I really want all my athletes to value soft tissue work.

-2 of my girls did cleans. Other than that there wasn't much power work.----LOSS. Something I need to emphasize the importance of power, especially for athlete's.

-Lots of full body movements including push ups, pull ups, TRX Rows, bench press, goblet squats, etc.--------WIN.

-Only one male went back to isolation exercises----NOT SURE. I don't think the other boys have even read a men's fitness magazine. The only one who probably did was the kid doing flys, curls and "kickbacks" as he called them. Teaching them the value of movements vs. muscles for athletes is needed a little more.

-There really wasn't much lower body work. Almost no single leg work.------ LOSS. There were some goblet squats, which I loved. Something I need to work on is having my athletes value single leg strength and power. Something that I view of as a staple in my program.

Overall, I felt this was a great exercise that revealed a lot about what I personally need to work on as a coach. This can be translated to any sport or profession. A big tip, don't take anything personally and actually give them complete control of the day. You may be surprised at what your athletes do. It also gives them a break and lets them experience your situation in a completely different mindset. They might try something new you never thought of, or give you a new idea because instead on instructing, you're just observing.

Try it out if it works in your situation and let me know how it goes!

Here's a video about the book Drive

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