The easiest way to put it is, Take the time to get better. I know that I still have a lot to learn. This past weekend I traveled down to Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR to attend the NSCA Oregon State Clinic. The lineup was awesome. Dean Riddle(Nike), Dewey Nielsen(Impact Performance Training), Mark Dillion(U of O), David Stricklin(Seattle Seahawks), Jim Snider(Wisconsin), Mark McLaughlin(Performance Training Center), Bryan Miller(OSU). They nailed it. Probably one of the better conferences I've been to in a while. Some things challenged my thought process, but the best part is that its making me better. I like that. I tried to grab one thing from each session and use it as my take away and apply or look at it within my own work this week.
Take Away 1: Many Hats
We all know that as a Strength Coach or Business Owner, we wear many hats. Sometimes, as in my case, I'm the custodian, the programmer, the Banker, The Bookkeeper and so on. Even though you might have an employee or two we wear many hats. Communication is key. Making sure you facilitate and have a plan to follow things through. This one made me really lok at what I'm doing and how I can do it beter.
Take Away 2: Body Control through Movement.
Dewey Nielsen knocked this one out of the park. He had, probably a hundred or so, strength guys down on the OSU Practice Football Turf crawling and just plain moving. It was a little chilly, but not after Dewey was done with us. To quote him from his handout, "Just because you produce movement, doesn't mean you control movement". In all my work the Functional Movement Screen is the primary lens I look through when I begin with a client, student or athlete. I found that many of the crawling and movement patterns that Dewey shared with us were linked in some way to the FMS. We need to be able to move before we can be stable. And we need to be stable before we can be strong.
Take Away 3: Speed is a Skill...Coach it.
So many kids don't move well. Some might be fast, but they could be faster. My take away here was on first step acceleration. The teaching part can come in the form of technique. How do we start? How do we take our first step? What do our hands do? Arm angle? These are element that can make us faster if we coach it. We don't need to beat the kids over their heads, we can implement things in pieces. Just like everything else, It a piece to the performance training puzzle.
Take Away 4: Do No Harm!
The clinic was awesome. Too bad for one guy, still didn't get it. The clinicians talked about implementing the FMS, movement, properly training youth, program design and so on. One of the last questions of the the day, an attendee asked Coach Miller from OSU if he used Olympic Lifting in Metabolic Conditioning Circuits. Coach Miller looked at him with a blank stare for a second. The responded with a, NO! The guy sitting behind us said it perfectly, "Crossfit Dumbass!" We train to enhance performance, not make guys sore or puke. Another quote from the clinic was, "My Grandmother can make someone throw up". Coach McLaughlin from Performance Training Center shared some staggering information on young athletes getting injured. It is our responsibility to teach them how to train and why to train. We can do it.
Take Away 5: Functional Movement Screen
I have incorporated the FMS into my training and programming for sometime now. I was amazed to see the number of guys that have still never been exposed to it. I was also surprised as to how some are implementing it. Evey player that goes through the NFL Combine is Screened using the Functional Movement Screen(They use other assessments as well). The standard of training is changing. We're headed in the right direction.
I feel blessed to be in the position and job I'm in. Impacting my clients, students and athletes. I realize I still have a lot to learn, but in conclusion to this clinic I realized as a High School Strength and Conditioning Coach and a Business Owner of a Performance Training Facility, I'm headed in the right direction.