Coach and Athletic Director

April/May 2018

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46 A P R I L / M A Y 2 0 1 8 SPORTS MEDICINE SPOTLIGHT caring for athletes There are many complex job functions of a strength coach, such as building programs and progressing exercises. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest challenges a strength coach faces. First and foremost, it's imperative to have training philosophy. When the philosophy is established, it becomes a less complicated task to develop a program and progress exercises. When developing your philosophy, the main focus should be on creating objectives and principles of training. This will clearly define what it is you are trying to achieve with the individuals you work with. My philosophy is built around objectives and principles that I believe are going to be the most effective ways to get the individuals I work with to achieve success. My objectives are to reduce the risk of injury and maximize athletic performance. Training principles √ Ground-based movements. Nearly every sport is played with the feet on the ground, which is a valid reason to incorporate ground-based movements in the training program. Much of performance capability requires optimal force production for speed and power. Performing these movements helps improve those qualities. From an injury standpoint, ground-based training is an excellent way to prevent sports injuries. Many injuries, such as ACL tears, are caused by ground-based contact, so performing exercises like Olympic lifts, squats, plyometrics and agility training not only maximizes athletic performance, it reduces risk of injury as well. √ Multi-joint movements. Human movement, especially in sports, requires a series of complex movements. The body is required to work synergistically, integrating different muscles and joints in different locations to perform movements that require multiple joint actions. Examples of this include running, jumping and throwing. For this reason, it's important to perform movement patterns that are multi-joint in nature. √ Multiplanar-based movements. The body not only performs multi-joint actions during movement, it works in multiple planes as well. Sport activity requires movements that are side to side, up and down, forward and back, and rotational. Due to these requirements, it's important to train in multiple planes because the body will be better equipped to perform the specific demands of the activity. To train this way, it's necessary to use free-weight and body-weight exercises, because this type of training allows the body to perform movements in multiple planes of motion. Training with machines does not allow this to happen, so it's important to use equipment like free weights and medicine balls to get the most benefits from training. When building programs, I use this philosophy to determine the approach I am going to take in designing and implementing them. Identifying individual needs The next step in the process is determining the needs of each athlete. This may include rehab, flexibility, strength strength program DESIGN & EXERCISE PROGRESSION Jeff Brodeur, columnist

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