Random Ramblings on Strength and Conditioning vol. 1

Sometimes… a lot of times I get a million thoughts screaming in my head.  A lot to do with fitness, health, sports, and training.  Stuff like; what is a good way to coach someone to eat better? What would help an athlete get faster more effectively? Or if Taylor Swift will ever find true love?... Some of these are easy to answer, and others? Well, I realize I just have to shake it off.  ;)

However, some are very pertinent to what I do, they very much relate to training athletes, and health in general. So I’ve decided I’m going to start an installment I call Random Ramblings.  Where I talk about my thoughts relating to training, sports, and health in general.

I can’t say how regularly these will be posted, they’ll just be random.  In any case here are my thoughts for today.

1.) You need to earn the right to get out of sagittal - For those of you unfamiliar with what saggital means it goes like this; every movement the human body goes through is broken down into 3 planes.  Frontal or Coronal (side to side movements, i.e jumping jacks), transversal (rotational movements, i.e. swinging a baseball bat), and sagittal (back and forth movements, i.e. push-ups).

Here’s the thing; there’s something called body awareness.  Basically an awareness of where your body is in space. While one may argue that we live every day in all three planes of movement, a lot of exercises that go through the frontal and transversal planes require a lot of body awareness to be done safely and effectively. Most people truly don’t have that awareness though.

The sagittal plane is easier for people to perform an exercise in.  My athletes need to effectively squat, hip hinge, and lunge before I worry about making them do more complex movements like side lunges, rotational skater squats, etc.

This brings me to my next point.

2.) Athletes need to get out of sagittal - Okay so I know I seem like I’m contradicting myself, but hear me out… Once an athlete can demonstrate good movement in sagittal you need to get them out of sagittal.

Remember that argument about daily life being multi-planar? Well think of an athlete. Unless their a select few; athletes play multi-planar sports. They move side to side, rotationally, and sagittally.

After they master back and forth movements, and yet that’s still all you do then you are drastically hindering the athlete from reaching their full potential, and even risking them getting bored and burned out from training.

Along with that, you are better able to give them a complete workout, working every muscle in the body, and continually reducing their risk of injury.

3.) Busyness is a perceived reality - The excuse of “I’m too busy” is often the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.  If you can honestly tell me you don’t spend any time on facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat or texting, and then tell me you’re too busy I’m liable to be more understanding.

What we think is busy probably isn’t.  Take a long honest look at your daily life.  Are there ways you can re-prioritize your time? Are there things you can say no to? Are there ways you can even effectively multi-task? I try my very hardest to catch myself from saying “I’m too busy”.  Cause honestly, I’m not, and I challenge you to think the same way.

I find it funny, but when something is important to someone they will find a way to do it.

I’m just going to say it; what we often call busyness, is often just an excuse for being lazy.

4.) For Athletes and Parents of Athletes Strength and Conditioning NEEDS to be a priority - I think too often people grow into the misconception that the only way to get better at a sport is to play a sport. While that has some merit that line of thought can lead to a slew of mishaps from; injury to burnout and everything in between.

Without the proper training athletes just go through the same motions and eventually this leads to the problems previously mentioned.  

With proper training an athlete can be made stronger, more mobile, move better, and just become a better all around athlete which will help them not just stay healthy, but experience significantly more success in their respective sport.

I see it too often, when training gets completely forgotten about and a few months later the athlete is injured.  While the proper training can’t prevent this, the chances of an injury can be significantly reduced.  

Keep in mind I’m saying PROPER training, I am willing to say that some ways athletes train is just completely counter intuitive and won’t help them at all.

However, along with training being a priority athletes need a break from their sport.  I’m not talking simply a week off, but at least allow an athlete to get a month off at some point during the year.  Where they don’t worry about their sport, and just relax and maintain where they are at through continued training.

Before you overcommit yourself or your young athlete with tournaments and a million different club teams, make sure that the athlete has enough time to actually train and to actually rest.  Pure raw skill and ability without anything backing it up will only get an athlete so far, and if it’s constantly drawn upon, well they could very well get hurt.

There you have it, my random thoughts of recent.