The right person for the right job!

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about my Top Ten Hints for getting an S&C Role in Professional Sport. After having some time to digest what I wrote I’m convinced of one thing…I was right!

Now don’t take me the wrong way. Sure there are many different ways to run a S&C department just as there are many ways to develop a strong athlete. What I proved to myself was that the model I use to “profile” the staff I want has worked in my particular circumstance.

During a recent impromptu “after work” snatch and squat session with one of my coaching staff I asked for a critical review of my snatch skills. Now I would be the first to admit it is far too long between sessions in which I focus on skills and not on simply “blasting myself to kingdom come”. But I was very impressed with the review I received and the integration of some concepts that he brought from a recent seminar with Coach Bob Takano.

So what are the key points I took away from this “post-work-stress-busting” strength session?

  1. Focus strongly on extension during the snatch to the extent that you utilize the stretch shortening cycle generated through the front of the hips and abs. Not only does this increase the range of motion through which you apply force to the bar vertically to achieve maximal acceleration, but the associated SSC encourages an increase in speed under the bar.
  1. Be patient for the power “sweet spot”. A smooth pull into the double knee bend then explode into extension as described in 1 as the bar approaches mid thigh. Don’t try to generate “the gas” too early.

This got me thinking about a recent tweet I’d seen…

Chris Brander tweet Q: What is #strong for an athlete? @raphaelbrandon "As strong as you have enough time for without taking over specific training"

Sometimes its not just specific training you need to worry about.

If you read a lot of the blogs out of the private training facilities in the US, many seem to have all the time in the world, with free reign over the athletes for weeks at a time, developing a perfect balance of work, recovery and nutrition. Unfortunately, I don’t live in that world.

Logistics plays a huge role in whether you have “enough time” for strength development in a professional team athlete. Any budding “High Performance Manager” out there reading this needs to know that sometimes your program will be dictated to not by an imbalance with specific training but by a simple matter of logistics.

Obviously nothing beats a 1:1 coach to athlete ratio. In team sports if you can sustain 1:3-5 you are in a very well resourced or time friendly program. From 1:6 out to 1:10 you are probably in the real world for most team sports. However depending on any number of factors (travel schedule, funding, head coach “brain fart” etc.) you can find yourself in sessions that exceed 1:12. Now everybody has been there at some point. The question is how do you make it work.

The answer is relatively simple…staff! Combating time constraints is a matter of having great staff around you. More staff equals better athlete service (I read a comment somewhere recently that there is a need for S&C coaches to focus on service to the athlete rather than using the environment as a research vehicle…touché my man!).

If I were to condense my Top Ten Hints…into a simple guide for the S&C employer it would be this…

Good S&C staff must practice what they preach and have integrity beyond reproach!

That’s been my experience! Sounds simple doesn’t it! Easy to say…hard to find.

What this little writing foray reminded me was continue to practice “what I preach”. The further you go up any organizational command structure the further you move away from the essence of your professional being. As the jobs get bigger, make sure you remain grounded in the skills and practical athletic interaction that makes us who we are.


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