5 Things That Are Wrong with This Country

TAGS: parallel, Agility Ladders, watts, mark, quick, flip, box jump, medicine ball

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I avoid political banter as much as possible. I always wondering why people get so offended at everything they read.

It would be foolish of me to state what the problems in the country are attributed to. There are people that make a lot of money to tell us that whether we want to hear it or not. But, I can say the problems in the country are represented by the same foundational issues that we see in training athletes every day.

I don't know whether the affordable care act warrants everyone going batshit crazy. I don't know how to reduce the deficit, and I certainly can't help our economy. My knowledge base and my experiences allows me to help coaches train athletes more effectively. Here is my list of what needs fixed.

1. Not Squatting Parallel

Nothing exemplifies laziness and false bravado than to load a bar and squat halfway down. I realize there are some discrepancies with depth when athletes are maxing or lifters are working with gear, but to allow athletes to continue to add weight to the bar just for testing numbers or record boards is wrong.

As a strength coach, you have to have certain principles that you will not waiver from. There are certain aspects of your program that you have to hold on to and cannot budge. Unfortunately, there are some things you will have to compromise on. I am speaking at the NSCA Coaches conference on just that: compromising with sport coaches.

For me, athletes squatting parallel was never negotiable. It wasn't just the benefits which I list in a previous log post. It represents the non-committing, superficial, easy-way mentality that infects our country.

2. Agility Ladders

Nothing epitomizes what is wrong with our young athletes (at least the training of them) like agility ladders. I can see using them as a warm-up, but when coaches use them and actually think they are improving agility or footwork, they are misinformed.

Athletes run through every pattern imaginable through the ladders. They are moving their feet as fast as they can but aren't covering any ground. Working on how fast they can put one foot down next to the other one and not understanding why their "first step" is horrendous. We see people every day that take a lot of small steps and give the impression they are covering ground. It is about the distance traveled on each step.

3. Box Jumps for Max Height

Let's test what the highest box we can possibly jump on. It will look really cool on YouTube and it will get me more clients and recruits. Sure, I realize that it really a test of flexibility as much as it is explosive power and I still have no idea how a vertical jump correlates. But, hell yes, lets try to get our athletes to knee them selves in the face as they barely get their feet on the edge of these multiple boxes stacked up. You know what, we should have our athletes take a running start at this thing so we can film them jumping on an even higher box.

Instead, try this. Jump as high as you can every time and land on a box that will allow you to land in an athletic position.

4. Submaximal Medicine Ball Work

If you have a med ball in your hands, throw that f**king thing as hard as you can. Or, slam it on the ground as hard as you can or against a wall as hard as you can. You are using med balls to develop explosive power, correct? If you aren't not running as fast as you can, you are not developing speed. If you are not jumping as high as you can or throwing as hard as you can, you are not developing explosive power. I understand if if you are using it for a conditioning circuit, but even then, throw it hard.

Med balls can be good for resistance when doing GHRs, or back extensions, but if you aren't throwing them, what else are you doing with them? Cleaning them? And if you are throwing them, please don't throw them to a target that is "just high enough." Before I get a ton of haters telling me the intention of wall ball or med ball cleans, I get it. It's just not good. It represents "just doing enough."

5. Running Slowly in Circles

This is pretty self explanatory. The athletes travel a great distance, it takes a lot of time, they end up in the same place as they started and they really aren't any more prepared for their sport. You can see the analogy. It's not even about testing the correct energy system, its a lack of creativity and a dinosaur mentality that hold true progress back.

I hope no one took me too seriously. Fixing these issues with our athletes will not fix our country, but we all need to start where we can make the most impact.

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