Peaking for Sport
If speed is what we’re going after, then why do the weights on both our heavy and light days continue to climb, and bar speed continues to fall? As we get deeper into the competitive season and continue to put more tonnage on the athletes, we are burning the candle at both ends.
WATCH: Table Talk — Dave Tate and Joe Sullivan on Working Full-Time and ...
It doesn't matter if you're planning on coaching part-time or full-time; coaching is a job that requires time, passion, and a deep love of the sport — no matter the paygrade. If you're only in it for the glory or money, you're not going to last long.
The ABCs of My Life in Strength, Conditioning, and Fitness
I started my career as a strength and conditioning coach nearly 40 years ago. Throughout those 40 or so years, I picked up and learned a lot from other people. I tried to name as many of these people and their ideas as possible, so here it is, in an easy-to-read ABCs format.
Laying Out the Groundwork to Prevent Injuries
Why are we not focusing on the mechanics? Why is this not important to more coaches and personal trainers? Why are we not laying the groundwork for these athletes to be successful? Staying healthy is a huge part of being successful and in the world of college athletics, if you are injured, you’re not playing.
Two Crucial Components Your Training is Missing
Most intermediates that have come to me without ever working with a qualified coach before are lacking a few qualities in their technique, especially on big lifts. Lacking these qualities can potentially lead to injury at one point or another. These two qualities are tension and torque.
Championship Nature Series: The Inverted U and Wooden on Criticism
You can’t control what people say about you. Sometimes what they say will be good; sometimes what they say will be bad. What you can control is the way you respond to it. You can let the media get you on the highs and lows of the season, or you can simply choose to not respond to it. It’s your choice.
Performance Drive Response
Reading Al Miller's "The System" made me think about my most successful program. I’ve dubbed this hodgepodge of six years in strength and conditioning “Performance Drive Response,” which is a culmination of a bunch of different systems I’ve used, seen, and been in or part of.
Through the Players' Eyes
Coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, equipment personnel, and league officials all have distinctly different vantage points on the same subject matter. Somewhere along the lines, one of the most critical perspectives gets lost in the shuffle: the players'.
How Strong is Strong Enough?
To answer this question, we need to define strength. But there are many ways to define strength, so we all have to come up with our own method for defining strength. For me, it's the squat.
WATCH: Why Do I Always Wear a Belt?
This question makes me want to bite someone's head off. But then I remember it’s one of those questions that also requires me to take a step back and reflect on how I got to where I am today. That’s an extremely valid question and one I haven’t answered in many years.
10 Ways to Develop Mental Toughness in Young Athletes
This article is not a guide to running your kids into the ground because, you know, “mental toughness.” If that’s what you’re looking for, I suggest you find a different career field.
5 Ways to Make Weight Rooms Work for Our Kids
To quote the third single from The Offspring's album Americana: The kids aren't alright. But a solid school weight room can make a huge difference in these kids' lives and overall education. Here are five things the best school weight rooms have.
Starting Over in the Basement
I know it is a new year, and everyone starts to look back or forward at this time, and maybe it is a good thing to act to re-evaluate what you are doing with your programs and why. 2019 brought me a new head coach and a great opportunity to review and reassess my football team's program.
The Simplicity Project: Expanding to Two-A-Days for Strength and Size
The people have spoken, and I have answered. After receiving plenty of emails and comments about my last article, I decided to create and share a complete program based on The Simplicity Programming Project.
Top 5 Lessons I've Learned as a Coach
I've been really blessed to be around some great leaders who taught me these lessons. I wouldn't be the man and coach I am today without them.
How to Build an Athlete's Grip Strength
I especially like it when I see an individual doing wrist curls behind the back with a barbell. I love those moments. My reaction anymore is a smile and a little shake of the head while I move on.
Before You Social Media Shame Athletes' Poor Technique
All too often we sit back and make judgments through a keyboard in an instant rather than thinking that this is one moment of a program rather than the whole thing. I know that I have done this, too, earlier in my career (and on the wrong day, recently, too).
The Coach's Guide to Faster and Stronger Female High School Athlete...
Dear strength coaches: Stop treating female athletes like they're fragile little babies. They're not. From my experience, they'll be some of the best athletes you'll ever have the pleasure to work with.
How to Program Your Back Training at The U
Over the past few months, some things in my back training have made a big difference — variations coaches often overlook. Considering paused reps at the chest/stomach, slow eccentrics, scap movements with a rowing motion, and handle/grip variations, back training is limitless.
12 Days of Giving Credit to the Things That Shaped My Coaching Career
'Tis the season to reflect on the past, present, and future. Don't be a Scrooge — take a moment to thank the people who have shaped who you are today.
The Simplicity Project
By simplicity, I am referring to a minimalist approach to the programming of weight training by getting a maximum effect for the fewest number of exercises by utilizing a full body program performed three days a week. I want to challenge you all to give this a try for a period of no less than six weeks.
Programming for a BAMF Wrestler (with Samples)
Steve “Kono” Konopka and I go more in-depth about our wrestling programs, particularly topics covering: in-season training goals, off-season exercises to avoid, signs for a recovery session, favorite exercises, and a sample in-season schedule.
A Better Language for Coaches
This all starts with you. Being clear, setting up a growth mindset, and eliminating “no,” are just three ways to become a better communicator to your athletes.
The Coach's Order of Operation
Exactly where does coaching begin? With the sport, athlete, or person?
The Difference Between Winning and Maintaining a Winning Team
Why is it so hard to continue to excel, bit by bit, and stay there year after year, time after time? Why could you have a great year one year and a horrible one the next? I am writing this because we did just that.
Manipulating the Accessory Lane to Kick Ass, Not Get it Kicked
The purpose of accessory work is to bring up the weak areas of the athletes. It is the time when we do what most people would consider bodybuilding.
Minimal Effective Dose and the Search for Magic Bullets
To paraphrase Ronnie Coleman, “Everybody wanna be strong but nobody wanna lift heavy weights.” Ain’t that the truth. News flash: This is what you need.
The Flaws in Follow the Leader
This model is where the leader of the organization is upfront, having all of the power and all of the answers, whereas the workers are behind, clueless and scampering to appease the leader in his or her all-powerful greatness. Does this leadership style seem flawed to you?
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Program
If we are not seeing progress in the right direction within an expected length of time, we must change things up. If we are not evaluating, then how do we even know if we are making progress at all?
Earn Student-Athlete Respect with These Principles
You can prescribe the best programming out there, but if your group of student-athletes do not believe in it or you, then it’s never going to work.
My Experiences in Three Internship Settings
This article is a cool opportunity to see what an intern we had this summer, Tim, has to say. His experiences are unique as he interned at a great local college, a local high school, then at Tank's Training Facility.
Learn to Train X — Teach Your Athletes How to Train
In this particular clip, Harvey switches gears to provide some personal advice on teaching athletes how to train themselves – a not-so-simple technique that requires trust, buy-in, strategy, and effort.
3 and Out Method Setup
Based on the previous article, a lot of you were asking how to best set up the program – ask and you shall receive. I will cover one simple way and two in-depth ways to set it up.
Learning and thinking about the many issues that we – as coaches – face, have reminded me to look back at my own programming and question the good, the bad, and the ugly with regard to what I've seen and done over the years.
Program Guidelines for Young Strength Coaches
Approach programming as you would approach written materials relevant to our field. One doesn't simply open Supertraining, and begin perusing its contents. Supertraining requires a foundation of knowledge prior to endeavoring to cognize its contents.
Undervalued Tools and Overused Methods in the Weight Room
When I fully shifted to powerlifting and really began learning about strength, I just kept thinking about why I never got any of this information when I was an athlete.
WATCH: Who Do You Take Advice From?
I’ve been completely immersed in the sport of powerlifting for over 25 years. When you reach this level of knowledge and experience, some people assume that you just stop asking questions. Wrong! I ask questions all the time.
Sumo Pulls for Athletes
We rarely ever did “agility drills” with our athletes, and the majority of their agility scores consistently improved. I’m very confident that proper box squatting and sumo pulls were a major contributor to this. Step-by-step, here's how to program and cue them for your athletes.
Max Effort Training for Dynamic Results
It seems that everyone wants to start racing a Ferrari before they learn how to put the key in the ignition.
Learn to Train X — More Technique Fixes for Athletes
In this video, Nate Harvey discusses: the proper way to jump and land, scapular retraction and depression, and simply training what you say you’re training – a feat that’s easier said than done.
Resignation of a Strength Coach
There is actually a history here, and something I think young coaches getting into the profession need to think about.
The Six Pillars of Excellence
Since I am a strength and conditioning coach, I placed Hard Work first on the list, but in reality, they should all be given equal ranking.
Championship Nature Series: Thought Stoppage
It’s human nature to let negative thoughts rise and wreck your ability. It’s easy to just let things happen. In contrast, a championship nature stops these thoughts and does not let the downward spiral happen.
Learn to Train X — Box Squat Technique Fix for Athletes
In this presentation, Harvey goes back to the often-neglected and rarely taught basics. His first “simple technique”, is a detailed breakdown of how to box squat correctly.
The Necessity of Olympic Lifts for Athletes
I don’t know exactly where this concept came from—that they are essential to athletes’ being explosive and strong. I do know that this concept has grabbed on tight and locked into the heads of coaches for decades. I say let’s cut to the chase and trim the fat.
The Process with Ryan Davis, Rodney Hill, Brian Johnson, and Dantonio Bu...
People on the outside see the bowl game wins, or the squat PR’s, but what they don’t see is the process.
How Do I Become the Best?
I was just recently asked this again by one of my former athletes and colleague, who is now a collegiate strength coach as well as an aspiring raw powerlifter. Here's my answer.
Depth Jumps and Depth Land Progressions to Increase the Vertical Jump
Training the Gateway Lions Academy Volleyball Team this past spring sparked some progressions to help improve the players’ vertical jump. Take a look.
Go With What You Know
Whatever the reason, what does a strength coach do when things are not going as expected? This is one of the hardest things to deal with, whether you are new at this business, or have been in it for a while.
3 and Out Method
Wearing 30 hats as a coach? Working long hours? Use this training method to become bigger, faster, and stronger if you're struggling to find personal gym time.
Starting Over as a Full-Time Coach
Too often in our industry, before we’ve even seen the athletes, we talk about what programs we’re going to use and how these programs need to be implemented.
Conjugate U for Collegiate Tennis
After reading Conjugate U, I moved forward with implementing the Conjugate Method with my women’s tennis team. Here's what we accomplished this past season.
Did I Do a Good Job?
I'm guessing that other strength coaches think about this too. I can't be the only one, right?
The Misunderstanding of Sport-Specific Training
Running around and practicing soccer skills while wearing a weighted vest, attaching a band to a hockey stick or a baseball bat, and a myriad of other ridiculous activities in the weight room do not count as sport-specific activities.
The Dynamic Effort Method with Beginners
Many people will say, “Don’t do it with beginners” and it’s a good thing I’m somewhat anti-establishment because DEM has been a great tool in the development of a lot of beginner-athletes. The simple answer is: just do it.
Teaching the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift to Athletes
Do you teach them the squat, bench, and deadlift the same way you would teach a powerlifter? If not, what differences are there?
Progressions in Exercise Selection Based on Technical Proficiency
I firmly believe you have to start at the simplest movement that you can master correctly and then over time progress from the simple to the more complex movements. Download my basic outline with notes included here.
You’re Training Athletes, Not Lifters
I had those days, especially early on in my career, that I didn’t understand why the athletes weren’t as enthusiastic as I was at 6 AM. I mean, what the hell is better than getting up early and training your ass off?
Meet Ryan Davis, Rodney Hill, Brian Johnson, and Dantonio Burnette
Each of these men are great attributes not only to the field of strength and conditioning but also to the development of future generations of men. In this introductory interview, we discuss philosophy, programming, and summer training.