The Angry Coach: Top Three General Mistakes

TAGS: general, assumption, The Angry Coach, mistakes, training

elitefts™ Sunday edition

Once again, I've made all of these myself, so I'll issue the disclaimer that I'm not pointing fingers at anyone or being maliciously critical. With that said, here's...

General Mistake #1

Adhering to dogma and inflicting it on our athletes, our clients, our training partners, and our friends.

Everyone makes this mistake. We try something with our own training, and it works, so we try it on our athletes, and it works with them, too. That's great, but what happens all too often is that we stop there and claim we've found the Holy Grail of training. I've done this a thousand times, and it's dead f-ing wrong.

I went to a seminar this past weekend and heard Val Nasedkin (director of technology for OmegaWave) speak. What I came out of that presentation with is the fact that WE ALL DON'T KNOW JACK SHIT – and I'm including shitloads of high-level trainers here. I'm not saying that what Val does is the be-all and end-all of training, because I only have a rudimentary understanding (if that) of what he actually does with athletes. What I AM saying is that no matter how much you think you know, there's always a better way to do shit.

Now, I'm definitely not criticizing coaches and trainers for publicizing methods that get them results. The world needs that kind of material, and it's how people learn. What I AM criticizing, however, is the idea of publicizing that stuff and saying, "This is all you need."

Take a look at what Mark McLaughlin does at Performance Training Center in Oregon. I don't think he'd object to me saying he's one of Val Nasedkin's primary disciples. Mark does shit pretty much nobody else does – at least in terms of what you see online – but look at his results. Look what he did with Owen Marecic, who if I remember correctly has no thyroid, but became the first guy I can ever remember to start for a top 10 D-1 team at fullback and inside linebacker. Sure, a lot of that is due to the fact that he's a special athlete in multiple ways, but if you think he's doing that on genetics alone with no influence from some seriously intelligent training, you're an idiot.

Can you tell me how Mark did that? I can't tell you. I know bits and pieces of it, but if you asked me to put together the same type of program for one of my guys, I'd be engaging is some really shitty guesswork. I just don't know, but I know it's radically different from anything else I've ever seen, and if it was logistically feasible, I'd go out to Oregon and spend six months learning that shit.

My point? Don't stick with what you know. Don't make blanket statements like, "Football players shouldn't bench press." Because if you saw Kevin Boss jumping 900 times in a session, you wouldn't think that would do jack shit for a football player, either and the vast majority of guys I know wouldn't fully understand why that works (and I include myself in that population).

The information is out there – but it's not. The secret is to keep after it.

General Mistake #2

Going to seminars like the CVASPS this past weekend, and hanging out with guys like Landon, Mark, Joel, and Pegg, made me realize why I got into this shit in the first place. What makes the internet such an amazing tool is that we all have our own individual lives – where, typically, we're not associating with people who have world class training knowledge on a daily basis. That's certainly the case with me, so when I go to events like this, or talk on the phone to one of these guys, it makes me remember how much I love training and learning.

With that said, I'm remembering a lot of shit I forgot (or repressed, maybe) over the years. The first thing I'm thinking about today is a quote from Buddy Morris where he said there's no such thing as "functional training," because all training is functional. What I gathered from that is that standing on a Bosu ball and whistling Dixie is totally functional if you're training for a contest where people stand on Bosu balls and whistle Dixie.

The mistake I'm thinking about today pertains to people ignoring the principle of dynamic correspondence. I remember this absolutely blowing me away when The Thinker told me about it (going back almost 10 years now, I think). I remember I was all hot and heavy into the whole "strongman for football" shit, and he explained to me the idea of risk/reward and dynamic correspondence when I tried to explain to him why farmers walks and tire flipping were turning my linemen into animals (the same shit you're reading in articles guys are writing today).

I think what happens is that we find cool shit to do, and we forget about dynamic correspondence. Our kids love to flip tires. They love to carry heavy shit. They love to do the "next big thing," but most of this shit has nothing to do with the sport they're actually playing. Sure, there's "carry over," but I think the point all these "Eastern Bloc" guys are making is that there's always something that carries (transfers) even better.

Yes, this has all been said a thousand times, but I think it's something that slips off into the background when we're trying to be efficient, or we're trying to keep our athletes (or their parents) happy.

Once again, the main concept for this week, after hanging out with some of the best coaches in the world for a weekend, is that there's infinitely more to what we do than we realize. The secret, I think, is knowing what you don't know.

General Mistake #3

One thing I used to tend to assume is that people took their beliefs in this business so seriously that it became personal. It did for me from time-to-time. What I mean by this is, that if a coach went online and espoused (beating this metaphor to death) whistling Dixie on a Bosu ball as the secret to a successful career in the NFL, I would automatically dislike the guy personally. For whatever reason, I would get angry and find it insulting that this guy would go out in public and disagree with the football principles I believed to be true.

The same goes for a lot of guys. Several years back, I stopped with the "hero worship" with regard to how I thought football training should be coached. Yes, there are guys I agree with, but I also came to the realization that I've been around the sport for longer, and on a deeper level, than some of the people whose ideas I think are gold.

This doesn't mean I disagree with these guys – not at all. It means I finally found my balls and realized that I, too, have something to offer. That I could take a look at the same research, try the same shit out on my athletes, and use my experience in the sport to my advantage because I really do know exactly what my kids are going through.

I digressed a little here, but there's a point to this, and that's the idea that yes, we're all kind of "in this together," but we're all doing our own thing, too. And you'd be surprised to see who's friendly with whom in this business.

I'll be perfectly honest about what got me thinking about this: it was meeting up with (and hanging out with) Mike Robertson this past weekend.

I'm embarrassed to say that for all I read about training, nutrition, and rehab, I was completely unfamiliar with Mike and what he does. I didn't know him from a hole in the wall. When he'd finished presenting down in Richmond, I walked up, introduced myself, and we shot the shit for a few minutes. His presentation was absolutely amazing, and it really got me thinking about things, because I have virtually no experience with the whole Robertson/Cressey/Hartman/etc Corrective Exercise Axis. It's bad to admit this, but I really had no clue about any of it because I never paid attention before.

So, I'm not saying I disliked Mike. I just had no idea, and yes, I kind of ignorantly dismissed corrective exercise as something I didn't need for my kids and couldn't use -- which obviously is complete horseshit, something I know even better after listening to Mike speak and investigating his material this week. The guy is absolutely brilliant, and that's a fact.

But what, I think, is more important here is that despite being (hopefully) an open-minded coach, I always had it in the back of my head that certain guys in this industry are people I wouldn't give two shits to hang out with or talk shop with. And unfortunately, because of the genre he's known for, I kind of lumped Mike into that category for the reasons outlined above. I mean, seriously – who the f--k wants to go to a bar and have a drink with a "Corrective Exercise Guy?" Right? They do something you're not familiar with, know nothing about, and ignorantly dismiss, so they're probably assholes who condone terrorism, right?

I'll tell you something that opened my mind this weekend. First, as a said, I think Mike is absolutely f-ing brilliant, and I'm EMBARRASSED that I haven't paid attention to this genre of training – something that's changing rapidly. Secondly, he's a hell of a guy to sit and have a f-ing drink with. Just because you perceive someone as seeing training differently from you (which is often bullshit, because the guy may be 1,000-times smarter and more experienced than you, and you're probably just stuck believing horseshit dogma), doesn't mean you don't see the world the same way.

And what I can tell you is this: when you can sit in a bar pounding drinks with a guy and make fun of angry girls and the Boat Shoe Mafia, your perspective changes for the better. Just something to think about when you're in the middle of the learning process – like we all still are.

knee-sleeves-home (2)

Loading Comments... Loading Comments...