Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Run

There it was again. That amazing coaching technique being used before my eyes. I have seen more times than I can count, but I am still amazed at times.

The coaching strategy yell at your athletes to run faster. It is packaged with cues such as;
"Let's push harder on this one"
"GO,GO, GO!!!!!!!!!"

When an athlete genuinely asked the coach to explain a cue the coach used since it was so ambiguous, the coach replied "Don't worry, JUST RUN!"

This coaching style is usually mixed with the justification along the lines of "good athletes will figure out how to do it." "They don't need to learn technique, they just need to push harder and they will get it on their own."


There are different arguments that can be made for guided learning instead of a rigid technical model. I'm all for that. I respect different approaches to coaching. BUT THAT CRAP I SAW ISN'T COACHING.

Be a coach. Teach, get a training effect, and have a philosophy and plan. If your idea is JUST RUN!, get out of this field now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taking Credit

Its NFL Draft time and that means we get to see who is taking credit. I think it was a few years ago in a blog post, Vern Gambetta joked that with all the sports performance centers getting into Combine training we should start slapping logos on the players in the 40 like a NASCAR race.

The sports performance field is notorious for taking credit. Coaches take lots of credit when their athletes do well. Its seldom they take as much credit(blame) for those that don't do as well. The lists of "we trained the top this or the fastest this at the combine, and we had the top picks" are endless. It gets nauseating.

My coaches and I put a lot into our athletes, and we are proud of the guys that trained hard, stay focused and had the best performance at the Combine and their college pro days.

We had 12 players drafted and 5 of our guys selected in the first round; Mark Sanchez, BJ Raji, Clay Matthews, Donald Brown, and Eric Wood. I'm happy for them and genuinely like each of these guys. They all are talented AND worked to be their best.

But so did a bunch of guys that didn't get drafted at all! I'm proud of them also. Some guys get drafted and don't put any worthwhile effort into their training. These three things; quality coaching & training, quality athlete effort, and high draft position, aren't always related. You can't control the talent you get to coach, the question is; what do you do with it?

There are private coaches and college coaches out there that will never get the credit they are due. We didn't do it in 3 months of training. Those players have been training for years with many coaches that have helped them lay all the ground work. The player puts in the effort. We try to coach them and guide them so that they can perform their best. Coaching is giving your athletes the best possible chance and optimizing the athletes abilities. Our guys all PR'd at the Combine, so whether they were first or last, I am happy with the results.