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“The residents who live here, according to the parable, began noticing increasing numbers of drowning people caught in the river’s swift current and so went to work inventing ever more elaborate technologies to resuscitate them. So preoccupied were these heroic villagers with rescue and treatment that they never thought to look UPSTREAM to see who was pushing the victims in.”

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Got Ankle ROM?

Article originally published on:  lowerextremityreview.com

 ankle

 

Many knee injury prevention programs do not focus on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion and hip adductor activation, but research suggests both distal and proximal variables contribute to alterations in frontal plane knee biomechanics and could affect injury risk.

By Darin A. Padua, PhD, ATC, and Micheal A. Clark, DPT, MS, PES, CES    

Musculoskeletal injuries from sports represent serious long-term health concerns for millions of young Americans.1 Sport and recreational injuries result in seven million physician visits each year,1 with lower extremity injuries comprising 66% of all sports injuries. The knee is the joint most commonly injured.2 Known risk factors for knee injury (e.g., anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] injury, patellofemoral pain, knee osteoarthritis, medial collateral ligament [MCL] injury, and knee cartilage/meniscus damage) include altered frontal plane biomechanics of the knee joint.3-9 Therefore, the effectiveness of knee injury prevention programs may depend on the ability to modify those neuromuscular characteristics that influence frontal plane knee biomechanics.

The hip abductor, extensor, and external rotator muscles (gluteus medius and maximus) are frequently described as critical factors controlling frontal plane knee biomechanics.10,11 Research investigating the influence of gluteal muscle activation, strength, or both on frontal plane knee biomechanics is mixed, with multiple studies showing no association between gluteal muscle function and frontal plane knee biomechanics.12-15 Therefore, other factors that influence frontal plane knee biomechanics may exist.  Several recent studies indicate that limited ankle dorsiflexion ranges of motion (ROM) and hip adductor muscle activation are neuromuscular characteristics contributing to altered frontal plane knee biomechanics, and subsequent knee injury risk. The purpose of this review is to highlight the current evidence in this area of study.

Ankle dorsiflexion and knee biomechanics

Restricted ankle dorsiflexion motion is an important factor associated with altered frontal plane knee biomechanics.

Continue to read this article by clicking HERE.  

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

 

A special thanks to:

 

Noraxon

 

 

 

 

BSMPG is Boston Strong

 

BSMPG would like to wish the over 27,000 runners of the 2014 Boston Marathon the best of luck!

 

athletic training

 

Find out how the great endurance athletes from across the world continue to dominante their field from the guy that wrote the book on endurance training at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16&17th (no we're serious, he literally wrote the book on endurance training, tapering, and peaking for optimal performance).

 

See the world authority in endurance training, Iñigo Mujika at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16&17th here in Boston.

There is only one Boston Marathon and there is only one seminar which brings the world's authorities in Sports Medicine and Performance training together for two awesome days of learning.

BSMPG is BOSTON STRONG!

  

 

Inigo Mujikatmg

Iñigo Mujika 

Keynote Session: Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance

Breakout Session: Detraining in Elite Athletes

 

Iñigo Mujika earned Ph.D.s in Biology of Muscular Exercise (University of Saint-Etienne, France) and Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (University of The Basque Country). He is also a Level III Swimming and Triathlon Coach and coaches World Class triathletes. His main research interests in the field of applied sport science include training methods and recovery from exercise, tapering, detraining and overtraining. He has also performed extensive research on the physiological aspects associated with sports performance in professional cycling, swimming, running, rowing, tennis, football and water polo. He received research fellowships in Australia, France and South Africa, published over 90 articles in peer reviewed journals, four books and 30 book chapters, and has given 210 lectures and communications in international conferences and meetings. Iñigo was Senior Physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 he was the physiologist and trainer for the Euskaltel Euskadi professional cycling team, and between 2006 and 2008 he was Head of Research and Development at Athletic Club Bilbao professional football club. He was Physiology consultant of the Spanish Swimming Federation in the lead-up to London 2012. He is now the Head of Physiology and Training at Euskaltel Euskadi World Tour Cycling Team, Associate Editor for the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, and Associate Professor at the University of the Basque Country.

Purchase ENDURANCE TRAINING - SCIENCE AND PRACTICE by Dr. Mujika HERE 

endurance training 

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

Dave Tenney and BSMPG : Learn More About MLS's Top Performance Coach

Mission of the CATAPULT Performance Director Meeting: To provide the leaders in performance training and medical oversight an opportunity to engage with leaders of similar attitude, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit, while pursuing innovative strategies in performance methodology. 

 

A few seats are still available for this special event following the annual BSMPG Summer Seminar - Sunday May 18th.  Contact BSMPG at bostonsmpg@gmail.com for registration details.

 

Tenney

 

David Tenney was named the Sounders FC fitness coach on January 9, 2009. He is one of Major League Soccer’s most respected and highly-regarded fitness coaches following two years in Kansas City. On January 1, 2014, Tenney was named Sports Science & Performance Manager for the Sounders. Tenney’s Sports Science & Performance department is the first of its kind in MLS — and is tasked with collecting and analyzing the physiological, physical, and tactical data related to performance, fatigue, and injury prediction. Prior to the Seattle Sounders, Tenney held similar positions with the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting KC), the George Mason’s Men’s & Women’s teams, and the Washington Freedom (women’s professional soccer).

Tenney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Coaching Science from George Mason University (VA), and a Master’s degree in Exercise Science - Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention from California University of PA. He also holds a European Soccer ‘A’ license from the Czech Republic FA, and an NSCAA ‘Premier’ diploma. 

 

Interview with Dave Tenney on 8weeksout.com by Joel Jamieson

When I first started using HRV with some of your athletes from the Seattle Sounders, what were your initial thoughts as far as the information it was able to provide you with as a coach?

Beyond using HRV, we were also at the time using the Polar T2 system to monitor training loads. However, I was slowly becoming frustrated, because I didn’t really know what a “high” measurement meant. Did the players perform too much? Why was a certain player high?

My first thought was that this would be giving me a better indicator of why an athlete would be high or low in his HR response. It filled in a big picture to the puzzle. When you begin to understand the metabolic make-up of your athletes, and then get a good picture in how they typically fatigue, then all the other forms of training monitoring – Polar HR, GPS, etc. – takes on a new relevance


Based on the HRV results and feedback that I was able to give you, what impact did it have on how you approached training the athletes that we were testing? How was this approach different than it might have been if you had not been able to use HRV with those guys?

We could individualize our loading structure so much better. We could make earlier interventions with athletes because the residue of fatigue was there to be clearly recognized. There was less of a “put him out there and hope he makes it through”. It also opened up a whole new world of individualization of recovery methods based on the results we were getting.

And, lastly, it helped us really understand what was taking place with a guy. Maybe he didn’t look right, lethargic… This gave us the tools to recognize he was fatigued, and he needed us to back off.


Can you give us any specific examples of big changes in performance or fitness or recovery and such that happened with any particular players that were included in that first test group?

The first test group was given some specific recovery methods. We have it programmed well enough now, where we know what athletes need which type of soft tissue therapy post training based on HRV data. We’ve had our starting center midfielder here, just end the season leading the league in tackles won, and playing over 1,200 more minutes than previous seasons – after having nagging quad injuries that previous two years. I attribute this to how well we managed our system using HRV.

A second example is our right back, who we actually kept on the field and played more than we normally would have because he continued to have very healthy parasympathetic tone. We were deep into our 2010 season, and had multiple games per week, and the coaching staff felt this player needed a rest, because we had no cover for him and couldn’t afford to lose him.

I was adamant that HRV indicated there was little residual fatigue there, and other players who had played less needed a rest far more than he did. This player continued on and played every match the rest of the year.

 

Continue reading this interview by clicking HERE.

 

Interview with Dave Tenney on Complementarytraining.blogspot.com by 

 

MJ: I’ll hit it straight to the point: you have probably noticed over-emphasis on glycolytic conditioning (300yard shuttles, HIIT, RSA) in contemporary training for sports. What is your opinion on this taking soccer into account? Are we neglecting aerobic training?

DT: Great question!! I do think that we have a lot of coaches who don’t really understand the physical demands of the sport, and thus, think that soccer is a very glycolytic sport with long bouts of anaerobic activity. I think the sport is very alactic-aerobic, where the goal should be to utilize the ATP-CP system as energy as often as possible for the short sprints required during the game. Then the athlete should be able to rely on the aerobic system to help replenish these ATP-CP stores, clear any lactate that may be building up within a muscle, and then provide as much energy as possible energy for 12-18km/hr medium-intensity speed that players must cruise around in during a game. If someone needs to rely on the glycolytic system as energy for this speed, then we are in trouble as we progress through a match. The more I delve into this alactic-aerobic idea, I am convinced that when many coaches program high volumes of glycolytic activity, the athletes WILL get a jump in their GPP, which may be mistakenly thought to be specific adaptations. We have college kids who can grind out multiple 300yd shuttles, meaning they can probably last through an insane college pre-season period. But, this doesn’t mean that they are specifically prepared to play soccer at a high level from a physical standpoint.

Continue reading this interview by clicking HERE.

 

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

Your Fascia Work Deserves The Best Fascia Tool

 

What is Fascial Abrasion Technique and what are the potential benefits?

Fascial Abrasion Technique involves releasing movement-restricted fascial tension in underlying soft tissue. This technique specifically targets and loosens the fascia that surrounds and interconnects muscle tissue that when tight, can restrict range of motion and impair quality of movement. Performance tissue mobilization uses a specialized, patented tool called the Fascial Abrasion Technique Tool or FAT-Tool.

  

FAT Tool

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Soft Tissue Mobilization using the FAT-Tool

Tissue mobilization using the FAT-Tool is a quick and highly effective tool for Healthcare providers to improve quality of movement and normalize fascial mobility for their patience. Correct use of the FAT-Tool allows you to quickly solve and release troublesome areas of tissue tightness and restricted range of motion and in so doing, support improved patient outcomes.

 

The FAT-Tool...

The revolutionary design of the FAT tool features multiple treatment surfaces and edges in an all-in-one, tool. In addition, tissue tension release is enhanced with the unique, patented textured finish, which allows for superior grip of the fascia with less direct pressure applied to the surface of the skin.

 

Course Objective

Healthcare providers will learn techniques using the FAT-Tool to release areas of tissue tension and improve range of motion and quality of movement for their patients. Participants will learn about the role of fascia, the theory and principles of fascial mobilization, how to assess areas of fascial restriction and how to use the FAT tool to achieve release of fascial tension.

 

fattools!

 

Learn more about the FAT-Tool and the Boston course by clicking HERE. 

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

 

 

Dr. Philip Skiba Joins Catapult Performance Directors Meeting - May 18

BSMPG is proud to announce Dr. Philip Skiba as a speaker at the 2014 CATAPULT Performance Directors Meeting - May 18th (following our annual summer seminar, 16-17th).

Dr. Philip Skiba is the Program Director for Sports Medicine at Lutheran General Hospital, in Chicagoland. He also serves as acting Program Director for Sport and Exercise Medicine at The University of Exeter, UK. His research studies focus on the determinants of athletic performance in both power / speed and endurance sports. His work has been used by athletes in amateur and elite sport on a regular basis, including the 2012 London Olympic Games. He is the CEO of PhysFarm Training Systems LLC, and has coached a number of world-class athletes, most notably U.S. Olympian, Half-Ironman World Champion and World Record Holder Joanna Zeiger, and 4-Time World Champion Catriona Morrison of Scotland.

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance Training here in Boston May 16-18th - but register today before seats sell out!

 

Skiba

 

Topic: The Rhythm of the Game: Optimizing Athlete Recovery During Play

Lecture Description: Team sports such as basketball or hockey present a unique challenge to the athlete’s physiology. For example, a series of abrupt changes in pace can rapidly fatigue players and leave them unable to match a sudden push by the opposing team. Dr. Skiba will discuss his recent research publications, which describe new ways of profiling and understanding athlete performance. These tools permit coaching and management staff to better optimize team dynamics and strategy.

 

Watch Dr. Skiba at the 2014 MIT Sloan Analytics Conference by clicking HERE. 

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN. 

 

Interested in attending the CATAPULT Performance Directors Meeting on Sunday May 18th with Dr. Skiba and other top professionals from across the globe?

Contact our team at bostonsmpg@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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Intrinsic Foot Strengthening

by Dr. Spina

In this video I take you through some exercise progressions for the development of intrinsic foot strength…a grossly ignored aspect of physical conditioning which in my opinion has erroneously led to the over-perscription, and over-utilization of orthotics….as well as an industry that is geared towards making you think your feet have something ‘inherently’ wrong with them.  What is wrong….WEAKNESS!

I further describe this problem in the video and then demonstrate some exercises that you can use on you patients (or yourself) to take back your foot control. 

 

 

See Dr. Spina May 2-4th in Boston for FAP/FR Spine Course

 

 

Spine course

 

For additional information on barefoot training read Barefoot in Boston!

barefoot in boston

Autoregulation – An Alternate Approach to Periodization

 

by Matt Kuzdub from PUSHSTRENGTH

 

Periodization Reviewed

Periodization can be defined as dividing training into separate phases or ‘periods’. Why segment training into different phases? The stressors that are placed on an athlete during training can be very taxing and, from a physical, psychological and emotional level, cannot be sustained indefinitely. There are therefore, periods during the year that are more intense while others that are less intense. This approach will promote the greatest response in terms of recovery and adaptation.

Figure 1

chart4

Before we continue, I should note that there is an important relationship that exists between volume and intensity (Figure 1). Training volume is made up of the number of reps per set, the number of sets per session, the number of sessions per week and the number of weeks per year. Training intensity is made up of the load being used. As volume decreases, intensity increases…and vice versa.

On top of volume and intensity, you’ll often hear the term ‘volume load’ thrown around strength & conditioning circles. This term simply combines volume and intensity into one number and expresses it in tonnes of weight (reps x sets x load). Volume load (Flanagan) can be used to visualize training over time (Figure 2).

Periodization Models

Linear Model

This model (Figure 2) is characterized by high initial training volume and low intensity (load). As training progresses, volume decreases and intensity increases (Bompa). Before the modern era of sport, this model was widely implemented. The reason – if you were an Olympic athlete (long track speed skater for example), you likely only had a couple competitions per year. With long periods of time with very little to no competition, this approach was possible.

Figure 2

chart1

Undulating (or Non-Linear) Model

This model (Figure 3) is characterized by variation in the planning and implementation of training programs throughout a training session, training week and annual cycle (Bompa). Example, look at figure 2 again, the volume load varies (or undulates) from week to week while intensity does the same, inversely. Note that there are times when intensity and volume are both high or both low (this depends on the phase within a season and the state of the athlete).

Compared to the undulating model, the linear approach to periodization is a bit dated. Studies suggest that the linear model may be impractical because of the varied schedules of most sports in the modern era. Although research is limited in regards to periodization, the undulating model has been shown to aid in recovery/adaptation while producing the greatest gains in strength and power (Rhea and Alderman).

 

Click HERE to continue reading. 

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

 A special thanks to:

push strength tracker

Meet the PushStrength Crew at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar

Email Matt at matt@pushstrength.com to set up an individual demonstration during our seminar or learn more about the power of PushStrength.

 

 

Eight Athlete Development Lessons I Learned from Charlie Francis

by Derek Hansen

Article originally appeared on:Runningmechanics.com

 

Derek Hanson

 

I had the fortune and pleasure of working closely with and learning from Charlie Francis for a period of approximately ten years prior to his passing. As a young track athlete in the 1970s and 1980s in Canada, I was guided by many of the ideas taught by Gerard Mach and his protégé coaches such as Charlie. In fact, one of my youth coaches kept in close contact with one of Charlie’s athletes during the 1980’s and relayed training concepts to us on a weekly basis. In many ways, I was experiencing an early education in Charlie’s approach to training that has stayed with me until this day. Not a day goes by when I am not reminded by some of the training principles Charlie passed on and how it impacts how I teach my athletes, my assistant coaches, interns and even my own children.

 

CharlieandDerek

 

 

As Al Vermeil has always stated, Charlie Francis’ brilliance was in his simplicity of application for effective results. “Simple application, complex explanation,” Al would always tell me. If coaches need to resort to long lectures and explanations for “why” they are doing “what” they are doing, there is something wrong. The eight points below demonstrate Charlie’s assertion that none of this is “Rocket Science” – if anything it is pure common sense.

1. Cast a Wide Net

Charlie was adamant that when identifying future talent it is always best to have the largest pool of athletes from which to select. He discussed his own experiences in track and field and how he was given a large group of young athletes to coach. “I started with 30 kids. How was I to know which ones would be Olympians and World Record Holders?” He never made himself out to be an expert in talent identification. However, he understood that while early identification of talent was something that everyone wanted to do, some of the real superstars would develop later on and it was his job to keep them around long enough so that they could mature into top performers.

Ben

 

 

The problem with many current development models that incorporate early specialization is that they can be exclusionary, separating the high level groups from the others. Charlie realized that while success can breed success, it could also breed contempt, apathy and a false sense of entitlement and security – which could lead to problems in the long run. When I had the opportunity to work with Charlie, I remember one occasion where he had a pretty mixed bag of athletes: one world record holder, one Olympic gold medalist, one master’s athlete and a few national class athletes. Part way through the workout, a middle-aged Ben Johnson showed up and did a few explosive starts out of the blocks like he had stepped out of a time machine, not missing a beat. That was quite a day and quite the training group. Yet everyone still received the individual time they needed and the mood of the training group was extremely positive.

 

Continue reading article by clicking HERE.

 

See DEREK HANSEN at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16-17th, 2014.  

BSMPG: Where Leaders Learn

 

Derek M. Hansen is a sports performance consultant based out of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He currently works as the Director of Athletic Performance at Simon Fraser University. He has worked extensively with coaches and athletes from all levels of high performance including the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, CFL and the NCAA. His involvement with Olympic athletes, coaches and teams includes sports such as Track and Field, Speed Skating, Softball, Bobsleigh and Field Hockey, with many of these athletes having won Olympic medals and achieved world record performances. 

Derek’s specific areas of expertise include speed development, electrical muscle stimulation for performance, tapering and recovery, and hamstring rehabilitation. Two significant influences in the development of his approach have been Charlie Francis and Al Vermeil. Derek worked closely with Coach Francis from 2001 to 2010, providing coaching to elite athletes and developing Charlie’s educational materials for on-line presentation and seminar delivery. Coach Vermeil has also been a steady source of mentorship to Derek from 2002 to the present day, providing insight into all areas of athlete performance.

When not coaching, Derek is a course conductor with the Canadian National Coaching Certification Program in the areas of Physical Preparation, Recovery & Regeneration and Sport Biomechanics. He has developed a broad series of electrical muscle stimulation protocols for Globus Sport and Health Technologies, known as the SpeedCoach, that integrates EMS programming with conventional training to enhance speed performance. Derek also runs a highly successful Strength and Conditioning apprenticeship program that places young coaches in jobs all over the world.

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

Breathing: Some People Just Talk About It, Others Actually Implement It

Neil Rampe

 

"Some organizations, they pull two Advil from their pocket and say that's all you can have. To me, that's not reality, man. We're playing 162 games. Guys are going to get beat up. You try to find ways to make guys comfortable on the field. It's nice to have a medical staff here that's open. Some of the stuff I've seen here, I've never seen before."

- Bronson Arroyo, speaking about Arizona Diamondbacks Medical Staff

 

 

article orginally published on: USAToday.com

 

Miguel Montero shook his head, and not just because the Arizona Diamondbacks catcher was still trying to clear the cobwebs of that trip to Australia.

No, he was considering the idea that the club's new right-handed workhorse, pitcher Bronson Arroyo, is 37 years old, beginning his 15th major league season and never once has landed on the disabled list.

CORBIN: Resting after Tommy John surgery

"It's hard to believe, really," Montero said. "Everybody has their little stays on the DL. I don't know how he does it."

The answer for the free-spirited Arroyo: any way possible.

But it looked for all the world just a few weeks ago that Arroyo's remarkable streak of durability could end when he experienced back stiffness and pain in his lower back and was scratched from a spring-training start.

Arroyo said Tuesday he received an epidural injection and, after a final spring-training start, he expects to be ready when the Diamondbacks restart their regular season.

"I threw three innings in a simulated game on the 19th and threw a bullpen," he said. "Through that, I was still not perfect. But the last four days, I've been feeling perfect. I threw (Monday) and felt as good as I've ever felt, so I just want to get one more outing and get built up a little bit."

He expects to pitch Saturday against the Cubs and anticipates throwing 85-90 pitches.

That is terrific news for the Diamondbacks, especially in the wake of the not-so-terrific news that staff ace Patrick Corbin, as anticipated, underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday in Florida.

That Corbin is only 24 years old and lost for the season just underscores how fortunate Arroyo has been during his career — knock on maple or ash.

Arroyo's dependability and his history of stabilizing pitching staffs by eating up 199 or more innings in nine straight seasons are reasons the Diamondbacks signed him to a reported two-year, $23.5 million contract.

It also clearly has become a point of pride for Arroyo.

"There's never been a time in my baseball career I didn't think I was going to get out there on Day 5," he said. "There maybe is going to come a time when I can't. If it would have been the regular season, how my back was three weeks ago, I wasn't going to get out there no matter what.

"But I've been fortunate to find a way to get out there. Usually you know your body enough to know that even when things are wrong, you've got enough to find a way to get out there. Right now, I'm totally good."

Arroyo said the epidural was the third he has had since 2008 to resolve disk irritation in his lower lumbar spine.

"I didn't know what it was for a long time," he said. "Around 2008, I figured out what it was from a (magnetic resonance imaging test) when I was signing a contract. ... They went and checked it. I had an epidural in 2008, one in 2011 and this year, so I've had three of them total. It's worked every time."

He said it has taken a little longer on each occasion for the shot to work.

"The body kind of adjusts to them," he said. "But if need be, these guys here are really open minded, which is nice. So if I feel something and it gets a little irritated throughout the year, they can hit me with another one.

"A lot of times, it's like pulling teeth with teams to get somebody to do something like that for you. It's why guys are so fearful of going into the training room. They think they're going to get shut down immediately.

"Some organizations, they pull two Advil from their pocket and say that's all you can have. To me, that's not reality, man. We're playing 162 games. Guys are going to get beat up. You try to find ways to make guys comfortable on the field. It's nice to have a medical staff here that's open. Some of the stuff I've seen here, I've never seen before."

That includes, evidently, blowing up balloons in the morning, reducing rather than increasing flexibility in some muscles, and using special glasses with lenses that distort vision to determine how it affects movement.

 

Continue to read article by clicking HERE.  

 

See Neil Rampe from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar

 

 

Neil Rampe  BSMPGNeil Rampe

 

NEIL RAMPE

Arizona Diamondbacks

Lecture Topic: Addressing the "Over-Extended" Athlete

 

SPONSORED BY:

 

INSIDETRACKER 

 

Neil Rampe is currently in his sixth year as the Manual Therapist for Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks. Neil’s education includes an AA in Personal Training as well as BS in Athletic Training and Physical Education with an emphasis in Strength & Conditioining from the University of Findlay. He went on to receive his M.Ed. in Applied Kinesiology with a Sport and Exercise Science emphasis from the University of Minnesota where he served as a strength & conditioning coach in the golden gopher athletic department. Neil then served as a certified athletic trainer at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Boulder, CO. Neil then spent five years at The University of Arizona where he served as the Associate Dierctor, Performance Enhancement. Neil is a Certified Athletic Trainer through the NATABOC, a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, a Licensed Massage Therapist through the AMTA and NCBTMB. Neil is also a Certified Active Release Techniques provider, Functional Range Release provider and has received his Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist advanced specializations through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Neil is also a C level DNS practitioner the The Prague School of Rehabilitation and a PRT (Postural Restoration Trained) through The Postural Restoration Institute. Over the past 14 years Neil has had the opportunity to consult and work with a number of elite athletes at the high school collegiate, olympic and professional ranks in the areas of rehabilitation, therapy and performance enhancement.

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

Registration is now OPEN.

 

 

 

Five Reasons Why the Role of the Pro Sports Strength Coach is Changing

by Derek Hansen

Article originally appeared on: StrengthPowerSpeed.com

 

Derek Hanson

 

Over the last five years, I have noticed some gradual changes in the role of the strength and conditioning coach at the professional sports level. Some of my thoughts are based on casual observations, but also frank discussions with coaches who are currently working in the professional ranks, or coaches that have moved on from the pros to other levels of sport – mostly college jobs. But one thing is clear: The strength coaching profession of today is not the same challenge as it was 15 to 20 years ago. There are some emerging realities in professional sports that make it a different world, and one in which coaches may have to re-invent themselves. While some coaches interpret these changes as the result of innovations and progress, others – especially strength coach purists – see it as a step backwards away from the art of coaching and the development of a true coaching position.

Key changes and trends include:

1. Restructured Collective Bargaining Agreements

A number of professional sports leagues have restructured their collective bargaining agreements in favor having less off-season commitments for the players. For the most part, player unions have negotiated less mandatory practice and training time for players during the off-season. Some sports have reasoned that the wear-and-tear of extra workouts needed to be curtailed, inferring that contact sport athletes training extra days in the off-season would lead to more injuries and concussions. The sad part is the negotiators threw the baby out with the bathwater and did not allow the teams to condition players in the off-season for very long periods, even though good training helps to prevent injuries – not create them.

The NFL example is the most alarming. Previously, the players had 14 weeks of off-season training to prepare for pre-season and in-season competition. This has been shaved down to nine weeks, with only about three or four of those weeks dedicated to actual strength and conditioning work. Yet, fans are alarmed when the injury rate for the latest season is greater than previous years, with a larger number of big-name players having season-ending injuries. In fact, when some of the most serious injuries are considered – such as ACL injuries – 27 pre-season and 23 in-season ACL injuries (50 total) were recorded for the first three months of the 2013 NFL season, on pace for the highest number on record. Some would argue that the higher number is a result of the NFL clamping down on helmet-to-helmet hits, encouraging defenders to hit below the waist. However, the vast majority of ACL injuries were classified as non-contact injuries.

With strength and conditioning coaches having less mandatory time with the athletes in the off-season, one can only wonder what kind of shape the athletes show up to training camp in. If athletes haven’t completed the proper amount and intensity of training in the off-season, one could reasonably expect that these athletes could be at greater risk of injury due to fatigue and strength deficits. Assuming that all of the athletes will ensure their fitness is appropriate for the demands of training camp is naïve at best. The question is, what can the strength coach do to mitigate the negative impacts of less mandatory off-season training? Strength coaches who want to show their value to the organization must find a way to maximize their time with athletes, while not going overboard and creating injuries in training that would preclude the players from participating in actual team practices. If athletes are left to their own devices for the majority of the off-season time, strength and conditioning staff must build a cohesive relationship with each individual player to ensure buy-in to the program, a degree of mutual trust and a greater probability that the team complies with the workout plans sent out at the conclusion of the season.

2. The Hiring Process

Strength coaches are not evaluated using the same parameters as other sport coaches. Head coaches are evaluated on wins and losses. Assistant coaches and position coaches are evaluated on the statistics of the athletes they supervise. Strength coaches could be evaluated on how strong, powerful and fast their athletes have become under their programs. However, the majority of team administrators do not track this type of data closely. More often than not, strength coaches are hired based on their relationship with a sport coach. When a head coach is hired, he typically brings on board a strength coach that he was worked with previously. There are rarely any exhaustive interview processes where strength coaches are grilled on their knowledge, experience, philosophy and effectiveness. 

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See DEREK HANSEN at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16-17th, 2014.  

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Derek M. Hansen is a sports performance consultant based out of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He currently works as the Director of Athletic Performance at Simon Fraser University. He has worked extensively with coaches and athletes from all levels of high performance including the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, CFL and the NCAA. His involvement with Olympic athletes, coaches and teams includes sports such as Track and Field, Speed Skating, Softball, Bobsleigh and Field Hockey, with many of these athletes having won Olympic medals and achieved world record performances. 

Derek’s specific areas of expertise include speed development, electrical muscle stimulation for performance, tapering and recovery, and hamstring rehabilitation. Two significant influences in the development of his approach have been Charlie Francis and Al Vermeil. Derek worked closely with Coach Francis from 2001 to 2010, providing coaching to elite athletes and developing Charlie’s educational materials for on-line presentation and seminar delivery. Coach Vermeil has also been a steady source of mentorship to Derek from 2002 to the present day, providing insight into all areas of athlete performance.

When not coaching, Derek is a course conductor with the Canadian National Coaching Certification Program in the areas of Physical Preparation, Recovery & Regeneration and Sport Biomechanics. He has developed a broad series of electrical muscle stimulation protocols for Globus Sport and Health Technologies, known as the SpeedCoach, that integrates EMS programming with conventional training to enhance speed performance. Derek also runs a highly successful Strength and Conditioning apprenticeship program that places young coaches in jobs all over the world.

 

Join the Leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 16 & 17, 2014.

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