If you’re a coach you MUST read this.

I just got done a brief training consultation with the Falmouth Boys Hockey Coach Adam Nicholas.  Adam has invited me in to help set-up and organize his off-ice training sessions.   One of the most important questions that I like to ask coaches is what the foundation of their coaching philosophy is.  Without knowing what your beliefs are from a sporting perspective, how can I help to develop a system of support that is made to do just that and support?  The next, and perhaps most important thing to think about, is what movements (athletically speaking) are most important to you as a coach?  If I asked you to list the top 5 positional movements or athletic skills that support your sport what would they be?  As an example, if you’re a hockey coach your answer may be something like this:

Top 5 positional movements: hip mobility (different stances related to hockey), first step explosiveness, core strength, conditioning, and footwork (picture proper skating ability).

Now that I am aware of what Adam’s beliefs are we can begin to construct the proper format for what he needs.  Based on things like time, space, equipment, etc., we can come up with a time efficient and effective program to help support his coaching.  Simple questions like:

-Where and When can I develop hip mobility? Pre-practice routines are a great time to get some basic everyday movements down.  Sometimes a simple dynamic warm-up can be enough along with basic plyometrics (used as activation movements) can be a great use of 5-10 minutes

-Do you have enough time to properly condition your team on the ice? If you have enough ice-time to get your guys the skills, systems, etc that’s great!  If you don’t, you can fill in your conditioning post-practice with some well designed sport specific based conditioning so that you can use your ice time to practice hockey related skills.

-Where can my guys get their core work, explosive movements, and footwork drills done?  Sometimes it’s during an organized training session at a completely different time than practice.  Maybe you make it a mandatory part of practice that is done at the end of it a couple times a week.

There are lots of options to construct a proper training system; the number one reason I hear coaches omit it is simply because they feel that they don’t have the time or don’t know exactly what to include.  Sure you can throw in a few push-ups here and there, but are you really doing your team justice?  Athletes are always moving.  For this reason, the movement in the specific sport is key element to success.

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