Someone sent me a picture of one Americas promising young hammer throwers squatting an ungodly amount of weight. I was amazed that with everything we know today that coaches are still having their athletes do this. Why in an event that demands high speed coordination are we still training our athletes to be slow? This type of work is roadblock to success, not a building block.This is just one event but symptomatic of a malaise that infests the whole field of strength and conditioning. Certainly we are not sailing uncharted waters, the path is clear, and the destination is obvious. That begs the question then, why with all we know and the supposed progress we have made, why are results so inconsistent. Why are preventable injuries off the charts? We need to take a different approach. We must take a long look at what got us to this point. Look back at what worked in the past. Look at those people who are now producing consistent reproducible results and those who have previously produced consistent results and learn from their success and failures.
We desperately need direction, definition and leadership, not marketing and hype. We must put a stop to intellectual incest- the process of passing around beliefs and myths as training truths. We need to recognize and acknowledge the problems and address them with concrete solutions. To achieve this we need to shift the focus back on people, not facilities, equipment and training methods. It is not an issue if it is a light sled or a heavy sled; it is about the athlete you are trying to improve. Coaching is a people profession, people working with people to raise performance levels. Optimal athlete development is coach driven and athlete centered. It is so easy to lose sight of this. We must do everything possible to raise the standard of coaching through quality education that is based on historical best practice, pedagogical principles and applied sport science. I hope this stimulates you to get on board and help me to define the field of athletic development. We can change and we must change or we will go the way of the dinosaur, mass extinction. I implore you to go beyond the weight room, go out and work to build adaptable athletes that can thrive in the competitive arena, regardless of the demands. Onward and upward!