Monitoring Behavior – One Inch Wide, a Mile Deep


I am going to be starting using a neuromuscular fatigue system this week, and it requires the athlete to wake up and get data on their own. The difference is the athlete may need to stay at the La Hacienda del Valle to get readings because I simply need to see the testing with my eyes. I need to see it with my own observational abilities. True, I am a very objective and data driven person, but the first thing I teach the interns is read, react, record. My program is very USATF based and simple. The reason is the simple is complex, and we need to make the complex simple again. Lately we are seeing a lot of talk about what coaches are doing and I must take a pause to say that we need to stop talking about what is interesting and talk about what is impactful. Talking about the Omegawave is great, but when athletes are not lifting weights consistently, that will be a very brief forum thread.

I had to respond to Derek Hansen’s response. While I think Derek was 100% right on, I think we can go further and ask more questions. When I hear that coaches are doing something, I ask why are they sharing? Truthfully I have no training or recovery secrets in Track and Field. I started in 1996 after watching olympic athletes at the University of South Florida train, and realized instantly that I wanted to do what they were doing. Nothing has changed except VHS is now digital, my phone is in my pocket and not in my dorm, and I go to google scholar instead of the back of the library. For some reason, it seems that the worlds most popular sport gets attention for training, what a bunch of lies. Some of the biggest teams in the world don’t even do fitness tests or care in public forums about speed or training.

Back in 2004, I conducted a two-day workshop with Charlie Francis and it was attended by Val Nasedkin, Giuseppe Gueli, Mark McLaughlin, Joel Jameson, James Smith and lots of other coaches many of you might know (have it all recorded on video and audio). Obviously, OmegaWave was a hot topic back then. One coach in attendance who was short on experience and expertise, but was not hurting for cash, ended up buying an OmegaWave system on the spot. It was quite the impulse buy. Val did all the preparatory work with him in teaching him how to use the system, but this coach was not able to see improvements in his athletes, despite his $30,000 investment. Obviously, this is just one isolated case, but it does highlight the issue of putting the cart before the horse.

Derek is right, and yes it’s on video with the very comment of coaches following the machines. They didn’t trust their eyes. The problem is nobody is training, so we need machines to get information when we could have likely had most of the information from just the hard workout. Two rare combinations exist, going hard and working out in professional sports. Last week I gave a call to Ryan Reynolds from UCLA, one of the best strength coaches I know personally. I visited him twice. Once to see who this guy is, and once to visit and ask questions. Two visits to Tempe that year, one announced and one not. The reason is that Derek may be right about visiting, but my question why would a coach open up and share what are his teams trade secrets? And when do people visit? During the season when we need to be there? Back to the basics, and this is where the inch wide and mile deep comes in. We can’t talk about omegawave when people are not training. Training is straining, not exercising or doing stuff. If I can complete the workout at the same load and percentages then a problem exists. I am not in shape and don’t train, but if I have to I will take the sandals off and run barefoot to make a point that they, out of shape athletes, need to do the basics before talking about what flavor grape juice they need for creatine. Get behind the line. Run through it. Put the weights away. Elbows up. No fancy training, no ballon sculptures, and following directions.

Do it right. Johnny Parker, a strength legend, was a proponent of using the phrase and inch wide and a mile deep. True I will request a photo of pumpkin seeds to see of one is addressing the basics with Iron status, but coming to practice on time is a cardinal sign of life being in check. HRV in the morning to me has had the highest correlation with the stability of wake times over any other marker, and when that is stable HRV shines. Instagram? That confirms my suspicion but a pillow mark on a cheek is just as powerful in the morning. We need to get back to basics and see reality, not machines only.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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