I lost it that day.
Ripped off my jersey as fast as I could. Told my teammates how "messed up" it was and that I was getting ready to make a big play.
But Coach made the decision to sub me out at half and I wasn't able to go back on, even for someone else.
Just 2 minutes into the second half, a pile builds up on the far side of the field, too far to see what's going on. Then, other teammates start shouting across to get the athletic trainer.
Turns out, the guy that went on for me took a hit directly to his face and came out with a broken nose.
Talk about feeling ridiculous.
Everyone looked at me and said, "Dude, that could have been you!"
Fast forward to just a few months ago when I turned down an opportunity to coach overseas or, more recently, when I was released from another coaching gig that had me traveling 2-3 times per week.
I could have easily been upset about missing out on "what might have been" but learned that lesson long ago.
I'm sure there are a lot of young athletes, and maybe coaches or parents, frustrated about missing out on their senior season, thinking "this was a championship team" or something along those lines.
But, rather than spend time thinking about the uncontrollables, here's a few things to consider and be truly thankful for:
* The extra time to recovery. (I mean fully recover)
* The opportunity to develop or improve another skill (like using your non-dominant arm/foot)
* Improving your movement quality and correcting any compensations
* Focusing in mobility and/or range of motion
* Time to enjoy movement without a specific agenda (i.e. sports performance)
We may not know when these restrictions will be lifted, so appreciate the time you have with no pressure and just enjoy the ability you have to move.
It can be creating your own family bootcamp in the backyard, having a group dance party through video chat or just taking a nice slow walk/jog to disconnect from technology.
Just remember, just like my teammate, this could have been the season to suffer an injury. So appreciate what you have right now and use this time to solidify your happy, healthy habits.
Many in the sports community see playing or working in the professional league(s) as the pinnacle of ones career. The idea of nice hotels, team travel and television cameos sometimes portrays the image that any/all needs are readily available.
THE MENTAL GAME
The simple, everyday thought of achieving your ultimate goal (winning a championship, being selected for the team, etc) be harmful to your overall chances of reaching that goal.
An athlete reached out recently and expressed a desire to gain 10-pounds prior to the season. This individual was frustrated because they were not able to sustain the little progress they had achieved and were not going to be able to hit their intended goal.
Upon further discussion, it was learned that the individual was using a workout program similar than before, following similar eating habits and only added 1 protein shake to their daily routine.
While it's important to keep the end goal in mind, we can't overlook the next step or next "200 feet". Coach Brian Cain uses the analogy of using a GPS system and headlights on a road trip. You enter your final destination (the end goal) into the GPS, which may be 200 miles down the road, and use your headlights to focus on the next step/turn/intersection that may be just 200 feet in front of you.
How does that relate to performance goals?
Continuing on our previous example, our "200 feet" goals may look more like this:
- Get 4 weight lifting workouts per week that provides increased volume
- Eat 3 solid meals (plus quality snacks) per day that includes XX grams of protein to ensure lean muscle mass is gained
- Set pre-bedtime routine so I can fall asleep quickly and get maximum recovery during sleep
Now the focus is hitting those marks on a day-to-day basis and collecting small wins on the path to achieving the ultimate goal. Plus, having a tiny setback (missing a day, eating out, etc) is much easier to rebound from and get back on track. Need help determining your "next 200 feet" goal?
Send us an email at email@example.com with "200 feet" in the subject line and let us know what you need.
NEED MORE HELP???
When you're ready, here are a few ways to connect for a more personalized program or routine to fit your schedule, training and performance goals.
1. Think you need to update your training environment?
Check out the Fitness Scorecard to see what areas of your daily routine could improve to help boost your workouts, recovery and performance.
We will send you the results AND offer 15-min conversation to share ideas and strategies on how to maximize your training.
2. Want a visual reminder to help keep you on track?
Email us with "12 HPH" in the subject line to receive printable copy of our 12 Habits of High Performance that makes a great bookmark, wall paper or screen saver.
First and foremost, I want to wish a happy, healthy and safe new year to all athletes, supporters and readers around the world. The interest and encouragement shared in 2019 is greatly appreciated. Helping you, and many more like you, make 2020 the best performing year ever is a top priority, whether in sports, school or work,
One way I try to offer assistance is through our Kilograms To Kilometers newsletter (sign up HERE if you haven't already). A movement or exercise is highlighted each week that can improve your training and/or performance. None of the movements are new or mind-blowing (not our goal anyway) but, rather, intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how you move. Maybe some demos provide a new variation you've not thought of before or give you a different cue to consider when doing a movement you've done hundreds of times.
So, to kick off 2020, the first High Performance Movement we want to share is just that.....MOVE.
Do SOMETHING and take ACTION!!!!
Numerous presentations to teams and conversations with folks have proven to me that most people, athlete or otherwise, know the WHAT (to do) and WHY (to do it).
Where they fall short, unfortunately, is actually DOING.
So, as you're thinking about the new year, think about what action needs to be taken in order to make that goal/resolution/target a reality.
Keep in mind, the action you take does not have to get you from a level 1 to a level 10. Instead, focus on actions that will get you from a level 3 to a level 4.
Maybe the goal should be to set out your gym clothes every night so you are ready for the morning walk/run when you wake up. Or to set an alarm in the evening to begin your pre-bedtime routine so you get more quality sleep.
Commit to taking action in the new year then decide on what actions will get you closer to where you want to go.
I hope everyone has had a safe, wonderful holiday season and we look forward to continuing along your health and fitness journey in 2020.
PS: I have only 3 more spots available for athletes who are looking to improve their training and performance this year. Contact me this weekend to receive 3-months of coaching for just $149 (typically $149/mth or $299 for 3-mths). Send me an email with "2020" in the subject line to schedule a strategy session and get started right away.
INTRODUCING (OFFICIALLY) THE 12 HABITS OF HIGH PERFORMANCE
You have probably seen some new, helpful (hopefully) information being shared on our social media threads over the last 3-4 months.
During recent years of working with top level athletes (pro, national and international), it has become clear as to what sets apart those who could reach that level from those who not only reach it, but maintain that standard of performance. From that work, we came up with a list of routines, or habits, demonstrated by top athletes that helped maximize their training, performance and overall health.
12 HABITS OF HIGH PERFORMANCE
Are there certain exercises that help develop strength or power better than others? Maybe.
Is there a drill/exercise I can do to get faster or beat my competition? Probably so.
Would a certain supplement be better for me to take than another? Yes.
Getting great at fitting these habits into your daily routine can prove to be more beneficial and keep you in the game longer.
We’ve helped a number of athletes this year prepare for national championships, World Cups and professional tryouts. Some of the feedback has been incredible:
“My teammates say I look leaner!”
“Coach says I look more explosive when I’m running”
“I went into camp feeling more fit than ever before”
If you, a teammate, or someone you know is interested in improving their training environment here’s what we recommend:
We are excited to launch this fall a new (and hopefully useful) feature for the athlete followers who are looking to maximize their physical training and preparation for competition.
Each week, we will send out a training routine for athletes to follow during their fall season. In addition to a 3-day weight lifting program, there will be suggested recovery sessions and, in the weeks to come, running routines to help maintain power, acceleration and speed.
In addition, one of our twelve (12) High Performance Habits will be highlighted in each email to help you maximize your nutrition, recovery, sleep and all around preparation within your daily training environment.
This feature is FREE to our supporters and followers who sign up for the Weekly Workout Newsletter.
Followers are also welcome to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation to discuss the workout program and/or how it fits into their daily environment OR to discuss receiving more personalized training routines.
#universalsportstraining #universalsportsathlete #multisportathlete #kilogramstokilometers #wintherecovery #trainsmarter #stopguessingstopmeasuring
Don’t let the title fool you. We’re not talking about your favorite pump up tunes. The volume we are referring to is the amount of work you do over the course of a training week.
So what information do you use to measure just how much work you put in? Minutes trained/played? Number of reps or total weight lifted?
Everything you do (or don’t) regarding physical preparation needs to be factored into your build-up to competition. As an example, the following categories are just a few examples of what we factor in when creating training schedules and lifting programs for team environments:
“So when should I be doing the most work?”
Many teams and/or athletes put A LOT of emphasis on running or conditioning early in the season to “get in shape” for the first match. Then, as the season progresses, the amount of running and conditioning work decreases.This can leave some athletes feeling sore and tired at the end of the season. Sometimes individuals go into survival mode, just making it from one week to the next because they experienced the most amount of volume early on in the year.
Our goal, when looking at full competition calendars, is for the athletes to feel fit and fresh going into the second half of the schedule and building into playoff time. One way to do that is to reduce the amount of work (load, sets/reps, etc) programmed in the weight room while progressively increasing the amount of high speed, intense running as the season continues. This avoids the athlete getting ‘shocked’ by a huge amount of volume up front and allows them to build up slowly.
The help of GPS monitoring gives coaches and athletes an accurate read on just how much work is being done over the course of the season. Awesome features, like SPT’s player readiness (pictured below), make it easy to see how intense a session is in relation to a short or long term period.
Not sure about how to schedule your Fall training? Need more than just a weight lifting program? We have only 5 spots remaining for our Kilograms to Kilometers Fall Training Program. Athletes who register will receive:
* 12-week strength training and running/conditioning program
* Weekly check-ins for advice or adjustments on workout routines
* Weekly High Performance Habits to improve training, performance, recovery and mental focus/attitude
* Digital copy of the Athlete Performance Manual
For more info, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
#KilogramstoKilometers #KGtoKM #knowyournumbers #stopguessingstartmeasuring #wintherecovery #multisportathletes #universalsportsstrength #universalsportsconditioning #universalsportstraining #universalsportsathlete #movebetterplaybetter #trainsmarter
I often use a race car team as an analogy for sports competitions. Sometimes, in the middle of a season, you only have time for a pit stop: to change the tires, re-fuel and get back onto the track. Other times, you can park in the garage, prop up the car on jacks and take a good, long look under the hood to see what is running good and what needs improving. With athletes, sometimes there are small injuries that they can tolerate (play with), with close management, until the end of the season when they can dedicate more time to resolving the issue 100%.
A concerning issue has come up recently around the amount of time (or lack thereof) that athletes allow themselves between sports and/or training periods. One athlete I spoke to recently had the following sports calendar: Football (Aug-Nov) into Wrestling (Nov-Jan), then Rugby (Jan-Jun) and finally Rugby 7’s/All-stars (May-Aug), with other sports training and camps mixed in.
I’m a fan of multi-sport athletes for a number of reasons (eliminate overuse injuries, develop multiple skills, etc). But, in doing so, are you eliminating the opportunity to hit “Reset”, mentally and physically, between seasons or sports? Are you allowing time to overcome the small niggles that you carried throughout the second half of the season? Or enjoying a fun getaway with family/friends that does not involve hotels, tournaments or tight schedules?
SO WHAT CAN I DO???
For starters, look at your calendar (Sunday to Saturday) to see how much activity (weight lifting, sports training, games, etc) you may engage with over the course of a week. An easy measurement is to use a Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale of 1-10 to score each session based on difficulty, fatigue, etc (1 = no effort, 10 = maximal effort)
Then, look at the entire week to see how much variation you have from one day to the next. Here is an example of how that may look using a simple spreadsheet:
Now, imagine looking at this over the course of a few months. A number of strength and conditioning(S&C) coaches will schedule a deload week (less total volume to allow for more recovery) every 3-4 weeks. Do you have a series of weeks that stay at high levels? Or does your schedule allow for a few days off, allowing you to recover fully and be ready to go 100% for the next session?
To paraphrase what one coach said recently, the best ability an athlete can have is AVAILABILITY, referencing one's ability to stay healthy and fit to play rather than being unavailable due to injury or illness. Don’t let the fear of “getting out of shape” or "losing your spot" push you to the point of soreness or injury where you can’t participate.
Want to get the most out of your training without overdoing it? Curious about how best you can schedule recovery into your routine? Send us an email at email@example.com or direct message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
#kilograms2kilometers #kg2km #knowyournumbers #stopguessingstartmeasuring #wintherecovery #multisportathletes #universalsportsstrength #universalsportsconditioning #universalsportsathlete #movebetterplaybetter #trainsmarter
You wake up one day after a match feeling like you just survived a train wreck. Your shoulders are sore as ever, you can barely walk and it seems like it takes a full week to recover. In another experience, you wake up after a match feeling like you did nothing more than a slightly challenging workout and you feel fully recovered in 1-2 days. Sound familiar? What's the difference?
As a coach or player, this is where player tracking technology helps understand what players are experiencing and if, or how, adjustments should be made to training plans. Some devices record hundreds of data points that show anything from how much distance is covered, and at what speeds, to number of impacts a player experiences and even on what foot you may favor while running. Being aware such information can help coaches improve fitness/conditioning very similar to how tracking weights used for certain lifts can help improve strength development in the weight room. There is also a risk-management aspect, in terms of minimizing non-contact injuries, that can be utilized by watching how much distance players cover each day, week or season.
Tracking athletes from three different codes of Rugby (Union, Sevens and Touch) has allowed me to become familiar with the average work endured by players in each position during local, national and international competitions. This information is extremely important for when athletes are preparing to make a jump up in competition (club to select or national to international) and allows me to prescribe "top-up" conditioning to prepare individuals for the faster, more intense competition they will face at the next level.
Earlier this year, quite the opposite effect was experienced. It was discovered after the first Rugby 7's training of the year that players had covered distances that were double what would be run during an entire tournament. Many might ask "Well, if they ran further, they would get more fit, right?"
Think about trying to lift 150% more thank you are accustomed to for a particular exercise. Not only may you miss the lift and need longer to recover, but you open yourself to a much greater risk of injury. . Same with your running. If you cover long distances too often at too great of an intensity you can increase your risk of experiencing soft tissue injuries (pulled hamstring, strained calf, etc)
"So how would one use this technology?"
While the technology may provide over 100 data points, there are only a handful of categories to focus on, initially. Here are the main categories we focus on with our current squads:
Total Distance: actual amount of distance covered during a training session, match or activity. Most coaches set targets for total volume within a session, week and/or season.
High Speed Distance: total distance covered over a certain speed level. Some coaches refer to this as 'work-rate' as it highlights whether an athlete is walking/jogging around the field or moving with urgency and purpose.
Sprint Efforts (accelerations/decelerations): number of times velocity increases and is maintained for more than 1-second
Impacts: number of instances that register 5G Forces or greater (tackles, jumps/dives, etc). This is important when considering recovery processes and upcoming weight workouts as certain areas of the body may be more sore than usual.
Top Speed: maximum speed reached. It is important to make sure athletes are reaching maximum or near-maximum speeds on a regular basis. Recognizing that players have not reached their speed max may call for some extra speed work outside of regular training.
Based on your code/sport, position and point in the season, there are certain benchmarks for each category that you will want to target on a short and long term scale.
Interested in learning more? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the difference in workloads and speeds by position or to discuss how getting your own unit (it's more affordable than you think) can impact your training and performance.
#kilograms2kilometers #knowyournumbers #stopguessingstartmeasuring #wintherecovery