Category Archives: Training Philosophy

The Paradox of the Strength and Conditioning Professional

My friend Rob Panariello asked me to post this excellent guest blog which I’m sure you’ll appreciate!

The Paradox of the Strength and Conditioning Professional

Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy Professional Athletic Performance Center New York, New York

The role and responsibilities of the Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Professional are very distinctive, especially when considered in comparison to the other organization “team” of professionals whom are also responsible for the medical care and athletic performance of the athlete (i.e. medical and rehabilitation professionals, position/assistant/head coaches, etc.) This article is certainly not to minimize the unique responsibilities and skills of these other various contributing organizational “team” of professionals, but simply to express the distinct differences in the methodology and skills that are necessary for implementation by the S&C professional as part of their responsibility and contribution to ensure the optimal enhancement of various physical qualities and athletic performance success of the athlete. One of the foremost differences of responsibility of the S&C professional when compared to the other “team” professionals, all whom contribute to both the athletes and team success, is the necessary high level of programmed and applied “stress” to the athlete, via the athlete’s athletic performance enhancement training program. It is this appropriately programmed and application of “stress”, that is considered the fabric from which the training program is founded.

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Topic of the Week: What Types of Cues Should Trainers and Coaches Provide?

Lately there has been a lot of discussion on the internet about cueing, attentional focus, glute activation, and related topics. I decided to write an article sharing my thoughts as I have a unique set of experiences and outlook compared to the other researchers and coaches. I confess to having not read up on all of the research from Dr. Gabrielle Wulf, Dr. Keith Lohse, and others (see Sam’s blogpost for these references). However, I have more practical experience in this area than most coaches and employ these techniques daily, which gives me a unique perspective.

Some of my readers like to be thorough so here are some links you can read in order to be up to snuff (my thoughts are in parenthesis).

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The 5 Best Quotes Ever Uttered by Strength & Conditioning Professionals

In the past year I’ve done a lot more speaking than I’m used to, and quite often I steal other coaches’ quotes. Though I’m always sure to reference the quote’s originator, I’ve realized that the audience is always grateful whenever I relay these gems along. Below are the five quotes I steal most frequently:

5. Nick Tumminello

The only thing I claim to be an expert about is my clients. I know their bodies better than anyone

I love this quote by Nick. As a personal trainer or strength coach, you get to know your clients’ and athletes’ bodies and brains incredibly well. You know what exercises they love and don’t love, which exercises they’re great at and which exercises they’re not-so-great at, what gets them motivated, what methods and programs they prefer, what limitations they have in terms of form, how hard to push them, when to back off, when to scrap the program and ad-lib, what music to play, and how to keep them excited about training week in and week out.

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Evidence-Based Coaching

In this article I’d like to discuss the importance of Evidence-Based Coaching (EBC) and what EBC means to me. Many of you might have read up on the topic of “Evidence-Based Practice” (click the link to read about it on Wikipedia). Many fields have adopted this approach to decision-making and typically it relies upon the research, meaning that the literature tends to dictate one’s practices.

If we stuck to this definition for EBC, then I would strongly disagree with sticking to this approach. Why? Strength & Conditioning research is very young, and there’s so much we don’t know. Many coaches say that S&C is “an art and a science,” but to me it’s all science. In other words, I believe that any “art” a coach describes could easily be turned into a cool study, in which case it would then be labelled “science.”

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