Politics and Athletic Development? – Jim Kielbaso

This election season has really gotten me to think about things in a way that relates to athletic development and the business of strength & conditioning. Now, before you get upset thinking I’m gonna talk about politics, I’m not!  Instead, I’ve noticed that the way we consume politics is very similar to the way we consume information about strength and conditioning, and it’s probably not the best way for us to make decisions. In my opinion, one of the most important traits we can have is the ability to keep an open mind, research facts, and not get swept up.. More »

Pelvic Tilt Control for Athletes – Jim Kielbaso

Pelvic tilt control is something that frustrates both coaches and athletes, but it is often not addressed very thoroughly.  Coaches may recognize an exaggerated arch in the lower back, but that’s just one part of the equation.  The ability to control anterior and posterior pelvic tilt is critical to sprinting, squatting, hinging, and a variety of athletic movements.  Many athletes struggle with these movements because they simply don’t know how to create or control pelvic tilt. For example, when you see an athlete struggle to maintain a flat back during squatting or hinging, they may not be able to control.. More »

Complete Achilles Tendon Treatment for the Sports Performance Coach – Greg Schaible

When working in an outpatient orthopedic rehab or sports performance facility you will commonly be treating Achilles Tendon injuries. That could be an Achilles Tendon Rupture, Achilles Tendinitis, or Achilles Tendinopathy. All are slightly different in their mechanism of injuries but all have the same milestones and goals to progress through in order to experience a full recovery. Obviously a rupture will take a longer time frame to recover than a tendinitis or tendinopathy scenario (but that’s probably a topic for a completely separate post). ***Be sure to pay special attention to step #3 as this is often missed by.. More »

Top 3 Upper Body Pulling Exercises – Jordan Tingman

Upper body pulling exercises are one of the most neglected movements in poorly designed programs, but they are absolutely vital to creating well-balanced athletes.  It’s also common to see these exercises performed very poorly with very little attention given to correct posture, control, or form.  Because many athletes enjoy pushing exercises so much (like bench press, push-ups, etc.), adequate pulling is necessary to provide balance.  Many coaches adhere to the rule that the volume of pulling should match the volume of pushing, and some like to perform a greater amount of pulling.  While vertical pulls like pull-ups, chin-ups, and pulldowns.. More »

Overuse Injuries in Athletes – Jason Goumas, PT

Overuse Injuries in Athletes – A Real Pain! Youth sport injuries are responsible for not only pain felt by an athlete, but also lost time on the field enjoying the sport, and in certain cases career-ending injuries. It is estimated that annually 12 million individuals between the ages of 5-22 will suffer a sport-related injury and result in 20 million lost days of school(1) and $33 billion in medical expenditure(2). This article will discuss overuse injuries in athletes that primarily affect the knees and ankles of young athletes – specifically the patellar tendon and extensor mechanism of the knee, and.. More »

Top 3 Core Exercises – Jordan Tingman

Continuing our Top 3 series from Jordan Tingman, these are her Top 3 Core Exercise Variations. While core exercises are certainly necessary in a comprehensive program, keeping core exercises exciting means trying different variations.  Athletes are always wanting something new or different, but variety has additional benefits beyond keeping athletes engaged.  Because the core is so complex and supports every movement we make, using a variety of exercises creates a greater challenge for the athlete, which will in turn provide greater transfer and gains.  The first exercises I go over in this video are various Palloff variations. As stated in.. More »

5 “Non-crunching” Core Exercises for Kids – Brett Klika

It’s hard to have a discussion about athletic performance and injury prevention without mentioning the “core”. Despite what many have been lead to believe, the core is not so much a handful of specific muscles as it is a relationship of muscles involving the upper and lower body that work together to properly transfer energy and maintain the integrity of the spine. When coaches are able to help young athletes properly develop this relationship of muscles involving both the anterior and posterior hips, shoulders, and torso, it creates a strong foundation for athleticism. This requires much more than doing crunches… More »

IT Band & Knee Pain – Greg Schaible

One of the most common injuries I see in runners is IT band syndrome or lateral knee pain. Many people try endlessly stretching and foam rolling this area in hopes to get relief. Instead what they get is sometimes temporary relief, but they always feel the need to stretch or foam roll the area because the problem keeps returning. Instead, find the source of the problem to fix it for good! In the first video below we talk about why building medial (inside) strength of the hamstrings, but also the quads in order to limit the over-activity of the lateral.. More »

Training the Hip Flexors for Sprinting Speed – Nick Brattain

The hip flexors are often neglected in training programs, and this article will outline the importance of training them and will give you several exercises to strength the hip flexors. Sprinting is a movement that requires tremendous coordination throughout the body. Not only do the limbs need to move in perfect rhythm with optimal synchronization of the muscles, there also needs to be smooth transmission of the neurological signals sent throughout the body. Unfortunately, a lot of coaches overlook important aspects of sprinting because they tend to focus on the big blocks of speed training such as technique, strength of.. More »

An Open Letter to Student-Athletes: Who Are You Without Sports? – Jill Kochanek

My name is Jill, but everyone calls me Jake. No one ever called me Jake, however, until I joined the Amherst College Women’s Soccer Team.  As a timid freshman, I was eager to prove myself and determined to play the sport that I love. With an upperclassman named Jill already on the team, during preseason my coaches asked me if I went by another name. I hesitated; I had always been Jill. Shortly after though, in the chaos of competition, my teammates’ commanding calls blended my initials, “J-K” into “Jake.”   In the beginning, I accepted Jake but did not fully.. More »

Top 3 Squat Variations – Jordan Tingman

In this article & video I go over the ways that I personally coach each of the 3 squatting variations I chose. I understand that some of these may be done by other coaches, and while I respect other coaches opinions, this article outlines how I personally like to coach these exercises.  While most people think about the back squat as their top squatting variation, I’ve taken a slightly different approach in this article.  Please don’t take my list to mean that I don’t love the back squat, but the three exercises I’ve listed are my personal favorites, and all.. More »

Helping Your Kids Cope With the COVID-19 Pandemic – Phil Hueston

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 has taken over the news. For adults, the news is frightening. For children, it can be terrifying and may leave real scars. Parents can ease kids’ fears and help them cope with this pandemic, if they have the tools. How can we, as parents and caregivers, help children understand this pandemic without living in constant fear of it? How can we support their developmental needs while helping them understand the COVID-19 coronavirus and the news surrounding it? How can we share the hope of a bright future when the present seems so dark.. More »

Top 3 Power Exercises – Jordan Tingman

This is the first installment of a short “Top Exercises” series from strength coach Jordan Tingman, where she will break down some of her favorite exercises from different categories.  This is more than just her personal favorites, as she’ll be providing explanations and rationale for the selections and how to best utilize each.  Power exercises are important in any strength and conditioning program, however the Olympic lifts may not always be the correct or most effective exercises for an athlete. Though the Olympic lifts are near and dear to my heart, over the last year I have started to broaden.. More »

Brain Development Through Exercise – Brett Klika

As youth strength and conditioning coaches, we know that teaching kids movement skills at a young age increases the likelihood they will be active and athletic for life. What we sometimes take for granted, however, is the dramatic impact these physical skills have on the overall development of a child’s brain. A growing body of evidence is now highlighting how movement during the early developmental years of high neuroplasticity plays a key role in the development of areas of the brain responsible for memory, informational processing, impulse control, and behavior. In the current world of youth inactivity, this means that.. More »

Autonomy: Building Relationships & Buy-In – Jared Markiewicz

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on developing relationships and buy-in as a coach. All of this comes from Self Determination Theory, and Jared Markiewicz has used these exact processes to work with his staff and clients. Part 1 addresses the concept of Relatedness. Part 2 addresses the concept of Competence, and this edition addresses the concept of Autonomy. We highly encourage you read all three parts of this series and consider implementing these concepts into your coaching or business activities. Intro Autonomy is the ability to have or make decisions that lead to a direction.  Basically, you.. More »

A Deeper Look Into the Squat, Part 1 – Joe Powell

The squat is often considered the most important exercise an athlete can perform in the weight room. It’s frequently performed by world-class athletes, the most novice of lifters, and everyone in between. Strength and conditioning professionals have long relied on the squat, and its variations, as a cornerstone of their programs, but its acceptance has not always been well received outside of S&C circles. It’s not uncommon for strength and conditioning coaches to receive push-back from people trying to vilify exercises in their program, with the squat being the target of the attacks. Whether it be sport coaches, athletic trainers,.. More »

Metabolic Conditioning for Athletes, Part 3 – Phil Hueston

This is the last of a 3-part series on metabolic conditioning for athletes. In Part 1, we discussed what metabolic conditioning is, what energy really is and what it means for the human body and, more specifically, your athletes. I broke down the three principle energy systems in the body and how Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP,) the “secret sauce” of energy for movement and other bodily functions, is used in the body. In Part 2, we discussed the 3 forms of metabolic conditioning and the reasons to use each of these with your athletes. (We’ll very briefly review these again.) In.. More »

Brett Bartholomew – “Valued” Webinar

Brett Bartholomew has quickly become the leading expert in helping coaches become better performers, leaders, and professionals.  He has made a huge impact on the sports performance industry, but his principles and methods are also being applied in corporations, government agencies, and small businesses. Brett’s “Valued” course, is a little different than some of his other training programs.  In Valued, Brett has created a self-paced online course for coaches who want to land a job they’ve always wanted, make more money to provide their families with stability, and stand out within their organizations for all the right reasons.  A lot.. More »

What We Can Learn About Athlete Development From Elite Athletes – Jim Kielbaso

As our NFL Combine Training program gets started, it is always exciting for me to get to know and help a group of talented, motivated athletes. It’s also a time that makes me examine athlete development in a different way. Most coaches discuss athlete development in terms of working with young athletes in an effort to help them prepare for the future. With these guys, I get to look at the process backward and evaluate what they may have missed at some point in their development. So, it’s amazing to see these guys in the morning, watch 8-year-olds in the.. More »

Foot & Ankle Strengthening for Athletes – Jordan Tingman

You may have heard that many injuries and long-term structural issues can arise from issues in the feet.  The feet and ankles are often neglected in training, but we should really be focusing a lot of our attention on the quality of movement coming from the feet. Structurally, the feet and ankle areas are comprised of many bones and ligaments, and if not able to move properly/efficiently, these structures may not function the way they should under stress, which can easily lead to injuries and compensations. The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments.  There.. More »