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Advanced Athletes are not Advanced Lifters

Advanced Athletes are not Advanced Lifters

Question: How would you change your programming if you accepted a position as a D1 or D2 strength coach? Working with more advanced athletes.

Answer: This is a common misconception.  Just because the athletes may be better at their given sport does not mean they are advanced (or more advanced) in the weight room.  Quite the contrary.  The vast majority of sport athletes are beginners or AT BEST intermediates in the weight room.  Let's look at this critically:

Most college athletes had zero or a very rudimentary strength program in high school.  Most college strength coaches will second this statement.  Very few high schools run a comprehensive training program; this includes year long training throughout all the sports.  For example, would a football player that also participates in basketball or wrestling or baseball - will all these sport coaches sign off on a universal strength program?  The answer is probably not. They should but it's not likely.  So most of these kids, even if they have a competent strength coach, are not doing it full-time.

So it's very unlikely that an athlete enters college with a full four years of training under his belt.  This means a full four years of uninterrupted training.

Now let's look at the typical college athlete and the requirements; obviously there is school, practice, the season, winter break, spring practice (or the equivalent), finals and summer break.  Tack onto this the NCAA restrictions on time and you have a lot of breaks in training.  More than that, you have sport coaches who demand weird "character building" training for a month or more. This is code for "doing a whole bunch of stupid conditioning under the guise of making the players mentally tougher."  Basically this is what happens when sport coaches get together and watch too many Navy SEALS videos on the internet.

The only thing that would really change is dependent on what the layout of the weight room is like.  This is the thing you must account for above all else.  What I mean is this: you may want to squat and deadlift (or whatever) but if your weight room isn't equipped to handle these movements and handle the amount of athletes you are training at once, you have to adapt very fast.  This is a very real issue that many coaches have to deal with.

Maybe I'm getting older and dumber (or wiser) but it has been my experience that a stronger, more muscular, mobile athlete with the appropriate conditioning level kicks a ton of ass regardless of where he is athletically.  And I've coached and watched both junior high athletes and professional athletes; you'd be surprised how many similarities there are in their training. I've seen some of the fastest, strongest most insane athletes just suck in the weight room; where they truly benefit from a very basic program. And by "suck", I don't mean strength or speed. I mean competency on basic movements.  Note: this doesn't mean he does a basic training program that the average Joe would do. He would do a basic workout that an athlete would do.  There is a big difference.

Think about it like this:  Bo Jackson is probably the greatest athlete in the last 100 years. He was able to be elite in both baseball and football.  But his talent is seen only once in a millennium.  What makes people think a Division II soccer player or tennis player possesses this same talent towards his sport AND weight training? 

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