The first question that may have popped into your mind was “basics as in squats, deadlifts and other compound exercises?” And my answer is “No, even more basic than that”. So what could someone do that’s even more basic??

Let me just sidetrack briefly: The longer I’m in this industry working with young athletes, The more coaching/correcting I have to do of basic movement skills whether its running, side shuffling, backpedalling, or simple jumping. However, these all start with one basic position which most people have learned as an athletic position.

So when I mean “basic” in this post, I’m ging way back before we even talk about loading someone with a bar of their back. With inexperienced trainees, its often a case of having to cue the position of their hips, chest, eyes so that we can create a new habit. More experienced young athletes on the other hand, still need to be cued on staying in that athletic position for shuffling or to stay at the same level instead of popping when they run or perform some other movement drill.

With the inexperienced trainees, it becomes a case of teaching them that there is a best way to move on the field, court, or ice. With the more experienced athletes, its more a case of refining movement so that energy is not wasted or leaked.

This is something that can make a huge difference in terms of movement quality and in turn non-specific athletic performance.

Alos, I forgot to ask: to all you northeasterners (I’m including my feelow Canucks in this) — how ’bout this summery weather??!!


With a relatively low key long weekend, I’ve been able to catch up on all my blog readin’  (even finding some new stuff to read!!) So here’s a recap on what I found really interesting and of a high quality (I know, I know, objectivity at iots best!!)

1) Mike Reinold (if you havent heard of him) is a physical therapist and athletic trainer. Part of his work includes working with the Boston Red Sox. Anyways earlier this week, Mike began a new blog series on patellofemoral pain. If you are not a trainer or of a similar field to Mike AND/OR do not get giddy about anatomy, then his stuff may not be for you…however if you DO enjoy learning some anatomy, you can’t go wrong with Mike’s blog. What the series has looked at so far is why PF pain is so misunderstood when it is so common, and where is the pain really radiating from (and why).

Click the link (…if you dare…??) >>PF Pain and more!!!

As a trainer, I believe reading things from folks with this sort of background is a great addition to my knowledge and skill set in that it let’s me know about issues so that I can know when I have to refer out to someone else. Also if someone is post-rehab and I’m training them, I shouldn’t just be guessing about how to (hopefully) keep them out of rehab/from going back to it.

2) Adam Ringler is a masters student at Michigan State specializing in strength and conditioning while interning with their strength and conditioning department. I’ve recently started to converse with him, so upon checking out his website, I found not only a clean looking site, but also several great blog posts on the front page! His writing is very clear, concise, and that all important skill of making things seem simple without giving a “dumbed-down feeling”.

Check out Adam’s site HERE

So thats it from this weekend. Let me know if you’ve found Mike’s and Adam’s sites useful or interesting — and of course if you guys have been reading some good stuff which I havent mentioned, throw that down in the comments section below!!

If you have tomorrow off, ENJOY!!


Can I make this work as rugged and manly???

Can I make this work as "rugged and manly"???

Yup, another step into full-time workin’ adulthood and farther from my goin-back-to-school-every-September schoolboy(man) years. I’ve always written any articles and blogposts from home quite simply because a) there isn’t the likelihood of a client walking in that I have to coach and b) its quieter without the my-mother-didnt-love-me music playing in the background. What I’ve never really done is organized my writing ideas so what would happen is I would get an idea, and then lose it by the time I tried remembering it usually no more than half a day later, so I finally took the plunge and got one of those dry-erase boards.

Quite frankly my desk is always messy enough that writing the ideas on paper would have meant I would have forgotten the idea AND lost the paper, so for me the whiteboard makes a lot of sense since I’ll have my reminders in front of my face and easily accessible.

Now if anyone comments and calls me old…yup, you dont want to know what would happen!!

And on that note, HAPPY WEDNESDAY!!!


This is in reference to coaching, be it a large group or a single client. I know this is something I am always working on — just being brief and clear in any exercise or drill instruction I am giving. I find that at times, especially when explaining a more complex exercise (think a deadlift vs. a step up), that I will begin to explain more than just what the client needs to know. Fortunately since this has been something that I’ve had to work on since I started training two years ago, I’ve learned to read people as well as just catch myself in the act which gets me back on track to just get the client doing the exercise.

Another thought I have now is that if a client needs more explanation about an exercise or drill such as if they don’t understand my initial explanation, is to switch to another mode of teaching. So instead of trying to explain it further, I will switch to demonstrating the exercise or putting them in the position I want them to be in. I have found this to be more of an experience thing as I get better at recognizing people’s learning styles with each client I work with.


Thinking about how versatile hurdles (especially the mini “banana” hurdles) are in a speed and agility program has been on my mind I guess for the last couple weeks. In programming, I know I have sued them for jumps and hops (plyometrics) and also for quick feet drills when I speed and agility sessions over the last two summers at SST. Needless to say, I thought of them as quite a useful piece of equipment for these sessions! However, this year my ideas on some of this have changed because of two reasons which are related to one another:

1) As my training philosophy has developed, I’ve realized that I need to design programs or speed/agility sessions so that sport performance is improved, not just that a training effect is achieved.

2) Reading Coach Mike Boyle‘s book Functional Training for Sports, I once again learned something that left me with the “how did I not think of this already” thought in my head.

So, here’s my take on hurdles:

  • They are great for plyometrics!
  • Using them for quick feet shuffling-type agility drills promotes a high-knee, step-over typer action (the Ah-Ha moment out of Coach Boyle’s book), yet in sport, athletes will keep their feet low to the ground when shuffling to their right or left or taking crossover steps. If I want to train lateral movment or agility via shuffling or lateral running then I would rather opt to use a piece of equipment which lies flat on the ground so that the movement can be performed as it is in the sport.

To continue with this thought, it isn’t that I feel that these quick feet type drills don’t develop the intended result, just that after considering the athlete’s sport, it appears that there are better drill choices or pieces of equipment to use.

Anyways with that said, I realize I haven’t blogged in oh, AGES, so I’ll do my best to get back on track!