Sports Training Stuff You Should Read

I hope you had a great weekend. Last week was exciting, as I had an opportunity to grab dinner Tuesday and Wednesday with Mike Potenza, who was in town to play the Flyers. It’s always great to catch up with Mike, as he’s not only a good friend, but also one of the best S&C coaches in hockey and constantly learning more to get better. As always, I picked up some great ideas on ways to improve our programs. Thursday I was fortunate to score tickets to the Flyers game; unfortunately the Flyers got shelled 7-3. Maybe it’s me, but the last two games I went to they gave up a combined total of 14 goals against! Friday we had, believe it or not, our first off-season hockey player come back to get assessed to start his “Summer” training, which means 14-hour work days are right around the corner for me.

With all of that said, I wasn’t able to find time to get any writing done. Luckily, I did come across a few great resources that I wanted to share with you. Check out the articles below and please feel free to post any comments you have in the section below!

Conference Review: Assessing Movement with Stuart McGill and Gray Cook from Patrick Ward
This is a great summary of a recent seminar Patrick attended featuring presentations from Stuart McGill and Gray Cook. A lot of people, including very prominent authorities in the field, misinterpret the original intention of the Functional Movement Screen and over-emphasize the FMS’s role in predicting injury and under-value it’s role in pre-qualifying an individual for specific exercises. Patrick does a great job sharing his opinion on the topic, which is very much in line with my thinking.

Doing Simple Things Well from Patrick Ward
This is another post from Patrick that I really enjoyed. It was very “timely” as he and I spent 30 minutes on the phone discussing these same ideas days before this was posted. The more I learn about different assessment processes, the more I believe that part of the process is to identify outliers and make individualized adjustments to their stressors and/or recovery strategies to ensure they’re prepared to perform at the desired level. While there are infinite opportunities to “do more”, Patrick boils things down into a few very simple strategies to implement and interpret.

From A Child’s View, Parents Find Full-Ice Hockey No Fun from USA Hockey
This video from USA Hockey is both enlightening and funny. I’ve said before that parents and coaches with no understanding of the psychological development of kids really shouldn’t be making decisions about what’s in the kid’s best interest from an athletic development standpoint. Simply, their opinions are almost entirely emotionally driven without any consideration to the kid’s perspective. USA Hockey’s ADM guidelines are INCREDIBLY well-researched and thought out. I would encourage those that disagree with their recommendations to ask themselves whether they have the same background information as USA Hockey. If not, maybe do some more homework before you take an opposing stance. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

 What’s the Hurry? from Jack Blatherwick
Jack Blatherwick is a legend in hockey, as he’s one of the first to apply specific off-ice strategies to transfer to the patterns and energy systems of hockey. This is a very simple article telling the personal athletic backgrounds of the men’s hockey players coming from Minnesota that participated in this year’s Olympics. Those offering off-season camps and showcase tournaments have done an outstanding job of instilling fear in youth parents that their kids need to play year-round hockey or they’ll be left behind. The crazy swings in psychological, neurological, and physical development that characterize adolescence make it easy to misinterpret developing later with developing less. This article sheds some light on what the best players in the world did to reach where they are today.

5 Things Every Youth Athlete Should Know from meThis is an article I wrote a couple weeks ago that has been one of the more popular ones in the history of my site. The response this article has gotten makes me think I should write more about “the art of coaching” and maybe a little less about the science. The bottom line is that if athletes aren’t prepared to do what others won’t, and aren’t resilient and able to overcome adversity, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll be successful in the long-term. This post outlines several messages we try to send to all of the athletes that train at our facility.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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