Continuing on in my discussion about Movement Coaching we will deal with…
D. Muscle Balance, Frans Bosch, Coach Shawn Myska and challenging what we believe or practice up to now.
E. Going Forward & some experimentation I will explain where i am with "Coaching Movement" and where i think i am going (and Physical Preperation is going).
F. A brief look at where my assessments are now.
Muscle balance, agonist/antagonist is another important area of movement. Not all muscles are the same in both make up and function. Muscle perform different roles for us and should not be all trained the same way. According to famous Physical Therapist Janda we have Phasic (generally tight & fast contracting) and Tonic Muscles (generally long & flexible). A good example of these muscles are the Pectorials (Phasic) and the Hip Flexors (Tonic). Phasic muscles switch on quicker, but they also fatigue quicker, Tonic muscles take longer to get going but have innate better endurance. Tonic Muscles are Postural Muscles, which are very important in our Posture and tend to be long stabilising muscles like Lumbar Errector Spinae (Lower Back), Hamstrings, Soleus & Gastronemius (Calves). And those Postural Muscles get weak easily, that's why we need to strengthen them
Over recent weeks I have got a few calls, emails & general questions about what I do and what is a Movement Coach"?. So i'm going to answer a few questions and maybe create a few more here. A summary of what I will cover here in Part 1;
A. A quick look at Ido Portal and what he did with Conor McGregor
B. My experiences with athletes and the different movements and levels I use
C. Problems with some of modern training and the obsession with running and long intense running for field sports
This recent surge in questions has mostly come about due to Conor McGregor, his success in the UFC and his announcement of working with a Movement Coach, called Ido Portal, and what it did for him in his preparation for his Jose Also fight. This is natural line of enquiry for people considering there are not too many people calling themselves "Movement Coaches" around. Straight off the bat there are 3 things that jump out at me specific to the McGregor & Portal questions.
There are 2 things Strength and Conditioning Coaches need to start doing.
1. We need to stop calling ourselves Strength & Conditioning Coaches. Athletic Development Coach or simply Athletic Coach is a much better name, more descriptive of what the good ones really do and easier for people to get their heads around, especially sports coaches. Remember we are trying to develop Athletes for Athletic pursuits.
2. We need to use our time better in the gym. We need to live, breath and teach that athletic concept all the time to the athletes and teams we come into contact with. The gym should be a centre of Athleticism, not just a place to lift weights and look in the mirror.
To be the best you can be at your sport there is 3 major modalities you need to conquer for yourself - Skill, Mental Strength and Athleticism. Now it is my belief that all 3 are intrinsically linked and support each other. But to practice them we do have to break them down individually somewhat first. Alot of whats required can be developed within the sports, training and games themselves. But not everything. Each of these can be improved in almost everyone. This belief in "natural talent" is a bit misleading. Some people are born with more physical capabilities than others, that we cannot deny. However everyone can push themselves to be the best they can be. We can aim to be more complete athletes, and its not as hard as people think it is and its not as complicated as us Strength & Conditioning Coaches like to make out to enhance our own sense of importance. We are important, but still a support to the team or athlete. Coaching is evolving, and the future coach will have to have a decent to deep understanding of all aspects of his/her sport. The best Head Coaches now have at least an appreciation, if not a real deep knowledge of, the fundamentals of physical and mental preparation. Many of the leading Head Coaches and Managers in Ireland have studied S&C and/or Sports Psychology and they are also then willing to engage and seek help from those who are experts in the field periodically while working with team and fellow coaches in an applied manner continually. Even at Club level this is where the future Coach has to go. It is also where the future S&C Coach has to go. We have to become Sports Coaches, and we have to get a better understanding of the needs, culture, psychology and parameters of the sports we work in.
What is Health? What is fitness?
I strongly believe our idea of health & fitness has got a severe battering in the last 10 years in particular. Social Media and a huge increase of Fitness images has really been distorted significantly. What we think we should look like has been thoroughly turned on its head. The emergence of saturated sports coverage as well as such fitness pursuits like Crossfit and the Weekend Warrior has changed the image of what being healthy and fit is. The irony of it is, and I can talk about this based on personal experience and what I have seen over years of training people and meeting people burned out from things like Crossfit, is a lot of these people are actually not healthy at all. Internally, mentally and physically, they are often put to the pin of their collar to maintain their image. A lack of real top knowledge in a lot of the coaching in these pursuits often means that things like recovery and breaks and balanced nutritional approaches are not the norm. The fitness Industry (at least some of it is not) is not aimed at the 28+, married, kids, busy job, 60+ minutes a day in cars, sitting in an office all day type of people. Yet these, and the 55+ aging adult, are 2 of the most important demographics and are very often ignored or thrown in with the free of commitment 18-28’s. These people, the 28+ people with life commitments generally, are my PT clients on the whole. I train Athletes as well, and it’s a very different ball game with these. The more people I train these people the more I realise they are being woefully mis-informed.
Firstly i'm going to set a setting for the guide line for what health & fitness is. Then I will give 12 reasons you are not reaching you goals and how you can reach them. Here are the 12 headings I want you to think about first as to why you may not be reaching your Health & Fitness Goals....
What is Health & Fitness?
Many, many people are not happy with where they are with their health and fitness. This differs for everybody and people have all sorts of ideas on what health & fitness exactly is. While they are definitely intertwined they are still somewhat separate. Health is harder to measure than fitness. I give an example below in the "Finding your own fitness barometers" . I have learned not to obsess about them, but they give me an indication of where I am at.
Something we can have a look at is the Biopsychosocial Model. This is in relation to Health & Fitness and even Athletic Performance, but also how it relates to Health, Sickness and Disease. While some "Experts" are fond of reductionism and finding (or getting huge grants to pretend to find) magic bullets for serious diseases like Cancers, Diabetes, Heart Disease etc. For my money if there was magic bullets they would have been found long ago. Essentially what helps performance on the field or at work or helps prevent horrible disease is a nice balance of Biological luck?!? (your genetics), Mental Health and Social Wellbeing. I think anyone when they think about this would think that this makes sense to a large degree. Environmental issues and other bits of luck may also be an issue like living near a Pharmaceutical Plant, but for the sake of this article I will ignore those sorts of reasons. So just for the sake of argument lets use this model as a guide (nothing else, just a guide).