“To believe in something and not live it is dishonest.” -Ghandi
Dear StrongerAthlete: More Common Sense
(APPLAUSE)……..WELL DONE! Great website. How refreshing it is to see something like this, considering the internet is littered with opposing viewpoints, opinions/theories and flat out misinformation. With regards to Olympic style lifting for athletes, plyometrics, Swiss balls, various “quickness enhancing” drills, and other gimmicks many coaches use to enhance athletic ability, you guys are RIGHT ON 100% with your articles.
I am a Certified Athletic Trainer who also “specializes” in the training of athletes. I currently practice/teach sports medicine at the high school level as well as work at a health club and I do several yearly public speaking (local) engagements on these very topics. I literally had to do a double take when I came across this website and started reading your articles. The articles are pretty darn close word for word to what I lecture about and have been for the last 6 years.
I was a college football player/track athlete and was brought up on the Olympic style/plyometric philosophy (I didn’t know any better at the time and trusted my strength coaches that this was the safest, most effective way to train). It wasn’t until I went through a formal education program and did a lot of research in Exercise Phys/Kinesiology and studied motor learning that I “converted” and started doing just the opposite, so to speak, of that style of training.
I just simply cannot understand what part of “not transferable”, “violation of specificity” and “overload principle” many strength coaches do not understand (especially the ones that claim to have an educational background in some exercise science field)! It seems that no matter what research I provide and how credible it is, many coaches choose to not go for it. I guess its either pure ego, lack of common sense or just plain old being stubborn.
As you probably would agree, it is very frustrating and also very hurtful for athletes who are often caught in the middle. I admire your ability to remain calm, cool and collective in your articles having to continually explain the same things over and over again. Then there is the safety issue. Even if all those “explosive” movements did work and they did make athletes more explosive, the safety issue alone should deter any coach from recommending them to their athletes (especially the skeletally immature ones). But, they don’t work as advertised…and as you have stated many times, elegantly at that, the only thing doing power cleans will make you better at is…power cleans! Trying to get people to believe that explosiveness, balance, quickness/agility are all TASK and SKILL SPECIFIC is one of the most difficult things to do, in my experience anyway.
Great informational site here and I have book-marked it to use as yet another very credible resource for all the “non-believers” out there. Thanks and I look forward to future conversations and dialog with you guys.
Thank you for you kind words and we are glad you enjoy the site. We started this website a couple years ago because we were frustrated with the misinformation as well. We have helped high school coaches take a more responsible look at their Olympic-based programs and are proud of that. Letting people know of a method that is backed by science is important. Much of what they read is misleading and flat out false. This is unfortunate for the athletes. It takes people like yourself to spread the word on safe, efficient, and productive programs. Please do keep in touch. If you have any stories that you would like to share with us, we would like to read them and post.