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Thread: Playing sports as a novice

  1. #11
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    • starting strength seminar august 2021
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    I've worked with two head high school football coaches in the past 16+ years that "get it". Both have agreed with me that the two most important things for an athlete are:

    1-Get strong
    2-Practice your skill/sport

    A distant and non important third:

    3-everything else...

    I doubt I'll ever work for another one like these two as they are as rare as a soccer player showing up to summer weight workouts..

  2. #12
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Janecek View Post
    I've worked with two head high school football coaches in the past 16+ years that "get it". Both have agreed with me that the two most important things for an athlete are:

    1-Get strong
    2-Practice your skill/sport

    A distant and non important third:

    3-everything else...

    I doubt I'll ever work for another one like these two as they are as rare as a soccer player showing up to summer weight workouts..
    That is the truth. It is not anymore complicated than that, but no one 'gets it'. My experience with high school football programs has been about the same. Every kid that trains with me goes on to out lift everyone in their school, but the coaches seem to think it is the speed training that is really paying dividends.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Kurisko View Post
    That is the truth. It is not anymore complicated than that, but no one 'gets it'. My experience with high school football programs has been about the same. Every kid that trains with me goes on to out lift everyone in their school, but the coaches seem to think it is the speed training that is really paying dividends.
    Well said,
    I've turned down several job offers after hearing how the coaches "run em hard" to get em tough and ready for the 4th qtr. And that I'm expected to do the same.

    The stories/comments I've heard from coaching staffs that use our visiting locker rooms right across the hall from my wtroom are borderline insane...

  4. #14
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    Jun 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Kurisko View Post
    I have run a pretty successful after-school barbell club at my gym for the past several years. We have had many, many average athletes go on to have great success from the effectiveness of our strength program. However, there is quite a difference in the results of the kids who play other sports and those who attempt to train in-season.

    Rip doesn't just say things because he thinks they sound cool. He has seen this stuff play out for years in the gym and I have watched the exact same things for years now myself. Kids do not eat enough to recover and grow strong. It is so bad that I often feel like I am running a support group after school because I have to ask each kid multiple times what they have eaten throughout the day. I feel like a teacher being told that the dog ate the homework most of the time. It is a major issue because the kids that don't eat enough do not make the progress they should and it is frustrating to watch them fizzle out because of it.

    I could write an awful lot about this, but I will simply say that you should just stop playing sports. Just get strong. As strong as possible would be best. That is where the best results are going to be found.

    But, if you won't do that, and I know that you probably won't...

    Take 6 months off of all sports and run the program. Eat all of the food and lift all of the weights. Sleep as much as possible. Get as strong as possible. Once you do that start playing your sports again as a stronger human being. You will be amazed at how much more dominant you are.

    I start anywhere from 5-10 novice young athletes on the program a month in my gym. The kids who do not play sports all get a lot stronger a lot quicker. They then go back to their respective sports and all of them perform much better simply because they are stronger than everyone else. I have watched plenty of my athletes go on to earn accolades like being named all state, all area, a starter, getting moved up to varsity early, or being named captain of their team after starting out very weak and undertrained.

    Yes, there are some athletes that can get stronger and play sports if they eat/rest plenty, but often they are the same kids who would dominate regardless of training. The athletes who are on the fringe of being benchwarmers and starters seriously need to just focus on getting strong.
    I have this same issue with my soccer player (female). Soccer "club" season goes from August through December, high school season is December through April, then club picks back up from ~March through June. They basically have July off then it starts over. The reality is July is the month the players have to attend college visits and recruiting camps. We are seeing a shift for the serious soccer players where they are bypassing high school soccer altogether. Conversely, the new girls soccer league starting next year has a 10 month season and will ban HS play.

    During club season they train 3 days a week (T-W-Th) and can have games on Saturday or Sunday or both. Get home/lights out she tries for 11pm on training days. Up at 5:30 to eat and get ready for school. Sleep is 6.5 hrs a night on training days.

    So its very difficult to find any time to train with proper recovery. Most likely she would not consume enough calories anyway. I know from doing SS myself that nutrition is the hardest part, well and recovery since I'm >40.

    Have you found any student athletes that eat enough? If so how have they done it? My kid could max have 4 meals a day during the week, 5:30a breakfast, lunch at school at 12:00p, 3:15p meal at home, 10:30pm meal after practice.

  5. #15
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    My daughter, 12, is big into water polo as her sport. It's traditionally trained as an endurance sport (at the olympic level, they're out running half marathons every weekend, plus thousands of meters of swims, and drinking milk by the gallon just to keep from wasting away), but from poolside it looks like a series of short sprints terminating in wrestling matches.

    I'm hoping this summer to get her to drop the swimming during the brief off-season and run an LP, with some maintenance lifting the rest of the year. She's already had a painful pec pull, and hopefully that will help me make the argument for getting strong, but she's got her dad's stubbornness.

  6. #16
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    Rarely. It is quite challenging for these young athletes on many levels. I have allowed much of it to frustrate me over the years in this business, but no longer. I just encourage those that I cross paths with to get as strong as possible and explain to them that it will require them to eat a lot more than they are probably used to. The explanations must always be simple and straightforward. I do my best to stay in my own lane and try not to waste much time explaining things that are too complicated for the kids to understand. The more a kid wants to succeed the more they will put into it. They will give up things that are distractions and they will do the things that are necessary to make progress. Creatures like this are rare, but they are fun to work with and help keep it interesting. You can't make anyone want to do anything, so you just have to help the ones who are doing whatever they can to help themselves and do whatever you can to inspire them not to be weak.

    It would be nice if more coaches of sports actually understood the value of strength and realized what havoc they are subjecting these poor kids to with there foolish approaches to 'athlete development,' but that is a whole other thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rstexas View Post
    I have this same issue with my soccer player (female). Soccer "club" season goes from August through December, high school season is December through April, then club picks back up from ~March through June. They basically have July off then it starts over. The reality is July is the month the players have to attend college visits and recruiting camps. We are seeing a shift for the serious soccer players where they are bypassing high school soccer altogether. Conversely, the new girls soccer league starting next year has a 10 month season and will ban HS play.

    During club season they train 3 days a week (T-W-Th) and can have games on Saturday or Sunday or both. Get home/lights out she tries for 11pm on training days. Up at 5:30 to eat and get ready for school. Sleep is 6.5 hrs a night on training days.

    So its very difficult to find any time to train with proper recovery. Most likely she would not consume enough calories anyway. I know from doing SS myself that nutrition is the hardest part, well and recovery since I'm >40.

    Have you found any student athletes that eat enough? If so how have they done it? My kid could max have 4 meals a day during the week, 5:30a breakfast, lunch at school at 12:00p, 3:15p meal at home, 10:30pm meal after practice.

  7. #17
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    Jun 2010
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    Bedford Texas
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Kurisko View Post
    Rarely. It is quite challenging for these young athletes on many levels. I have allowed much of it to frustrate me over the years in this business, but no longer. I just encourage those that I cross paths with to get as strong as possible and explain to them that it will require them to eat a lot more than they are probably used to. The explanations must always be simple and straightforward. I do my best to stay in my own lane and try not to waste much time explaining things that are too complicated for the kids to understand. The more a kid wants to succeed the more they will put into it. They will give up things that are distractions and they will do the things that are necessary to make progress. Creatures like this are rare, but they are fun to work with and help keep it interesting. You can't make anyone want to do anything, so you just have to help the ones who are doing whatever they can to help themselves and do whatever you can to inspire them not to be weak.

    It would be nice if more coaches of sports actually understood the value of strength and realized what havoc they are subjecting these poor kids to with there foolish approaches to 'athlete development,' but that is a whole other thing.
    Well said..

    I do pretty much the same but sadly I'm actually employed with my fellow coaches and still have a few teams that don't participate because "it just doesn't work".. Even when I say something as simple as "regardless of skill wouldn't you rather have stronger-faster kids to work with vs slower and weaker?"

    To which they just repeat. "Yeah but it just doesn't work".

    I am plenty busy with the ones who WANT coaching so I focus on them. Our football team is 8-2 right now with two games left in the regular season. If we make the playoffs win or lose they (the group of seniors) have shown what hard work and dedication are all about as they were 3-6 as a freshman team.

    Like you said you help the ones that want help.

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