I try not to take things too personally when it comes to my athletes and what they are doing outside of our facility. I get that they have obligations to their team and their coach.
But, sometimes I get a little frustrated when athletes get taken away from us because they simply have too much going on with their sport teams. And some of it is unnecessary or detrimental to the athlete’s development.
And there are times, I admit I am a little human, where I see athletes who leave us to pursue work with another training company. Or, just decide not to come back for whatever reason. Doesn’t exactly have to be because they didn’t like us.
There is a part of me that starts comparing my athletes to them and hope my athletes have a wee bit more success. Petty, yes I know.
That being said, I thought I would share a few signs with you that your coach might not be doing the right things to benefit your athlete. If you see these signs, I do not know if you can tell the coach since they have egos. But, you might try to figure out how to best salvage the situation.
- Speed Training Days – This isn’t necessarily bad, but is it done properly? If not focusing on the athlete’s mechanics or not allowing adequate rest, all you are doing is conditioning for the athlete. So if your coach has a speed training day and then a conditioning day the next day, you might just be doing consecutive conditionings which can lead to another bad sign.
- Varying Intensities for Workouts/Practices – If we have learned anything in the past 30 years of training, you cannot have multiple consecutive days of high intensity work. It does not get you in better shape faster and it could lead to potential injuries. There has to be rest built in. If they do practice or workout on consecutive days, there has to be a different intensity with it. If that doesn’t happen, your athlete will not reach optimum levels as the season goes on.
- Strength Training on Consecutive Days – Sometimes your athlete’s schedule warrants them lifting on back to back days. My coaches and I make the appropriate adjustments, but it isn’t an optimum way of training. I see a lot of kids that have to leave us for the “mandatory” team lifting and lift on back to back days. You aren’t a bodybuilder so you should not have a split day for upper and lower. You are a different type of athlete so the lifting should reflect that.
- No Real Progression in the Workout – There has to be some change in the workouts. Even if the sets and reps are the only thing that change every few weeks, that is something. Doesn’t necessarily have to be different exercises all the time. Doing the same workout day after day, week after week, your body will get used to it and you aren’t going to improve your strength or power. What is the progression in your program that is going to keep your strength and power increasing??
- How is the Workout Monitored – Are you just given exercises and sets/reps for the day or are you told exactly how much weight to do? Who is watching the form? Or is this just some workout where coaches can yell at you to try and improve your strength? Our coaches tell our athletes exactly what to lift each session and how much weight. They explain how to indicate if things need to stay or if we can adjust the weight next time. If there isn’t a tracking program then are they really improving that much at all.
- Is this Program A Catch All or Can It Be Individualized – Weightlifting and individualized training should not be part of a teams’ team building mantra. “You need to be at the workouts so you can sweat with your teammates.” There are other ways to do that. If you want to be the best athlete you can be and help your team, you need to be a little selfish. If what they have for you isn’t doing that, then you are wasting your time and wasting the few years you have to play the sport you love. Go to all the open gyms, scrimmages, skill development (possibly), to be part of the team. But, if it is NOT making you better so you can compete for a starting spot and help your team win, then WHY ARE YOU DOING IT? The program needs to be tailored to you so you can make the greatest gains possible.
Coaches develop their program and the additional workouts/practices to help develop their athletes. But some need to stay in their lane. You can’t be a catch all everything to your athlete. If your coach is doing some of the above items, you might want to reach out and see how you can get the most out of it despite their efforts of doing the wrong things for your athlete.