Whenever a coach or scientist is interested in using a piece of technology in the daily training or testing environment, in its most simple form they need to know if it does what the company says it does. This is known as construct validity, or "the degree to which a test measures what it claims or purports to be measuring”. In this series we are going to explore the science of weight room technology validation, the current and historical state of the literature, in addition to the processes we use here at PUSH.
It has often been thought that the markings of a good coach should include a few key characteristics: technical and strategic know-how relating to how an athlete might best execute skills and techniques fundamental to their sport; be an effective educator in which they can structure appropriate training, communicate clearly, and impart performance-enhancing and motivational feedback; and create a psychological environment that helps athletes maximise their skills and potential and perform efficaciously in competition.
Mary Beth Berg’s injury and medical history reads like the over-the-top hypotheticals presented to students studying for their sports medicine boards – or the tort bar. After a navicular stress fracture kept her on crutches and in a boot from October to December 2011, she strung together a six-month training block that remains one of the most consistent and productive of her athletic career
Having worked with elite soccer players for nearly ten years now, it is easy to forget how far the monitoring side of things has come in that time period. When I first started out as an intern at Blackburn Rovers FC, we were just about to embark on embracing GPS systems as a necessity for players to wear during training sessions. Athlete readiness was either a sheet of paper or an extremely sensitive and expensive piece of equipment. Gym monitoring was largely sets x reps x load, in a hastily put together excel spreadsheet with conditional formatting .
Strongman. The sport that requires its athletes to pick up awkward objects and run with them, flip tyres, lift stones and be strong in the 3 classic lifts. Planning a training cycle for this sport can be quite tricky as the events in each competition vary every time you compete.
One of my favorite aspects of working with athletes is step one of the entire process; the assessment. Implementing a solid assessment is one of the most valuable tools for a coach to have and something that I think is truly underrated in today’s field. Not only can we use the assessment process to look at movement quality, performance baseline markers, kinetic dysfunction and/or muscular imbalances, but we can also use this period of time as a huge rapport builder between the coach and athlete.
It can often be said that, “ignorance is bliss.” A few years back I was at a coaching clinic when I heard a fellow strength coach talk about the use of PUSH bands in his weight room. As he described the uses and possibilities of this technology, I asked myself what many teachers and coaches ask themselves in public education; how much will this cost and can I afford it?
Boxing and combat sports are steeped in tradition. Long, slow runs and minimal strength training are still synonymous with fight preparation even today when it seems that many other sports have moved on. But things are changing…
The world of strength and conditioning (S&C) is full to the brim with technology and coaching aids that are designed to improve the coaching process and by extension the performance of our athletes. Not only that but more and more research and development is being put into coaching support with the latest in hardware, software, wearable technology, biometric tracking and performance analytics being released almost daily.
To create a current and interactive environment we (S & C coaches) have to embrace technology, not via gimmicks which might look ‘cool’, but those which can support (and perhaps guide and inform) our practice. One such area might be the use of on-line platforms for programming.
The collection, analysis and interpretation of training and testing data is a routine process in the physical preparation of athletes. We, as practitioners and coaches, utilize these data in a cyclical decision-making process that aims to maximize fitness and the readiness to compete, whilst minimizing fatigue and the risk of injury or illness. Ensuring we collect the right data is an important part of this process (e.g. valid, reliable and feasible measures), but equally important is ensuring rigor and accuracy in the way we interpret the data.
Since publishing the Reactive Strength Revisited article series, I’ve been lucky to have some great conversations and email exchanges with coaches from all over the world, across a range of sports. These conversations are always a great way to get alternative viewpoints, challenge current thinking and share knowledge and ideas.
PUSH has partnered up with EveltrakSport. Track and field coach Derek Evely has been using PUSH as his go to tech tool in the field with Dr. B's sytem for a few years now. Check out the videos below to learn more about how he incorporates it!
As discussed in my [previous motorsport article], the physical demands faced by racing drivers in the various series around the world are far greater and cover a much broader spectrum of physical and performance capacities than many would consider. Over the past 15-20 years the physical preparation of racing drivers has become much more important to success in the sport. Drivers have seen greater benefit and the result is that both Sport Science and Strength & Conditioning have taken a greater role in the support team and preparation of the drivers.