Collegiate Strength and Conditioning

Thats classic. I have had parents do the same thing. I asked a Dad what he did for a living. He said he was a financial planner. I said “I’ll tell you what, I am going to go home and do a google search, read all things relevant to your job and then tomorrow, I will tell you how to do your job.” Immediate backpedal. AAAAAAAAHe was like I wasn’t trying to tell you how to do your job, I was just telling what coach X said. I said well, call coach X and get him to train your son. He never brought up his thoughts again. Don’t like to be a jerk but sometimes…

Problematically, it goes both ways because as we know there is so much incompetence in the field of “S&C” that I cannot blame those not in the profession who might overstep their bounds with such questions, idea sharing, this is what so and so does, and etcetera.

The simple fact that there is no legitimate qualification process for coaching in general in CONUS is why those of us in the industry are not thought of at the same level of professionalism as those who must pass rigorous selection/qualification procedures (ergo lawyer, MD, PhD, and so on). while every profession has it’s percentage of ‘how the hell is this person doing this job’ I have to imagine that the profession of coaching in general has a large percentage of such individuals.

Of course I can’t complain because I do not possess a post-collegiate degree, nor did I receive an undergraduate degree in a related field. Here I sit self-taught in the field of physical preparation with a bachelors in music performance.

Ironically, some of the most respected individuals in their related fields, in CONUS, have unrelated undergraduate degrees, if they have post-high school degrees at all:

  • If I recall, Charlie studied history or English at Stanford,
  • Pfaff has an undergrad in science education
  • I don’t believe Louis Simmons completed high school,
  • I’m fairly certain that John Smith has an unrelated undergrad from UCLA
  • my superior Buddy Morris has a communications degree from PITT
    and so on.

Due to the inadequate collegiate (as well as most certifying organization) curriculums we must educate ourselves if we are to assist our athletes to the fullest and take the comments from the peanut gallery with a grain of salt.

What instrument do you play?

I love interdisciplinary existences. :o

Started with piano, then trumpet, then guitar with guitar being my principle instrument for the last 20years. I do plan on picking the trumpet back up, however.

Studied jazz at Berklee college of Music in Boston.

You a Wayne Krantz fan?


Used to go watch him play at the 55 Bar in NYC in the mid/late 90’s

He began instructing some master classes while I was at Berklee. He’s a super cool guy and way ahead of his time.

I formerly played trumpet in high school, and I have university degrees in non-sports science fields (BA, International Politics, MASc, Transportation Planning).

I guess we now know one of the templates for S&C education.

Here’s another one. Charlie played guitar and had a BA in History.

I’ve got a live WK disc that’s very good with Keith Carlock on drums or maybe it’s someone else?

I think Al DiMeola also attended Berklee?

This is the most enjoyable thread hijack ever.

Yes, Carlock became more of a regular with Krantz following Danziger.

A great deal of musicians attended Berklee at some point in their careers. Most of the highly talented ones did not actually graduate, however. They just roll through to make connections, play with other talented musicians, get some high level instruction, and gig around Boston and NYC.

I got to see him once there at 55, he’s great, fantastic time feel of course.

Personally, I think there is a connection between rhythm in music and rhythm in running/sports.

Agreed, I continually stress rhythm and relaxation to my guys regarding speed work, power speed, throws, and so on.

While there’s differences of opinion on how to perform power speed, particularly skips, (Pfaff likes flat foot landing) I prefer to instruct skips rhythmically with a forefoot landing and a degree of rhythm and flow to body movement almost as if one were performing power speed to a groove.

Pfaff states that it’s natural to land flat footed or even heel to toe during skips; however, I disagree as that was never my natural inclination nor have I witnessed it in the vast majority of my athletes over the years.

I’m critical of my guys attaining full extension of the support leg so I actually like to see a bit of a forward body angle (from shoulder to heel) during the A skip because this follows a conscious toe off when propelling one’s self forward horizontally.

This is what I went over with Craig James and Jesse Palmer during the small feature that they aired before half time on ESPN.

They both picked it up quite well and, having the requisite mobility and coordination, looked good on the A skips and Running A right out of the gates; requiring minimal corrections.

I’ve heard him say the reasoning behind this is that below a certain forward speed humans are wired to heel-toe. Walking is a heel-toe action and when drilling A skips the body is at a speed slower or similar to walking, so the drills should also be heel-toe.

Yes, I’ve heard him state the same thing;however, as I stated in my last post- I disagree; and again, I work with large numbers of players, and have through the years back to the high school level, and in all these numbers I’ve seen very few who naturally made a flat foot/heel first contact during power speed.

I would argue that footwear has created this thinking due to it’s overly supportive nature (something that I think causes more back and lower limb problems than most anything)

I have my athletes perform a great deal of warm up and power speed in their socks only.

give it a try and you’ll notice how making contact with your heels is not a natural event.

I should also note that power speed is more about vertical action, versus forward speed, so the more dynamic the vertical component becomes- RE Newton- the more dynamic the ground contact dynamics become.

At any rate, I firmly believe in the way I have my players perform power-speed for the reasons I’ve mentioned and I think if any sprinter/athlete clears their mind and just ‘does’ it they’ll find themselves on their forefoot as well.

I have trained hundreds if not thousands in speed over the years and even at a young age, kids tend to land on balls of feet as a natural action. In my experience, those who land heel to toe tend to be the slower, heavy footed runners. Plus, I was always of the belief that in all drill work, you should perfect your running technique. Shorten the lever on recovery and pre load for push off track to avoid the natural collapse that seems to happen when athletes run without pre loading foot for strike.

We are in complete agreement.

I don’t think it matters too much, it’s really just a dynamic drill/warm up thing anyway. To each his own. You can’t argue with Pfaff’s success or influence over other track and field coaches in multiple events. It’s kind of like should you put the feet high on the pedals or put the feet with just a little touching the track…WR holders have done both.

As stikki said, with drills you are moving about the same speed as you do when you walk/jog. You don’t walk around on the balls of the feet. You don’t do tempo on the balls of the feet. For him drills are a dynamic warm up and for teaching body position/awareness and he doesn’t really believe technique is getting enhanced by drills, similar to Tellez.

Personally I say do whatever feels natural.

I think some coaches succeed in spite of poor training methods if they have the luxury to work with exceptionally talented athletes!

Give me a break! You certainly show your ignorance.

NO ONE WILL EVER take chicken shit and turn it into chicken salad.

Every single coach has to have elite talent to get elite results. The coach is a talent developer and Pfaff is extremely good at this.

I will never understand the Pfaff hate that some exhibit on this board. I have never heard him say one bad word about Charlie so I cannot understand this hate. He is one of the classiest individuals I have ever talked to.

Remember, as Charlie often noted, there’s a different between what’s effective for the best in the world and the rest of the general population.

Thus, on the one hand, you could certainly make a case for ‘it doesn’t really matter’ when you’re dealing with a drill that is not performed near race speeds for the sub 9.8 people of the world.

On the other hand, for the other 99.999999999% of the athlete community I believe something as seemingly rudimentary as power speed is critical to perform in a way that promotes, as speed coach noted, proper sprint mechanics; thereby making it more than just dynamic warm up/rudimentary drill work.

The sensation of performing the drills as speed coach and I are describing them is something I need my players to feel as a fore-brain activity before it can become an unconscious aft brain activity. due to the slow horizontal speeds they are very conducive to fore-brain activity because there’s plenty of time to think and feel how you’re moving.

Remember, most younger/low training age athletes are unconscious-incompetent (they’re unaware that they don’t know what they’re doing)

4 stages of motor learning:

  1. unconscious incompetent
  2. conscious incompetent
  3. conscious competent
  4. unconscious competent

or in my friend Dave Tate’s words:

  1. shit
  2. suck
  3. good
  4. great

Those of us working with populations other than the T&F elite, are dealing with people who are, at best, level 3 in terms of physical preparatory training (not to be confused with their sport skill)

As I’ve noted before, T&F is physical preparation at its finest; thus the higher the level of your T&F qualification the better you are at sprinting/running, jumping, and throwing.

sprinting/running, jumping, and throwing form the basis of much of what I do with my athletes and, sadly, require a great deal of instruction for most in order that they are done with mechanical and orthopedic efficiency while maximizing output potential.

I think some coaches succeed in spite of poor training methods if they have the luxury to work with exceptionally talented athletes!

Ignorance is only displayed when you pipe up about things you have no business speaking to - I don’t think Dan Pfaff needs you to defend him. I was referring to the fact that drills need to be done a certain way and any coach can - no matter what level of performance - make mistakes.

When Dan came to speak at the University of Alberta he spoke candidly about the number of athletes he blew up! And how he learned from those mistakes

Try to keep your delusions of persecution to your therapy sessions!