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In-Practice Punishments (Part 4 of 4)

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Finally, we come to the last post in this series. I am excited to be done with this topic, not because I’m sick of it, but because I have so many more topics I am eager to share with you all. I have talked about everything I can imagine in regards to in-practice punishments. It may not seem that important to many, but how many times have you preformed exercises like the ones I have spoken of in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3? I am sure it is a countless number of times. To think that the body will not begin change due to these exercises is asinine. Instead of giving you a list of exercises, I will talk about the big picture exercises.

 

There is no magic recipe for the best exercises, but there is definitely a right and a wrong. An easy way to steer yourself in the right direction is just to ask, “Does this exercises make me better at _________”. Keep it simple – there should not be some free association where, “since I’m running, it’s improving my ‘cardio’ so I’m getting better at ________”. Do NOT get me started on “cardio,” it is such a stupid, generalized, and misunderstood term.

 

Sidebar: If you are playing volleyball, STOP RUNNING as a method of training. This belongs in a post of its own, in the meantime just take my word for it. Seriously, I hate hearing my volleyball athletes tell me how they just ran for 4 miles, 15 minutes, etc.

 

Do not think too hard, when you perform some sort of metabolic exercise, you should feel the same as you would when playing your sport.

 

For weight training, does this directly improve your ability to play _______ sport? For example, would you rather have some big bulky club of an arm or a quick arm for volleyball?

Psst, the answer is quick arm. So why are you still bench pressing? Because you see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweet photos of himself benching enormous amounts of weight? Because it is what your college coach told you to do? Because you saw it in the most recent issue of Men’s Fitness (where they “unleash the 60 secrets great abs and big chests”)? Because you saw some video of an international player telling you that it is his secret to success? (Another topic for a post in the future, but just because it worked for one athlete does not mean it will work for you! Even at the highest levels of sport people are still training incorrectly). Because you don’t know what else to do and follow what every other uninformed athlete does in the gym? Hits close to home, doesn’t it? I know, I did it too. If only I could turn back time.

 

If you can not make it in for a session with me, then I challenge you from the depths of the blogosphere: Make yourself the guinea pig, try new things (these new things should come from reputable, professional sources in the field. Men’s Fitness is NOT one of these). Experiment! But be careful, do not make the same mistake I made. Do not lie to yourself because you so badly want the results from some “proven,” “elite,” workout routine. I take my athletes through a myriad of exercises and movements, but they all have the same staples: scientifically based energy system training with an emphasis on optimal human movement patterns. The final and often overlooked component is making each session an enjoyable experience. If you are having fun, than you are more likely to continue training and push yourself further.

 

Train Smarter to Play Harder

 

Please comment or feel free to email me with any comments, critiques, or questions.

Austin Einhorn, CSCS

Volleyball Skills & Conditioning Specialist

Contact: austineinhorn16@gmail.com

Schedule your appointment today!

In Practice Punishments (Part 3 of 4)

PSPVB Final Blog Photo

I apologize for the delay in this post but I could not have written part 3 without the valuable knowledge I have gained on vacation. While I was gone I had the incredible opportunity to read a book called The Power Of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. It sounds like a self-help book, but is far from it. The author follows several peoples’ lives (from crack heads to Michael Phelps), and talks about the habits that frame their lives. The book is a fantastic read and helped me realize one of many of the issues in today’s athletics.

 

So, back to the question: Why are these inappropriate punishments being administered?

 

1. It’s what the coach did when he/she played.

Nearly every current coach has competitively played the sport he or she is coaching. There’s at least one or two coaches that they fondly remember. They remember the drills and punishments they did, and instead of trying to actually think about the conditioning from a scientific point of view, they carry on the routine of their fondest coach. When I was still coaching, I was certainly guilty of this.

 

2. The coach sees another team on campus doing it. 

Scenario: Coach of sport “X” sees the successful “Y” team working extremely hard doing sprints for 1 minute straight with only 30 seconds rest. Coach “X” thinks, “this is the secret to their success, look at how hard they are working. I need to get my team doing this ASAP!” 

 

In reality sport “X” is a volleyball team and sport “Y” is a cross-country team. Now it’s obvious these are completely different sports, but each sport uses completely different energy systems. Instead of me me going on a rant right now, just go read my post about energy systems. You wouldn’t put diesel into a non diesel engine. So stop training as such.

 

3. Giving out these punishments has become a habit.

This is where The Power Of Habit really helped me realize what was going on. This may be the biggest reason why players receive the same disciplinary conditioning practice after practice. Have you ever driven home, and not remembered how you got there? That’s because it is a habit. The routine is so engrained in your brain, you just let your body take over. It becomes mindless. This is the same issue with any given practice. Any habit has 3 crucial components. A cue, routine, and a reward.

 

In my example the cue will be 3 missed serves in a row and the routine will be suicide sprints. As soon as those 3 serves are missed, the routine kicks in to play, whistle is blown, “everybody on the line!” Ready? Go! The reward is a toss up, it could be the perception that everyone is now “fitter” to play the sport, that everyone has now learned their lesson, or a myriad of other answers.

 

The underlying issue here is that there needs to be a interdisciplinary respect within professional fields. Your history teacher shouldn’t assign you math homework. It’s like a race coach telling a race car driver how to go tune his engine best for a certain track. The coach knows the best way to go about the track, but the mechanics know the best way to prepare the car for the race.

 

Usually, it isn’t the coaches fault. Sometimes they are tasked with being the sport’s coach and the strength and conditioning coach. Most probably don’t even realize what their conditioning program is doing to their athletes, and just picked out their programming because it was in Men’s Fitness, or some basketball training book. Some may be restricted by funds, certain rules of the division or college, or some are just misinformed. The misinformation is the worst because it means the coach has stopped asking questions. They have stopped being a student. If you keep asking questions and search for the best answer, one with actual evidence/science behind it, ignorance will never be a problem. It may be more time consuming if you are not an expert in the field, but the results will be worth the effort.

 

“You are always a student, never a master.”

-Conrad Hall

 

 

Train Smarter to Play Harder

Please comment or feel free to email me with any comments, critiques, or questions.

Austin Einhorn, CSCS

Volleyball Skills & Conditioning Specialist

Contact: austineinhorn16@gmail.com

Schedule your appointment today!

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