We have had an excellent day so far. Lots of great information from all sorts of speakers.
First up, we got to hear from Meg Stone, about the evolution of an aspiring elite coach. She walked us through major responsibilities of the coach, problems faced by coaches, and how to walk the line between the art and science of coaching. The science of coaching is what dictates the decisions we make for training, but the art helps us to make it work with the real world with our athletes.
Second, we had Dr. Stone up to teach us about the scientific underpinnings of developing power. You probably won’t be surprised about this, if you know anything about Mike Stone, but he highlighted how incredibly important it is to develop strength prior to developing power. He also spent some time speaking on the concept of task specificity, and the growing body of research that supports the idea that hypertrophy is specific to the training that you do. Non-specific hypertrophy that might occur from poor training choices may make athletes slower than they would be otherwise.
Next up we had Brad DeWeese to tell us about the quadrennial plan used for preparing bobsledders for the Winter Olympic Games. He not only broke down the theoretical side- the plans that he made for the quadrennial, and the science behind why various planning decisions were made. He also explained about the reality of the training situation- where even the best laid plans have to be modified when, for example, the only training facility you get access to is a parking garage (for weeks!).
Chris Carmichael laid out his ideas and experiences about developing elite athletes, from very early in their careers, all the way up to the highest level. Chris has had a long, successful career, so we got great advice mixed in with stories about athletes he is worked with. It is rare to hear a coach mention both the Olympic Games and the Tour de France in the same breath, especially when he has had athletes in both situations on many occasions.
Meg Stone stepped in again for Chris Layne, who unfortunately had something pull him away at the last minute. Meg regaled us with the realities of representing high level athletes as an agent. While she isn’t an agent, her long and illustrious career as a discus and shot thrower, and then a coach, gave her lots of experience with sports agents. Her numerous stories about the “business side” of sports gave us all a lot of insight.
Jon Carlock gave us a whole lot to think about in a world of training that most us have little experience with. Jon works in a strength and conditioning capacity with military personnel, with experiences that sometimes vary widely from those that we in the sports world have. We were given immense insight into relationship-building, which is extremely important, regardless of the training situation we find ourselves in.
We finished with a roundtable from all of our speakers, who helped to clarify topics from earlier in the day, and gave us their varying opinions on a number of different topics.
Well folks, that is it for the first day! There’s the banquet coming up here pretty soon, then to bed to dream about barbells and sport science.
We look forward to tomorrow.
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