Now that we established the principles of S&C and busted a few myths it’s the time to roll up our sleeves and start working towards those strength, speed and performance goals so you can be your best yet in the upcoming Gaelic Games season.
"The Process" - Movement before Skill
In today’s article I’ll dig into the details of the process to map out what needs to be done to make sure you can improve your skills and track your progress. Here we go.
Give your body a chance to recover from the season just gone.
I don't assess everything straight off the bat. First port of call is assessing basic Movement, Stability, Mobility and any obvious asymmetrical issues an athlete may have. I use a mix of standard Stability and movement assessments along with using the @myJumpApp to measure lower body symmetry.
With a team we will generally get an overall picture and group them into 3-5 different groups. In this case with the Watergrasshill-Glenville GAA boys we ended up with 4 separate groups - Control (more injury possibilities), Experienced Group, Inexperienced Group and Body Composition Group.
I use the Train Heroic S&C App so the athletes have the programs on their phones, can use it whenever and wherever they want and it records training, loads and compliance.
It’s simply important to deliver the exercises either in person, via Skype or other means where I can demonstrate the exercises and visually asses the athlete’s movement and exercise form. The app itself contains videos and instructions for all exercises anyway as a reference.
5. Let it work
Just do it. I use WhatsApp as a means of consulting with groups as we go where they can ask questions and get nuanced advice on arising situations. Continuous support and accountability is at your hands this way, whenever, wherever you need it.
6. Move on to next stage
4 weeks into your program we will re-assess any areas of concern from last assessment as well as adding in strength and muscular endurance tests to delve deeper into the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses. At this stage we will create a Force Velocity Profile on the players which will ultimately inform training and help the athlete reach potential athletically.
I adjust what I test, how long we stay on a stage, how much and hard conditioning gets based on the user in front of me. I have a set of principles and fundamentals I maintain as you saw in my previous posts.
However, it is not a system. Just like if I tried to coach every hurling or football team with the same "system" it would fail some individuals or teams at some point. I coach what's in front of me to work on the unique needs of the individual. We concentrate on strengths and chip away at weaknesses.
Getting assessed by an S&C Coach can be very revealing. I have seen many good athletes who have poor movement. Very often limb length and muscle fibre quality masks asymmetries, instability and other weaknesses. Very often over time these imbalances don't become apparent until major injury occurs.
In a nutshell, assessment is critical. You don't have long to improve your physical abilities, so finding what you need to do and having a plan is hugely important. You have a question on S&C or my online coaching program? Feel free to get in touch!