The Role of a Strength Coach in Athlete Discipline
Defining the role and responsibilities of the strength and conditioning coach is a complex challenge. Coaches are faced with more demands than ever, and clarity of what is best practice is a growing concern with the public and administrators. CoachMePlus reached out to leaders in the strength and conditioning profession to shape the future in improving the standard of practice, and asked specific questions that could transform how athletes are developed and the welfare is safeguarded.
Twitter chats are a structured live discussion session where a moderator (us) posts discussion questions and our followers respond. Each response is tied to a question, so the effect is an online panel discussion entirely in written form. This format allows each coach to explain their point without being interrupted by other coaches.
— CoachMePlus (@CoachMePlus) August 16, 2018
The question should be “Should strength coaches be responsible for athlete discipline?” I say unequivocally, NO! That’s not our dance. Sport coaches should be responsible for that. — Bob Alejo (@Coach_Alejo) August 16, 2018
Everyone should be involved in that process. Core values should be communicated between the staff and disseminated to the athletes. In regards to “punishment,” the most powerful form of this is taking away playing time, which is not the task of the S&C coach. — Nate Brookreson (@nbrookreson) August 16, 2018
#CMChalkTalk I think its everyone responsibility. Every part of the organisation should follow the same set of values. These values should 100% emphasise discipline, not just for the athletes but for everyone — Rob Pacey (@strengthofsci) August 16, 2018
What kind of discipline are we talking about? Punishment for breaking rules/slacking or being a disciplined athlete? If the former is the question then I say it depends on the level. Sometimes/maybe to youth but not in college or pro. If it’s the latter, I say yes at every level. — Jordan R. Moon, PhD (@DrJordanMoon) August 16, 2018
Discipline? Not in the form of exercise or risk as “corrective” behaviors. — Gary McCoy (@StrengthCoach21) August 16, 2018
No but unfortunately a lot of coaches are. In accepting a new position state to the sports administration and/or sports coaches that discipline is not under your umbrella. — Kurt Hester (@TheKurtHester) August 16, 2018
I’ve never been a fan of taking an athlete to failure. Training to failure is most likely a sign don’t know the capability of my athlete or I don’t understand the demands of their sport. — Nate Brookreson (@nbrookreson) August 16, 2018
I feel football is the major culprit in conditioning to failure. As a field I feel we over condition football athletes sacrificing the ability to achieve greater Speed, COD & Skill Acquisition. #CMChalkTalk — Kurt Hester (@TheKurtHester) August 16, 2018
Even the best-planned weight training program isn’t immune to exercise failure. However the best planned seldom have those hiccups. Conditioning- unable to run or walk? Absolutely not. Going from full-speed then relying on full-effort? Often part of endurance training. — Bob Alejo (@Coach_Alejo) August 16, 2018
I will also add that we also go the other direction & over emphasize the attainment of max strength. I question how strong to we have to be in each sport as well as position? #CMChalkTalk — Kurt Hester (@TheKurtHester) August 16, 2018
Just like with any training process, we need to find the way to optimize based on what is needed for the athlete. Simple aerobic training doesn’t fire up coaches but it’s effective in certain situations (freshmen, athletes coming back from long breaks). — Nate Brookreson (@nbrookreson) August 16, 2018
Should be pushing an athlete forward, to a higher level of performance. If the question is “Are we doing too much?” I’d say in several instances. — Bob Alejo (@Coach_Alejo) August 16, 2018
Have intentional conversation prior to things going wrong. Be the subject matter expert regarding physical training processes. Be humble but don’t be a spectator. Talk about misconceptions around resistance training, conditioning, recovery. — Nate Brookreson (@nbrookreson) August 16, 2018
With those that are not on board, coaches worldwide are still trying to figure this one out! Science, data, pictures, you name it and in most instances that proof means nothing in the today’s typical system where the sport supervisors say, “Well, it’s the sport coach’s program.” — Bob Alejo (@Coach_Alejo) August 16, 2018
Mix of simple things done (consistently) well. List not a complete one, but some initial thoughts. 1️⃣Know the sport & speak the language 2️⃣Cleary communicate the plan & expectations 3️⃣Take ownership of your expertise 4️⃣Accommodate, but don’t compromise — John P. Wagle (@DrJohnPWagle) August 16, 2018
The best coaches are those who aspire to be the best in their domain while respecting they won’t have all the answers. — Nate Brookreson (@nbrookreson) August 16, 2018
The respondents consisted of the following coaches:
Director of Sports Science at Power Lift. Bob has worked in strength and conditioning for UCLA, Oakland Athletics, and North Carolina State.
Director of Strength and Conditioning at North Carolina State.
Director of Sport Performance at LA Tech.
Dr. John Wagle
Doctoral Fellow at ETSU and former Director of Sports Performance at DePaul.
Dr. Jordan Moon
Executive Director of Research and Education at ImpediMed and a Sports Science Educational Board Member at PowerLift.
Host of the Pacey Performance Podcast.
Sports Performance Scientist. Director of High Performance for CPBL Chinatrust Brothers.