Strength Coach Jay DeMayo is responsible for the strength training, conditioning and flexibility development of the men’s and women’s basketball team at University of Richmond. He has used the CoachMePlus system to collect and analyze data with the goal of maximizing both teams’ performance. DeMayo has also presented at many seminars and clinics and coached/lectured for a month at Ningbo University in China.
The Fairport, N.Y., native, a thought leader in the sports performance industry, sat down with Matthew Coller to discuss how Richmond has used CoachMePlus and some of his philosophies in working with coaching staffs and athletes.
Interview with Jay DeMayo
HOW HAVE YOU IMPLEMENTED COACHMEPLUS WITH THE DATA YOU ALREADY ARE COLLECTING?
“The biggest turn on when it came to using CoachMePlus was the ability for it to have multiple things mixed in. We were able to bring different viewpoints under a microscope so we would be able to determine good, bad or indifferent and where we were going with certain information.”
It allows everything to be completely simple. You can set whatever parameters you want and get an overall green, red, yellow. We look at their questionnaire, training load at practice and readiness based on Omegawave data and it gives us the green, red, yellow and from there it allowed us to have dialogues and move forward that way. CoachMePlus lets you monitor all of your athletes on one simple platform.
HOW HAS THE COACHMEPLUS IMPLEMENTATION WORKED OUT?
We’re moving in a good direction with it now. I think the biggest thing with it now is that whenever you are utilizing any of these things, you need to be in a high level of communication and very open as to what you are seeing, why you are seeing and what adaptations need to be made in training based upon (the data). If there is a situation where you need to be more incognito with what you’re doing, it will handicap the process.
Every coach has a different vision of how they want to handle practice load.
“Philosophies differ and from the standpoint of the strength and conditioning coach. You have to do your best to work in lockstep with that philosophy, which can sometimes mean dialing things back or turning them up with the athletes in their training so they are getting the proper levels of load per week.”
We have had a very high success rate by making sure the players are not getting killed in the weight room if they are being run hard at practice.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE PLAYERS WHO WANT TO PLAY THROUGH INJURIES?
At a high level of college athletics, there are times when a player is going to be forced to play while they are dinged up – everyone at some point in their career has to play dinged up. It isn’t about finding a way to get players out of the lineup, it is about finding ways to load them better so they are able to progress in a useful and meaningful manner.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE ATHLETES TO PLAY LOTS OF MINUTES WHEN THEY ARE USED TO SITTING ON THE BENCH?
You need to look at overall readiness. Just because you think you’re ready to go overall doesn’t mean you are ready to adapt to things. So if you think you are ready to go but you are not ready to adapt to high-level CNS work, we can do high volume aerobic work or high volume weight lifting. Understanding that, if they are ready to go, you need to train them in the areas where they are best suited to handle the volume or intensity or whatever it may be. It is not a situation where we are going to allow them to trump it, but we are going to give them the leeway to feel things out.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE WHEN BIG-MINUTE ATHLETES COME BACK FROM INJURY?
It is based on where they are in their readiness curve and how they feel that day. You need to be able to look through the whole looking glass and provide the best stimulus for that day for that athlete. What Derek Hanson said about (former Olympic sprint coach) Charlie Francis was that one of the things he was best at was looking at something and say “that’s enough” and walk away from practice or he would be able to say “this is not the avenue we need to go, who cares about the plan, this is what we are doing instead.” I couldn’t agree more with that. You need to be able to take a step back and figure out what the best thing is for right now. CoachMePlus allows you to manage hundreds of athletes to make the best game-day decisions.