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I get asked very often about my training principles when it comes to athletes. “Athletes” is describing traditional sports like football, softball, baseball, and volleyball. The first thing that I want to clarify is that the era of sport specific should be over. I train my athletes to be better athletes: jump higher, run faster, and to be stronger. I let their sport coaches teach them their sport. Besides no one wants be to teach their young athlete to play soccer. I will make them jacked, fast, and more athletic.
A lot of the time other athletes or coaches will see videos of my athletes snatching, cleaning, and squatting weights that they can only dream about. Because they have no idea how to coach such awesomeness, they will say things like Coach Mash is trying to make them weightlifters or powerlifters. That is completely false!
What I am trying to do is make that athlete awesome. I am using modalities that all have been proven through research to work. That is it! Of course I use Olympic weightlifting because nothing teaches an athlete to produce power like the snatch and clean & jerk. They are also great for teaching speed, mobility and kinesthetic awareness. Aspiring athletes desperately seek all of these benefits out. Olympic weightlifters have been tested for years, and for years the data is clear that the weightlifters crush all athletes in power. They will beat any other athlete in a 10m sprint, vertical leap, and broad jump. Do these traits seem desirable to atheletes?
Powerlifting exercises (squat, bench, and deadlift) are unbeatable for producing amazing amounts of absolute strength. The famous Dan John describes these exercises as bulletproof exercises. By bulletproof he is talking about injury prevention. The amount of muscle that the squat, bench, and deadlift add to the body prepares the athletes for collisions that are ahead in their sport. The back squat has been linked to higher vertical leaps and faster 40 yard dashes, so obviously I am going to use the back squat.
Here is the deal with speed and jumping. If an athlete gets stronger while maintaining or improving mobility and relative strength, the athlete will be faster and jump higher. That’s just simple math man! If an athlete can produce more force against the ground, then simply more force is produced. As long as the athlete isn’t getting fat and immobile, a stronger athlete is faster.
We also use a lot of non-traditional modalities like Kettlebells, axle bar OH Carries, and farmers walks to balance out the athlete. If an athlete has a structural imbalance, the whole armor can be tainted. We want balance in their squat to pull, push to pull, and press to pull. When it comes to training an athlete’s core, nothing is better than a simple carry. With the carry we use bilateral, unilateral, and overhead(both bilaterally and unilaterally). When it comes to bang for your buck, nothing beats a carry.
Everyday prior to the strength training, our athletes are put through and extensive dynamic warm up. We use the warm ups to prepare the athletes for the activities that thery are about to perform. If they are about to sprint, then there will be speed warm ups. If they are about to jump, then there will be some warm ups geared to preparing the athlete to jump.
Everyday we perform speed, jumping and agility work. We focus a lot on acceleration since acceleration is the most common form of speed in most athletics. My idea of agility is teaching the athlete how to decelerate and change direction. We do use a lot of tumbling and rolls to teach the athlete to perform while disoriented. Not to mention the body control and core stability required to perform tumbling is a highly desirable trait by athletes. With jumping and speed we use a lot of contrast training. Contrast training is simply performing a loaded movement (sled pulls, prowler push, or squat) with an unloaded movement (sprint, jump, or plyo pushup).
There are so many other sections of a solid athletic performance program other than strength, speed, or conditioning. We have just put together an all new nutrtion class that we are rolling out in January. If you want the athlete to be total control of their performance, nutrition is something that has to be addressed. This is the biggest area most often neglected by athletes. If you get your athletes to buy-in, you will see dramatic results that will give them a huge edge over their competition, and will set them up for a healthy life.
Goal setting is something that has to be addressed with all athletes that have major goals. A goal or dream without a plan is a fairytale! No one will accidentally receive a Division I Scholarship. We teach our athletes to Dream Big, write it down, make a detailed plan with long and short term goals, commit to the plan, and act on the plan.
The biggest reason that my athletes tend to do better than others is our mind set. We believe in our athletes! My goal is to shift their paradigm up a notch. If they believe that they can get an ACC Scholarship, we are going to talk about SEC. If they believe that they can start for their high school, we are going to talk about college. Most athletes have a paradigm formed by their parents or friends, and most often it’s not even close to their potential. Most great athletes are great because they believe that they are great.
Although we believe that the sport specific era is over, we will target athletic movements that are required by certain athletes. For example, for softball and baseball players we are going to focus on rotationaly movements, and we are going to prepare their shoulder girdles for the abuse that will be inflicted. Some sports will have certain risk factors that we will try to minimize especially in the concussion era. We will strengthen necks and traps to minimize the impact.
I love what I do! I love my athletes, and the ones that I get to work with know it. My quest for knowledge will never cease because my athletes deserve it. If you are an aspiring coach, this is the blueprint that I recommend for your programming. It is comprehensive, and in this world of athleticism, this is what you have to have.
We are hosting a Holiday Olympic Weightlifting Meet December 20th at the Mash Mafia Compound. Come hangout with the Mash Mafia Crew, some MDUSA Stars, Coach Mash, slam some bars, and of course KILL Some PRs! Click on the link to find out more:
We are hosting a New Year Learn 2 Lift Seminar at the Compound as well! January 10th and 11th come out and hang with Coach Mash and the Mash Mafia. Weightlifting Day 1 and Powerlifting Day 2. Come to one or both days just click on the link to find out more:
To check out one of the Online Teams, click on one of the following on links:
Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Athletic Performance, and/or Eat What You Want Nutrition email me at: