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Words of Wisdom from Coach Mike Robertson
Coach Robertson is someone that I have looked up to since I started working with athletes. He was one of the first coaches that talked about proper assessments to quantify deficiencies and improvements in athletes. We had him on today’s episode of “The Barbell Life Podcast”, which you can check out right here:
Here are a few nuggets that I picked up from him:
1. Assessment never ends- Whether you are working with weightlifters, football players, or MMA athletes, a proper assessment will help you quantify improvement. This doesn’t have to be a 100 site ordeal, but it needs to be done. Here are a few of my go to tests:
These are just a few that I will use. The OH Squat shows T-Spine, shoulder, hip and ankle mobility. The Front Squat will show mobility deficiencies in the shoulders, elbow, and wrist not to mention hips and ankles. The No Weakness Test is great to establish muscular balance parameters, and to determine accessory movement protocols.
2. There are no absolutes to exercise selection- Too many coaches will tell you that you have to clean, you have to snatch, or you have to back squat. I have news for you. You don’t have to do any of those things when coaching sport athletes. If you have eight weeks to get an athlete peaked for his or her sport, I would stick with the movements that:
• They can perform proficiently
• They can perform without pain
• Get the most bang for the buck in terms of the time allotted.
If you have a 6’8” basketball player that is having trouble in the back squat, switch to a single leg squat. For some reason a single leg squat will allow tall athletes to squat with a better range of motion, no pain, and not so much tension on the low back. The goal is to stimulate a muscular response. If I increase their single leg squat 30b in each leg, I just got that athlete stronger. If I took the eight weeks to teach the back squat, all I did was teach them how to back squat. That’s not why they were coming to me. If you are a strength and conditioning coach, you owe it to your athletes to never get caught up in dogmatic approaches to training.
3. Let’s stop being afraid to condition our athletes- I love his approach to getting his athletes in shape. I am a big fan of this no matter the sport. There are too many strength athletes that get out of shape walking up two flights of stairs. That’s not helping the athlete get better.
Work capacity is a factor that too many athletes overlook. Here’s the thing. If your goal is to be the best athlete four years from now during the Olympic year, the athletes that are building up the most work capacity have the best chance. That means that they can put in more work than their competition. Here’s a fact:
More Quality Volume = Better Results
If someone wants to try and beat one of my athletes by working less than us, I am all for that approach because I know that we will continue to win. My athletes condition almost every day with carries, sled drags, and prowler pushes. I attribute this conditioning to being a big part of their results.
These are just a few nuggets! Listen now, to get the full episode of mind-blowing knowledge. Check it out below: