Friday, February 15, 2013

Coach Giff's First Fast Friday Five

Coach Giff's Fast Friday Five

"My bliss is all things sprint speed- watching an athlete scorch the track, accelerate for a long touchdown, or out sprint an opponent to the ball, base or hoop is one of the most mesmerizing athletic feats! These postings are one man's pursuit to coach, educate, enlighten, teach, motivate and inspire the world to 4.2 40's, 6.3 60's, and 9.4 100m sprints. "

1. My coaching philosophy made simple - "Better position's, better results." As a coach, whether you are a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Speed Guru, Strength and Conditioning coach, Personal Trainer, Impersonal Trainer, Bodyworks Practioner, 3rd Grade Parks and Rec guy who is getting his community service hours in for underage drinking...well whomever you a coach your job is to put your athletes in the most advantageous positions for success. It's as vanilla as Mike Boyle's body (Mike, assuming you are reading this, I am just kidding, I look up to you and I loved your Book Modern Advances in Strength Edition 74.) But seriously, help your athletes find the best positions and you will be successful. Get them really strong in all the appropriate places and at the appropriate times and you will be even more successful. Motivate and inspire these athletes and you will be a life changer. Coaching Takeaway: get really good at coaching the simple things, try to surround yourself with or learn from people who are "smarter" than you and don't forget that its just not about putting kids bodies in the right positions, you have to help them understand what they have within. Inspire!

2."Simple Equation for Fast Sprinting Speed = Long Stride Length + Fast Stride Frequency" You're probably saying "no shit Sherlock!" By now I find it charming when this is the first bullet point highlighted by our "underground warehouse speed experts." Yes, SF + SL = Speed--but are you the type of coach looking to build "B+" athletes? Are you the guy resting on the laurels of the simplicity that is "pushing hard" and "moving fast?” If it’s just that easy, than squat big with no regards to body position, move your limbs and arms fast, and push that prowler as if to the viewing eye it’s actually a push sled pulling an epileptic body. In a field where we have to steal every precious inch, pound or hundredth of a second, understand there are no short cuts to success. Understand that maybe the fastest way to building a fast athlete is to slow things down, relax and be patient. Whoa- that's a lesson in sprinting and programming in and of itself. Yes, sprinting fast means we need to produce large amounts of force in minimal time (1000 plus pounds of ground reaction force with a touchdown to touch off amplitude of .1 to .14 seconds.) --yes strength is so very, very important. Understand, one needs to be relatively and maximally strong and more importantly needs to have great explosive power in someway shape or form, but strength training isn’t the end all be all...don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

3. "Pal- Posture, Arm Action, Leg Action" My greatest friend growing up was sometimes my parents family room television. No, I didn’t spend time watching "Dawson's Creek" or "Family Guy"; I spent a lot of that time obsessing over a couple VHS tapes of just about every sprint ever run from 1999 to 2005. If you know the sprinting world, that’s when Maurice Greene, Ato Boldon, Jon Drummond, Inger Miller and team HSI reigned supreme. John Smith, who still runs the show out their in California, has a pretty sub par strength training approach. However, he is a master and a true artist when it comes to teaching body position. In fact, if you've ever heard the term "drive phase," whelp John's the coach that coined that acceleration term. Torso position (statue from head to hip)--arm action (clear the shoulders) and leg action (extend the hip, pull the foot through) are my three easy reference points. To practice that perfect drive phase position, all you need is a sled, a tire or a friend with a heavy monster band. Here's a better look:

4. "Alignment, Mobility, Stability" Can’t say enough about those three training principles. At NX Level, these three areas make us successful. My idol, master motivator Martin Rooney, always gives light to an Old Russian statement when talking of our sporting culture here in America, "You always want to put your tie on before you put your shirt on." We always battle between the need for instant gratification and being patient to yield lasting, progressive results. If you are not properly aligned your soft tissue quality and mobility will suffer. With out mobility you will never use proper position to get strong. If you can’t hold position (stability) what good is superhuman strength or speed? Coaching Takeaway - always refer back to your foundational principles. These are quite often the true limiting factors we come across.

5. "Thank you" - I've been taught so many lessons of gratuity in my life. If there is one thing you should know about me it is that I am a grateful soul. Thank you for reading my first entry. This is just the start. Your feed back would be much appreciated- I will take the good, bad, and the ugly if it can improve me in someway. Today I encourage you to do just that, encourage others and remember as I did with my first entry into the cyber world "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao-tzu

1 comment:

  1. Coach Gifford is one of the top notch coaches in the state of Wisconsin. His ability to inspire, teach, and his genorosity to his student-athletes is one of a kind. He truly cares about his trainees and will do everything in his power to make them better!! Simply put. His knowledge and preparation for his training techniques are very impressive. You will be hard pressed to find a better Performance Coach in the state!