Coaching

Why I don’t like “Knees out!” in the squat, Part 2

In Part 1 I talked about how an athlete’s mobility makes them respond to the “knees out” squat command differently, some of the complications that creates, and why it matters. I’d like to dig a little bit deeper into another reason I’m not a huge fan of using this phrase as a primary instruction. Downside #2 – Not Knowing Your Purpose The second reason I don't like using "knees out" is closely related to the last point form part 1: many...

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Why I don’t like “Knees out!” in the squat, Part 1

To be totally frank, I'm not a fan of the "knees out" coaching cue in squats. Sure, I use it from time to time with certain athletes and lifters. But I don't generally like it for 2 reasons. First, I think it actually has the potential to screw people up, depending on their individual joint characteristics. Second, I think that there are many trainers and coaches out there who don't actually know what the purpose of that cue actually...

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“Find the Weak Point and Fix it!”

I’ve been thinking about this quote quite a bit. I don’t remember where I heard it, but I believe the entire world of sports performance training can be summed up in these words. Fix the athlete's weaknesses. Use whatever tools are at your disposal to do it, and constantly learn new ones. Don’t limit yourself to only one kind of training. As coaches we often lock ourselves into stylistic boxes: bodybuilding, Olympic lifting, conditioning, or even corrective exercises. We end up...

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Challenge Your Biases

“It is the mark of an educated man to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. This quote, often attributed to Aristotle, contains what I believe to be one of the fundamental keys to developing a training philosophy as a coach (or indeed, any development as a person). Challenging our biases as coaches - testing our views of the training world - is as uncomfortable as it is essential. If you’ve heard the name Frans Bosch before, you’re one...

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Proof That Good Coaching Matters

There are very few absolutes in the world of performance and nutrition. The most universally hated phrase (“well, it depends…”) is also almost always the most truthful answer, much to the frustration of the person asking the question! There is one study however, that shows without doubt exactly how much having a good coach changes an athlete or soldier’s ability to perform and resist injury.  I want to cover it today because it’s so crucial. It was written by a fantastic...

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