What’s really important

This article is authored by Doug Scott. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Coach Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Doug designs workouts for both male and female student athletes competing on a variety of Varsity and Junior Varsity athletic teams, including many county, state, and conference championship teams. Listen to Doug’s podcast on iTunes by clicking here.

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Whenever I speak with coaches or trainers to exchange “trade secrets” I am always amazed at the wide variety of responses to the simple question: “Tell me about your program?” Answers are often related to set and rep schemes, training modalities, specific exercises, as well as other training specifics. Rarely are the athlete’s (as individuals) mentioned in the program. A training program is much more than sets and reps, or macro or micro cycles. It’s the people in the program. How do the athletes respond to the program? Are they enjoying the process of getting stronger (do they even understand what is happening)? Can they perform the program without a coach present; have they learned how to train? These are important questions that are often overlooked in the “program design” process.

If nothing else training should be simple, and very basic. Challenging yes, but the underpinnings need to be easy to understand and even easier to apply. Athletes need to learn how to train and get the most out of each exercise, and in turn get the most out of themselves. In addition, they need to develop an “aggressive mindset” and be self motivated so opportunities for getting stronger are not missed. Coaching is much more than sets, reps, and workout scripts.

So, what’s really important?

1. Prepare and protect the athlete for the rigors of their sport as well as life
2. Develop a strong “I will succeed” work ethic
3. Send a message of self reliance or self improvement
4. Integrate training into their lives

Doug Scott believes that strength training is a “means to and end” and should be a part of every athlete’s lifestyle; and it’s the coaches job to facilitate learning and put the athlete in the best position to get the most out of themselves and ultimately succeed. Mr. Scott has also worked as a personal trainer and has written a number of fitness-related articles and chapters. Coach Scott is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and hold the title of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can contact him at dscott@pingry.org.