I have to say I am really looking forward to it. I think it is going to be genuinely different from any seminar that any of the attendees have ever been to. I say that because I don’t think anyone has been to as many of these things in as many countries over as many years as I have and I’ve never been to one like this. I am going to keep everything seminar related in this single post so I’ll just update it as needs be over the weekend.
The weather has already effected attendees trying to get over for the seminar unfortunately so we’ll have to wait and see who makes it to the starting line tomorrow morning. The show however will go on even if I end up talking to myself. I will write a brief summary of what we cover on the Saturday and will do the same on Sunday after we wrap up. We are going to try to video as much of the seminar as possible so well see how that works out.
Well things are off to a good start. I tend not to mention scores or performances of athletes on the blog…the main reason being is when I was starting out coaching Harry Wardle who was at that stage one of the head Strength and Conditioning Coaches at the Australian Institute of Sport grabbed me by the back of the neck when I was crowing about the success of one of my athletes and said…’Don’t take the credit for the wins unless your willing to take all the blame for the losses’…which coming from a legend like Harry was close to the word of God to me at that stage. It is something that I’ve always kept in mind throughout my career. I do want to say well done to the Irish Women’s Rugby team who defeated France last night.
I thought when the girls were doing this that Fi was muttering something under her breath along the lines of…’Will you’re really some sort of prick!’… but I realise now what I heard her say was that ‘getting over the line for a winning try would do the trick!’…or words to that effect. So good work to Fi for getting the winning try and all the glory…show off…for what was a hard fought team victory and hopefully one of many to come for the girls this international season.
I’ve got 5 minutes to write a recap of Saturday before it’s actually Sunday…I some how don’t think I am going to make it. I’ve decided not to just put up the seminar notes. I was really please to see so many people travelling from so far afield to come to the seminar. I am going to give them all the notes from the seminar. If they want to post them…so be it. If they want to write about what they got out of today…then that is fine as well. I figure I’ll leave it to them…they paid to get here and paid to listen to me talk way too much so as far as I’m concerened they own this seminar and the material presented so they can do whatever the hell they like with it. To give you an outline though…today was all about the strength side of strength and conditioning. What we covered was basically as follows:
I did an introduction to the field of strength and conditioning and discussed the basic principles that I try to abide by in my work. We spent a good while discussing functional movement analysis and the role of critical observation in coaching. A big part of which was examining athlete evaluation and screening in a practical sense. We looked at mobility and stability issues both at a joint by joint basis and as a whole. Then we assesed and tested an athlete. This particular athlete is going to be used for the Training Project so I will fill in all the details we gathered on Monday. This was followed by the best session of the day…lunch. After which we went over testing and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of different tests and their applicability to different sports. Then we finished with the actual fun stuff…we looked at exercise selection and program design and construction which took up the best part of the afternoon. We wrapped up only 30 minutes over time and preceded straight to the bar and then off for more beverages and dinner. So esssentially it was a series of coffee breaks and a great lunch and dinner with some unfortunate rammbling in between.
Today began with a recap of yesterday. Nothing like stalling with old material when you’ve run out of things to say…as everyone knows…I was my normal quiet self and was struggling most of today to find anything at all to talk about…being the unprofessional I am I managed to struggle on. We discussed program construction, exercise selection and technique next. Then the attendees had a group project to complete…this was the construction of a strength and conditioning program for an entire squad. Then they got to implement it…
This was the middle of the 2nd Strength Conditioning Block
Afterwards we discussed the pros and cons of the session before spending the afternoon discussing conditioning training in practice. I am going to spend my downtime this week writing up all the seminar notes. There was so much stuff I wanted to cover that I didn’t get the chance to but I am going to try and make up for it by covering it all in the notes.
As I said on the Sunday part of the seminar involved the group designing a workout for a team of Under 20’s rugby players. This is what they put together:
The lads were divided up into teams of 3. They had 3 conditioning blocks and 3 strength conditioning blocks to complete. There were 6 strength block variations of which the lads had to complete 3 in the session.
The conditioning blocks were done like this…all the group had do 8mins on the bike, 8 mins on the treadmill and 8 mins on the rower in their session. The way these blocks worked is that they had to do the 8mins as a team in a relay style. I like making training as competitive as possible and besides its so much more fun watching athletes screaming at each other about how lazy and pathetic they are than me having to do it constantly….it really takes a lot of pressure off me. Points were awarded to teams according to how far they got in 8mins…the team that got the furthest got a point…and last place got 5 points. I really like conditioning work that makes guys uses the brain as well as their brawn. Different teams took different approaches….some teams had each member set a pace and as soon as they drop another team member jumped in. Some teams went 30 second each and some a minute…and some teams were so chockablock full of morons I have no idea what the hell they were doing and I guarantee they didn’t either.
A big win by Team 3…they got the prize…3 muffins. Team Tom and the Fantastic 5 were the biggest losers and there was a sudden death showdown on the last block to decide who really sucked the worst.
So unfortunately Team Tom and the Fantastic 5 beat each others respective scores in their respective strength block showdown at the end. In fairness to both these teams…the reason they were at the losing end is because for the majority of the session they were both down a member due to the copious amounts of vomiting that their team members were doing in the toilet after the first conditioning block. There was a fair bit of puking going on…different people employed different tactics…some raced out puked, came back and trained before racing out again…interval style puking. Some though went more steady state spewing…in that they went and were gone for a fair bit of the session. Because Team Tom and The Fantastic 5 were all tied up at the end it was decided that they should have a Pull Off…it was the only fair way to decide the real losers.
I think in the end though I couldn’t really decide who was the worst.
It was a tough session and the lads did really well…even the pukers who tried to get back in the action as soon as they could.