Every year the University of North Carolina ranks among the top universities in the Director’s Cup race, given to the university with the most overall success across all sports. They have a track record of producing repeat champions in team sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. On this week’s podcast Greg Gatz (Director of Strength & Conditioning, Olympic Sports) and Jonas Sahratian (Head Strength & Conditioning, Men’s Basketball) join us to discuss how their culture and approach to training have contributed to a culture of success.
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Highlights and Quotes
Gatz’s staff oversees 21 different teams including the highly successful soccer, lacrosse, and baseball. Since joining North Carolina the men’s and women’s soccer teams have won a combined 9 NCAA titles, baseball appeared in six College World Series over the past 10 years, and lacrosse won the 2016 NCAA Championship. Sahratian came to North Carolina in 2003, making the move from Kansas with head coach Roy Williams. Since then the team has won three NCAA title and made five NCAA Final Foul appearances. As you can see, the winning tradition is strong at North Carolina across many sports. In this episode we discussed both that culture, and some of key issues faced in the NCAA setting.
A Culture of Success
Strength and Conditioning at the NCAA Level
- 19:30 – Balancing the individual needs of athletes and the sheer volume of athletes to work with.
- 23:30 – Initial screening of athletes and the effect of early specialization on young athletes: “You see pretty much the same movement deficiencies with kids now as there is more overspecialization. ” Things like lack of dorsiflexion, tight thoracic spine, and poor hip mobility are common symtoms of overspecialization no matter the sport.
- 27:45 – Integrating robustness into training. “Athletes with an extensive background in athletic movements are just more resilient and get injured less.
- 30:00 – The importance of Olympic lifting and how to adapt them to different athletes and sports. “Being a good coach is having a lot of tools in your toolbox and knowing when to use and not use then. “
- 32:30 – Handling the demands of long and dense seasons.
- 36:45 – Monitoring and technology in the collegiate environment.
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The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
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- You can learn more about Greg Gatz and Jonas Sahratian on the UNC website.
- Gatz was also one of several guests on the recent GAINcast 72, recorded live from GAIN 2017.
- We discussed building robustness and John Pryor’s approach to this in the podcast. To learn more about that approach, watch Lesson 7 in the HMMR Media Classroom. The aquabags we discussed in the episode are also now available in the HMMR Store.
- Adapting and using Olympic lifts is a topic we have covered multiple times on this site. Vern has discussed it on GAINcast 26 and also written about. We discussed the topic in the context of football with Buddy Morris of the Arizona Cardinals on Episode 23. We also did a three-part roundtable on the use of Olympic lifting for throwers
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