In some sense athletes have an easy job: what they need to do is defined by clear rules, which allows coaches to make a solid game plan and training plan. But what happens when you throw the rulebook away? On this week’s episode former world-class discus thrower Adam Kuehl talks about his transition to training soldiers in the special forces. How do you prepare for an uncertain environment? How do you got about preparing athletes mentally? Tune it to listen to these topics and more.
Highlights and Quotes
Adam Kuehl was among the top American discus throwers for nearly a decade. He threw a personal best of 64.98 meters and won a silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. After retiring from throwing in 2012, Adam went on to earn his master’s degree and working as a strength coach at the University of Oklahoma and Colorado State University. Since 2014 he has been working with the military as a human performance coach for special forces. He just recently also launched Stronghold Performance where anyone can sign up for his strength and endurance training programs. In this episode we focused on training tactical athletes, mental toughness, and more.
- 2:00 – About Stronghold Performance.
- 3:00 – Previewing the throws at the upcoming IAAF World Championships.
Planning for Military and Tactical Athletes
- 11:30 – Differences in linear planning for athletics vs. tactical planning.
- 13:00 – In the tactical setting it is all about ocnsistency, or lack of it.
- 13:30- How to create a plan when you do not know the athlete’s availability in advance: “Have a plan in the background; and see what you can do to work towards that each chance you get. ” Also important is always having a Plan B and being creative.
- 18:15 – Thoughts on Crossfit: “Crossfit derived from strength and conditioning, not the other way around. “
- 25:00 – Defining the needs for special operators. The first tier aim: “Everyone should aim to improve their anaerobic capacity and be able to work for 30 to 60 seconds as hard as possible. And depending on their mission setting be able to work for 3 to 4 minutes non-stop.” Second tier priorities are more traditional lifts and keeping athletes healthy.
- 28:30 – The importance of building robust athletes, and the value of variety in movement.
- 32:00 – Training while deployed.
- 34:00 – Is mental toughness nature or nurture?
- 37:30 – Nick on mental toughness: “Mental toughness is very much about how you are brought up. “
- 39:00 – The overlap of physical fitness and mental toughness and perform better in competitions. Simulate the demands of the sport in training to see what you need to work on. “You need to train mental focus more than you do mental toughness. “
- 42:00 – “Mental toughness is not about standing strong, but about getting back up when you fall down. “
- 43:30 – Grinding workouts only reward survival, not making you a better athlete and decision maker. “Grinding workouts are not going to help you make decisions better under pressure. “
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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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