Balance is a critical skill in nearly every sport, but how often do we train for it? And how well do we understand its various permutations? As Program Director of University of Oregon’s Graduate Athletic Training Program, Grace Golden has looked in detail about the role and nuances of balance, and developed some interesting ways to think about and train for it. On this episode of the podcast we discuss balance, and also how to teach ATCs the art of coaching.
Notes and quotes
Grace Golden is an Oregon native. She finished her bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Oregon, and then later a doctorate in Sports Medicine at Oregon State University. She has worked as an athletic trainer in a variety of roles from high school level to the associate head athletic trainer at UCLA. Since 2009 she has been back at the University of Oregon, where she works as Program Director and Clinic Research Coordinator for the Graduate Athletic Training Program. She is also a GAIN faculty member.
ATCs and the art of coaching
- 3:00 – Where does an ATC fit in the performance formula.
- 7:00 – The art of diagnosing injuries: “Diagnosing an athlete also involves knowing their personality. It’s often about having a conversation and letting them discover something about themselves. “
- 12:30 – The art of coaching in the life of an athletic trainer.
- 15:30 – Developing an eye for movement: “Coaches often give the rules of the movement without understanding the movement. How can you teach people how to move if you don’t know the principles of how people learn to move? “
- 20:00 – Finding a different viewpoint.
- 21:00 – Rethinking balance: “Who is training balance proactively? We often only think about it after an injury. Balance training is more than just single leg exercises. Think of other ways you can create balance challenges. “
- 24:30 – Maintaining and acquiring balance: “Balance isn’t just starting in a balanced position and handling perturbations. Acquiring balance from an unstable position is often even more important. “
- 28:30 – Setting up training session: “I set up a theme to the training session, and think about how we might accomplish that. I provide a constraint and let people be creative around that. If you invite an athlete’s contribution, it improves motivation. “
- 32:00 – Understanding the balance demands for your sport and where sport-specific balance training fits in to training and rehabilitation.
- 35:30 – Unstable surfaces: “No one competes on an unstable surface: we have to interact with the ground. I rather work on manipulating the task that the surface. “
- 39:00 – Nick’s approach to integrating balance training into strength training.
- 42:00 – Training the three planes of movement.
- 46:30 – Simple tips on improving nutrition and hydration.
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
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- If you like the podcast, don’t miss our latest book Training Talk: Conversations with a Dozen Master Coaches for more in-depth insights on training from some of the world’s top coaches.
- You can find Golden on Twitter at @gmgolden2. You can also learn about her background from the University of Oregon webpage.
- We discussed Golden’s presentations at GAIN 2018 on Episode 159.
- We’ve also had a few other athletic trainers on the show, including Bill Knowles on Episode 124, and Randy Ballard on Episode 32.