Supporting a track and field team might sound like a simple enough, but when you look a bit closer you see it can often mean helping 100 athletes competing in vastly different sports. John Baumann knows the sport inside and out, having helped develop NCAA champions as both a technical coach and strength coach. He joins this week’s GAINcast to talk about his work as the head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Kansas track and field team, how he learned from his background as a throws coach, and finding the right program for athletes from varied backgrounds and diverse events.
Notes and quotes
Baumann is in his fourth year as head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Kansas track and field team. Previously he spent a decade as the throwing coach at Oklahoma State University and had multiple stints as a field events coach at the University of Illinois. As thrower at Doane College, he was also a 10-time All-American and inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame.
Background and coaching in the NCAA
- 5:15 – Looking back at the Allerton group.
- 9:45 – Seeking out lessons from other fields.
- 12:45 – Transitioning from being a performance coach to an athletic development coach. “Unlike most S&C coaches I don’t live at the weight room, I live at the track. Watch what they do in practice since you might have to change what you originally planned. “
- 16:00 – The demands of the NCAA environment: “Administration often thinks that a strength coach just opens the door and says let’s lift some weights. But the job is complex and requires a lot of resources per athlete to do it right. “
- 22:00 – Injuries and S&C: “ You may not ever get anyone hurt in the weight room, but that doesn’t mean you don’t cause injuries. Just because the injury didn’t happen in the weight room doesn’t mean that S&C didn’t play a role.”
- 23:30 – Baumann’s athletic background.
Planning and progressions
- 26:30 – Matching programming to the overall plan: “Everybody uses a fancy word called conjugate, but it’s just called variety. “
- 31:15 – Being a support coach.
- 34:15 – Supporting middle distance runners: “Most of our strength and power training for middle distance runners is like the training for sprinters. ” “If you take something out of your diet, you might not feel as good. Same with strength training. Athletes need to learn that feeling for what works and sits well. “
- 39:30 – Understanding progressions and starting out with freshmen: “Two key questions for incoming athletes: (1) understand the athlete’s dominant type: dopamine or adrenaline or serotonin; (2) learn if they a strength kid or an elastic kid. “
- 43:30 – Knowing when to progress the athlete. “We have a strength year, a speed year, and technique year, and then the fourth year evaluate what you need to do for each session. “
To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
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- This month’s site theme is throwing. That ties into today’s episode, and we have more resources on the site. Click here for an overview of our top resource on all the throwing events. Join HMMR Plus so that you get full access to our video, article, and podcast archive.
- You can learn more about Baumann on the University of Kansas webpage.
- Baumann was mentored by and used to work for the legendary sprint coach Gary Winckler. You can learn more from Winckler on GAINcast 9. For more on Gary Winckler, his training philosophy, the concept of reactivity, periodization, and more, check out our four-part training talk from 2014.