If you listen to our podcast, you’ll know I love training with medicine balls. The reason I like it so much because a good medicine ball throw requires you to recruit and coordinate forces from the entire body. This is also known as the summation of forces: when all body parts act simultaneously in practice, the strongest and lowest body parts around the center of gravity move first, followed by the weaker, lighter, and faster extremities. This is also known as sequential acceleration and results in successive force summation.
About Nick Garcia
Nick Garcia is one of the leading high school coaches in the country. For more than a decade he has served as the throwing coach at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. Garcia is also an active thrower and has been throwing the shot put for the last fifteen years. As a student at California State University Northridge, Garcia was a two-time Big Sky conference champion in the shot put and has continued to progress collegiately. You can find him on Twitter at @nick_g_garcia.
Entries by Nick Garcia
Last month on the podcast, Martin and I discussed some of the various training methods we use to target leg strength. As this month’s HMMR Media site theme is “beyond the barbell” it made sense for us to dig a little deeper into the methods we use outside the weight room and what options are available to coaches in this regard.
The best throwers in the world faced off at the World Championships this month for a chance at individual glory. At the same time, London also gave countries a chance to prove they were the best. Achieving the top team ranking is about more than producing one champion; it can only be achieved by having […]
No coach at any level ranging from youth to professional ever wants to admit that he failed. However, in order to grow and get better I feel it is necessary. Over the past number of years at Notre Dame High School we have created a reputation of producing throwers year in and year out regardless of the talent we have inherited. It is our expectation that multiple shot putters will make the CIF finals, some will move onto Masters meet, and at least one will qualify for the state meet. And we meet that expectation. Recently we have had four years with at least four throwers over 50’10” in the same season. One season we even had six throwers over that mark. On the woman’s side we have had two girls over 49 feet in the shot as recently as two years ago. We have also had as many of 4 of the top 9 in the CIF finals and 3 of the top 12 in the Masters meet.
If you watched Christian McCaffrey at the NFL combine, you couldn’t help but be impressed. He was fast, explosive and agile. But nevertheless he had some critics as his weightlifting numbers were not impressive. Interesting. I know for a fact that Stanford University has employed velocity-based training (VBT) methods with their football athletes in the past. To what extent McCaffrey used VBT I do not know, but whatever combination of methods he used it clearly got him results on the field. Maybe lifting all the weight possible like a weightlifter is not the end-all-be-all to being a top athlete.
When you are one coach responsible for upwards of 400 athletes, you are forced to be organized whether you like it or not. Thankfully I like organization and take pride in the system I have set up at Notre Dame High School. As we spoke about on our podcast, if you are set up and organized you can get an abundance of work done; you no longer have to choose between the need to do and nice to do, you can do both. Recently Train Heroic1 visited our new facility in Los Angeles and made a few vides that show our setup. Check it out as it gives you a good idea how we can work efficiently with such a large number of athletes.
Peaking at the right time matters, but for many athletes it is just as important to be able to hold that peak. For my athletes, at the high school level, the post season lasts nearly two months. Therefore we have to stay in top shape for a long period in order to qualify and place well at the state meet. I’ve always said one of the reasons I like the Bondarchuk program is how it is able to keep athletes at a top level after reaching their peak.
If you think developing power/strength for your sport is weight room specific only then you are gravely mistaken. Why do I say this? I’ve been doing some thinking after reading some posts recently and, more importantly, I just finished a 6 week study/observation specific to this.
As a young inexperienced coach it was my goal, like most all coaches, to be the best I possibly could be. The way I figured I was going to do this was by first distinguishing who had the best program and then seeking out the coach of this program. This quest actually began when I started my junior college throwing career. At this time there was no question that coach Art Venegas and the UCLA Bruins were at the top. I distinctly remember going to my first major track meet, the Pac 10 Conference Championships hosted by Stanford University, to watch the Bruins live in action. I could not wait to see them throw and oddly enough my seats were right in front of Coach Venegas. I listened to every word and every cue he gave his throwers. Although, I was relatively inexperienced, especially having zero knowledge about the rotation, I noticed right away that the Bruins had distinct characteristics in their technique. Little did I know that in the future I would be competing against the Bruins while attending college at Cal State Northridge.
I often listen to sports talk radio to and from work each day. If you have been in touch with the news lately concussions and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) have been major stories in relation to American football. Because of this participation numbers at the high school and youth levels have dropped significantly. What I have to talk about below has nothing to do with concussions or CTE. Yes from the research we know now about concussions; you can make a better choice as a way to make a living than football, but I have a beef with a different issue.