Coach Boo Schexnayder found an interesting situation last year: LSU had asked him to step in and help coach events he hadn’t worked with in decades. The transition was easy for him in part because his training is based on the individual, not the event. He’s used that approach to produce world-class jumpers for decades, and this year it help produced some top throwers too. On this episode of the podcast Schexnayder joins us to discuss his approach to individualization and finding the right fit for an athlete.
Notes and quotes
Schexnayder has a long and distinguished resume as a track and field coach. Perhaps most noted for the 12 years he spent as a coach at LSU, Schexnayder has worked and coached at all levels from high school to professional athletes. As a college coach he produced 19 NCAA champions and numerous more all-Americans. He also coached world champion triple jumper Walter Davis, Olympic medliast John Moffitt in the long jump, and many other world-class athletes. As an educator he formerly served as national chair of USATF’s Coaching Education Committee and founded of the Track and Field Academy.
In addition to several topics about individualization, Schexnayder also looked at coaches education, posture, and injury rehabilitation.
Individualization and sports-specific training
- 3:30 – Coaching new events: “Speed and power training follows basic principles; you train it in a very generic way with any athlete. What changes is the designation of body type. Body type matters more than event or sport. “
- 6:00 – Coaching the hammer throw and the role of speed development: “We think we get stronger to get faster, but it works the other way around too. If you do speed development work with an athlete, you’re improving the nervous system’s ability to activate muscle tissue. “
- 8:30 – Individualization based on body type: “What signals a high dose of sprint training and plyometrics is the fact that they are not heavily muscled and therefore not that receptive to strength training. ” “Some coaches tend to individualize too much. When you bring an athlete into a program you can over analyze and training becomes gimmicky. I take a generic approach with everybody until I learn about the athlete. “
- 11:45 – Lessons from coaching the hammer.
- 14:30 – Integrating plyometrics into training: “I try to train things in a compatible manner: I use plyometrics on speed/power days. “
- 18:00 – Neural vs. general training and how it started: “I started to apply the concept of hard and easy days to the neural side of training. It is hard to distinguish hard and easy days visually with speed training. “
Coaches education and other topics
- 23:15 – Starting the USTFCCCA Track and Field Academy.
- 29:30 – The philosophy of USTFCCCA coaches education.
- 33:00 – Teaching through stick figures.
- 36:00 -Posture: “Posture–the alignment of the pelvis with respect to the spine–is the single greatest technical variable in everything we do. “
- 40:30 – A case study in individualization and injury rehabilitation: “When there is an injury we concern ourself with the injury site, but often forget about the other body processes important to success as well. “
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:
- The site theme in July is individualization, with new content coming from some of the best coaches around. Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on this topic, as well as past episodes of the podcast, our deep article archives, video library, and more. Already this month we covered the topic on Episode 161 and Craig Pickering wrote about the role of stress in individualization.
- To learn more about Schexnayder, visit his website, where he has more information and some free downloads. You can also find him on Twitter @BooSchex.
- For more about rethinking the rehabilitation model, listen to GAINcast 49 with Bill Knowles.
- We discussed coaches education on Episode 121, including input from fellow Track and Field Academy instructor Carrie Lane.