Building the athlete from the ground up requires a strong foundation. But what materials go into that foundation? When is it built? How do we maintain it? On this week’s GAIN cast we bring together a roundtable with guests James Marshall and Steve Myrland to discuss the topic from all angles.
Notes and quotes
In addition to Vern and myself, we are joined by James Marshall and Steve Myrland. Marshall is the head coach at Excelsior Athletic Development Club in England and has worked with athletes of all ages and sports. Myrland has worked as an athletic development coach in the NHL and at the University level including National Championship teams in Soccer and Ice Hockey at University of Wisconsin. We start off the episode be defining foundational strength, then look at preferred methods to develop it.
- 5:00 – What is foundational strength? “Foundational strength is the ability to control and handle your bodyweight against gravity, work in all planes of motion. “
- 9:00 – Rebuilding the foundation: “It is hard to fix the foundation when there are three stories sitting on top of it. Strength is something that is better to build in than add on. “
- 11:30 – A broader definition of strength: “The word strength has become synonymous with mass and size. It is more than that. You can’t be athletic without being strong, but you can be strong without being athletic. “
- 17:30 – Rethinking strength: “In order to create adaptable athletes we have to look at movement differently. Instead of fitting them into a box and saying you are strong because you can bench press a lot, we have to think differently. “
- 21:00 – Building connections: “You have to explore the dimensions of movement outside of the constraints of traditional strength training. “
- 24:00 – Progressing from body weight exercises to the barbell: “Foundational strength is not a discrete block that you do and then stop; it is a thread that carries through training throughout the year. “
- 26:30 – Rebuilding the foundation with experienced athletes and refinding play with younger athletes.
- 30:00 – The Excelsior Athletic Club framework.
- 33:00 – Motor learning: “Landing and jumping isn’t robotic and shouldn’t be taught through robotic progressions. Look at natural movement, and give athletes restraints or constraints that redirect their movement into a more efficient patter. “
- 36:30 – Nourishing natural movement and teaching movement: “Vern said don’t have to teach jumping because it is natural. Natural implies nature and that is an environment. If children are driven to school and sit in a classroom without recess, they don’t learn how to jump. “
- 39:00 The joy of movement: “I don’t use the word exercise and don’t talk about nutrition because it is part of the dejoyification of leading a physical life. We do movements, not exercises. “
- 45:00 – Changing environments: “You can’t strengthen anything while you are supporting it. We immediately want to support something in training, but it is balance and control we are seeking in performance. “
- 48:30 – Redefining function: “The term functional strength has been coopted. What we are talking about is connected strength. Connecting builds in the robustness and durability. “
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:
- Come join us at the GAIN Europe Deep Dive on foundational strength. It takes place from January 10 and 11 in Devon, England. Find out more here. And save the date: GAIN 2020 will take place from June 16 to 20.
- The GAINcast is brought to you by GAIN and HMMR Media. This month’s HMMR Media site theme is foundational strength, so stay tuned for more resources coming soon on the topic, including last week’s HMMR Podcast. Join HMMR Plus so that you get full access to our video, article, and podcast archive here on HMMR Media.
- Both Marshall and Myrland have been guests on the GAINcast and HMMR Podcast previously. Marshall was on GAINcast 160 and HMMR Podcast 175. Myrland has been on GAINcast 25, GAINcast 108, and HMMR Podcast 149. Both were also guests on the October 2019 HMMR Hangout about core strength.
- You can also find articles from Marshall and Myrland up on HMMR Media. You can also read Marshall’s blog and find more resources, including upcoming educational opportunities, on the Excelsior Group webpage. He’s also on Twitter (@CoachExcelsior) and Instagram (@excelsioradclub).