HMMR Podcast Episode 260: Building a program (with Gary Schofield)

Just a short time ago, high school strength and conditioning coach was not a job. Now, across the US, more schools are hiring strength coaches. What makes a good program and how can coaches make the biggest impact at the youth level? On this week’s episode NHSSCA co-founder Gary Schofield joins us to look at these topics and more.

Listen Now

Notes and quotes

Gary Schofield is the Director of Youth and High School Development at PLAE and the co-founder of the NHSSCA. With a background in athletic training and strength & conditioning, Schofield was the longtime head strength coach at Greater Atlanta Christian School.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:30 – What makes a good high school S&C program: “Sets reps and schemes are just commodities. A good program is about connections.”
  • 7:45 – Managing outside influences on athletes: “Coaching is like marriage: we can’t ask for commitment from the first date.”
  • 11:15 – Biases in coaching.
  • 15:00 – Searching for transfer and rethinking speed training: “Rather than focusing on straight acceleration speed we focus on how close can we get to our top acceleration speed in different vectors.”
  • 22:30 – The value of simple data and benchmarks/big data: “Having a sports scientist is fine, but in the end it is the coaches responsibility to understand and apply or not apply those things. Don’t hand your job over to anybody.”
  • 25:15 – Youth athletic development deficiencies.
  • 29:30 – Program evolution: “One of the biggest insults is if you say your program has been pretty much the same for 30 years. Everything has changed, so how can your program stay the same. The principles might stay the same, but the program evolves.”
  • 35:15 – Difference between coaching men and women.
  • 40:00 – Helping athletes find the next gear.
  • 43:30 – Communicating progress with parents.
  • 45:00 – Readiness and recovery: “I never had them long enough to over train them, but because of all the stuff they did outside of me they can still be under-recovered.”

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.

Further reading

  • This episode is brought to you by HMMR Plus. Become a member for full access to our videos, articles, and podcast archives. The current site theme is team speed. Check back throughout the month for more content on the topic, and visit our speed archives for more content about getting faster.
  • You can follow Schofield on Twitter (@CoachSchofield) and Instagram (@Coa.chSco).
  • You can learn more about the NHSSCA and become a member on their webpage. You can also follow them on Twitter (@NHSSCA) and Instagram (@NHSSCA).
  • We’ve covered youth development before on Episode 198 with Jeremy Frisch, speed for high schoolers on Episode 77 with Joe McNab, as well as many episodes looking at Nick’s program, which you can learn about in the HMMR Classroom.
  • Team speed and game speed are topics covered more this month on HMMR media. James Marshall’s article in particular looks at training team speed in the youth setting. Our GAINcast 227 with Dean Benton looks at the topic at the professional level.