When freshman athletes arrive at Notre Dame high school we use the same approach to introduce them to using and training their core. Ideally athletes arrive having played a lot as kids, putting their bodies through a variety of challenges. Unfortunately that is less and less the case. Most kids just arrive having done Abercrombie abdominal workouts that are not specific to athletics. Therefore we take a step back and try to start at the beginning.
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
If you visit Notre Dame High School you will see we are big fans of circuits. Martin and I put together a video on leg circuits last year, and that is just one category of circuits we use. In this article I am going to give you an idea on how I set up and structure circuits we use in training.
Earlier this month Martin wrote about using different training variable like time. Velocity-based training (VBT), i.e. how much time it takes to move a load, is a central part of our training at Notre Dame High School. It’s not just about the load you move, it’s about how you move it. Throughout my years of coaching, a number of different training concepts have come and gone. Some have stayed longer than others. Some I have tried, while others I’ve never believed in enough to implement in the first place. But VBT is one trend that has caught my attention and I believe in. I am not the premier expert in this area, but I hope I can introduce you to the concept of VBT, offer a starting point, and present firsthand ideas on how I’ve used this concept successfully in both team and individual settings.
Around the throws world you hear people talking all the time about how this individual or that individual has “good technique.” What exactly does that mean?
Some coaches like to do things by feel. I’m not that type of coach. I’m a system guy. I like order and organization. In the weight room that means having a plan. And when I’m teaching technique it means having progressions. To me using progressions is like having a system.
We all have to learn to crawl before we walk, walk before we run, and run before we sprint. Too many times I have seen coaches just throw their athletes into heavy squats, heavy bench, heavy cleans without the athletes being able to handle their own body weight. Movements like pull ups, push ups, bench dips, body weight squats etc. are skipped or neglected to get to the heavy stuff.
It’s that time of year where young athletes are about to go on vacation. Over the next few weeks, most high school and college athletes will be away from their coaches during the holidays. This can be challenging for the strength coach because athletes are traveling out of town, may not have transportation to a training facility, and may just flat out not be motivated to train over the break partly because their normal schedule is thrown off. For a number of years I have tried many different remedies to counter this break and make sure all the improvements that were made over the course of the fall and part of winter were not lost. Here are my ideas and opinions on how we got the job done.
When becoming an athletic development coach there are many things you have to consider before developing a training plan for the athletes you are working with. These include the amount of athletes you are working with in each session, total number of teams you are working with, and how much time you have for each training session. There are so many things to think about, that it can often become overwhelming to start from scratch each time. This is where templates can come in handy. With useful templates, a coach help make sure they cover all the bases needed in a training session or week.
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.
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.