Quite often on the HMMR Podcast and this blog I write about the various elements of athletic development: strength training, sprinting, jumping, multi-jumps, multi-throws, and more. Sometimes the hardest part is not understanding each element, but in figuring out how to combine everything into a plan. To help readers get an idea of how I do it, I just posted the first eight weeks of our high school thrower sprogram in the HMMR Classroom.
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.
Last week I wrote about programming in the time of coronavirus, with a focus on athletes that had access to at least limited equipment. This week on Instagram I have been posting videos of the general strength circuits I have given athletes that have no training equipment. The objective of each circuit is to cover the lower body, upper body, core, as well as all three planes of movement (sagittal, frontal, and transverse). I learned these from my college coach Glenn McAtee and find them just as useful nearly two decades later.
As Jocko Willink says “all excuses are lies.” Therefore, health issues aside, someone not being able to train because of the coronavirus is not only an excuse, but also a lie. When the current pandemic presented itself I knew right away that school and training had a high probability of being postponed or canceled. So the final eight weeks of our season would go down the drain if we were unable to find a way to keep the routine going by some means. So I put together a three-pronged approach to supporting my athletes. Below are examples of a typical workout (option 1), a substitute workout (option 2), and a workout with no tools (option 3).
No matter the sport, no matter the athlete, everyone needs to begin with a foundation.
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.
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.