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2/23/2014 9:51:03 PM - David
Dear Coach Watts,
I have been listening to your sports performance podcast, it is good stuff. Please keep great guests and great information flowing. I am currently working as a paid intern at a IAA school. I work with baseball, softball and tennis. I have a team who tells me they will be in at 5:30 PM but often does not arrive until 6 or 6:30 PM. I want to leave and tell them they are late, but I know it is not the athletes but the coach is making them late. How to I handle this situation?

David,

Thank you for the kind words and I will do my best to keep the podcasts rolling.

As far as your dilemma, this is pretty common amongst your colleagues. Add in weather based sports like the 3 you mentioned and you have an issue. Here is what makes these 3 sports tough. Baseball practices are long as hell and both baseball and softball have one field to practice on which is highly dependent on weather. Tennis needs a court for every 204 athletes for men and women which can stagger and lengthen their practices. Here are some tips that may help this process. I realize some of these solutions wont help because they may be out of your control, but here goes.

1. Meet with the Coaches
Over communicate with them about the schedule. Don't just assume the schedule is set. Everyday day the teams lift, go in and meet with (or at least e-mail) the coach with the impression you are just checking in and updating the coaches on what the program is like for that day. You may get some indication if they will be running over. This doesn't make it better, but at least they will start to confirm they will be late. They really may not know it is a big deal.

2. Get them to lift at another time besides practice.
The absolute best time for a team to lift is at a time several hours before (or after) practice. For example, train at 11am and practice at 3pm. Getting a few meals in between will benefit the athlete. There usually are not very productive training sessions done after a 2-hour practice.

If you can;t convince the coach to have a training session at a different time than practice, see if you can get the team to lift before practice. You will need to convince the coaches that their players won't be "too tired" for practice. Don;t assume they have a basic understanding of physiology. If the athletes are too fatigued for practice from your in-season train session than they are pathetic or you need to be fired.

If you can get them to go at least once before and once after, here's the basic template:

Before Practice
Soft tissue work
Warm-up
Pre-hab
Olympic Movements
Dynamic Effort movements
Max Effort movements (adjust volume)
Sub-Max Effort Work


After Practice
Max Effort Upper Body
Submax Effort
Repetition Method
Circuits
Static Stretching

3. Bare Bones
If they are going to show up late, don;t waste time on the incidentals, pre-hab and warm-ups should be excluded and get them to do the basics. Keep the volume low and the intensity and load relatively high to elicit a training effect. Here is a basic template we used for 2x per week in-season.

Day 1
Lower Body Push
Upper Body Vertical Push
Upper Body Horizontal Pull

Day 2
Lower Body Pull
Upper Body Horizontal Push
Upper Body Vertical Pull


Here are some examples of quick training sessions with little changeover and allows the athletes to save time between exercises.

Barbell 1:
Military Press
Box Squat
Diesel Row

Barbell 2:
Hang Clean
RDL
Bent Over Row

Dumbbell 1:
1 Arm DB Snatch
1 Arm DB Push Press
DB Goblet Squat
1 Arm DB Row
1 Arm DB RDL

5. Stagger the starts
it is inevitable that athletes show up at different times after their practices. One thing you can do is get some of the athletes started as soon as they get to the weight room. The disadvantage is you have to re-communicate your expectations over and over. Also, players will need to be dismissed at different times as well. Here are a few things that may help.

Ladders
This is one thing that CrossFit have made popular, but if you already have the weights set up and the players hit a certain weight at an exercise and then move to the next platfrom for the next weight. There are ways you can monitor the volume and the rest intervals, but it flows well.

Rep Races or total rep targets
You an do this as teams or individual. Basically pick tow antagonistic exercises and they have a rep goal to meet. You will have to trust the athletes, here are a few of my favorites.

50 chins and 25 hand stand push-ups (or incline push-ups)

100 bast strap rows and 100 push-ups

I hope this helps a little. I knwo it can be frustrating, David. But, you understand that it is about the players not the coaches and that is the battle.






Your time is worth a conversation with coaches,
Mark Watts


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