It’s been said that “we often fail at the margins of our experience.” And it’s by this logic that I think we all, as coaches, could benefit from a simple adjustment to programming and practice around the gym.
I like to use the comfort and control of “practice” as a way to set intentional time for athletes to be exposed to movements. It seems as though this general concept of constantly varied training covers our GPP bases but often only gives students exposure to movements during a warm-up, a short skill session and inside the battle ground of a workout.
For example, on a training day that looks like three rounds of box jumps, running and overhead squats, students will naturally get exposed to the overhead squat in the warm-up/skill-session time. But the point I’m looking to make is the power of exposing students to the overhead squat on a day when “Cindy” is the workout, for example. In the instance of “Hey, let’s take 15 minutes to workshop the overhead squat as we warm up for ‘Cindy,’” there truly is a no-rush, nowhere-to-be type of vibe and students can play around with the overhead squat, for example, without the need to get to a workout weight or battle the learning curve of “I need to learn this in the next eight minutes.”
Maybe I haven’t reinvented too many wheels so far, but think about this perspective for a moment. If we, as coaches, set out to use available class time for exposure to movements, I think we can add huge value.
Simply having “been there and done that” is critical to the progress of new students. Waiting for the natural exposure to movements over the course of a general physical preparedness program may blunt the growth of a new student. Shifting one’s perspective from preparing for the workout of the day to maximizing the exposure for your students may make for huge gains.
— Logan Gelbrich