Stress to Stress

Carl Valle said something to me in an email that struck a resonating cord. Can you be too specific? Is it possible to increase pattern overload from too many highly specific movements in training. I think you can. Training for an activity is just that training to prepare to do that activity. It is not the activity itself. The most specific movement is the activity itself. Each repetitive activity brings with it the potential for a certain pattern overload. That is inherent in the activity. In the search for specificity of training we may be actually adding to that overload. My basic mantra for a long time has been train to play. Understand the demands of the activity and prepare the body to tolerate those demands by progressive overload of sport appropriate movements that do not add stress to stress. I really do not think that a pitcher will forget how to pitch if every movement in training is not imitating the pitching motion. In fact I know that working general movements that work both sides of the body will significantly enhance pitching performance and reduce injuries. I have never worked with Golf, but I find it very interesting studying golf conditioning programs. It is difficult to see where Golf coaching ends and conditioning begins. Basic rotational movements and weight transfer activities will significantly improve the golf swing without imitating the golf swing. If you want to improve the golf swing understand the movements of the golf swing then train movements that enhance the quality of the recruitment of those muscles that stabilize, reduce and produce force. General and Transitional (special) strength should lead to specific strength. Specific strength is resistance or assistance that seeks to imitate the movements of the sport or skill. This should only occupy a small portion of the actual training time. For the past four years I have work closely with Jim Richardson, the coach of the University of Michigan women’s swim team to design their Dryland training program. Very little of the program is trying to imitate the swim strokes on Dryland, it is virtually impossible to do. They groove those strokes in the water with thousands of strokes. The purpose of the Dryland program is to work on strengthening in positions that will enable them to get in better positions in the water. If you saw the Dryland program you probably would not immediately recognize it as a swimming Dryland training program. The movements are sport appropriate that get the swimmers strong to enhance their work in the water. In summary think sport appropriate not sport specific.


At 11/14/06, 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In terms of motor learning. As a pro/expert, they have the ability to manipulate other passive forces within their environment and handle greater stress. Their skill is performed automatically without conscious thought while performing multiple tasks simultaneously.
As in a novice the movement is jerky requires conscious thought and relies on visual and verbal queues.
I would believe the last thing you want your athlete to do in the off season is play their respective sport and I feel once you place any type of tool ie; ball bat stick club water in their hands during the off season, then you become to specific. In a 3-4 month off season program is their enough time to create a pattren overload?

At 11/14/06, 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellently stated both Vern and anonymous.

At 11/15/06, 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year I wrote a coaching friend to send congrats on a break thru jump by one of his athletes.

When I asked him what the magic bullet was, he responded that he had simply trained her as if she were a Hept kid and the broadbased training did the trick.



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