2007 NSCA Presentation

The following is the introduction and summary of my presentation at the 2007 NSCA Conference. I will post my comments on the conference tomorrow.

Following the Functional Path

Everything that is old is new again






Define the field of Athletic Enhancement

What I am going to say may not be particularly profound if you look at the individual parts of this presentation; but when you step back and look at the whole presentation you will learn.

Let’s use today as a jumping-off point. This is where we are:

The bottom-line tends to be the bottom-line

The focus is on “super” exercises and “magic muscles”

The means and the end are not connected

“Not only is the old becoming today’s new…most coaches do not know what the old was.” Kevin McGill

Yesterday is gone – the future is now

Learn from the past – Successes as well as failures

The Story

Following the Functional Path to Building and Rebuilding the Complete Athlete

Change is constant

Coaches lead change

Coaches = “Change engineers” Kelvin Giles

Building on Old Concepts

Are we limiting ourselves?

Is it evolution or revolution?

Back to the future – Very little that is new

Buzzwords, Fads, Myths, Half Truths, and Lies

Functional Training Core Training/Stabilization

Closed Chain Alignment

Stability Ab Obsession

Lactate & Soreness Need to “Feel the Burn”

Fit for what? Aerobic Base

Good Feet Fooling `em with the 40

Machines are safer Rotation is dangerous


Early specialization

Lack of fundamental movement skills and a general fitness base

Extended competitive seasons

Decline in quality of coaching

Dominance of equipment – Marketing

Explosion of injuries

Recommendations to Define the Field

Do not trivialize – Do not try to pick the fly poop out of the pepper

Seek knowledge rather than information

Specialize in being a generalist

Get a mentor not a guru

Achieve mastery

Be a leader, not a follower

Understand the spectrum of the demands in the sport you are working with

Training is more than exercises and training methodology – it is application of the principles of sport science and sound pedagogy

Beware of the “Sheep Walking” phenomenon

Think, Think, Think

Ultimately it is about the athlete – We must not forget that


At 7/15/07, 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your presentation was very entertaining!

Would love to get your thoughts on some of the presentations that you attended.

Would you share whose presentations you saw and your thoughts?

At 7/16/07, 12:15 AM, Anonymous Frank Velasquez, ATC,CSCS / Strength and Conditioning Coordinator / Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball said...

Vern, we were in town playing the Braves. I was able to attend your presentation Friday morning. As usual, I enjoyed it and took something from it. I have always respected your passion for training movements, your thirst for knowledge, endless work ethic, no fear of speaking your mind, and vision of what an athlete should be and how they should be trained. I first attended one of your seminars almost 10 years ago and you still preach/teach the same key point(s) (that I often use in my own talks). "Train movements, not muscles." I consider Steve Odgers, Tim Lang and yourself mentors of mine. I am only sorry I didn't get the chance to say hello in person. Thank you for all that you have done and shared with the profession of athletic development. Best wishes...FV


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