A great coach once said “the name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.” Athletics is a team sport. No matter what the competition is, a team is always involved. Hockey, basketball, baseball, and football all have multiple teammates supporting and helping each other on the field. Tennis and track and field, although athletes may compete alone, have a team on the sidelines helping them. A team encompasses more than just the athletes who play the sport. A team is every member that helps contribute to success.
In part, that is what this blog is about. Strength and conditioning is a team involvement as well. A head strength and conditioning coach can only learn so much by himself or herself. By learning from other coaches, and especially learning from the athletes themselves, a strength coach can become his or her best.
Giving an athlete the best opportunity to succeed is the underlying basis of what being a strength coach is about. Above all else, the job of the strength coach is to help the athlete succeed and play their sport at a higher level. The ways of doing that are consistently changing. Strength and conditioning training done 30 years ago is not done the same that it is today. Much research has been conducted to find better, more efficient ways to train an athlete. Observations and other psychological studies have been carried out to find trends and links to what determine success in a program. Coaches have been learning. As a whole, the strength and conditioning community has taken the past and used it to create the future. Tomorrow’s athlete is just that, learning from our past to create a better athlete in the future. That’s what the other part of this blog is about; the learning process. Combining what has worked in the past with new techniques being researched leads to new outcomes. By using this process as a learning tool the field can continually advance and provide better training regimens.
All of the learning, both individually and in a team context, that accompanies being a strength and conditioning coach culminates into making tomorrow’s athlete. Yet, everything is always changing and what was once tomorrow’s athlete will eventually be the past’s athlete. And that’s the beauty of it all. There is no such thing as best, as the best has yet to come.