Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer Prep

Always an exciting time for me. The 'Volleyball' text above has me as excited about reading as I have been in a long time. The chapter on 'Biomechanics of Jumping' alone is worth the price of the whole book.

In the picture you can also see the bottom half of Dan Pfaff's General Strength DVD to the right. Dan Pfaff is my current man crush and his thought process alone paralyzes me. His presentations for the TCACC (2005) on training theory/chronic loading where he discusses 'enzymatic routing and fascial connections' made so much sense to me and yet requires so much more study to really make the concepts concrete and applicable. Many experts can have this effect on others where they can communicate something so eloquently you feel much more confident in your knowledge of the material than you should be.

Also on my list of reading for the new couple of weeks:

Oschman, James. Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis (A Pfaff Recommendation)

Wooden, John. Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better Life (Just the connection of brick and mortar life qualities hit me hard)

Ericsson, K. Anders. Expert Performance in Sports. (The Reference everyone references when it comes to expert performance)

Collins, Jim. How The Mighty Fall. (Good to Great was, ha, great so this should be a good, no, great read. The five step-wise stages of decline introduced on the book's jacket was enough to lock this one in my sights)

Stone, Michael H. Principles and Practice of Resistance Training. (Reading through this one for the 3rd time. My reading pace is either much slower than everyone else or I have less confidence in my mastery of the material. A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B...)

As for summer training, I am looking at this summer as improving on and extending our performance from the spring. Some of my plyometric progressions have developed much differently than those of my mentors but I have confidence in my ability to manage the distribution of intensity/volume appropriately. Some of the work we have done in the spring has helped my practical understanding of said management skills and I will apply this knowledge as best as I can to our summer programming. To say that I am not always fascinated and always learning would not give the body's adaptive processes enough credit...

One methodology concept I have been working hard on is that of stable variation. I plan to elaborate much more on this later but essentially I rotate the speed/power stimulus in nearly every session on a weekly or bi-weekly basis while stabilizing our strength work by using sessions with more consistency in the stimulus (more linear to slightly non-linear depending on several factors). My feeling is that when we are evaluating the complexity of physical development we have to not just think of the weight on the bar (although this is an obvious indicator for success). There also must be concern for an appropriate level of coordination development that teaches the athlete to be flexible in the performance of motor tasks. When athletes lack this level of coordination you will find less transfer from general to specific work.

I am also finishing part deux of my principles of volleyball performance training article focused on methodology. Part I was a little lengthy for most readers so I'm hoping I can be a bit more brief.