A few days ago, a friend of mine started an online discussion about coaching. He made a statement that criticized coaches who just write the strength workout on the board and then don’t actually “coach” it. He was referring primarily to high school sport coaches. In an ideal world, this wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, it happens much more often than most people realize.
So why does this happen? Usually it’s due to at least one of the following reasons:
- The sport coach does not have a great strength training background. He/She knows that their players should lift weights but they don’t understand all of the details about technique and program design.
- The coach is overwhelmed with the duties of their sport and uses the class to plan for practices and games, make phone calls, etc
- The ratio of players to coaches makes it difficult to truly instruct the athletes in proper training techniques
While all of these do make things difficult for the coaches, it still shouldn’t excuse them from just writing the workout on the board and trusting the kids to follow it correctly. So what are the drawbacks for the kids involved?
- Safety – As we all know weight rooms can be dangerous places. Poor supervision greatly increases the chances of something bad happening.
- Not following the plan – As most of us know, teenagers all think they have a better way of doing things. In many instances, they will choose to follow their own plan rather than the ones they are given. This can create problems related to recovery among other issues
- Effort Issues – Obviously some people are not nearly as motivated as others. Without someone watching over them and pushing them a little bit, they will never achieve what they’re fully capable of. Of course the other side of things is that some people are super highly motivated. Sometimes somebody has to hold these people back a little because they don’t understand the big picture of the training plan.
- Fails To Prepare Them For College – Besides the fact that the athletes are missing out on proper physical conditioning that will benefit them at the college level, they are missing out on even more. They are not being taught that strength training is important. They also are learning that minimal effort is acceptable. I’m sure that their college coaches will just love that.
While there are possible solutions, I won’t go on a rant about the most obvious one – putting a qualified person in charge of the S & C program – or any other ones. I will say this, it’s a shame that it happens. In the end, it affects the kids negatively. Hopefully this is a trend that will change sooner rather than later.
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