Your Players Are Not Navy Seals
On September 25th, Texas Tech Strength & Conditioning Coach, Rusty Whitt penned a article talking about the way that coaches are trying to train their athletes and how it resembles military training in some senses. His thought was that any coach must have safety and efficiency elements factored in why they try and develop a difficult training scenario. Whitt also pointed out that he thought that some players were being over trained and or wrongly trained in their sport.
Whitt Served in the US Army as a Senior Special Forces Communication Sergeant in the 10th Special Forces Group. Graduated from the U.S Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in February 2006. Specialized in communications, served on a special forces ODA (Operational Detachment Alphas) for 3 years and was deployed to Iraq during operation Iraqi freedom.
This was a really interesting article to read about and I definitely agree that some athletes are being overly or wrongly trained. Whitt was hitting on a subject that has been getting a lot of attention due to the increasing social media. With all football workouts having a set number of hours you can work out per week, they are trying to eliminate those deaths that are caused by dehydration, heat stroke or exhaustion, and while it is a great idea, some coaches in my mind try and fit in a little too much during those hours they are allotted.
In his article Whitt told a story of his military training and there was a sign at Camp Mackall that had messages instilled on them. Two of the points on the sign really resonated with me. "HUMANS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HARDWARE", and "QUALITY IS BETTER THAN QUANTITY." I feel like there are coaches at times that get lost in the workouts and forget that the players are more important that the hardware and without those players, there would be no hardware. When it comes to quality over quantity I also believe that to be the truth. When I workout I keep that same mindset and so I'll look to do less reps but I'll look to get more out of them and make sure that I am doing them the way they are supposed to be done.
Whitt talked about the 33% and what he expanded on was that he found that the 33% rule applies to athletes over the course of May “downtime”, or over a 2-3 week Christmas Holiday break. He suspected that 33% of your team will perform your workout schedule, while 33% will pick through the workout and do just enough to get by, and the last 33% will consist of players who will simply train very little or do nothing.
When it came to myself I was definitely one of the ones who would just pick through the workouts and do just enough to get by. Working out during the summer wasn't always what I had envisioned for my "vacation" but nevertheless I would pick through the workouts and try and at least get some cardio in as well because those first weeks of football can be utter hell if you have been doing nothing but sitting on the couch the whole summer.
Whitt has tons and tons of great points in this article, not only about what some coaches are doing wrong in their workouts but also about how they can change up their training in order to try and maximize their players performance. I am a firm believer in what Coach Whitt has to say about working out and with the way that the Texas Tech football team has looked and played this year, I think he is doing a great job as the strength and conditioning coach.
Here is the link if you want to read about Coach Whitt's article for yourself.