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Did Your Hard Work Pay Off? Dr. Yessis Project: Part 3
Now that the summer is winding down and the f all season is upon us, it is time f or strength and conditioning coaches to see if all of their hard work paid of f . As coaches of physical preparation, our job is to try and improve talent levels and maximize our athletes’ genetic potentials, so that they become better in their sport. I am a coach who isn’t af raid to ask f or help and seek out advice f rom those who are smarter than me. At the end of the last high school f ootball season, I sought out the advice of my f riend Yosef Johnson, who is the President of Ultimate Athlete Concepts, and mentored under Dr. Yessis f or over 15 years. I thought I had a decent knowledge base because I corresponded with, and studied under coaches who I consider some of the best in this country. I’m certif ied by the NSCA and Westside Barbell, and I’m also an obsessed reader of Dr. Yessis, Dr. Verkhoshansky, Bondarchuk, James Smith, Z atsiorsky and Robert Sapolsky. However, af ter listening to Yosef ’s recommendations, I was dumbf ounded at the simplicity of it all. But knowing who he is as a person and knowing that he mentored under Dr. Yessis f or a long period of time, I f ollowed Yosef ’s recommendations….with ¾ of the team. T he other quarter of the team used a popular method that got a ton of praise f or its practicality and results. I did this because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew that the with other program, the guys would see results because I used that program with myself and other athletes. As I mentioned in the parts 1 and 2, through Yosef I had the great f ortune of working with Dr. Yessis to help f ind the root cause of our starting quarterback Troy Green’s season ending elbow injury, as well as build him into a better athlete. In the second article about working with Doc, I mentioned some of the results I was noticing with Troy af ter only working with Doc f or a short time. Following Yosef ’s and Dr. Yessis’ recommendations with Troy and my team, I applied everything that I practically could with my athletes. Working with a high school f ootball program is dif f icult f or many reasons, however, compliance is one of the biggest issues. T his includes: kids having to work, not having a ride f rom or to home, playing multiple sports, having to stay af ter with teachers, or just sheer and utter laziness. But all in all, the majority of my athletes worked extremely hard when they were able to come in and train. Bef ore the start of doubles, I compiled the results f rom the team’s training and tested my athletes in the 40, pro shuttle, vertical and single leg broad jumps. Listed below are the average (AVERAGE may be stronger) results f rom my entire team’s of f -season training.
Training: Init ial St age of Training Junior Skill Posit ion Player (t hree t imes per week)
Compliance Variables: 25 Returning Varsity Football Players 6 – 3 Sport Athletes 11- 2 Sport Athletes 6 – Athletes that came into the of f season injured or got hurt during their other sport 3 – Students transf erred in during Feb. 8 – athletes w/ over >50% attendance (32% of
the returning Varsity Players) Facts: Bef ore of f -season training 1. 5 athletes benched over 200 pounds 2. 1 athlete squatted over 300 pounds Af ter of f -season training 1. 12 athletes benched over 200 pounds 2. 15 athletes squat over 300 pounds 3. 2 athletes squat over 400 pounds 4. 1 athlete squatted over 500 pounds Results: Average team increase in Body Weight = 15 pounds Average team increase in Bench Press = 38 pounds Average team increase in Squat = 118 pounds Average team increase in 40 yard dash = 0.23 seconds Average team increase in Pro Shuttle = 0.26 seconds Average team increase in Vertical Jump = 6 inches Average team increase in Single Leg Broad Jump with lef t leg = 9.6 inches Average team increase in Single Leg Broad Jump with right leg = 10.6 inches Stories: Troy Green: Senior 1. Quarterback: injured coming into the of f -season training. He wasn’t able to perf orm upper body exercises until the end of February. He wasn’t able to hold more than 10 pounds in his hands until January. 2. Wasn’t given f ull clearance to train until March, when he started to work with Dr. Yessis. 3. He put on 20 pounds of body weight since last f ootball season. 4. He put 60 pounds on his bench press. 5. He put 155 pounds on his squat. 6. He took 0.15 seconds of f of his 40 yard dash (4.78 – 4.63). 7. He went up 7 inches in his vertical jump. 8. He went up 10 inches in his single leg broad jump with his lef t leg and went up 16 inches with his right leg. 9. His throwing velocity improved tremendously. 10. He can drop back into the pocket much quicker, and can maneuver out of trouble with ease. Athlete A: Sophomore 1. O-Line/D-Lineman: two-sport athlete.
2. Put on 40 pounds of body weight. 3. Started training with 12 degrees of internal hip rotation. 4. At the end of of f -season training, his internal hip rotation was 55 degrees. 5. He put on 160 pounds on his squat. 6. He took 0.8 seconds of f of his 40 yard dash. 7. He went up 5 inches in his single leg broad jump with his lef t leg and 4 inches with his right leg. Athlete B: Junior 1. O-Line/D-Lineman: two-sport athlete. 2. Put on 20 pounds of body weight. 3. He put 85 pounds on his bench. 4. He put 260 pounds on his squat. 5. He took 0.38 seconds of f of his 40 yard dash. 6. He went up 9 inches in his vertical jump. 7. He went up 9 inches in his single leg broad jump with his lef t leg and 4 inches with his right leg. Athlete C: Senior 1. Wide Receiver/Def ensive Back: transf erred to school in March. 2. Put on 20 pounds of body weight. 3. He put 100 pounds on his bench. 4. He put 155 pounds on his squat. 5. He took 0.21 seconds of f of his 40 yard dash (4.85 – 4.64). 6. He put 4 inches on his vertical jump. 7. He went up 4 inches in his single leg broad jump with his right leg and 10 inches with his lef t leg. Athlete D: Senior 1. Strong Saf ety: two-sport athlete. 2. He put on 15 pounds of body weight. 3. He went up 60 pounds in his bench. 4. He went up 150 pounds in his squat. 5. He took 0.1 of f of his 40 yard dash (4.63 – 4.53). 6. He took 0.13 of f his shuttle run. 7. He put 6 inches on his vertical jump. 8. He put on 20 inches on his single leg broad jump with his lef t leg and 10 inches with his right leg. Program Overview: Efficiency – “T he highest results obtained at the least expense of time and energy.” – T homas Kurtz We did not perf orm any speed work until the end of April due to lack of f acilities and the awesome Central New York weather
1. We used Dr. Yessis’ special exercises and active cords to strengthen the muscles used in running. My athletes only used 1 set on the Bench and the Squat 3 days a week 1. My athletes picked their own weights. 2. No athlete benched or squatted less than an 8 reps. 3. T he athletes that were using Yosef and Doc’s recommendations FAR exceeded the athletes using the more popular method in strength gains. In May, I switched the remaining athletes to Doc and Yosef ’s recommendations 1. My athletes didn’t perf orm any “agility” work. 2. No cone drills, no agility ladders. 3. We f ollowed Doc’s cutting techniques to improve our cutting actions as well as used his special exercises to strengthen the muscles used in cutting. Everything used was anecdotal 1. Everything was based on the athlete’s progress and f orm. 2. T here were no set time blocks. We didn’t change exercises f or the sake of changing exercises 1. T he individual athlete dictated the length of using an exercise. 2. T he volume of explosive exercises was based on the athlete’s preparedness level. 3. T he total amount explosive exercises used during the whole of f -season was 9 exercises. 4. No Olympic exercises were used. “Everything we were taught says this shouldn’t happen.” - Jay DeMayo University of Richmond Men’s Basketball Strength & Conditioning coach Lesson’s that I have learned: Learn f rom people who are smarter than you. Learn and teach the proper biomechanics (technique) in your sport. Look at the individual athlete f or their strengths and weaknesses. Use specialized exercises (same neuromuscular pathway) to strengthen the muscles used in the specif ic joint actions in your sport. T he art of being a coach is to see how the athletes respond to the demands placed on them. Give the athlete a relatively light, but precise load – in comparison to the usual recommendations – and watch how they perf orm. Stress is not the key…optimal stress is! Athletes are going to adapt at their own rate. As coaches we can’t speed that up, we can only mess it up! For those who believe that teaching proper biomechanics and using specialized exercises in a large team setting isn’t practical, I am living proof that it can be done with what I believe to be great results. If I could give any guidance to physical preparation coaches out there, it is to take the time, money and ef f ort to speak with and learn f rom Dr. Yessis. He has f orgotten more inf ormation than I know. I want to personally thank Yosef and Dr. Yessis MANY times over, f or their help and guidance.