Inclusivity in Sport, Part 1

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/08/15/inclusivity-in-sport-part-1/

 

I’m a straight, white, healthy, 24-year old athletic male with no disabilities. No one in my close family has disabilities, and it’s not something that I consider myself to know much about. I coach high school lacrosse and college rowing, two sports traditionally known for being more privileged, and aside from a few athletes with attention deficit disorder, I haven’t had any experience of coaching athletes with disabilities. My exposure to the field of disability comes from my girlfriend, an MA graduate in rehabilitation counseling who works in residential services for people with disabilities, and a few opportunities to volunteer with an adaptive rowing program in the Seattle area. I decided to do a final project for a graduate school course on this subject and set about learning more about sport for people with disabilities as well as accommodations and inclusivity in sport. As I started researching, talking to other coaches, and thinking about my own experiences, I realized I had a lot to learn. My goal with this article is to share my learning process, including my own preconceived notions, background research and sociological theory, and tangible takeaways for my own coaching and hopefully yours too.

Part one of this article will discuss person-first language, how we can define and produce inclusiveness, and whether there actually is a difference between athletes with and without disabilities. Part two will discuss how sports reflect society for people with disabilities, how environment affects perceptions and actions, and will conclude with an action plan for coaches.

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Hip Health for Athletes

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/08/08/hip-health-for-athletes/

There are a number of chronic and acute pains and injuries in sports that result from a problem in the hips.

hip

[Source: boneandspine.com]

The hip girdle is quite complex, with its four directions of motion and dozens of muscles inserting, attaching, and acting on the various structures. However, don’t get bogged down in complex analyses of each individual muscle and joint. There are a few common practices that most athletes would benefit from in their training to enjoy happy and healthy hips for a long career and great performances.

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Mastering the Hip Hinge

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/08/01/mastering-the-hip-hinge/

The hip hinge is a key basic athletic movement that must be mastered to perform many strength training exercises in the weight-room. Squat, deadlift, push press, and Olympic lift variations are all highly reliant on this fundamental ability, plus, a rock-solid hip hinge has numerous benefits to whatever sport you play. The hip hinge is the basis of the fundamental athletic position. Building strength and endurance of the back, glute, hamstring, quad, and calf muscles involved in hip hinging will make you powerful in many elements of your game.

What is the hip hinge?

The hip hinge is the movement of pushing the hips back, maintaining a neutral spine and no more than a slight bend of the knees, balancing bodyweight between forefoot and heel. This is the power position and is a part of almost every sport–NFL combine athletes hit this position when testing their vertical jump, baseball players prepare for a ground ball in this position, sports like football, basketball, lacrosse, and soccer play defense from this position, volleyball players bump from a hip hinge, tennis players serve return from the hinge, Olympic lifters hang clean from this position, and finally, this is the deadlift position. The hip hinge is the point of optimal strength of the main muscles of the lower body: calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.


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6 Footwork & Agility Drills for Lacrosse

Summer season is a great time for lacrosse players everywhere to focus on developing some general athletic qualities. Without school, most players have plenty of time on their hands. You almost can’t get enough of wall ball, footwork, and agility drills. For one, they aren’t as physically stressful as a conditioning session or strength training. In order for agility drills to be effective, you can’t do them in a highly fatigued state where motor patterns break down, as you’ll end up ingraining bad movement habits. Ideally, you could do multiple short sessions of agility work and wall ball several times a day without incurring much physical fatigue.

I’ve written before on Footwork and Agility in Lacrosse, with examples of basic drills in the 4-cone box, M, and chair pattern. Here are some more variations and drills to add in to your lacrosse footwork training.

Remember, not all agility drills are designed for 1-to-1 carryover to a lacrosse game. Just like you learn to drive in a parking lot before merging on to the freeway, you need to develop fundamental athletic movement skills in order to demonstrate those skills in a dynamic environment. I picked the first four drills for their ability to allow the athlete to practice basic athletic movement in a controlled environment (think “parking lot”). It’s vital to have these skills down before moving to the final two drills where the athlete has to apply those in a more dynamic environment (“freeway”). (more…)

5 Tips for New Coaches

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/07/18/5-tips-for-new-coaches/

I have enjoyed connecting the dots on my young coaching career. A few of these dots are:

  • Dad buys me a used bench and concrete weights at age 12-13. We have to keep a training log for karate promotions, so I begin journaling my training as my middle school best friend and I do endless variations of bench press and arms exercises. I get bit by “the iron bug” and build the early habit of the training log.
  • Despite no real experience, knowledge, or accomplishments, I become “the guy” in high school writing training programs for himself and anyone who wants one. I latch on to my high school strength and conditioning class teacher and coach. He supervises my senior project after I change interests from sociology/criminal justice to “undecided,” and I do my presentation on strength training for rowing.
  • I play club lacrosse in college and become the de facto team strength and conditioning coach, organizing weight-room and agility and conditioning sessions.
  • I work with a few rowers at my student job and run into them in the weight-room during a lacrosse session. They jump in and I start working with a few of them individually. I decide to major in kinesiology because I enjoy sports and training.
  • Because I’m in the weight-room so much, actual coaches and athletes start assuming I know what I’m doing. The undergrad kinesiology program is backed up, so thanks to one of these connections, I fulfill my year-long internship requirement with the varsity track and field team before I actually begin coursework.
  • I’m giving advice and coaching to 5-6 rowers at this point, and a few of them become team captains/cabinet members. They talk to their coach about strength training and I officially become the team strength coach.
  • I overhear my former lacrosse teammate and then-roommate talking on the phone with the head coach of a new lacrosse program he’s coaching, lamenting their struggles to find a JV assistant coach. I sign my coaching contract the next week.
  • I have a job at a local gym after I graduate. I work it for a while and things don’t work out, so I take a desk job. I have a lot of time, so I start a website so that my high school lacrosse players and college rowers can find technique videos and training resources.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve said things to athletes that I’ve regretted, missed plenty of opportunities, skipped on readings that I should’ve read in school, called plays that didn’t work out, and done some dumb things in the weight-room. I’ve learned a lot from these, and I know I’ll make more and learn from those too.

I’ve also done a few things right that I think would help a new coach. (more…)

Summer Training: Fix Your Imbalances

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/07/11/summer-training-fix-your-imbalances/

If you’ve followed my blog and the block periodization method, you know that for most spring 2k rowers, the summer season general preparation block is one of your most productive training times to set up the rest of your year. The main goals of the general preparation block are:

  1. Rest, recover, and heal
  2. Build a foundation of strength and aerobic capacity
  3. Correct imbalances that result from rowing
  4. Enjoy summer and maintain your enthusiasm for the sport

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FAQ: Deadlifts for Rowing

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/07/05/faq-deadlifts-for-rowing/

The deadlift is a lift that has the potential to have excellent utility and carryover to rowing. I emphasize potential because many rowers perform the lift with the goal in mind of lifting the absolute most weight or reps that they can, rather than the goal of becoming a better rower. Training for rowing always comes back to this question—am I using this activity correctly to become a better rower? In many cases, lifting the absolute most that you can is NOT actually making you a better rower.

The biggest mistake I see with rowers’ deadlifts is turning the lift into a pull with the back rather than a push from the legs and hips. Performed correctly, the deadlift should look almost identical to a half-slide stroke. Rowers tend to incorrectly set up at the bottom of the lift, often turning the lift into a squat or a stiff-leg pull or failing to maintain a braced torso and neutral spine. Check out my video below from How to Deadlift then read on for more deadlift FAQs for rowing.

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Roundtable Recap: Injury Prevention

In case you missed it, here’s the recap from episode 3 of the Strength Coach Roundtable  with our links added in below. In this episode, we discuss strength training for the purpose of preventing rowing injuries. What can we do in the gym as rowers, coaches, and strength coaches to help athletes stay healthy?

Will Ruth: Twitter, Facebook, StrengthCoachWill.com

Blake Gourley: Twitter, Facebook, RowingStrength.com

Joe Deleo: Twitter, Facebook, LeoTraining.io

Episode 1: Overview of Rowing Strength Training

Episode 2: Strength Training for Performance

In this episode, we discuss strength training for the purpose of preventing rowing injuries. What can we do in the gym as rowers, coaches, and strength coaches to help athletes stay healthy?

Hear it also on Soundcloud and iTunes


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Summer Training Programs for Rowing

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/06/20/summer_training/

The spring season has ended, the final 2k’s raced or tested, and you’re ready to start down the road of summer training. How can you use the 12-16 weeks of summer to best set you up for the rest of the year?

First, take a break! If you rowed all the way through spring and in to the championships, you might be on Week 16 or so of spring rowing. You deserve a break, and it will benefit your training too. This is called the “Rejuvenation Phase” if you’re using a block periodized program, and programs throughout geography and time have used the 2-3 weeks following a major competitive season as a time to mentally and physically rest, destress, and heal up from hard training. You will find that your energy rebounds and you’ll be enthusiastic for the next training block, instead of dragging into it and possibly carrying over aches and pains. Use this time to pick up a neglected hobby, enjoy some non-rowing recreation, and loosen up a bit on the diet.

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Staying Summer Fit for Rowing

I’ve moved! You can find all my rowing content on my new site, RowingStronger.com.

I’ve been updating my articles for the new site, so I recommend reading this article over there. If you don’t, make sure to bookmark it as new articles will appear there, not here. If you’d like to share this article, please help me out by sharing the RowingStronger.com link. I’ve worked hard to organize the content better and improve the site design, and linking to RowingStronger will help with my search engine rankings.

Go: https://rowingstronger.com/2016/06/13/staying-summer-fit-for-rowing/

Originally posted as a guest post on Rowperfect UK

It’s summer time and many of us are thinking of time away from the boathouse, ergometer, and spin bike. Often, this is out of our control, such as in the case of the high school student who has a summer job that conflicts with open gym or boathouse times. Sometimes this is in our control, such as a planned vacation or conscious choice to move rowing to the backburner for a few weeks or months and focus on other activities. The competitive athlete will never want to give up an edge to their competition, so while there is no true replacement for time in the boat or on the erg, here is how to stay in as good shape as possible to make smooth the transition back to specific training.

A Rowperfect reader asked, “I’m unable to row for the next month and I can only really use the erg (and for that matter, weights) a few times a week. Other than that, what are good methods for keeping rowing fit?

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