Oct 9, 2002

Stronger Athletes: Future Strength Coach

"Football players should not do the Olympic lifts. The safety issue is not with the lifts however; the problem is with the generation of coaches who grew up in the Arthur Jones/Nautilus era. These coaches have neither the time nor the coaching ability to teach 85 players the Olympic lifts. These coaches have never learned how to stand on their own two feet, pick a weight off the ground and put it over their head." -Lincoln Brigham, a Olympic Lifting advocate, making a wonderful observation about the relationship between effective coaching and picking up a weight with both feet on the ground then putting it over their head.
A young man from Kansas recently wrote to us asking for help in a class project. Looking at coaching through his eyes has reawakened our own desires to be great coaches.

Dear Coach Rody,
I am a student at Chase High School in Chase, Kansas. I read about you on your web page, and it sounds like you know what you are talking about. We are doing a English assignment and I picked football. So I was supposed to interview a coach and I picked you.

I have a few questions that I would like to ask you.

1.  What would you have to say to young kids coming into High School football that aren't quite as strong as they could be?

If he is an incoming freshman, I would tell him that he should get on a productive strength training program so that he would have an opportunity to be competitive as a Varsity player. The program must be approved by his doctor. Also, I would tell him to develop the skills of the position he would like to play to become as efficient as possible and this will help him to be competitive as an underclassman until the necessary strength can be developed. Good technique at his position is crucial to be an effective player.

2.  What is the importance of weight lifting while playing football?

Strength training will prevent injuries. This is the number one reason why an athlete should lift weights. Next, increases in strength will enable the player to become more powerful and explosive in the skills at his position.

3.  What age should Kids start to lift?

The coach, parents, and the athletes doctor/trainer need to be comfortable with the age to begin lifting. Certainly when starting any weight training program, one needs to lift lighter for a higher amount of repetitions in order to develop efficient neuromuscular pathways in performing the exercises. Perfect form is crucial so the athlete will not get injured.

4.  Should High School kids use any type of weight gainer or muscle mass supplements?

I do not think it is necessary to take any supplementation other than vitamins and minerals if they do not have a balance diet. Getting with their trainer/doctor for the type of vitamin and minerals would be suggested. Most supplements that you find in the health food stores are not necessary and are a waste of money. There is no miracle pill that can replace smart training. What I mean by smart is knowing how to lift, how frequent you should train, etc...

5.  What would you tell a High School Grad that wants to be a coach?

Coaching is a great and very rewarding profession. A good coach will teach his athletes about hard work, how to work with others effectively, and about other aspects of life in general.

Best wishes and good luck on your paper! -Coach Rody
Well I would personally like to think you for you time and I hope you write back with some answers. And keep up the good work on you web page.

Nick W.

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***No Liability is assumed for any information written on the StrongerAthlete.com website. No medical advice is given on exercise. This advice should be obtained from a licensed health-care practitioner. Before anyone begins any exercise program, always consult your doctor. The articles are written by coaches that are giving advice on a safe, productive, and efficient method of strength training.***