Tuesday, October 06, 2009
You Can’t Fire A Cannon From A Canoe
I’ve spent the last week at a conference. Well, it’s more of a brain dump, actually. A good friend of mine has cancer and, with his future uncertain, rounded up his friends to put his state-of-the-art training system on the record. In attendance were Olympians, world record holders, college athletes, golf pros, coaches, trainers, filmmakers, photographers and writers. Even though most of us had worked with Kevin on some level, were more credentialed on paper, and had spent most of our lives in athletics, the common sentiment was that we were being given an entirely new blueprint for athletic training.
The title comes from one of the clichés about stability training that seemed pretty appropriate because, until the base is solid, nothing works as efficiently as it should. The system we covered isn’t entirely new. It’s a hybrid of many popular systems based around core and stability training. But it was a lot more than Chek Institute stuff. Kevin’s philosophy is to identify the weak link in the system. Then, by strengthening the weak link, the process allows the strong links to do their job more efficiently. This results in improved performance prior to making gains in prime mover muscle strength (10% improvements in a few months prior to prime mover training seemed about average, which is off the charts).
What’s also revolutionary is that most of us tend to think of this style of training as injury prevention only. And, certainly, that is a big part of it. One of Kevin’s clients, a professional golfer, began working with him at age 14. He’s never had even a minor injury. The high school and university programs that have used his system (which is still evolving) have seen the instances of non-contact injury rates drop to almost zero. In a world where championships are won by the team who keeps the most players on the field, this is not an area to be discounted.
Perhaps the biggest upside is that the system is simple to implement. It doesn’t require expensive equipment or a trainer to supervise your every move. Most of us feel it’s going to change the way we train our athletes on a global scale.
I’m going to leave things a little vague for now. I’ve got 40,000 words to begin to edit and organize. We’re not sure where this will end up but you’ll be hearing a lot more about it here.