T Nation

Hamstrings: Coaching Question

Question for those of you who coach or train athletes.

A couple of the high school boys that I am training for football compete at other sports. Having learned the hard way over the years, I am big on training the posterior chain.

My question is this: how hard/often can say, a basketball player drill the hamstrings during the season without increasing the chance of injury? Right now, I have pretty much limited the hard hamstring stuff (RDLs, GHRs, GMs, pull-throughs, etc.) to once a week on Saturdays (after Friday night games).

The last thing that I want is to be working getting these athletes bigger and stronger for football, and have them pull a hammy because in combination with their sport we have been overdoing it.

I am playing it conservatively right now because I am trying to manage overall volume. Any feedback or suggestions would be welcome.

I think you need to feel out the volume that doesn’t affect gameday performance. That is always the concern with my athletes. Whether or not they can perform to the highest level on competition days is the limiting factor, as most everyone will have different tolerences to volume of work and levels of DOMS.

If their biggest priority is, and will continue to be, football, then maybe a sacrifice should be made with regard to other sports. Then again, these are high school athletes.

Don’t forget, once a week posterior chain/hamstring training can be very effective, if you make the most of every rep in every set.

RIT Jared

It really depends on a number of variables such: as work capacity, recover ability, nutrition, training age, gender, ext. Do a need analysis for your athlete and pin point his weaknesses and strengthen them. He’s only as good as his weakest link.

It really depends on a number of variables such: as work capacity, recover ability, nutrition, training age, gender, ext. Do a need analysis for your athlete and pin point his weaknesses and strengthen them. He?s only as good as his weakest link.

Thanks for the responses.

This is my first year doing strength and conditioning in a team setting this big, and I’m finding it a hard switch from doing personal training or working with teammates, because of the fact that I can’t spend as much time with athletes one-on-one. I am working with several dozen athletes on a part-time basis – this is my night job!

It’s not an ideal situation, but I am learning how to manage this and how to work with this many athletes. I have been re-reading a lot of the coaching articles out there (elitefts, defranco, westside, etc.) in a whole new light. It’s certainly better for these kids having someone with experience heping to teach them. Boss, doing an individual analysis is a great idea, and for the fullback who trains with me, this is long since done. However, implementing this kind of thing for thirty-odd kids is turning out to be restrictive. I have to spend most of my time convincing the kids that squatting four inches is not actually a lift.

Don’t get me started on the resistance I am getting from the (non-lifting) assistant coaches in implementing a program that makes sense. But I am plowing along in as politic a fashion as I am capable of, and making good progress. I let my lifts speak for themselves and the kids seem believe in me, which is important.

I train using a Westside template, and have been a disciple of hard posterior training since I was olympic lifting. I wish I would have done this in high school, as it would have at least saved me a raft of knee surgeries and unneccessary hamstring injuries. The temptation is there to go a little crazy with the posterior chain stuff.

For the most part, I’m discovering that without constant monitoring, the male athletes will always resort to some kind of bench press EVERY DAY. It is bringing back some painful memories of my own stupidity at that age. I caught several freshmen doing quarter squats in a smith machine the other day. As I addressed this, the vein in the middle of my forehead throbbed so emphatically that I think they won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

The girls are a lot of fun to train though. Most don’t have to unlearn bad habits (as they’ve never lifted), and they are so flattered to be treated like real athletes that they have progressed extremely quickly. They like to train legs (except for squats), but I find that they have the opposite problem from the boys – I have to push them to use MORE weight.

In any case, Jared I agree with you absolutely. I made solid progress for a long time training my hamstrings directly once a week. To give you an idea of where we started when I started doing this, I had seniors who had supposedly been training for four years look blankly at me when I asked them right out of the gate what kind of hamstring training they did. We have definitely come a long way.

Keep 'em coming, please.

[quote]The_Van wrote:
Thanks for the responses.

This is my first year doing strength and conditioning in a team setting this big, and I’m finding it a hard switch from doing personal training or working with teammates, because of the fact that I can’t spend as much time with athletes one-on-one. I am working with several dozen athletes on a part-time basis – this is my night job!

It’s not an ideal situation, but I am learning how to manage this and how to work with this many athletes. I have been re-reading a lot of the coaching articles out there (elitefts, defranco, westside, etc.) in a whole new light. It’s certainly better for these kids having someone with experience heping to teach them. Boss, doing an individual analysis is a great idea, and for the fullback who trains with me, this is long since done. However, implementing this kind of thing for thirty-odd kids is turning out to be restrictive. I have to spend most of my time convincing the kids that squatting four inches is not actually a lift.

Don’t get me started on the resistance I am getting from the (non-lifting) assistant coaches in implementing a program that makes sense. But I am plowing along in as politic a fashion as I am capable of, and making good progress. I let my lifts speak for themselves and the kids seem believe in me, which is important.

I train using a Westside template, and have been a disciple of hard posterior training since I was olympic lifting. I wish I would have done this in high school, as it would have at least saved me a raft of knee surgeries and unneccessary hamstring injuries. The temptation is there to go a little crazy with the posterior chain stuff.

For the most part, I’m discovering that without constant monitoring, the male athletes will always resort to some kind of bench press EVERY DAY. It is bringing back some painful memories of my own stupidity at that age. I caught several freshmen doing quarter squats in a smith machine the other day. As I addressed this, the vein in the middle of my forehead throbbed so emphatically that I think they won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

The girls are a lot of fun to train though. Most don’t have to unlearn bad habits (as they’ve never lifted), and they are so flattered to be treated like real athletes that they have progressed extremely quickly. They like to train legs (except for squats), but I find that they have the opposite problem from the boys – I have to push them to use MORE weight.

In any case, Jared I agree with you absolutely. I made solid progress for a long time training my hamstrings directly once a week. To give you an idea of where we started when I started doing this, I had seniors who had supposedly been training for four years look blankly at me when I asked them right out of the gate what kind of hamstring training they did. We have definitely come a long way.

Keep 'em coming, please.[/quote]

Are you a high school strength coach??..if so i notice your from michigan is there a “want” in the school districts for such coaches??..as ilive in indiana an want to be a hs strength coach but am findining it very difficult to find a school system that wants to put out the monsy for a sc…they usually just put the responsibility in th ehands of the pe teachers…to save money…rb

[quote]big martin wrote:
The_Van wrote:
Thanks for the responses.

This is my first year doing strength and conditioning in a team setting this big, and I’m finding it a hard switch from doing personal training or working with teammates, because of the fact that I can’t spend as much time with athletes one-on-one. I am working with several dozen athletes on a part-time basis – this is my night job!

It’s not an ideal situation, but I am learning how to manage this and how to work with this many athletes. I have been re-reading a lot of the coaching articles out there (elitefts, defranco, westside, etc.) in a whole new light. It’s certainly better for these kids having someone with experience heping to teach them. Boss, doing an individual analysis is a great idea, and for the fullback who trains with me, this is long since done. However, implementing this kind of thing for thirty-odd kids is turning out to be restrictive. I have to spend most of my time convincing the kids that squatting four inches is not actually a lift.

Don’t get me started on the resistance I am getting from the (non-lifting) assistant coaches in implementing a program that makes sense. But I am plowing along in as politic a fashion as I am capable of, and making good progress. I let my lifts speak for themselves and the kids seem believe in me, which is important.

I train using a Westside template, and have been a disciple of hard posterior training since I was olympic lifting. I wish I would have done this in high school, as it would have at least saved me a raft of knee surgeries and unneccessary hamstring injuries. The temptation is there to go a little crazy with the posterior chain stuff.

For the most part, I’m discovering that without constant monitoring, the male athletes will always resort to some kind of bench press EVERY DAY. It is bringing back some painful memories of my own stupidity at that age. I caught several freshmen doing quarter squats in a smith machine the other day. As I addressed this, the vein in the middle of my forehead throbbed so emphatically that I think they won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

The girls are a lot of fun to train though. Most don’t have to unlearn bad habits (as they’ve never lifted), and they are so flattered to be treated like real athletes that they have progressed extremely quickly. They like to train legs (except for squats), but I find that they have the opposite problem from the boys – I have to push them to use MORE weight.

In any case, Jared I agree with you absolutely. I made solid progress for a long time training my hamstrings directly once a week. To give you an idea of where we started when I started doing this, I had seniors who had supposedly been training for four years look blankly at me when I asked them right out of the gate what kind of hamstring training they did. We have definitely come a long way.

Keep 'em coming, please.

Are you a high school strength coach??..if so i notice your from michigan is there a “want” in the school districts for such coaches??..as ilive in indiana an want to be a hs strength coach but am findining it very difficult to find a school system that wants to put out the monsy for a sc…they usually just put the responsibility in th ehands of the pe teachers…to save money…rb
[/quote]

ok sorry to hijack the thread, but trying to help a brother out…

big martin, im not sure if you are familiar with the geist/fishers area, but from what I hear thru the IUB/IUPUI personal trainers and strength coaches is that highschools in that area are in dire needs of strength coaches. Perhaps looking in into juco’s and D3 schools like franklin might be an idea? Just a thought, let me know if it helps.

Im going to pm you…rb

Hey Big Martin:

Honestly, no idea whether or not lots of schools are in the market for it. Of course, the perrenial powerhouse schools around here at least have football coaches that know about lifting, and the best have dedicated strength coaches.

Mostly they are guys doing double-duty, like myself. I coach a couple of sports and do this in the off-season. The administration has been receptive to the idea of a S & C coach, and are mulling the funding to get me some sort of further certification. The idea of getting another potentially worthless certification makes me wince, but whatever. It would be worth it. I love working with these kids – it is an amazing experience, and it lets me have fun with my hobby and it’s a great contrast to my day job.

I might not make a whole lot of money doing it but screw it. When I got here, saying “My ass is killing me from last night! I did low box squats and some dumbbell clean and jerks and I can’t sit on the toilet,” would have promptly gotten me murdered by a guy is a plastic-mesh John Deere hat. OK, to be fair, in most settings I would still never get past “the ass is killing me from last night” part without getting a shank through the ribs. But at least NOW there are some football players that would knowingly nod their heads as I was getting stabbed.

Anyways, my guess if I were looking to do it for a living would be to look at some of the rich school districts or the Catholic schools. There are plenty of nice districts around Detroit, except for the fact that you will be around Detroit. Lots of rich folks in West Michigan (Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, etc.) and I would guess those areas would be good places to start a search.

Also, I know you said HS, but there are an assload of D-II, D-III, and NAIA schools around. Off the top of my head, I can think of Hope College, Adrian, Olivet, Alma, Calvin, Kalamazoo, Albion, Ferris State, Grand Valley, Hillsdale, Northwood, and Saginaw Valley. No idea whether any of those are hiring, but it’s worth a shot.

[quote]The_Van wrote:
Hey Big Martin:

Honestly, no idea whether or not lots of schools are in the market for it. Of course, the perrenial powerhouse schools around here at least have football coaches that know about lifting, and the best have dedicated strength coaches.

Mostly they are guys doing double-duty, like myself. I coach a couple of sports and do this in the off-season. The administration has been receptive to the idea of a S & C coach, and are mulling the funding to get me some sort of further certification. The idea of getting another potentially worthless certification makes me wince, but whatever. It would be worth it. I love working with these kids – it is an amazing experience, and it lets me have fun with my hobby and it’s a great contrast to my day job.

I might not make a whole lot of money doing it but screw it. When I got here, saying “My ass is killing me from last night! I did low box squats and some dumbbell clean and jerks and I can’t sit on the toilet,” would have promptly gotten me murdered by a guy is a plastic-mesh John Deere hat. OK, to be fair, in most settings I would still never get past “the ass is killing me from last night” part without getting a shank through the ribs. But at least NOW there are some football players that would knowingly nod their heads as I was getting stabbed.

Anyways, my guess if I were looking to do it for a living would be to look at some of the rich school districts or the Catholic schools. There are plenty of nice districts around Detroit, except for the fact that you will be around Detroit. Lots of rich folks in West Michigan (Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, etc.) and I would guess those areas would be good places to start a search.

Also, I know you said HS, but there are an assload of D-II, D-III, and NAIA schools around. Off the top of my head, I can think of Hope College, Adrian, Olivet, Alma, Calvin, Kalamazoo, Albion, Ferris State, Grand Valley, Hillsdale, Northwood, and Saginaw Valley. No idea whether any of those are hiring, but it’s worth a shot. [/quote]

I thank you a ton for the advice…i decided last year that a hs strength coach job is what i want… money isnt a problem as i am young and feel hs will be a great stepping stone…plus at the hs level i feel you can do soem great things…kids at the hs level egos are failry small and most are willing to bust there ass…i was lucky enough to be a student strength coach at a ncaa d1 school and i hated it…i worked with baseball and football and the egos were terribile…but having personally trained a few hs athletes its completely diffirent there ready to work hard and listen…and to watch the improvement in them is quite amazing…the only problem and i am lucky enough to have a uncle that works for a public school consultation firm to kind of give me some guidance…is that most schools are not willing to put forth the money to hire a strength coach and are willing to hire pe techers who truly dont have a clue to run there strength and conditioning…but it sounds like your in a great position…keep up the good work…your students are truly lucky…rb

If your big on working the posterior chain like you claim have a look at Kettlebells.

For basket ball and volleyball one arm snatches with a slight jump at the top will fit your bill. for football you should try double kettlebell dead snatches.

Simon

Simon,

Thanks for the suggestion. That might be out of the budgetary means for the time being.

Right now we have some good basics in our facility, but we also have the detritus of years of well-meaning coaches squandering their budgets. We have three benches, one squat rack, NO power cage, an incline bench, a (goddamned) smith machine, dumbells up to 70s, limited space to deadlift, no chin bar but an assisted chin machine (grrr). We have all kinds of machines, many of which I would frankly like to drag out to the dumpster. Our bars are all ten years old plus, but not really in bad condition. The next thing I am pushing for is a real power cage. I’m working with a couple of the teachers putting together some strongman implements for the summer too.

Simon, do you coach? You mentioned two-handed kettlebell snatches. I was wondering what your thoughts were on teaching O-lifts to dozens of athletes. I am a former competitive Olympic lifter, but am finding teaching the full lifts to be time-restrictive. They seem to require a tremendous amount of one-on-one time to teach effectively, and this is a luxury that I don’t have. Right now I seem to be spending most of my time teaching basic compound lifts, and weaning the boys off of preacher/ concentration/ cheat/partner curls. What have you found when working with groups like this?