T Nation

Strength Coaches at Colleges


#1

after watching and wondering yesterday, do strength coaches know what they are doing or do they follow evryone else being that they are most likely ex jocks themselves. A certain team got manhandled and I wonder what is happening in the weight room.


#2

i have interned with a DI S&C program and can tell you that most programs suck. They are either outdated linear periodization programs or HIT. The bottom line is that most DI athletes are freaks who didnt train in high school, so they will see remarkable improvement from any shitty program. Also most S&C coached are overworked and underpaid so i think that adds to the lack luster programs so commonly seen.


#3

A buddy of mine attended an NSCA seminar last year that was attended by a lot of university strength coaches. The stories he came back with were mind-boggling as to how ass-backwards some of the protocols went, but the one that sticks out in my mind the most was the strength coach of a university in Washington who was explaining how his football players all could not squat below parallel. Now I know there are some different views on how to solve a problem, but this guys answer? He spent $40,000 building an obstacle course out of railroad ties and had the players run thier asses off thru it. Go figure.


#4

I too have worked in a division 1 weight room as a Student S&C coach and most NCAA strength coaches are terribile, they typically are pencil neck geeks who are weak and have never competed in a weight room in there life. They typically are nsca book worms who have no idea to get strong themselves more or less teach another how to get strong, until American Strength coaches realize that the NSCA is a joke then the industry will never get caught up, why do you think that we get our ass kicked every year in the olympics in olympic weight lifting its because they follow NSCA Western Periodization, and any strength coach who comes to a program and acts like he is a bad ass with a new strength training program when it is HIT is a fag yes I am talking to you strength coach at my ex-school you weak batard.

DEATH TO NSCA, WESTERN PERIODIZATION,AND HIT...big martin


#5

its true that many, many strength coaches at big and small colleges are absolute idiots... however there are some good ones out there.

look at the situation... the people hiring them have absolutely NO idea how to seperate the good from the bad, usually have misguided notions as to what a strength and conditioning program should be... and have unrealistic expectations many times also. once at a job interview i found myself argueing with the head coach who was interviewing me about whether or not making athletes stronger would actually make them better football players... later i though to myself, if he doesnt believe that, why is he hiring a S&C coach, and i took my name out of consideration.

most strength coaches get hired based on who they know and what teams they ahve been associated with. so, if you know someone who gets you an assitant to an assistant job at a good school, you can use that to get a head job at another school, if you are lucky enough to be at a school when they are doing well, your stock rises, though it probably has nothing to do with you.

basically, strength and conditioning in college is a job with no oversight... the people who should be doing that job have no idea how to measure what the strength coach is doing... and NO way to measure success or failure, since the quality of the athletes in the first place and the head coach make a lot more difference than the strength coach, especially if hes there for just a year or two. so its luck and personal promotion that determines the winners. its a strong belief of mine that ability to do the actuall work of a strength coach, and the ability to promote yourself are inversely related.


#6

Much of what I see are ex athletes, for football the head S&C coach is an ex D lineman who graduated, was a GA, then an assistant, and then a head SC coach. You can see how things slip through if only ex football players are hiring more ex football players for what is a very scientific endeavor. I think many programs are starting to use Olympic lifts now, but that may be just a latest trend rathar than a genuine interest or belief. So the Head SC coach thought that gaining strength and speed had no importance on making an athlete better? Wow, thats one of those blanket statements that are frightening.


#7

That statement that S&C won't make better athletes illustrates both ignorance about the purposes of S&C and "black and white" thinking. I'm sure everyone here would agree that an athlete without some natural ability and talent for playing football (as an example) will not become a great football player through S&C. But obviously the point of S&C is not to improve sport specific skills.


#8

Chris Doyle at Iowa is pretty good. PSU uses a suck ass HIT program. no wonder their average lineman does about 225 for 10-12 reps in the bench. Sad.


#9

BTW Zatsiorsky is a professor at PSU. Can you believe that they have this awesome resource and they are still a HIT team


#10

UNLV S&C was on World's Strongest Man competition today.


#11

Chris Doyle at Iowa is pretty good? How about Chris Doyle at Iowa is one of the best out there! Have you seen what he has done with his athletes in the last 4 years or so. Not only is he a coach, he competes in Pro strongman contests also.


#12

I want Doyle at PSU. Hopefully, Ferentz comes back to Pa, and brings him with him. PSU has been getting good recruits but has done nada with them. Doyle has done way more than with less. The proof is in the pudding.
I agree he's one of the best, I tend to be a little light with praise. It's ad when a 195 pound guy can outlift offensive linemen half his age.


#13

Hey, hey, - lets leave Coach Doyle and Coach Ferentz here in Iowa City!!! The PSU boys will get an opportunity to see them this Saturday.

Go Hawks!

By the way, I've met with Coach Doyle, he is very willing to talk shop and help out. Very knowledgable fellow, you should see some of the things he has the team doing including car pushes and pulls and tire flips. He also has them using chains and bands. Sort of a combo of Westside, Renegade and Strongman wrapped into a football specific program. Very cool. I was going to intern with him, but the schedule didn't work out. Too bad he wasn't here when I actually was enrolled at Iowa and didn't have a wife, 2 kids, a job....

In faith,
Matt


#14

I'm currently at PSU (well, on internship in Jersey, but I have 2 more semesters left in Happy Valley) ... and their weight program leaves a lot to be desired. IF you go to http://www.coachpaterno.com, then go to the strength training articles ( link is on the left) , you can see our football strength coach ...and if you go here http://www.gopsusports.com/vrtours/main.html and click on VR tours, you can see our football weight room and it's 90000 pieces of hammer strength equipment and lack of free weights

He definitely hasn't gotten the best out of all the strong recruits we have had the past few years...


#15

While I agree that HIT is a terrible method for athletes, squattin600, I've spoken with Dr. Zatsiorsky personally on such issues and he said that he doesn't know enough about training football players and didn't feel qualified to speak out against what John Thomas was doing.
The best college strength coach that I can think of is Joe Kenn. He invented the "tier system" which is basically a 3 day a week Westside template.


#16

Coach Gentry at Virginia Tech is pretty darn capable, too. There are some good ones out there, but they're too few and too far between.


#17

This is the truth that there are some good strength coaches and programs and alot of bad programs. I have friends interning with PSU S&C staff and one told me he had to look elsewhere to find a squat rack! The PSU HIT workouts are grueling and intense, but in the end they are not going to make their athletes much stronger or faster. So many other programs use linear periodization which is outdated for athletes also. It is a tough feild and many get hired due to favoritism rather than skill. The problem with the feild is that due to the number of athletes a coach works with, they often feel anything too advanced would be too difficult to teach an entire team and this is how they get stuck in the rut of using the same old boring routines.


#18

being a DI stregth coach, I take alot of what was said to heart. I do agree that there are some horse shit programs out there, but to put a blanket over the whole profession is clear and simple bull shit. there are alot of factors that go into what people watch on saturday. you have to realize that strength coaches do everything in thier power to make their athletes the best that they can. true, some coaches try different things, i.e. HITT training, and it fails miserably, in my opinion, but then again when you work with a football team you have to listen to what the head coach wants as well. you can't always go in and start your guys doing snatches and jerks without the head coach knowing, then have someone get hurt and you are out on your ass without a job. please don't take this as if i am defending horse shit programs in anyway, i am simply standing up for the strength coaches that bust their asses working 13 hour days, 6-7 days a week only with the hopes of seeing their kids succeed. i just hope that some of you realize that there are those of us out there that don't buy into bull shit trends and fads that beat around the bush. I am here to make my kids strong, fast, and get them in playing shape. I'm not here to make their arms more toned or give them "Beach Muscles". I'm not a personal trainer, I'm a strength coach, and believe me there is a difference. Sorry about the rant, but this hits close to home and i take it personal. thanks for letting me bitch.


#19

I understand the frustration of strength coaches. It's like any big corporation. People at PSU don't understand why the Lions have been shoved around for a few years. 85 scholarships instead of 95 means you have to do better with what you get. They aren't cutting it lately. Marco Rivera did I think 225 x 12 on the bench at the combine. After two years in the NFL 315 x 17.

PSU is getting great athletes, but not training them as well as Iowa for instance. It's amazing that you can have 6 players go in the first sixty picks after seasons of 5-6, 5-7, 9-4.


#20

Joe Kenn is the elite of all college strength coaches in my opinion, the worst jack ass program are programs like TCU who claim these huge lifts but when people go watch them they realize why because they do quarter squats and forced reps on there max test days lol,