Jul 13, 2015On the Same Page
In almost all athletic departments, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches work closely together. However, they don’t always speak the same language. In his Friday morning seminar title, “Strength and Conditioning Skills for the Athletic Trainer,” Gary Schofield, Jr., ATC, CSCS*D, RSCC*D, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Greater Atlanta Christian School, played the role of translator.
The focus of the seminar was Schofield’s “Five Strength and Conditioning Skills for Athletic Trainers.” Below, each skill is described.
1. Do no harm: Included in this skill are reducing on-field injury risk, reducing training injuries, and increasing performance. Schofield focused specifically on the importance of knowing the athlete, which includes having an understanding of their ability level, training age, needs analysis, and level of readiness.
2. Move well: Here, Schofield talked about the necessity of completing movement screens with athletes before they begin any strength and conditioning work. This important step can potentially prevent training and sports injuries. Plus, as Schofield said, “movement efficiency=training productivity.”
3. Move strong: Part of this section focused on athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches speaking the same language. Schofield says athletic trainers should understand basic strength terms like relative intensity, sets, reps, volume, strength endurance, etc., all mean. He also talked about handling athlete stressors that are out of their control. Things like relationships with parents, friends, and significant others, as well as academic stresses. Schofield utilizes the practice of autoregulation, which involves periodization to fit the daily needs of athletes. He stressed the need to make changes based on performance, not feel.
4. Move fast: With agility and conditioning work, Schofield focuses on “the big three:” force absorption, force production, and force re-direction. An interesting detail of his conditioning work is that he always makes sure it includes a mental component. For example, his football team has to solve a math equation in between sprint reps. If they don’t get the answer correct within 10 seconds, they owe another sprint. He says this relates to the game experience, because even when players are fatigued, they need to be able to focus and stay mentally sharp.
5. Thrive: Of course, the goal of both athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches is for athletes to thrive. To do that, both professionals need to be on the same page and connect all the dots of athletic performance. For Schofield, this includes nutrition, hydration, sleep, and stress. He monitors the nutritional intake and hours of sleep his athletes get each night.