INTRODUCING 2017 PRESENTER, DIRECTOR OF HIGH PERFORMANCE FOR USA SWIMMING, KEENAN ROBINSON

Today we introduce the sixth presenter for The 2017 Seminar, USA Swimming’s High Performance Director, Keenan Robinson.  Keenan has worked with swimmers from North Baltimore Aquatics Club, University of Michigan and Team Wolverine, Arizona State, and USA Swimming along side with all time great, Coach Bob Bowman.  The success they’ve had has been immense, with their athlete’s  Olympic medal totals approaching 50.  With all that success, you’d never know his track record when meeting the man.  Keenan is one of the most humble people in the world of athletics and is constant striving to improve the preparation the athlete’s involved in USA Swimming.  Even with USA Swimming being, arguably, the most successful American sport organization in the Summer Games Keenan is constantly striving to find more efficient ways to improve the long term development of his athletes.  Keenan is a guy who’s never held a punch, and never hid what he has done with this athletes. He’s a fantastic ambassador for Strength and Conditioning Coaches and the sport of swimming.  It is physically impossible for me to be more excited to have Keenan on the docket for The 2017 Seminar, he is a fantastic addition to an already loaded line up.  Is it July yet???

JD: If you could, please give our readers a little background information about you, what your niche in the world of athletics is, accomplishments, how you got there, education, any products you have available and/or notable publications

KR:

Keenan with Coach Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps after Day 6 of the Olympics, titled Capacity vs Utilization on Keenan's Facebook page

Keenan with Coach Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps after Day 6 of the Olympics, titled Capacity vs Utilization on Keenan’s Facebook page

My name is Keenan Robinson, and I am currently the Director of High Performance for USA Swimming. I started this roll in September of 2016, after 12 years of “on the deck” skills at various swim locations. By way of formal education I am a Certified Athletic Trainer, but during my journey added strength and condition certification to assist in the General Physical Preparation development of swimmers.

I suppose I am most known for my work with Michael Phelps, being with him since 2004. However, I have designed and implemented quadrennial GPP plans for swimmers at the age group level(10-14), senior club level(14-18), collegiate level, and international level. I suppose the niche would be merging an integrated approach to the SPP, GPP, and rehab domains of this particular sport in a manner that is now popularly called “Long Term Athletic Development” In the particular sport of swimming the plan we have developed(I use “we” because this was created over the years by not only myself but also the coaches who tasked me with this goal, as well as (and most importantly) the athletes). We created a very logical progression of developmental skills, movement proficiency, and finally biological expression of the different domains of human strength and power. All of this was done in accordance with the swim coaches development of the energy systems required of a swimmer. This has led to the highest level of swimming at each of the aforementioned swimmer developments. In just the last quad for example, the team I have worked for had the only 18 and under male to win and individual long course medal at a FINA Long Course World Championship/Olympics, and produced the club with the most 18 and under athletes to win individual long course medals at an IOC/FINA swimming international meet. At the senior international level the program we have developed has led to over 15 Olympic medals, and then of course you may add the medals won by Phelps himself. I would say the other unique aspect of this program within the sport of swimming is that it has led to US athletes competing at a FINA Long Course World Championships or Olympics in events for the 100 up to the 10/25k.

JD: Discuss with us the mistakes you see made by strength and conditioning coaches in the United States and around the world, and what you feel should be done differently/how to correct these issues.

KR: I don’t believe I have the experience, knowledge base, or exposure too enough global programs to call something a mistake. I have spent so much time critiquing, modeling, and adapting my own that it would be incorrect for me to call out another program. I would say this, and this is coming from the capacity I serve in now, which involves more consultation than actual programing and implementation (which is true coaching), the “remote fitness enthusiast” model of providing a fitness program needs to be critically evaluated. My intent in this statement is that, if the program a swimmer/ coach are using doesn’t have a designated strength coach on the floor daily I would question that program hard. I still have yet to see a cell phone be able to get up and walk the floor, coach athletes, develop relationships to understand when one athlete is ready to bring the heat and the other is more concerned with mastering technique because they dominate in the pool and don’t want to get hurt. No manual, at least what I’ve experienced, has the brain and intuition to make the changes necessary if Plan A isn’t going to work. Perhaps Im ranting now, but I like the way Cal Dietz and Joe Kenn have presented their belief systems. A coach can purchase their books, look on their respective websites for their exercise demonstrations, and even send them questions via email and then implement Triphasic or Tier System. It doesn’t require an exorbitant annual fee to have House come every September and spend 48 hours with something that with inevitably change because of the human response to stress. Another reason I respect that is because Joe and Cal don’t have time to do that because they are coaching everyday the programs they champion, producing Super Bowl Teams and NCAA Championship teams.

JD: What advice would you give a coach to improve knowledge in the lines of continuing education, meaning could you point our readers in a direction to find the scientific and practical information to improve the methods they use to improve performance?

KR: This is a great question, and I believe an answer comes from what unique to you as a coach. Read the foundational books(Zatsiosky, Bondurchuck, Issurin, Siff, Yessis, Dietz, Rippetoe, Louie Simmons) and start programming and COACHING. As issues come up or questions arise start looking for resources that help answer those questions, for me programming became so clear and changed my approach after I read The Tier System. You and I reached out to each other because I coached a high school athlete who went on to work with you in college and we shared similar questions as to whether we are doing anything right.

Listen to podcast and the speakers/topics that interest you dive deeper into for me this is where Weingroff, Cressey, Bartholomew, Valle, Gabbet, Pat Ward, and others have influenced me.

This usually leads to other information uncovering other influences, for me it became coaches that I value incredibly high Buddy Morris, James “The Thinker” Smith, Dave Tate, and Tom Myslinski.

During all this time create a Strength Shoppe, a unique network of individuals who think, program, coach differently but are like minded in willingness to positively share information to make you a better coach.

JD: If you could give a brief description of what our attendees can expect from you at The Seminar?

KR: An explanation of system, particular to a unique/niche sport, that is specific to human development, not sport specific. This explanation, hopefully allows coaches to apply or seek out assistance in areas that they previously haven’t worked on or haven’t had exposure to.

JD: Any closing thoughts?

KR: This is without a doubt, one of the humblest professional experiences I will have in my career. For years, I have purchased the Seminars videos because the presenters are the absolute best in the field and to know have the opportunity to actually attend and being asked to present is overwhelming. Jay, you are one of the few that walk the walk in terms of being open to what you do as a coach, sharing information openly, and trying to aggregate information and disseminate it to the profession to make us all better.

Introducing 2017 Presenter, Bartholomew Strength’s Brett Bartholomew

3302dd33-06e8-4a94-98bb-010c10a7440aToday we introduce our fourth presenter for The 2017 Seminar, Bartholomew Strength’s Brett Bartholomew. If you haven’t had a chance to hear Brett speak before you are in for a treat. Brett is one of the most passionate people in the world of high performance, and his ability to connect with athlete’s and coaches in all walks of life is what makes him one of the best of the best. We couldn’t be more excited to have Brett on the docket this July!

JD: If you could, please give our readers a little background information about you, what your niche in the world of athletics is, accomplishments, how you got there, education, any products you have available and/or notable publications.

BB: I am a strength & conditioning coach, consultant, speaker and Founder of the performance coaching and consulting company Bartholomew Strength which serves as a medium for strength coaches worldwide to contribute their perspective and expertise to companies and organizations both within and outside of the world of S&C.

My experiences are comprised from both the team side of athletics as well as within private sector, and although my primary niche would be considered NFL off-season preparation as well as mixed martial artists, I have been fortunate enough to work with a diverse range of athletes from 23 sports at all levels ranging from youth to the professional, Olympic level as well as active duty members of the United States Special Forces. Brett has coached and presented in over 10 countries, nearly all 50 states and at 2 Universities along with military bases nationwide.

bstrength_logowhitegreygold_rgb2From an entrepreneurial standpoint, I have been involved in the strategic growth of two separate performance companies and have created mentoring programs to help connect with young coaches both within the United States and internationally.

Lastly, I am a proud member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and hold both their CSCS & RSCC *D distinction. I obtained my Bachelors in Science degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State University, and my Masters of Science in Education ( Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he obtained his Masters of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in exercise science with an emphasis in motor behavior and wrote research on the topic of motor learning, cueing and attentional focus in human performance (attached within the email and linked HERE)

JD: Discuss with us the mistakes you see made by strength and conditioning coaches in the United States and around the world, and what you feel should be done differently/how to correct these issues.

BB: I don’t consider it my place to “poke holes” and critique the work of others without knowing them personally or fully understanding their respective situations but I do believe that far too many coaches try to make things far too complex from a training standpoint, and often get caught chasing novel interventions instead of focusing on doing the simple things savagely well. This is likely a byproduct of the massive amount of information that is currently available which can actually become a deterrent to our search for continual clarity in that it often makes coaches feel as if there is something they are “not doing” or that they need to keep up with their peers even though their situation(s) may be different.

 

JD: What advice would you give a coach to improve knowledge in the lines of continuing education, meaning could you point our readers in a direction to find the scientific and practical information to improve the methods they use to improve performance?

BB: Don’t just search within the annals of physiology and strength and conditioning based research. Broaden your scope and understand that to be considered truly “multidisciplinary” in what you do that you must seek to learn from a variety of professions ranging from those within the corporate world as well as the social sciences. Many of the problems that we face in coaching essentially comes down to those of sociology, psychology, business and organizational leadership. What we do is very unique, but it is not “special” as we are trying to solve many of the same issues as those within the professional world around us. In regards to information that you can use to improve performance specifically, the best resource is your phone or a good handshake. Go meet and speak with current coaches. Offer to buy them lunch/and or dinner and have the consciousness to be quiet and let them do the majority of the talking.

JD: If you could give a brief description of what our attendees can expect from you at The Seminar?

BB: Attendees can expect me to be as open as possible and a straight-forward communicator. I’ve had both my share of victories and battle scars within my career. I was fortunate to be put into some unique situations early on in my coaching journey that would have exposed me for a fraud if I wasn’t on top of my game or if I didn’t know my stuff and those experiences along with risks that I was willing to take are largely what has forged my belief in my abilities today. I have had plenty of people that I have learned from observationally, but never had a “true mentor” and at times have also experienced the ugly side of this profession in regards to coaches not wanting others to succeed because of their own circumstances or personal issues. Because of this, I try to give as much as I can to coaches who show a desire to learn, improve, share and most importantly- have an attitude and value system of collaboration instead of competition.

JD: Thanks Brett, any closing thought?.

BB: I’m grateful to be a part of this. Thanks once again for having me! I did not include this in the first question/response, but I also have a book that was released this year called “Conscious Coaching” which discusses the underlying science to the art of coaching and what we as coaches can do to build better buy-in and connect with our athletes and those around us in order to get the best out of them.

Website: https://bartholomewstrength.com/

Who is Brett Bartholomew?

BB Head Shotte teams, professional teams, members of the Unites States Special Forces, professional fighters within the UFC and boxing as well as several Fortune 500 businesses. Taken together, Brett has coached a diverse range of athletes from across 23 sports at levels ranging from youths to Olympians and Super Bowl Champions. His coaching and speaking has spanned the globe, from China to Brazil and numerous stops in between.

 

As an entrepreneur, Brett has proudly served as a teammate and supporting partner in the strategic growth of two separate performance companies and is a highly sought-after consultant and mentor for many others across the United States and abroad. Additionally, his work and expertise has been featured in numerous local and national media outlets.

His book, Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In (Amazon), achieved “Best Seller” status in the categories of “Sport Coaching” (#1), “Business/Money” (#8) ,and was ranked in the “Amazon Top 100 Books Overall.”

Brett is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) where he holds both their CSCS*D & RSCC*D distinctions. He is a proud graduate of Kansas State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he obtained a Master of Science in Education in exercise science with an emphasis on motor behavior, cueing, and attentional focus in human performance.

You may reach Brett by via email at brett@bartholomewstrength.com.

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