In this edition of The Central Virginia Sport Performance Podcast University of Wisconsin’s Jim Snider holds no punches. Snides dives right into how he is training the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams at Wisconsin, what this specific GPP block is geared towards, physical results he sees, and how he sees the results through the different hats he wears. This talk is FULL of awesome info that you can take home and utilize with your athletes TODAY! Even though it’s just a brief snap shot of what he does with his student athletes it is a HUGE view into why we wanted Jim on the docket and why I’m so excited to hear what he has to say come July. I hope you enjoy the talk as much as I did.


Introducing 2015 Presenter, Virginia Tech's Dr. Mike Gentry

Introducing 2015 Presenter, Virginia Tech’s Dr. Mike Gentry

I am extremely excited to announce our final speaker for The 2015 Seminar, Virginia Tech’s Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Performance, Dr. Mike Gentry. Dr. Gentry’s reputation is preceded only by his tenure at Virginia Tech. The author of A Chance to Win: A Complete Guide to Physical Training for Football, Dr. Gentry’s background as an author, coach, and PhD brings a huge addition to The Seminar. The following is his bio from CSCCa MSCC Class of 2003 page:

Dr. Mike Gentry begins his 24th season as the Hokies’ director of strength and conditioning. As assistant athletic director for athletic performance, his duties include overseeing the strength and conditioning training of athletes in all 21 varsity sports at Virginia Tech. He is directly responsible for the physical training of the football team and is the administrator for the sports nutrition program and sports psychology program within the athletics department.

A native of Durham N. C., Gentry received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Western Carolina University in 1979 and received his masters from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981. He received his doctorate in education; curriculum and instruction, from Virginia Tech in 1999.

Gentry worked as an assistant strength coach at UNC and as the head strength coach at East Carolina University from 1982 to 1987, prior to coming to Virginia Tech in 1987.

In 1995 and 1996, Gentry was recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a finalist for the National Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year. Coach Gentry has a son, BO, 20, a Virginia Tech football player. He is married to the former Wendy Ann Williams.

A fantastic addition to an already superb line up. We welcome Dr. Gentry to The Seminar, are hope you are excited to hear what he as to offer as we are.


It’s always a thought provoking converstation when Cal Dietz is involved, and this fantastic interview with University of Minnesota Strength and Conditioning Coach and 2015 Presenter Cal Dietz is no exception. In our 20 minute talk, Cal dives into athlete monitoring and how he has used Catapult and Omegawave with his athletes, and the results he has achieved. I couldn’t be more excited to have him involved with The Seminar again.

VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH 2015 PRESENTER, University of Missouri’s Dr. Bryan Mann

Like every conversation with Dr. Bryan Mann, today’s podcast is full of amazing insight. Dr. Mann walks us through his soon to be published piece looking at stress and how it impacts the risk athletes have of becoming injured. The findings are really fascinating, and will without a doubt impact how I handle my athletes in specific times of the academic calendar. I hope that you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.


In a fantastic discussion, 2015 Presenter, Michael Regan discusses his career voyage that brought him from Australia to The US and back, and how sport science is different in Australia, what role he see’s it, and how they look at data to help the club as a whole.  It was a really fun, interesting conversation that I hope you enjoy as much as I did.



An awesome video podcast with 2015 Presenter Dr. Ben Peterson. During our discussion Ben dives into monitoring, ways we can make it more efficient, and the things that he looks at when discussing monitoring with teams. Every talk I get to have with him is always enlightening, so I really hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.


Making his second appearance at The Seminar is Dr. Vladimir Issurin.  Most notably recognized for his method of Block Periodization published through Ultimate Athlete Concepts (Vol 1, Vol 2), Dr. Issurin also has an extensive background working with athletes, ranging from 3 Olympic cycles of scientific adviser and head of the scientific group for the USSR Olympic canoe/kayak, and two more as a team leader of Israeli kayak and swimming national teams.  With over 150 publications on top of his Olympic coaching and management experience, his wealth of knowledge raises the bar for this symposium up one more notch.

JD: Could you please give your coaching background and your own athletic career?

VI: I had extensive practice as the swimming coach from 1965 until 1972 working with juniors, adult members of regional team (Leningrad) and several top-level athletes.

My own athletic career was very successful as the junior winner of Leningrad championships and several All-USSR competitions. I was less successful as an adult (champion of Leningrad, finalist of USSR championships), but more successful as a masters (many-fold champion of Israel in different age categories). Presently I practice 5-6 swimming workouts per week.

JD: Where did Block Periodization originate and with whom?

VI: I clarified in my book that Block Periodization was proposed by myself in cooperation with the head coach of USSR canoe-kayak team Vassili Kaverin at 1982-84 and first published in 1985. Approximately at the same time the similar training versions were implemented by A. Bondarchuk and G. Touretsky (personal coach of A. Popov and others). My concept and its clarification is very different from the published version of Prof. Verkhoshansky.

JD: How has Dr. Zatsiorsky influenced your career?

VI: I have maintained close contact with Prof. Zatsiorsky since 1971, when I had been a PhD student. He gave me excellent pattern of magnificent intelligence, open mind, wisdom, common sense, honesty, friendly attitude, and positive humor. His influence on my scientific style, human priorities and values is really great and I extremely appreciate his warm attitude and long-life friendship.

JD: What can people expect from your new book?

VI: My new book is almost ready; it consists of three extensive parts:

1) Basic concepts of athletic preparation (terms, principles, effects, training   transfer).

2) Fundamentals of planning and training designing (traditional and alternative training theories, new studies in this domain, talent, sport longevity, junior training).

3) Innovative approaches to athletic performance and training (concurrent and post-activation potentiation, psycho-physiological technologies, artificial environment and virtual reality training, electrostimulation and vibration training). I plan the book to be oriented towards coaches, training analysts, students and curious athletes.

JD: What can people expect from your presentations in Virginia?

VI: I suppose my lectures will be devoted to various aspects of Block Periodized training and, perhaps, some innovative approaches to training and performance. The final version will be coordinated with Coach DeMayo.

More on 2015 Presenter Dr. Vladimir Issurin:

Dr. Vladimir Issurin

Dr. Vladimir Issurin

Prof., Dr. Vladimir B. Issurin serves as a scientific and professional coordinator of the Elite Sport Department of the Israeli Olympic Committee at the Wingate Institute. He completed his undergraduate studies in Sport Sciences and his Ph.D. dissertation on aquatic motor fitness and movement technique of swimmers in the Leningrad Sport University (1963-1972). His post-doctoral studies on motor/ technical sportsmanship in individual water sports were completed at Moscow Sport University (1988). He served as a scientific adviser and head of the scientific group for the USSR Olympic canoe/kayak team during three quadrennial cycles (1978-1991) and earned two government awards.

Since 1991, professor Issurin has lived in Israel and works as a researcher in the Sports Science Department (1991-94), is a professional consultant and coordinator of the Israeli Olympic National teams (since 1992), and lecturer at the Wingate coaching school and Wingate Physical Education College. He was advisor of 21 Ph.D. dissertations in the theory, physiology and biomechanical branches of sports training. As a member of the national Olympic delegations he took part in five Olympic Games; twice as a team leader of Israeli kayak and swimming national teams (2000 and 2004). He has over 150 scientific articles in national and international journals and in edited books and given over 50 international presentations.

He has lectured at universities and coaching forums in Athens, Bangkok, Florence, Ghent, Gijon, Göteborg, Grand Rapids (Michigan), Jyvaskyla, Kiev, Köln, Leuven, Lisbon, Madrid, Magdeburg, Moscow, Palma de Mallorca, Pontevedra, Poznan, Prague, Riga, Rome, St.Petersburg, Sofia, Tashkent, Tallinn, Vilnius and Volgograd. He has authored or coauthored 9 books. He has received honorary awards of the Olympic Committees of USSR, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Dr. Issurin is a member of the International Informatization Academy associated with UNESCO. He is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness and reviewer for the scientific journals, Sports Medicine and European Journal of Sport Sciences. Currently his research is focused on the methodology of high performance training and further development of the original coaching concepts for elite athletes. He is a multi-champion of Israel in masters swimming.


Today we are ecstatic to introduce our 8th presenter for The 2015 Seminar Baylor University’s Director of Applied Performance, Andrew Althoff.  Andrew is in the forefront in this country in High Performance Management working alongside with one of the most reputable performance programs in the country.  His addition to the lineup will bring a great new perspective from one of the front runners in the high performance field, and bring coaches a great new perspective as to how they manage not only the training, but the athlete as a whole.

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

AAAA: Any success in my life have been the result of a humble, blue collar work ethic instilled by my parents and family growing up in rural Iowa. I attended Loras College (Dubuque, IA) where I played football for four years. During that time, like most college kids, I struggled to find my passion. This resulted in multiple degree changes which in hindsight blessed me with the opportunity to coach football and assist in the weight room for a year and a half at the completion of my playing career. In addition to learning from the coaches and professors at Loras, I also had an internship with the Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning Department at the University of Iowa (this was a huge deal for me coming from a small town where I would watch them on TV growing up).
From there I was fortunate enough to receive a graduate assistantship at Valdosta State University, to be part of a national championship football team in 2007, and to graduate with a Masters degree in Education. I then joined the Baylor University Athletic Performance staff in February 2009 serving various roles before becoming Co-Director of Olympic Sports in 2011. I later served as the Associate Director for Football leading to my current position of Director of Applied Performance.

Throughout these opportunities I have been able to work with student-athletes at the NCAA Division I, II, III and high school levels with a variety of budgets and resources. The sum of these experiences has helped me find my niche of maximizing athlete performance through the active monitoring and management of on and off the field stressors. This is completed through blending scientific principles with a practical approach to deliver the information to diverse audiences.

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.

AA: First off, I am by no means omnipotent, but believe there are 2 common issues within the profession that if addressed could improve our ability to impact athletes.

1. American performance coaches are too weight room based, thus often times limited in knowledge of energetics. Conversely, those overseas may underestimate the benefits of a simple strength program. These issues could be cured by a standardized program of study for initial and continued professional development throughout the career of a performance coach. Also, improved knowledge dissemination within the field could improve the shared learning experiences of coaches. This would also help to develop performance departments as standalone programs within athletics and not so closely tied to the successes and failures of sport coaches (similar to the sports medicine model).

2. Inability to blend the psychological, physiological, and sociological characteristics of athletes into a holistic approach. The physiological will suffer unless we can use the psychological and sociological to educate student-athletes on lifestyle habits and choices on their performance. Information alone does not lead to behavior change, it must be coupled with means to measure and improve habits and decision making.

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?

AA: First work to create a network. Early in careers, broadening the network takes primary importance – meet as many people as possible. As careers progress, there is an increased need for a deeper base of knowledge. Additionally, some of those from your initial network can no longer help you as they have not have the knowledge or experience to assist as careers progress. At that time, I recommend tightening your circle by adapting the network to more highly specialized and trustworthy individuals with whom you can have full disclosure. There will come a time when it will be your turn to return the favor and mentor some of the next generation – be willing to do so.

My preferred method of gaining knowledge is through conversation and books. However, Pubcrawler has been a helpful addition to find research on the internet. To be honest this is typically my only online source of information although occasionally twitter can prove to be useful. Unless you are long in the tooth, I feel if you are spending a lot of time blogging then you are not spending time coaching, getting your hands dirty or to steal a term from Coach Panariello, “getting a callus on your butt” from reading.

I enjoy books because I believe they help provide a deeper meaning. This depth allows for more connections and understanding which leads to creativity. Some inspiration comes from places that would typically be considered outside of our profession like the Harvard Business Review or 99u. I use this because you can pull in an idea that is caught up in the status quo and can be ‘outside the box.’ I have to be careful though as there is usually a reason it was put inside the box in the first place.

At Baylor Coach Art Briles and Coach Kaz Kazadi have put together a fantastic staff and we learn from each other daily. Outside of our immediate family, my go to people are Landon Evans and Rob Panariello from a scientific standpoint. From a practical perspective I have frequent conversations with Bill Maxwell, Michael Doscher, Adam Davis and Jeremy Weeks. Shawn Huls and Erik Korem are two individuals that I feel play the scientific/practical aspects of training well also.

JD: Please discuss your educational process, and how it has brought you to where you are today. What resources did you find most beneficial in pointing you in the direction of how you prepare athletes today?

AA: I graduated from Loras College in December 2006 with a Bachelors in Sports Science with minors in Biology and Coaching. In May 2009, I graduated with a Masters in Education from Valdosta State University. I also have SCCC, CSCS, FMS and USAW certifications. The multiple degree changes and certifications combined with my involvement in small/large group speech and improv competitions during my youth have helped me adapt and be fluid in different roles and situations.

The most beneficial resources have been just being open minded and taking a lot of notes on the decisions, planning and organization of the staffs that I have worked with. This is especially true working on two football staffs as a student assistant. Being in those meetings has not only given me the background and knowledge of the sport, but the business side of athletics. This allows me to frame and package conversations and training for a variety of populations.

JD: What should our readers and attendees expect to see in your presentation at The 2015 Seminar?

AA: We pride ourselves on taking the complex and turning it into simple, repeatable processes. Emphasis will be placed on describing our practical and replicable approach to athlete training and monitoring. Compared with other presentations that will focus heavily on content knowledge of sport and training science, this presentation will focus mostly on implementation and daily operation strategies, managing and monitoring student-athlete stressors, and their corresponding adaptations that occur from the applied stress. These and other lessons learned along the way will be relayed to the audience.

JJ: Any closing thoughts for our readers?

AA: We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to taking part in this event.

More About 2015 Presenter Andrew Althoff:

Andrew Althoff joined the Baylor University staff in February 2009 as Assistant Director of Olympic Sports. Currently, he serves as Director of Applied Performance integrating the physical, psychological and social aspects of student-athletes’ performance into a practical approach. Althoff also works as a performance coach with the football team.

Althoff comes from Valdosta State University where he designed and implemented programs for numerous sports including football who won the national championship in 2007.

Prior to Valdosta State, Althoff was at Loras College. At completion of his collegiate athletic career with football, he became a student coach. There Althoff worked with strength and conditioning, as well as football. He also interned, during summer 2006, at University of Iowa working with the strength and conditioning program for Olympic sports.

He currently holds a Masters in Education from Valdosta State University and a Bachelors degree in Sports Science with minors in biology and coaching from Loras College. Additionally, he has certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, The Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, USA Weightlifting and is Functional Movement Certified.

Althoff resides in Waco with his wife Chrissie and three sons Tucker, Joel, and Eli.

Video Interview with James Madison University’s Olympic Sports High Performance Team

I had the great pleasure of having Dr. Christian Carter and Coach Willie Danzer on campus the other day to hang out and talk training.  It was a great discussion for the afternoon.  These guys are doing great things up in Harrisonburg, and I can’t thank them enough for coming down.  This is the first (of hopefully many) discussions we will have here where we ask coaches the simple question: “What are you doing right now that you are excited about?” and “What do you do best?”  This idea came to me from a visit with NC State Strength and Conditioning Coach Bob Alejo.   Coach Alejo asked me these same questions, and all I could think about was how great those questions are, and how great it would be to ask other coaches and share that info with our readers.  I hope you all enjoy the podcast and the rest to come!


Making his first appearance on The Seminar docket is University of Wisconsin’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Jim Snider.  “Snides”, as he is known, is one of the top practitioners in the country.  He is involved in the development of athlete’s in both the private and collegiate sector.  His facility Neuro Explosion is one of the top facilities in the country working with athlete’s ranging from youth to professional.  His vast experience and extensive knowledge  of various mediums of performance enhancement make Jim an absolute home run addition for The 2015 Seminar.  Neuro Snides

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.

Jimmy SnidesJS: I have been involved in Colligate Strength and Conditioning (Physical Preparation, I say that because it’s much more than just lifting weights and conditioning the shit out of people, stolen from Buddy Morris) for 14 years.  I started here at University of Wisconsin working with football and a multitude of Olympic Sports. I was fortunate enough to work with 2015 Presenter Cal Dietz at University of Minnesota for a couple years. Now have been back ever since at Wisconsin working primarily with Men’s & Women’s Ice hockey.  I am also a primary liaison to our Sports Performance Lab, in which we are conducting research, evaluating sport performance qualities, and monitoring.  My current educational background is undergrad in Exercise Science, Master’s in Kinesiology, and a LMT in Asian Bodywork & Therapeutic Massage from East West Healing Arts Institute, as well as a Level II BioSignature Practioner.  I am actively involved in coaching and competing in Olympic Weightlifting.  I also have a private facility here in Madison, Neuro Explosion with my wife where we try to promote holistic health to the community and provide a proper LTAD model to the youth of the area.

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.

JS: It’s funny I have probably made a million of them but I think it’s the ability to objectively look at your program and be willing to step outside of “your” box in order provide the best possible service to your athletes.  Also I typically see people “over cooking” or over stressing athletes to fast and too soon.  I am a meat-eater so I like to look at it like cooking a fine steak.  You don’t just through the steak on the grill right into the flame and char the shit out of it, probably marinade it a bit and take your time cooking it.  The athletic development process is no different, you want to slow cook it.  Everyone is on a movement kick, which is good don’t get me wrong, but what does your steak taste or move like if you cook the hell out of it?  Chewy and stiff…..and if you take your time……tender and pliable (tastes damn good too).  Human muscle/tissue is VERY similar to animal.  Take your time, understand the power and effects of stress, and strive for continued improvements.

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?

JS: Obliviously people need to get to your conference.  It is hands down one of the best conferences in terms of practical sports enhancement.  Not only is there unbelievable speakers but those in attendance are also some of the top professional in the field as well, so you really can learn from a multitude of people if you attend.  I would also reiterate what 2015 Presenter Dr. Bryan Mann said in response to this question he couldn’t have said it any better as far as pointing people in the right direction of topics and relevant authors.

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

JS:  A thought provoking and real life talk about various areas of sports enhancement.  I will try and bridge the gap between a holistic / practical model and also evidence based practice. Give people an insight into what I do and the thought process behind it.  Answer and welcome any questions as that is the best way to get better as a professional.  In the end I hope to provide some take home nuggets and also an enhanced way of looking at the training process.

JD: Any closing thoughts?

JS: Just really feel privileged to be included with the lineup you have coming.  It’s really off the charts.

More about 2015 Presenter Jim Snider:

Jim Snider is in his second stint at Wisconsin, this time working with the UW hockey programs, women’s soccer, men’s tennis and assisting with Badger football. Previously, Snider spent three seasons at Wisconsin as assistant strength and conditioning coach after serving a year long internship with the department. His primary responsibilities were men’s and women’s soccer, tennis, and crew, while also assisting with football.

Snider spent his year before rejoining the Badgers as assistant director of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Minnesota. At Minnesota, Snider was responsible for the administration and development of athletic enhancement programs for men’s basketball, men’s hockey, baseball and track and field, while managing full-time and intern personnel.

Snider originally came to Wisconsin for his internship from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse were he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Science with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning and also a degree in Sports Management in 2001. While at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Snider worked for 3 years with Football, Basketball, Baseball, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Tennis, and Gymnastics.

Snider is a member of several organizations including the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCC), and USA Weightlifting. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, Level II Senior Coach through USA Weightlifting, and also a certified and active referee through USA Weightlifting.