Coach Jay DeMayo recently presented on the training program he utilizes with his incoming athletes and the results he has achieved it this program.  In Part 2, Coach goes over the parts of the program he liked, and the new direction he plans on taking the training in the future.  Again, I hope that this opens the lines of discussion for coaches to start looking at not just what we do, but the results we achieve from the methods and protocols we select.  I hope you enjoy Part 2. 


Off Season Field Hockey Training

If you go to enough seminars you learn to value the time outside of the classroom as much, if not more, than the time spent in the actual presentations. One coach (and Seminar presenter) I find myself able to learn more from every time we talk is University of Iowa strength and conditioning coach/Dietician, Landon Evans. During the 2014 seminar, I found myself at the breakfast table next to Coach Evans, Dan Hammes (University of Iowa) and Jason DeMayo (University of Richmond). One topic that I remember clearly was how presentations should be simplified: tell “us” what you wanted to train, what you tested, what you actually did, and the results your athletes achieved. After you have done this, provide some reflection for what you believed worked, what may not have worked, and what you would do differently.

This article will be written along those lines. I’m not going to talk in abstracts. I’m going to give you every detail I’ve got and lay everything on the line. At the end, I’ll talk about what I think worked, what could be improved, and what I would do differently.

Athletes: Division 1 Field Hockey

When: Spring 2014(off season)

Duration:Approximately 8 weeks Training

Frequency: 2x/week(1 hour each session) at 6 am

Phase 1: February 18- March 13(4 weeks)

Goals: Strength and Technique were primarily my goal with this off season. The team hadn’t formally strength trained in several months so in preparation for their off season(summer) workouts I thought it’d be best to not only re-introduce them to the basic lifts they’d be performing on their own, but also improve their strength. Besides strength/technical proficiency, I also included acceleration/speed/power exercises. The speed/acceleration was originally intended to teach mechanics at sub-maximal speeds. The power exercises (medicine ball throws and jumps) were included to act as a bridge between the warm up and resistance training workouts.

Pre-Season Assessment:

Acceleration: 1. 10 yard dash: This was tested from a standing start using the Brower timing system. 2 attempts were given with a full rest in between each. 2. 18 yard dash: After talking with our coaches we decided to include the 18yard dash as it represents a more specific sprint in field hockey. Again, all speed tests were performed using the Brower timing system, with 2 attempts and a full rest.

Speed: 1. 40 yard dash: Similar to the other tests, 2 attempts were given using an electronic timing system. Also of note is that we tested in the morning (6am) on the indoor track.

Power: 1. Broad Jump: 2 non-consecutive attempts were given to achieve the furthest distance. The jumps were performed prior to the speed/acceleration tests.

Strength: 1. 1 Minute of Push Ups: This is a test they normally perform with their sport coaches. The athletes attempt to do as many push-ups in 1 minute as possible (using a tennis ball on the ground as the marker of a full repetition). 2. Chin Ups: Using a neutral grip, only full range of motion pull ups were counted.

What we did:











Notes on reading the sheet: The sheet reads straight down in groupings of 3 exercises. There are times when the exercises are not meant to be paired together, such as the stadium sprints and flying 20’s. Anything pertinent to the exercise is listed in the “Notes” column (often this is more for my own tracking than the athletes, i.e. the rest interval between sprints on Day 1).

Day 1: Stadium sprints were originally intended to be in the program but I had not taken into account that the athletes were going to individual practices after our training session. In an effort to not ruin their legs for those sessions I decided not to perform the flying 20’s and stadium sprints. Barbell squats were programmed as such to gauge roughly what the girls were capable of (hence the add 10lbs. each set in the notes). Exercises in between were included to keep the athletes moving instead of standing around using low intensity exercises (T raise and seated band abduction). Overhead (Military) Press was the main upper body pressing exercise. For those unable to perform the reps with the bar, dumbbells were used. Again, Single leg hip thrusts and band clam holds were included to provide some low intensity stimulus to possible areas that needed extra work. Chin ups were modified, if necessary, using a band. The DB RDL’s were included as an added exercises to compliment the squats performed earlier, while the Bench squeeze provided minor grip training. The bretzel stretch was performed to stretch the hip capsule and upper back. The post workout stretches were usually performed if time permitted. Athletes sometimes had to hurry to get to their individual practice or class.

Day 3: The jumps and medicine ball throws were included on this day to bridge the gap between the warm up and the workout. The importance of the knees and hips in all of the jumping and throwing exercises was reinforced. The back squats in this workout were performed with a 5 second eccentric. Early in the off season I’ve found that the eccentric exercises are great teaching tools to help athletes feel proper positioning without me having to always cue them. I also included a low level isometric exercise here as it allows the athlete to feel the correct positioning of the knee, shin, and hips. It also helps prepare their legs for the Dumbbell split squats in the next block. Triangle terror is merely a lateral X band walk. The bench press was included with the same intention as the squat on Day 1(i.e. progressively increase the weight, but don’t go to failure).

Dumbbell split squats were the single leg exercise I decided to include purely because I believe the extra stability from having the back foot down allows for better hip/ankle/knee control. The hydrant kick holds were an isometric exercise used to strengthen the glutes. Barbell RDL’s again were used to compliment the squat, as well as provide eccentric strength for the hamstrings. For extra grip work, we attached Fat Grip devices around the dumbbells for their rows. Though normally a trunk exercise, the bent knee trunk rotation acted as more of as stretch for the hips/low back. Finally, the Kettlebell goblet side squat provide a stimulus in lateral plane, while the weighted sit ups were used to strengthen the trunk. The groin hold was, again, a low intensity isometric used to train the adductors. Soft tissue work was placed at the end of the workout for those not constrained by time/classes, etc…

Part 2 of this series will focus on the results we got from our first phase of training, as well as the 2nd phase and all of the testing we performed.

Putting Supplementation In Context-A Guest Post by Jake Jensen

I am very excited to have Jake Jensen posting to our site.  Jake is a coach who I have the upmost respect for.  For those of you who may not know Jake he is a coach out of Utah who recently has translated Dr. Bondarchuck’s latest book, and subtitled his lecture from The 2014 Seminar.  Jake is a coach to keep on your radar because he is going to do great things in the world of athlete preparation.

Putting Supplementation In Context

Jake1I have noticed a trend lately among the athletes I coach. This trend is destroying athletic performance rampantly across the globe. It is unchecked, unchallenged, killing gains at will. It is manifested in toaster strudel breakfasts and peanut butter sandwich lunches. This issue is the chronic lack of nutrition in sports and in athletic performance.

I have been aware of this issue for some time, as I was once the high school kid eating foods devoid of nutrients and trying to improve my performance. I was reminded of this issue at the CVASPS Conference this year. I reflected back on it during Rick Brunner’s presentation. After reading his book, “Explosive Ergogenics” and applying some of his nutrition suggestions in my own training, I have seen great results. I want to give a little background, however, before I discuss the way I supplemented my diet, and talk a little bit about this nutrition epidemic. To put it in Rick’s words, supplementation is the pinnacle of diet in performance. Don’t start with supplements, start with a well planned diet of whole natural foods. This is great advice, from a veteran in sports performance.


Rick’s presentation this year talked in part about the way that the Soviet’s used nutrition as a staple for health in their sports programs. When I say sports programs, I am talking about k-12 all the way to the Olympics. Children in sport are given nutritional guidance and Jake2brought up in health. I know, I know, some of you are saying to yourselves “if by nutrition you mean steroids..”. I get it. I’m not denying that the Soviets colored outside the lines. Whatever the, shall we say, creative methods; they built a foundation of health for these athletes at an early age. This foundation was grounded in eating well and fueling the body with real food. They ate farm-grown fruits and vegetables that weren’t tainted with hormones. They prepared freshly butchered meat that was raised on natural feed and not synthetic drugs. They didn’t chemically freeze, wax coat, cryo-ship and re-hydrate their athlete’s diets. They fed them real food. Having lived in Ukraine myself, I experienced first hand the Eastern European culture of consuming whole natural food. People in Eastern Europe would sooner buy milk from an elderly woman selling it out of a trailer on the street, than buy it packaged from a supermarket.

Part of the reason for this culture of healthy eating is the cost of food in Eastern Europe. Many of the processed foods in supermarkets are very expensive there, so purchasing raw foods is simply much more affordable. Take boxed cereal for example. I could buy a couple pounds of organically grown potatoes from a street vendor for about a dollar; a box of cereal cost close to four dollars. Our situation in the West is a little bit different. In the United States we are blessed to have many nutritional options available to us at low cost. We are also blessed to have relatively higher incomes with which to purchase food. Often this results in people opting for processed choices when selecting staples for their diet. Sugary breakfast cereals, bread, peanut butter, soy and almond milks, and fruit juices are all examples of what I’m talking about. Obviously I’m excluding examples of food that is simply not justifiably good for you like chips and soda. Those things go without saying. What I am trying to get at is the idea that processed food is just as good for you as the raw version. This is simply not true. For athletes who demand peak performance from their bodies, processed foods are holding them back from reaching their potential, no matter how many “advanced” supplements they take. With my clients and in my own training, supplements are added as a role player to a carefully tuned diet of real, whole, raw foods. Not the other way around.


I absolutely believe that good nutrition is a staple in achieving peak performance. That’s not to say that God given talent and consistent (even bad) training won’t do a lot to improve performance, nutrition notwithstanding. The human body is a miraculous machine. However, if we are talking about exploiting every option for optimizing athleticJake3 potential nutrition must be a topic in the conversation. With my clients I always take a long-term health approach to diet and supplementing nutrition. The goal is to achieve recognition that raw foods are often better than their processed counterparts. When I hire somebody on as a client, I sit them down and discuss a few things that help them to recognize this and then make healthy choices at the grocery store. Here are a few of those items.

1) Macro Nutrients- It is important to see food as fuel, not as items for consumption. When my clients look at a plate of food, I want them to see it as a grouping of nutrients, more specifically as carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Take a plate of fruit with a hamburger and some potato chips, for example. What are you looking at? You’ve got some carbs in the chips and burger bun, maybe some carbs in the fruit. The burger patty gives you some protein and fat. In this way, I like to teach them to look for carbs, fats, and protein in their meals. Instead of first preference being given to taste or convenience when selecting food, selections should be made based on nutrient content. This also helps to show them that often, processed foods lack the nutritional punch that raw foods have.

2) The Watering Hole Effect- This is an interesting phenomenon I discovered while reading Robert Sapolsky’s book, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.” On the African Savanna, wild animals will cautiously approach a watering hole, knowing that dangerous alligators live in the middle. They tend to forage around the edge of the pool and drink cautiously at the water’s edge. We can draw parallels between nature’s nutritional gauntlet and our own situation. Notice when you go to a typical big box grocery store, the layout of the merchandise. Fresh (relatively) food is sold next to the walls, in refrigerated bins. As you follow the wall around you’ll run into the butcher counter. Fresh fruit on the produce wall and a bakery on the other wall. All of the dangerous packaged, canned, refined foods are located in the middle of the store. Thus I tell my clients to “forage around the edge” of grocery stores. This helps them avoid the danger of over processed foods that are located on the aisles in the middle.

3) When Did It Die? – Sometimes I find myself thinking, “how long has it been since this potato was pulled out of the ground?” If I’m eating a box of powdered au-gratin potatoes, when were they picked? A week ago? A year ago? Five years ago? Thinking about eating five-year-old produce puts processed food in context. Preparing freshly harvested food is a much better choice for performance. Try to build your nutritional foundation around foods that have been recently harvested and grown in natures’ way. Some people will say that type of a diet is too expensive or too much work to cook. That’s just their bad excuse for being lethargic in pursuit of their lame goals. Often these are the same people who you hear throwing around absolute statements about supplements they have used. It seems like they use something new every month. This is the type of thing you want to avoid.

Once you can see food (processed or raw) for it’s nutrient content, you can begin to build a platform that will support diet supplementation. That includes getting accurate calorie counts, etc. This is critical because without the diet, the supplements won’t be nearly as effective. I wanted to give this background because I have made every mistake in the book when it comes to nutrition over the past 5 years of training. I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on supplements and processed foods. Believe me when I say, dial in your raw food game first. You will go WAY farther doing that first. Some of my clients have gained as much as 30 pounds of muscle following these guidelines. I gave them no specific macro counts, no calorie numbers, just these guidelines. Real food jump started their performance.


Now that I’ve given some context to what I’m about to write, I want to talk about how I’ve Jake4changed my supplementation after reading Rick’s book. Over the past couple of years I haven’t been big on supplements. I wasn’t really taking anything because I was seeing such great results from just eating real food. This spring I sort of hit a plateau. I got my body weight up to 240 pounds (from 170lbs. 5 years ago) and couldn’t really add any more mass. I actually started to lose weight. I read Rick’s book after hearing his presentation and did some research. I don’t like to take people’s advice blindly. I prefer to read what they have to say with an open mind and then do some fact checking. Much of what he talks about in his book lined up with my present knowledge of supplementation. After doing some research on his proposed regimen of supplements I decided to jump in with both feet, so to speak. Here is a quick view of what I have been taking.

Creatine -5g., Fish Oil – 1g.

Hydroxy-Methylbuterate (HMB)- 2 g., Tri-Methyl Glycine (TMG) – 1g. Beta-Alanine-5g., Caffeine.

Post Workout-
TMG- 1g., HMB- 2g., Whey- 20g., Leucine – 2g., Phosphotaditic Acid 200 mg., Magnesium Asporotates –
2g., Fish Oil- 1g.

3 Hrs. Post –
Leucine 2g., Fish Oil- 1g.

Rick’s book outlines in detail the role that each of these nutrients plays in the process of building muscle. I’m not going to delve into the details, for that you should buy the book and read it directly from the source. He also provides references to experimental studies he has tediously searched out and filtered according to his quality standards. My application of these supplements was for the purpose of getting stronger as well as bigger. I am a powerlifter, so I was also aiming for an improved performance on the platform as well as some added size. Since beginning this regimen of supplementation in April of this year I have seen the following results.

Body Weight – 232lbs. to 243 lbs. (leaner as well).Jake5

Lifts in Competition
Squat – 585lb. – 50lb. Personal Record
Bench – 400lb. – 30lb. Personal Record
Deadlift – 617lb. – 30lb. Personal Record

I can’t wait to see what this supplementation regimen will help me accomplish in the future. I hope that what you read in this article has helped you gain a more accurate perspective on how nutrition impacts performance. As a closing note, don’t settle for a canister label understanding of your supplements. Look at the resources I have listed and do your research. Don’t just take things according to manufacturer recommendations. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but they don’t care if it works. I wish you all the best in your performance pursuits. Be sure to check out my blog for more updates on nutrition and training information.


Brunner, R. (2013). Explosive Ergogenics for Athletes. : Ultimate Athlete Concepts.

Kleiner, S. (1998). Power Eating (3 ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Sapolsky, R. M. (1994). Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (3 ed.). New York: St . Martin’s Press.

Henk Kraiijenhof – 

Jake Jensen –

Nutrition and Clinical Study Information –




Jake Jensen is the head coach for the U of U Powerlifting Team.  An undergraduate student at the University of Utah, he is studying Exercise Science and Nutrition. He works to create an optimal environment for athletes, in which they can attain the highest level of performance mother nature intended for them. Teaching great effort and dedication through discipline and enjoying the training process is what it’s all about.


Video Podcast Episode 1-A Case Study Pt 1

Coach Jay DeMayo recently presented on the training program he utilizes with his incoming athletes and the results he has achieved it this program.  With many connections to The Seminar we wanted to share, not only what we do, but the before and after’s as well.  I hope that this opens the lines of discussion for coaches to start looking at not just what we do, but the results we achieve from the methods and protocols we select.  I hope you enjoy Part 1.


2014 Seminar Survey

Survey for The 2014 Seminar


Rick Brunner Lecture from Michigan Tech

Matt Thome, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Michigan Tech, had 2014 Presenter Rick Brunner as a guest lecturer for his class this past semester. Matt was kind enough to share this with us so that our readers and attendees could get a preview of Rick’s presentation and learn more about Mr. Brunner.  In the 53 minute lecture that was given to Matt’s undergraduate Strength and Conditioning class Rick goes through his background, how he got into sport nutrition, and different supplement and nutrition strategies to help improve athletic performance.

To see more from Rick click here to book your seat for The 2014 Seminar Today!

To pick up Rick’s latest work through Ultimate Athlete Concepts, click here!

Introducing 2014 Presenter, Val Nasedkin

Today I am excited to reintroduce Val Nasedkin. Val Nasedkin, a former decathlete at the national level for the former Soviet Union, is the co-founder and technical director of Omegawave, a pioneering company in the field of functional preparedness and readiness in athletes. He has been a guest lecturer on the principles of training at numerous sport science and physical education universities around the world, and frequently acts as a consultant to Olympic committees, sports federations and national and professional teams for various sports including Dutch Olympic Committee, United States Track and Field Olympic Committee, EPL, Serie A and La Liga teams (Medical Staff), Autonoma University (Barcelona, Spain), Duke University (North Carolina, USA) and University of Calgary (Canadian National Sports Center). After a knock out performance at The 2012 Seminar Val is back to discuss program design and periodization. If you were in Boston this spring, Val will be continuing off of that great presentation, where he discussed training means. We are really excited to have Val back on the docket and can not wait to have him back on campus.

JD: Val! Welcome back to The Seminar! We’re really excited to have you back my friend. Before we get going, let’s catch up everyone on what has been going on with Val for the past 2 years.

VN: Hi, Jay. The most important thing that happened to me is the relocation to Finland. This allowed us at OW to invest into more research projects so more cool things will be coming out this year. Also I am excited to have our new scientist on board. His name is Dr. Roman Fomin and he will be responsible for validation of our training concepts. That means we will be presenting more and more educational and research articles as well as case studies that eventually will be put into book.

JD: Not only will you be translating, but presenting as well. If you could please, give us a quick taste of what to expect. (The implementation and periodization of Victor/Your methods).

VN: Well I can only talk about my part as I haven’t seen Victor’s presentation yet ( I am sure it will be great and give you different perspective on the training process).
On my side I would like to expand on my presentation in Boston last year by going into more details on the process of building a training approach.

JD: Ever since we met, you’ve spoken very highly of Victor. Talk to us about your relationship, how it started, where it started, and how he has influenced your programming.
In 2004 I read 3 pages of discussions between Victor Nikolaevich (Seluyanov) and one of the Russian coaches. Trying to create and systemize my own approach to the training process, this paper made a lot of sense to me.

VN: I really liked the approach he was proposing as it could fit well in my own assumptions. So I applied the training stimuli he was proposing to the methodology I was working on at the time and got positive results. Nowadays, Victor is contributing to OW knowledge. He is part of our coaches and scientists round table, and he will be writing a monthly column for OW Academy(out in the first quarter 2014)

JD: Everyone in the Omegawave community knows you as the go to resource when we have questions. When people begin to monitor their athletes, what are two things that you would advise them of right off the bat?

VN: I think the most important thing is to understand is the big picture of athlete preparation. Details are important but to be able to use them appropriately we need to figure out how they fit in the overall training philosophy. It is important to choose the right exercises(detail) but it is much more important when to use them and how much (big picture)

JD: I Can’t wait to have you back on campus Val, and am really excited to hear what you have to say. Any closing thoughts?

VN: I am looking forward to talking about training and not OW for once!

Introducing 2014 Presenter, Dr. Viktor Seluyanov

Today I am elated to introduce a new participant to The Seminar, Dr. Viktor Seluyanov. Viktor Nikolaevich Seluyanov was born in 1946. He is a PhD and professor in the Department of Physical Culture at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, a state research University. He holds degrees in engineering, pedagogy and biology, and his areas of scientific interest are bio-mechanics, physiology of sports, and sports theory. He is the author of 16 monographs and textbooks, and of more than 300 scientific articles.  By creating a new field in scientific study–“Sports Adaptology”, Dr Seluyanov has successfully developed and applied relevant technologies in the training of athletes on national and club teams in football, hockey, judo, Sambo, wrestling, skating, skiing, Alpine skiing, swimming, orienteering, athletics and other sports. He is also on the Scientific Board of the Russian Olympic Committee.

JD: Dr. Seluyanov, please 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

VS: The fundamental error in the development of training processes in Russia, the USA, and other countries of the world is in using an empirical approach combined with a low level of understanding of the adaptation processes in the organism of athletes. A successful approach to training requires a comprehensive and systemic approach to the analysis of immediate and long-term adaptation processes, with the utilization of mathematical modelling.

To improve the level of their qualifications, coaches must be familiar with my publications, which outline the theoretical foundations of sports adaptology and technology, and their application in sports.

JD: Discuss your experience working with the preparation of athletes please.

VS: My experience includes working with Olympic champions in football (soccer), skiing, and the biathlon, as well as working with winners of the World Cup in the modern pentathlon, cycling, Sambo, judo, field hockey, and ice hockey.

JD: What will our attendees expect from your presentation here on April 25th, 2013?

VS: At the lecture attendees will learn about new approaches to creating a training process that is based on biological patterns of adaptation to the training load.  They will also learn about the models of primary biological systems, bio-energetic muscle activity with regard to physiological patterns, methods of controlling physical preparation, training methods that produce hyper-plasia of myofibers and mitochondria.

A science-based theoretical approach to the training process will significantly expand the creative possibilities of the coach.  This is the message I hope to share with all of those in attendance.

Introducing 2014 Presenter, Henk Kraaijenhof

With a great excitement I introduce the third presenter for The 2014 Seminar, Henk Kraaijenhof. Henk gave two fantastic presentations at The 2013 Edition of The Seminar, and I could not be any happier to have him back on the docket. A coach working with a wide range of individuals from field hockey, to soccer, to special operation military personal, to, of course, athletics, Henk’s background not only in coaching, but in a scientific approach to coaching is what has made him one of the most sought after coaches in the world for consulting. On top of his great level of knowledge and impressive coaching resume, Henk’s also one of the best guys you’ll meet in coaching.

JD: Henk!  Welcome back to The Seminar!  We’re really excited to have you back my friend.  Before we get going, let’s catch up everyone on what has been going on with Henk for the past 12 months.

HK: Hello Jay, the pleasure is mine, I have fond memories of your seminar last year, meeting a lot of interesting and interested colleagues. Like always a lot of different things are going on here, some things I already posted on my blog: e.g. I lectured at the Nike Performance Summit, went to the best track meet in Athletics, and currently I am working for the Olympic Committee in Holland as teacher and mentor for young national coaches. Of course my clients for testing, athletes and coaches for consulting, tons of lectures, workshops and courses, e.g. on performance nutrition or stress management new style, and in my spare time writing three books at the same time. Next week I am going to work with SF operators abroad. Time, it’s the only thing I have plenty of  ;-)

JD: Henk, your bread and butter has been in athletics, and more specifically in sprinting.  You’ll be discussing how to develop speed with athletes at the 2014 Seminar.  Do you find one portion (start, acceleration, top end) more difficult or requiring more time?  If so, which and why?

HK: Each factor has its own difficulty e.g. reaction time and block start, is there much time to gain? No, but there is time to be lost. Most of the time people react and start faster in the semifinals than in the finals, so I spend time stabilizing reaction time under stress. Acceleration is the most valuable one: it is closely related to strength qualities, it is the largest part of the race, and a better acceleration also gives you a higher maximum speed, apart from a better first part of the race. Maximum speed is hard to improve, since you cannot spend much time running at maximum speed. Speed endurance is a tricky one, because it might negatively influence the other factors. One can spend a lot of time here, e.g. running lots of high intensity tempo’s – 3 sets of 5 times 80 meters = 135 secs, 6x150m in 15.5 = 92.5 seconds.  This in comparison with the little time spent on improving maximum speed (6 times 30m flying start = 6 times 3 secs = 18 secs) or reaction time.  Also at the tape you can lose a race by not dipping or dipping at the wrong time.

JD: You are well known for your work with sprinters, but what many overlook is your work with Tactical Units and team sport athletes.  Could you briefly touch upon the differences with how you handled, say the Dutch Field Hockey Team vs. someone in athletics?

HK: This is an easy question: in case of athletes, I am the one in charge, being responsible for all parts of the training process. In case of team sports I am most of the time only responsible for the conditioning part, so my role and influence depends on the demands of the head coach and I have to interact and communicate my work with him/her and the other coaching staff members.

Besides that, I coach athletes for at least 3 years up to 12 years and within a smaller group, maximum 4-5 athletes at the most, and being present on the track almost every day. Working in teams is always almost of a shorter duration 1-3 years as the head coach often changes in an Olympic cycle.  Still I believe that there is little difference in my approach of team vs. individual athletes.

JD: Though all our discussion I’ve come to know that not only are you well schooled, but well-traveled as well.  Through all of this, who, as coaches, has had the biggest influence on how you approach training your athletes?

HK: Holland is a small country with a history of trading and a language not spoken by many. Therefore most Dutch people are multilingual. So speaking Dutch, English and German and many of us speak French or Spanish, this is a great advantage.

I think that the willingness to learn e.g. another language or investigate new fields of interest basically comes down to your motivation for your own improvement.

Since Europe has a lot of different countries with a lot of different and rather isolated cultures also in sprints and approach to training, there is a lot to learn. I was influenced by the ideas of Valentin Petrovski from Kiev, the whole Russian school of sports, like Verkhoshanski, Matveyev, Bondartchuk, Viru, Kuznetzov, Volkov, and many others. Italy has been a great influence too with
sprint coach Carlo), and my mentor Carmelo Bosco Vittori (Pietro Mennea who has shaped a great part of my concepts. From Switzerland there is the work of Jean-Pierre Egger, famous for his work with throwers (Werner Guenthor and currently Valerie Adams). My dear friend Hakan Andersson from Sweden is a very creative, but neglected sprint coach. The East German sports system also brought forth some brilliant minds and some of them became very good colleagues, despite the difference in ideology and the fact that we were competitors. I should mention the US and Canadian coaches and their training ideas, which I carefully studied: Tom Tellez, John Smith, Bob Kersee, Gary Winckler, and Charlie Francis. Of course there are many more good colleagues that I did not mention for lack of space here.

One of the interesting things is that it is obvious that there are completely different ways that have led to success. Partially to be explained by the fact that we have different athlete populations and  different circumstances such as facilities, climate, etc. So it is hard to transfer a concept developed in another setting to one’s own situation.

JD: Monitoring the training process is something else you’re well versed in.  Who are the people who helped you travel this path and what did they teach you?

HK: Again Carmelo Bosco thought me how to monitor all of the neuromuscular parts of the training process. For the nutritional part I educated myself taking information from many sides and the endurance part is the most standardized and well-researched part of monitoring. For the mental part, I am a firm believer in psychophysiology and have been working with that concept since 1988. And of course the proper use of the Omegawave has been a great step forwards to complete the picture of readiness.

JD: Can’t wait to have you back on campus Henk, and am really excited to hear what you have to say.

HK: Working with high-level coaches on an almost daily base I am very much concerned about education of coaches. Due to improvements of information technologies the coaches’ environment has changed rapidly over the last decades. Despite the promises of progress and improved efficiency I must say that I am not overly happy with these technological developments. Being far from  technophobic, I am also not techno-euphoric. Yes, we have much more information at our fingertips, but many coaches get lost in the flood of information. We need a wave to surf not a tsunami. Experience is still the more valuable as a learning tool than reading Wikipedia. Probably more about this when I come to Richmond again, looking forward to that already.

If you’d like to read more from Henk you can check out his blog, Helping The Best To Get Better at:


Progressing The Jumping Exercises-Dr. Natalia Verkhoshansky

Dr. Natalia Verkhoshansky gives us a look into one of her presentations at The 2013 Seminar “Progressing The Jumping Exercises”.

The aim of this presentation is to introduce Strength & Conditioning coaches to the methodology of applying jumping exercises.

In most sports, jumping exercises are essential elements of special physical preparation because they increase the mechanical efficiency of landing-take-off (Stretch-Shortening Cycle) movements, which are key-elements in most competition exercises.  Jumping exercises improve both sprinting and jumping abilities, which are very important in team sports. However, Strength & Conditioning coaches who usually work with team sport athletes often are not familiar with the methodology of applying these exercises.  This may be due to the fact that, although the exercises were well elaborated, it was mainly for track & field jumpers and sprinters.  This unfamiliarity brings on certain issues. Inappropriately sequenced jumping exercises may cause leg injuries if the athlete has never used this kind of exercise before.  Jumping exercises, therefore, need to be prepared for in advance.

How should this preliminary preparation be accomplished?

Sport training literature usually suggests that to be ready for jump training it is necessary only to enforce the leg’s muscles and improve the flexibility of the athlete. If this were enough, how could we explain that, very often, athletes with very high levels of strength obtained by weight training have difficulty in executing jump exercises?  The problem is that the “jumping skill” depends not only on the strength of the legs but also on the individual’s coordination to efficiently apply the strength during execution. Improving jumping ability requires not only physical preparation, but also technical preparation by applying appropriate methods of motor teaching.

What are these methods and how do we better apply them in the jump training?

The second problem that arises in applying jumping exercises is related to their variety, which makes it difficult to find the appropriate selection for a given athlete.  Among jump exercises many types could be individualized, and can be used for different specific purpose (increasing Explosive Strength, Reactive Ability, Local Muscular Endurance etc.).  The exercises can be calibrated in relation to the level of intensity of their training stimuli.  According to this criterion, jump exercises may be placed in a hierarchical sequence with the following progression when applied to the training process:

1. Jumps without weights (standing jumps and bounds)

2. Jumps with weights (consecutive Barbell Jumps, Kettlebell Squat Jumps and Vertical Jumps with Barbell)

3. Depth jump

How do you apply this progression in the training of a given athlete? How does a coach know that the athlete is ready to progress with either intensity of the load, or intensity of the means selected?

To answer these questions, the following issues should be examined:

1. Fitness and skill components of training process and their compatibility.

2. Basic methodological approach for increasing the motor potential and for improving the ability to apply the motor potential in specific exercise.

3. Jumping skill: what it is and how it may be improved.

4. The general scheme of the jump exercise progression in the training process.

5. First step of the jump exercises progression: Short- and Long-coupling time jumping exercises and “ankling” runs.

6. Progressing the methods of jump training: from Extensive to Intensive.

7. Second step of the jump exercises progression: jumps with weights.

8. Consecutive Barbell jumps and Kettlebell Squat jumps: the differences between them.

9. Vertical Jumps with barbell (Countermovement Barbell Jump) and Consecutive Barbell Jumps: the differences between them.

10.  How to evaluate the jumping ability improvement at every step of jump exercise’s progression?

11.  Should Drop Landings be used as preliminary exercise for Depth Jumps?

12.  Three main principles for successful coaching of jump training.

To better outline the practical aspects in the presentation I will be showing sample workouts for every step of the jump exercise progression and video clips of the exercise’s execution with athletes of different jump training experience.