Today we are introducing our final speaker for the 2012 Seminar, Val Nasedkin. Val will be translating for Dr. Natalia Verkhoshansky and also presenting at the seminar. We are truly lucky and excited to have Val on board and cannot wait to hear what he has to say.
J: Val, thanks again for being part of the seminar and taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself to our readers/attendees. Could you please give us a little background of your coaching/athletic career?
VN:I was a professional track athlete in the former Soviet Union where I competed on the national level. My career was over due to injury by the time I was 19 years old at which time I started to work as a coach. At first my job was coach selector- recruiting young talented children for the State School of Olympic Development. After a few years I was coaching athletes for the Ukrainian and USSR National Teams. In 1988 I was selected as a coach of the Ukrainian Team that would compete in the USA. That was my first introduction to American training philosophy. I relocated to the US in 1990 where I worked as a coach in collegiate (UO) and post collegiate systems. My education is from Kiev State University of Physical Culture with a specialty in Track and Field.
J: You have been instrumental in our knowledge of the Omegawave and its features. Could you please give a brief description of what the technology is, why it is so important, and what it can provide for coaches?
VN:Omegawave technology provides coaches information about the ways their athletes adapt to training by analyzing the state of multiple biological systems. It identifies athletes’ physiological limiting factors and provides guidelines for training and recovery protocols to eliminate them.
J: Let’s talk coaching for a bit, Val. Many coaches have been influenced by you and those you have learned under. Could you please give an overview of your philosophy in developing athletes?
VN:My philosophy is very simple: every decision you make as a coach should be made based on facts rather than assumptions. The more facts you have the better decisions you’ll make. The best training programs are based on individual biological markers and not on general empirical approaches.
J: To piggy back off of your philosophy, and since you have spent such a great amount of time in the states working with coaches, where do you see the key areas coaches are missing? In other words, do you see some changes that would improve the way we handle our athletes and thus the sporting results we produce?
VN:There is a great gap between sport science as taught in US and applying the methodology in training. Very often I see coaches concentrate on details and completely miss the big picture. In my opinion there is a unifying philosophy of training that should be taken in consideration when the training program is built. But it does not mean that everybody should do the same thing. I believe there are many ways to reach an optimal performance and every coach should try to find their own way. Nevertheless certain things cannot be changed and should be followed to achieve the best possible outcomes.
J: Many of our readers are always looking for resources to help provide them with factual information that will improve how they train their athletes. Could you provide any educational materials that you would say are “musts” for a coach of physical preparation?
VN: Every coach should be familiar with a work of Dr. Hans Selye on the principles of adaptation to stress.
J: Val, we’re really excited that you’ll be coming back to Richmond in April, and are sure that our readers and attendees are as well. Thanks for taking the time to do this!