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INTRODUCING 2020 SEMINAR PRESENTER, Loren Landow

Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing our sixth and final presenter for The 2020 Edition of The Seminar, Denver Broncos Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Loren Landow. Loren has worked with world campion fighters, gold medalist and world record setting swimmers, and some of the top players in the National Football League. Loren’s expertise and desire to share to better our vocation of coaching makes him an absolute knockout of an addition to The Seminar, and I hope you’re as excited as I am to welcome him to RVA this July. But enough from me, let’s meet Loren Landow…

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.

LL: I am currently the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Denver Broncos for the past 2 seasons.  Additionally, I have held many roles in the profession of Health and Strength/ Performance including Cardiac Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Operations Manager and Athletic Director for a reputable athletic club, Sports Performance Director of Velocity Sports, Director of Performance for Steadman Hawkins Orthopedics, and Owner/Director of 2 locations of Landow Performance, a private Speed, Strength and Performance Facility.

I have performed NFL Combine training for over 20 years, prepared athletes for their upcoming seasons in the NFL, MLB, NHL, UFC and have prepared multiple medalists and athletes for the Olympic games.  Over my years, I have served as a consultant to multiple NFL and MLB teams along with the USA Women’s National Soccer Team and USA Bobsled and Skeleton Team.

My specialty has always been human movement, from speed development to change of direction.  My niche has been to help athletes become more efficient in their mechanics, to allow them to move faster and hence reduce their likelihood for injury in the process. Through a various blend of mentors (Dan Pfaff, Loren Seagrave, Greg Roskopf, Tom Purvis, and Steven Plisk), I have developed my methodology of human performance.

I have had the opportunity to speak at over 150 National and International Conferences.  Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to be the keynote speaker at the SPRINTZ Conference in New Zealand for two years, keynote speaker at the ASCA Conference in Australia for two years, keynote speaker at the UKSCA Conference in the UK, keynote speaker for Setanta College in Ireland, and keynote speaker for the NSCA National Conference three times.

During my time with Steadman Hawkins, I had the opportunity to develop the ACL Return to Sport Protocols and established prevention protocols for the orthopedic firm.  With my time in all previous endeavors, I have gained a holistic skill set for my current position with the Denver Broncos.  As Strength and Conditioning Coaches, our job is to maximize performance and reduce the likelihood of injury.  However, in high collision/high speed sports, injuries will always be present.  With my extensive background in post-rehab, this skill set is crucial for returning those athletes to the playing field in an efficient time frame as well as in an optimal state of well-being both physically and mentally.

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.

LL: Without knowing a coaches philosophy, rational and context, I try to avoid criticizing any individual person or organization’s methodologies. From an industry standpoint, it is my personal belief that we have far too many “guru’s” on social media platforms.  It seems as if there is a battle to be “more right” in any one subject rather than people wanting to collaborate, brainstorm or have roundtable discussions on a topic.  If we want to make progress in the field, we shouldn’t try to be “more relevant”, but strive for better relationships and having greater mentor/mentee roles.

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?

LL: Continual personal growth and development should be done through multiple lenses, for example through research journals, text books from well-known Strength and Conditioning authors (ie. Haff, Stone, Siff, Zatsiorsky, Issurin, and McGill) and books on psychosocial behavior (ie. Gladwell and Coyle); in-services, conferences, site visits with other Strength and Conditioning professionals in order to create stronger networks locally with physical therapists/orthopedic doctors/nutritionists/etc to build a multidisciplinary approach. Last but not least, coaching, coaching, coaching with a critical mindset.

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

LL: Attendees will get a glimpse into my world, philosophy, and my holistic vision for return to play. They will see a framework of decision making and adjustments that are ongoing during the rehabilitation and training process.  Attendees will also take away with them my 6 phase model for return to play for lower extremity injuries encompassing hip, knee, ankle/foot.

Who is Loren Landow?

Loren Landow is a movement and sports performance expert who is renowned for his ability to analyze and correct biomechanics. He is on his 2nd year as the Denver Broncos Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.  In his prior work in the private sector, Coach Landow has trained thousands of athletes of all ages and abilities, including over 700 professional athletes competing in the NFL, NHL, MLB, UFC, and WNBA, as well as Olympic medalists. He has worked with over 70 NFL All-Pros and over 20 NFL Draft first round selections.

In 18 years of preparing pro football hopefuls for the NFL Combine, the heart of Coach Landow’s training philosophy has been to maximize human performance efficiently and effectively, while decreasing the likelihood of injury. His science-based training methods make proper movement mechanics second nature for athletes, allowing them to “do all the right things from the wrong positions” such as those that often manifest in football. He has developed appropriate training protocols relative to individual athletes based on a nuanced understanding of the differences between individual bodies, as well as the biomechanical requirements of football. His sequencing of training and micro progressions drives superior training responses at the optimal times, while developing specific Bio-Motor abilities for football using a unique needs analysis for each athlete.

A National and International presenter for the leading organizations in the performance field, Coach Landow has been a keynote speaker for the NSCA National Conference, the ASCA in Australia, the SPRINTZ Conference in New Zealand, and the UKSCA United Kingdom Conference. He serves as a consultant for the University of Colorado Football Team, MLB Texas Rangers, USA Women’s National Soccer Team, and the USA Bobsled Team. He is the author of two books, My Off-Season with the Denver Broncos: Building a Championship Team (While Nobody’s Watching) and Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts.

Coach Landow serves on the Board of Directors for the Exercise Science Program at Metro State University, as well as the Board for the Master’s program for Setanta College in Ireland. He is the Sports Performance Director for Elite Sports University, an online education website, and also developed the ACL prevention program and the ACL return to sport protocols for the Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver, Colorado. He maintains his ownership as founder of Landow Performance in Centennial, Colorado.

Grab your seat for this summers MUST ATTEND continuing education event here!

INTRODUCING 2020 SEMINAR PRESENTER, Darren Roberts

I am elated to introduce the fourth presenter, Red Bull UK’s Darren Roberts. Darren brings exactly what we need to this summers edition of The Seminar, a unique perspective of not just high performance, but the true role of the strength and conditioning coach in the world of sports. I couldn’t be more excited to bring Darren to RVA this July and hope you are as well, but for now, let’s meet Darren Roberts…

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.

DR: Darren has a proven track record with world class action sports athletes stretching back over 20 years.

He served as a Gunner & Military Parachutist from 1989 to 1998, before leaving to pursue a career in strength & conditioning.  After a period of time as a private trainer, he began work part time with premiership rugby union and rugby league teams.

In 2002 Darren began to work with Red Bull UK on various high-performance projects with its athletes, where he went on to deliver the Red Bull UK High Performance Programme from 2008 until 2013. In January 2014 he joined ‘Harris & Ross’, a large physiotherapy company based in the north of England. He continues to deliver the high performance & sports medicine services to Red Bull UK and their action sport athletes, as well as many other action sports athletes from around the world – based in large facility near Manchester.

Alongside his work with professional athletes Darren regularly presents at performance and medical summits. He has presented on performance and rehabilitation to NASA, Nike, British Association of Sports & Exercise Medicine, European College of Sports & Exercise Medicine, Australian Strength & Conditioning Association , UK Strength & Conditioning Association and many others. He also writes for various action sports magazines and websites on his work with extreme sports

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.

DR: I can’t speak to any mistakes S&C coaches make in the US.  However as a frequent traveller around the world I see a comprehensive lack of awareness of what happens in the world of performance outside anyone’s immediate circle of influence.   Also if it’s not on social media, did it even happen?

Here’s a list of my key mistakes over the last 20 years;

  1. athletes to be good at training in the gym rather than in their sport
  2. Putting work before myself and family
  3. Failing to understand it’s just adult PE, chill out
  4. Not letting the athlete lead
  5. Treating the athlete like a set of KPI’s
  6. Failing to understand the athlete is a person with hopes, fears, dreams, emotions
  7. Not incorporating autonomy, creativity, decision making and emotions into the training process – but expecting them to do that in competition
  8. Trying to replicate the sport in the gym and being blinded by ‘specificity’ – when ‘relevance & context’ is more apt
  9. Sessions descending into circus training, except when they are from a circus….oh…wait
  10. Having all the answers and no questions
  11. Being convinced my training programme is unique and innovative – except it’s been done before 3,000 years ago
  12. Failing to understand or appreciate that the athlete is successful in spite of, not because of
  13. Presenting information to athletes like they’re scientists
  14. Training athletes today, based on yesterday’s information when I should be preparing them for tomorrow
  15. Failing to understand ‘high performance’ is nothing to do with sport, athletes or competition.

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?

DR: If you want to improve your knowledge of performance, and what the human body is truly capable of – don’t look with the world of sports performance.   At it’s core, the principal foundations of physical training can be followed back 1,000’s of years.   There’s only so may ways to pick up a weight, jump or run.

However, looking at the athlete is as a person, their hopes, dreams, desires, doubts and emotions all have a fundamental effect on them way beyond their jump test scores.  Seeking out human nature and how the interactions fit together are unlikely to be found in sport – but in performing arts, theatre – wherever creativity can be found along with consequence.

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

DR: My amazing periodised undulating conjugated training programme doesn’t actually matter.  We don’t really matter as S&C coaches.  Even the word ’S&C’ coach – what does that actually mean in the real world?

What’s truly important, what truly has a fundamental effect on an athlete’s performance is in fact what will affect them as a human being, as well as their ability to process that and our ability as a coach to recognize, nurture and embrace that.  It doesn’t matter what program you have, if the athlete doesn’t turn up to do any of it.

JD: Any closing thoughts Darren?

DR: Sports performance is not about key performance indicators – I have yet to hear anyone offering a commentary on any sports event where they say ‘what amazing ankle stiffness!  Look at the posterior chain strength!’ I do hear words such as ‘heart’, ‘determination’ and ‘what an amazing show’. Things which cannot be graphed.

Metaphorically we train athletes today based on information we found out last week, when we really need to be preparing them for tomorrow. Preparing athletes for competition, to‘ perform‘ in front of a crowd is not just about how effectively the muscles can produce and maintain power, strength and endurance, or how efficiently the cardiovascular system can transport oxygen to the muscles.  It’s putting on a show, rising to the occasion, literally ’performing‘ in front of a crowd with very real consequences to both failure and success, which are also very public.

We see artist has creative people, creating something from the ‘inside‘.  Isn’t this what athletes do in a game changing moment? Aren’t they creative? Isn’t that creativity and emotional expression key to their ‘performance’ in front of an’ audience’?

Anxiety, pressure, unpredictability, consequence, decision-making and simply not knowing what comes next are all elements of competition – does any of thatactually feature in athletes preparation?

Who is Darren Roberts?

Darren was in the RAF Regiment as a Gunner & Military Parachutist from 1989 to 1998, before leaving to pursue a career in strength & conditioning. After a period of time as a private trainer, he began work part time with premiership rugby union and rugby league teams.

In 2002 Darren began to work with Red Bull UK on various high performance projects with its athletes, where he went on to deliver the Red Bull UK High Performance Programme from 2008 until 2013. In January 2014 he joined ‘Harris & Ross’ , a large physiotherapy company based in the north of England. He continues to deliver the high performance & sports medicine services to Red Bull UK and their action sport athletes, as well as many other action sports athletes from around the world – based in large facility near Manchester.

Alongside his work with athletes Darren regularly presents at performance and medical
summits. He has presented on performance and rehabilitation to NASA, Nike, British Association of Sports & Exercise Medicine, European College of Sports & Exercise Medicine, UKSCA, Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and many others. He also writes for various action sports magazines and websites on his work with extreme sports

Grab your seat for this summers MUST ATTEND continuing education event here!

INTRODUCING 2020 SEMINAR PRESENTER, Justin Kavanaugh

Our fifth presenter is one that has been a long time coming. Justin Kavanaugh is not just a great practitioners but he’s also a “coaches coach”. Not only leading by example but helping professionals through mentorship and meetings around the country to ensure coaches are moving forward and driving our profession forward. He also works with a lot of people who get better and are super fast. Tie that in with the fact that he’s been a voice of reason for me, and a driving factor behind all the moves we have made here at CVASPS and you can now see why having Coach Kav on the stage has been a long time coming, I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Justin to the stage and hope you are as fired up for him to be part of the event as well. With out further ado, let’s meet Justin Kavanaugh.

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.

JK: Justin Kavanaugh has been coaching for over 18 years and is the #1 best-selling author of the book Man Up. He has trained over 50,000 athletes, helped prepare hundreds of College and future NFL players for their Combines and Pro Days. He has a wealth of training and business experience in the field and is regarded as one of the top speed experts in the country.  His ability to assess and breaking down biomechanics to correct sport movement is what he attributes to enhance sport transfer. Some of the athletes Coach Kavanaugh has worked with include standouts such as Olympic Gold medalist Justin Gatlin, UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia, 3rd overall MLB draft pick Eric Hosmer, the USA Women’s Softball Team and NCAA Touchdown and Rushing leader Keenan Reynolds.  His emphasis on the complete athlete, mind, body, and spirit, are what he attributes to his and their success. He is currently the CEO of The Sport and Speed Institute in Chantilly, VA.

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.

JK: The biggest mistakes I see with coaches is that they don’t study the sport.  They look through the lens of a S&C coach. In order to make an impact on performance you need to see and recognize what is the weak link and address that.  By not watching the game and understand the strategy being implemented by the sport you are missing so many opportunities in the weight room to help your athletes succeed.

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?

JK: In regards to coaches education.  I would stop reading anything new and cool and make sure you read from the source.  It is my belief that the science has not evolved much from the earlier years and that we should get in the minds of the original sources of sport training and science. Dr. Verkoshansky, Tudor Bompa, Ian King and Henk Kraaijenhof. If you want to grow as a coach you need to have skin in the game.  Work with athletes and communicate with other coaches but you should have a sound understanding of the principles that came before you so your opinion can actually hold some weight one day.

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

JK: What you can expect from my presentations at CVASPS is practical strategies that you can implement with your athletes on assessing speed and sport movement.  The program design that I will cover is what I actually have done with my athletes in preparation for the NFL Combine and Olympic Cycles. You can see the changes I have made when things went wrong and the programs that produces some of the fastest times in sport. I don’t get to experiment much because most athletes come to me with a timeframe and a lot on the line.  You will get an inside look at how I assess speed and make adjustments based on the athletes needs.

JD: Any closing thoughts Kav?

JK: What I am looking forward to this year at the seminar is helping coaches look at the whole picture and get out of this tunnel vision approach we have with Strength and Conditioning.

Who is Justin Kavanaugh?

Justin Kavanaugh has been coaching for over 18 years and is the #1 best-selling author of the book Man Up. He has trained over 50,000 athletes, helped prepare hundreds of College and future NFL players for their Combines and Pro Days. He has a wealth of training and business experience in the field and is regarded as one of the top speed experts in the country.  His ability to assess and breaking down biomechanics to correct sport movement is what he attributes to enhance sport transfer. Some of the athletes Coach Kavanaugh has worked with include standouts such as Olympic Gold medalist Justin Gatlin, UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia, 3rd overall MLB draft pick Eric Hosmer, the USA Women’s Softball Team and NCAA Touchdown and Rushing leader Keenan Reynolds.  His emphasis on the complete athlete, mind, body, and spirit, are what he attributes to his and their success. He is currently the CEO of The Sport and Speed Institute in Chantilly, VA.

Grab your seat for this summers MUST ATTEND continuing education event here!

INTRODUCING 2020 SEMINAR PRESENTER, Dr. John Wagle

With great excitement we introduce our third presenter for The 2020 Edition of The Seminar, The Kansas City Royals Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, Dr. John Wagle. As a former college strength and conditioning coach, who went back to academia, and then to pro baseball, Dr. Wagle brings a sensational array of experience to The Seminar. We have prided ourselves on bringing in the people who have done the research behind the programming to The Seminar, and Dr. Wagle is just that in the realm of eccentric training and it’s application to the preparation of athletes. Enough from me though, let’s meet, Dr. John Wagle.

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.

Dr. Wagle: Currently, I serve as the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for the Kansas City Royals. As a fellow in the Sport Physiology and Performance program at East Tennessee State University, I was the Strength & Conditioning Coach and Sport Scientist for ETSU baseball. Additionally, I assisted Dr. Brad DeWeese in training implementation and athlete monitoring design of our Olympic Training Site athletes. Prior to the opportunity to join ETSU, I was the Director of Sports Performance at DePaul University, working with men’s basketball.

I have been an invited speaker on a number of topics, including training theory, athlete monitoring, and accentuated eccentric loading – the topic of my dissertation during my PhD and what I will be speaking about at The Seminar. Eccentric training continues to be an interest and area of research for me, leading to the following publications related to the topic:

Suchomel, T. J., Wagle, J. P., Douglas, J., Taber, C. B., Harden, M., Haff, G. G., & Stone, M. H. (2019). Implementing Eccentric Resistance Training—Part 2: Practical Recommendations. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 4(2), 38.

Suchomel, T. J., Wagle, J. P., Douglas, J., Taber, C. B., Harden, M., Haff, G. G., & Stone, M. H. (2019). Implementing Eccentric Resistance Training—Part 1: A Brief Review of Existing Methods. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 4(2), 38.

Wagle, J. P., Taber, C. B., Cunanan, A. J., Sams, M. L., Wetmore, A., Bingham, G. E., … & Stone, M. H. (2018). Repetition-to-repetition differences using cluster and accentuated eccentric loading in the back squat. Sports.

 Wagle, J. P., Cunanan, A. J., Carroll, K. M., Sams, M. L., Wetmore, A., Bingham, G. E., … & Stone, M. H. (2018). Accentuated eccentric loading and cluster set configurations in the back squat: A kinetic and kinematic analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Carroll, K.M., Wagle, J.P., Sato, K., Taber, C.B., Yoshida, N., Bingham, G.E., & Stone, M.H. (2018). Characterising overload in inertial flywheel devices for use in exercise training. Sports Biomechanics.

Wagle, J. P., Taber, C. B., Cunanan, A. J., Bingham, G. E., Carroll, K. M., DeWeese, B. H., … & Stone, M. H. (2017). Accentuated Eccentric Loading for Training and Performance: A Review. Sports Medicine, 47(12), 2473-2495.

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.

Dr. Wagle: Tough question. In the U.S., the S&C field has a formal education issue relative to the rest of the world. This causes a very apprenticeship-dominant development system for coaches and too much blind faith in methods with thin (if any) evidence to support their efficacy. To be clear, I see tremendous value in mentorship – I am very fortunate to have had many great ones.  However, the development of coaches should be grounded in equal parts mentorship and formal education, which is currently far from the case in our field. I am optimistic that this will be resolved soon, as there are many universities adding field-relevant programs.

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?

Dr. Wagle: Set really good Google Scholar alerts. It will take some time to refine your alert criteria, but there is nothing more convenient than getting new papers sent directly to your email each morning. I also still get a tremendous amount of my research off of social media, especially Twitter. The leaders in our field do an excellent job of sharing what they are reading…who you follow can matter for your continuing education.

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

Dr. Wagle: I will share the current best-practice applications of eccentric training methods including accentuated eccentric loading, flywheel resistance, and others. This will not only include a summary of the research, but the programming nuances, results that I have observed, and where each method fits into a long-term training plan.

JD: Any closing thoughts Doc?

Dr. Wagle: I am extremely humbled and excited to speak at the Seminar. This is one of the first conferences I attended when entering the field, so it is such an honor to be asked as a speaker. This is truly one of the most rewarding continuing education weekends that we have in S&C and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on eccentric training with others.

Who is Dr. John Wagle?

SURPRISE, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Individual player portraits for the Kansas City Royals at their spring training facility on February 21st, 2019 in Surprise, Arizona (Photo: Team Photographer Jason Hanna)

Dr. John P. Wagle is the Minor League Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for the Kansas City Royals where he oversees all aspects of the physical preparation at the seven state-side and two international affiliates. He previously served as a fellow in the Sport Physiology and Performance program at East Tennessee State University he was the Strength & Conditioning Coach and Sport Scientist for ETSU baseball. Additionally, Wagle assisted Dr. Brad DeWeese in training implementation and athlete monitoring design of Olympic Training Site athletes. Wagle has been an invited speaker on a number of topics, including periodization and programming tactics, athlete monitoring, and accentuated eccentric loading.

Prior to the opportunity to join ETSU, Wagle was the Director of Sports Performance at DePaul University, overseeing all aspects of the department and working specifically with men’s basketball, women’s softball, and men’s tennis.  In a previous role with DePaul, as the Assistant Director of Sports Performance under Mac Calloway, he added track and field and women’s soccer to his teams of service. At the high major collegiate level, Wagle has had the privilege of coaching 3 All-Americans, 11 conference players of the year, and well over 50 all-conference selections across a variety of sports.

Wagle received his M.S. in Exercise Science from Western Illinois University and completed his undergraduate work at Augustana College (IL), majoring in Physics. He also holds two graduate degrees in business administration from Loyola University (MBA) and North Park University (MS, Non-Profit). Wagle earned certification from several well-regarded governing bodies in the field of strength and conditioning, including the CSCCa, NSCA, and USAW.

As a collegiate athlete, Wagle was an All-American baseball player and holds standing school records in several offensive categories. Following his career at Augustana, he continued his playing career for two seasons of minor league baseball. Wagle was also an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholar – the only Division III baseball player selected for this honor during that academic year.

Grab your seat for this summers MUST ATTEND continuing education event here!

INTRODUCING 2020 SEMINAR PRESENTER, CHRIS MCCORMICK

I am elated to introduce our second presenter for The 2020 Edition of The Seminar, Florida Atlantic University’s Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports, Chris McCormick. When it comes to students of the iron game, and willingness to explore different schools of thought when it comes to training, there are very few at a higher level then Chris. Tie that in with his willingness to share through multiple platforms and you have an absolute home run of an addition to this July’s docket. Enough from me though, let’s meet Chris McCormick…

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.

CM: My passion is to help people take the next step to who they want to become, which currently is served in my role as Director of Strength & Conditioning for Olympic Sports at Florida Atlantic University. My career is unique as I quit pursing my PhD in Neuropsychology/School Psychology to go back into coaching Football back in 2011. This leap of faith lead to my focus on Strength & Conditioning & now I am completely out of Football! I have worked at & been a Director at multiple level (DII, FCS, FBS) in the collegiate setting. I try to share my work on social media, HMMR Media & your tremendous resource with CVASPS!

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.

CM: A couple of issues come to mind that have nothing to do with the “X’s & O’s” of strength & conditioning. Number 1, I feel we have a major identity issue in our field with who we want to be defined as. With the influx of high-performance teams & growing back room staffs, many strength & conditioning coaches now want specific titles (Human Performance, Physical Preparation, etc.) or take on various responsibilities outside the weight room. While these changes can be a good thing, we still have trouble defining to others (specifically sports coaches) what we actually do or the services we can provide which has hurt our growth as a field unlike establish national organization with hard standards say like Athletic Training’s NATA.

Number 2, I think we must do a better job with creating universal language/semantics/definitions that are used internally & externally in strength & conditioning. Simply stated, how can we expect to implement things we want with athletes or more importantly communicate these ideas to sports coaches when we still can’t agree on if it’s a Bulgarian Split Squat or a RFESS or a Split Stance Elevated Single Leg Squat? This ties into my first point about identity, but I believe many of the “issues” we are having in our field are self-induced. It’s not about starting with strength & conditioning and working forward…it’s about working backward from sport itself which requires our language to reflect this! The better we get at these things above, the more impact I feel we as a field can truly have on those that we work with.

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?

CM: I am bias, but the resources that Yosef Johnson & UAC put out are top notch. Much of the new strength & conditioning information that is being discussed on social media now is regurgitated or as Bob Alejo says “Tell me what it is and I’ll tell you what we used to call it”. UAC’s texts are from authors that do actual research on elite athletes and give straight forward information that is PRACTICAL…which is lacking in S&C I feel these days.

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

CM: Many coaches are quick to tell you what they know or how much information they have accumulated, but then don’t show these things in their actual programs or are misused/misunderstood. I want attendees to leave The Seminar being able to see 1) specific inputs I have used to create processes that lead to specific outputs in strength & conditioning & 2) be able to take real world examples of “ we did X and got Y result” to test themselves or make better so I can steal it back from them to help those around me! I hope to share multiple examples of not only the physical preparation we have done with people, but also other things personally, psychologically & the integration into the technical & tactical preparation of sports to holistically develop those around us. We need to focus more on practical ways in strength & conditioning to help impact the performance of the teams, athletes & coaches we work with than just arguments about general vs specific exercises.

JD: Closing Thoughts.

CM: My hope is that I can make a fraction of the impact on the 2020 attendee’s as those have presented in the past several years have done for me. I am honored to share the same stage as these previous presenters & this year’s crew! As a young & upcoming coach, sitting & chatting with big names in our field like Dan Pfaff, Fergus Conolly, Derek Hansen, Erik Korem, & others can be very intimidating. The one thing that has stood out is that with all these people is not only did they take the time to listen & answer my questions…but also ASKED me questions about what I do & used it as a learning opportunity for their development! This type of environment in Richmond & the humility of sharing information that has been created separates this event from all others. This BY FAR is the best conference/seminar I have attended, not just because of the quality of presenters but the authenticity of people that are attracted to this event. I cannot thank Jay & the UAC Crew enough for their impact on my career!

Who is Chris McCormick?

Chris McCormick joined the Florida Atlantic University in June 2018 as the head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports. In January of 2019 his position was elevated to Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports.

Prior to FAU, McCormick worked three years at Gardner-Webb University, where he served as the director of athletic performance. While at Gardner-Webb, he directed the development and implementation of training in regards to athletic performance and nutritional protocols for 22 Division I athletic teams.

From November 2013 through July 2015, McCormick worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Eastern Kentucky University. While at Eastern Kentucky, McCormick directly oversaw the strength and conditioning programs for men’s basketball, baseball, women’s soccer, track & field, and men and women’s tennis.

In 2013, he served as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of West Alabama. McCormick directed all aspects of strength and conditioning for 13 Division II teams. While at West Alabama, he developed a strength and conditioning internship program that provided individuals with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on strength and conditioning programs for intercollegiate athletic programs.

In 2012, McCormick served as an assistant director of strength and conditioning at Charleston Southern University, overseeing strength and conditioning programs and nutritional protocols for all 14 Division I athletic teams.

McCormick gained his first collegiate experience at Charleston Southern in 2012, where he also served as an assistant defensive line coach for the Buccaneers football team.

In 2010, McCormick received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University. In 2011, he received a master’s degree from Ball State University. He is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association having obtained his CSCS and is CPR/AED certified. He is also a member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). (From FAU Sports Web Page).

Grab your seat for this summers MUST ATTEND continuing education event here!

Introducing 2020 Seminar Presenter, Nick DiMarco

Today I am so excited to announce our first presenter for The 2020 Edition of The Seminar, Elon University’s Director of Strength and Conditioning Nick DiMarco. Nick is known as one of the most forward thinking coaches in all of college football, and one who will bring a unique view on training to Richmond, Virginia this coming July 17 and 18. I hope you’re as excited to have Nick on the docket as I am, but enough from me, let’s meet our first presenter, Nick DiMarco…

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.

ND: My name is Nick DiMarco. I am a proud husband & father to Breann and Olivia DiMarco. Since March of 2018 I have been the Director of Sports Performance at Elon University. Prior to my work at Elon, I was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Iowa Football from January of 2015 until March of 2018. I had previously interned at the University of Iowa in the summer of 2013 and was hired back when I completed my football career. My educational background includes a bachelors in strength and conditioning from William Penn University (IA), a masters in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from Concordia University Chicago (May of 2020 Completion). I am currently working on my first publication examining agility training for sport, which will be available in 2020.

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.

ND: The issues I see in the world of performance go far beyond exercises, sets, and reps. The biggest issues I see are the huge ego coaches who make it about them and the military mentality that so many coaches embody. As Jim Radcliffe said, the performance staff should be backstage not onstage. The hype coaches with WWE personas set our entire field back tremendously, because this is the perception we get from the outside world. Behaving like a professional is never a bad decision. As for a solution to the second problem I addressed, self-discipline will always trump obedience. Allowing athletes to enjoy the training process and helping them build foundational habits is a better strategy than leading through fear and intimidation. You provide a service to the athletes; the athletes do not serve you.

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?

ND: Talk to great professionals inside and outside of the coaching world, read books inside and outside of sports performance, read research, join the strength coach network, take an Altis course, and test anything you think may be valuable on yourself first.

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

ND: How to optimize on field/court performance through an agility-based approach.

JD: Nick, excited to have you aboard, any closing thoughts?

ND: I am thankful to Jay for the opportunity to speak at CVASPS. The seminar is a one of a kind learning experience.

Who is Nick DiMarco?

Nick DiMarco was named Director of Strength & Conditioning in February 2018.

Prior to coming to Elon, DiMarco spent three years with the Iowa Hawkeyes as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the football program. The Hawkeyes made bowl game appearances in every season during DiMarco’s tenure, including a Rose Bowl appearance in 2016. He rejoined the Hawkeyes after spend the 2013 season with the program as a intern.

DiMarco rejoined the Iowa program after playing in the NFL as an outside linebacker in 2014. He spent time with the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.

DiMarco previously was an intern with the strength and conditioning program at William Penn University, where he was a member of the football team. DiMarco also designed and implemented all phases of strength and conditioning for the track and field throwers and jumpers, along with the women’s basketball team, and assisted with training of all sports.

DiMarco is Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), CPR/AED and PES Certified.

DiMarco earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education and strength and conditioning from William Penn in and a Master of Science in exercise science, performance enhancement and injury prevention, from California University of Pennsylvania. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Health and Human Performance from Concordia University-Chicago.

From Elon University’s Athletics Web Page.

Grab your seat for this summers MUST ATTEND continuing education event here!