In episode 101 of The Podcast Chas Ossenheimer gave us an absolutely fantastic example of what can happen when the entire TEAM works together when it comes to data collection and athlete tracking/monitoring/whatever you’re looking at (CHECK IT OUT HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T I KNOW I’M BIASED BUT IT’S DOPE, trust me). This is precisely how, in my opinion, it should function. It’s very similar to what they’re building at Stanford (we will talk about that more in a future podcast, so be on the lookout), but that’s not what I want to go over today. We, as strength coaches, discuss this idea off “buy in” all the time, so my question to you right now, is what can you do to help your athletes if the coaching staff you are working with/for doesn’t “buy in” to what you’re doing.

Well, the easy answer is to just say, “fuck it” and not do it. I did it. Flat out. We had a ton of stuff we were doing, and it didn’t seem to fit at that time so I said forget it, it’s not worth the effort, took my ball and went home like a little baby.

Now, that I’ve taken a step back and looked at everything that we are lucky to have access to (and we really are lucky, I really do need to say that, we have some pretty cool toys) I was challenged by my director to find a way to help the KIDS without getting in the way off the other things going on. So here is one simple example of what we did.

I look at Omegawave very similarly to how Dr. Mann looks at Gymaware. It is the Rolls-Royce of readiness monitoring. I’m not going to get to far into of the why’s but am going to use screen shots from one of our athletes to show why we made the decisions we did for these decisions, and some of these decisions wouldn’t have been made if you use other pieces of tech due to the limitations of some calculations and devices.

If you look at the "bubbles" in the bottom right corner, the PSNS being way left (and red), and SNS being way right (and red) is a display of the PSNS being active at that moment
If you look at the “bubbles” in the bottom right corner, the PSNS being way left (and red), and SNS being way right (and red) is a display of the PSNS being active at that moment

If you look at this screen shot here, you can see that the was, at this moment, in a parasympathetic state. Now, we know that we are not going to have the ability to impact practice with this person, and the coaches doesn’t want this to impact how they’re training, nor do they want the particular athlete to feel like this means “they’re tired,” so the question then is asked, “what can we do?”

When looking at the numbers in the red box it's important to note that not only the Parasympatheic Activity number is high, but the Sympathetic Activity number is low. Reiterating what is shown above.
When looking at the numbers in the red box it’s important to note that not only the Parasympatheic Activity number is high, but the Sympathetic Activity number is low. Reiterating what is shown above.

First let’s go over some quick trivia here. What is the role of the parasympathic system? Rest and recovery, right? We all know that at this point, I hope. So, if the athlete’s system is in a state of “rest and recovery” what is an easy thing we can do to help work WITH this? Let’s take a step back quick. During rest and recovery, we are also digesting and looking for nutrients to help refill and refuel the system. If we break down the role of macro nutrients what would be a good one to possibly add in the “Rest and Recovery”? Maybe protein? Its role is body building and repair correct? Maybe some fast acting carbs (or as we simply refer to them as “white carbs”) like white bread, white pastas, anything that gets absorbed quickly and can be put back into the muscle cells as glycogen to help recover. That’s exactly what we told this athlete, “Ok, we might want to add some extra protein and some white carbs to your next meal or two sense that’s what your body is asking for right now. If it wants it might as well give it that right?”

This is just a simple example of a way that you can help your athletes by monitoring or tracking and not have to get in the way of what’s going on at practice. So, what are your thoughts? Where do you see places we can make simple alterations to assist our athlete’s in performing and recovering to the best level possible? Leave some comments below and let’s start the discussion!

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