We’re on the same team

A conversation I had with one my fellow grad students got me thinking.
It is very easy some times to be frustrated with the training decisions of sport coaches. Coaches may train their athletes with a frighteningly high volume of plyometrics, or run mile repeats the day before a competition. These training decisions run contrary to what we believe are prudent training decisions, based upon the physiological and biomechanical schooling that we have received.

Many sports coaches have not had the opportunity to receive the same scientific background that we have. For example, I realized today that I am in the beginning of my 6th year of college-level physical science. The past 5 years have had a huge effect on my ideas about training. How can I expect that a sport coach be on the exact same page that I am if she or he has not received the equivalent training? I would imagine if I were to instruct a soccer team on tactics, other soccer coaches would probably assume I’m an idiot. I have many strengths, but game tactics on the soccer field are not one of them. I can make smart training decisions that would shape them into the type of athletes that excel on the soccer field, but would not be able to properly train them tactically.

It is a very similar situation with S&C coaches and sport coaches. In many cases, S&C coaches have a better science background than sport coaches. It is not our place to write off the sport coaches as idiots because of lack of science knowledge. Instead, we should use and grow our influence on the sport coaches in order to help them out in areas that they do not have the same training we do. S&C coaches and sport coaches have the same goals: improve our athletes so that we can win. Complaining does nothing to further those goals.