Biomechanics vs Program Design

Can you touch a little bit on where we have a disconnect or we, we kind of missed the boat on, on those types of you know, misalignments from program design?

Coach Bob King (00:58):

Absolutely. Here's what I want to start with because this is a reoccurring theme in all of our training. Everything is connected. I don't know how many times in my teaching or coaching I've said everything is connected. So let's go right to your last comment about your core. You can't do anything in weight training without your core. You've got to stabilize yourself, hold yourself up. Right? So anytime you do any strength training, the core is going to be engaged. Even though you're not doing a specific core exercise now to go into the same theme of training with speed and athletic development, everything is connected. So here's how it flows. An individual comes in and says, I need to get faster. Well, the first thing we do is say jogged down. So we have a little track, 30 yards we'd run down, jogged out. You're going to see so many things exposed or revealed, revealed, being good, exposed, being bad in the first jog down of the warmup.

Coach Bob King (01:53):

And so I tell everybody speed training begins on the go in go. Because as soon as you start moving, you're either good or bad with that in mind. What we're looking at is posture, arms, position, and swing foot swing, and position. And now we can see what does that athlete's mentality says about movement from there? When we start speeding up, we always say as well, that speed exposes flaws. And so even if the drills that we do in the lead-up phase are good speed. We'll break them down. If they're not ingrained with the proper technique. So we start with the fundamentals always. And depending on the athlete, whether we start at the top and work down or at the feet and work up, we're going to focus on the most deficient area. Because if everything's connected, if you correct one, you'll usually fix another one to a certain degree. So for example, arms swing, if it's low and slow, your legs are probably just going to be slow in general. So whatever we think will work best he'll cycle, arm, swing, which one will have the best impact. Overall, we start with that.

Where do you focus your time to correct things? Isolated exercises or correcting on the run?

Coach Bob King (03:51):

Well, it's, it's a long, short story. In other words, when we see them in the beginning stages identify an area to start in weakness like you were saying, now here's the thing. I don't know exactly what's going to work. I want to give you this example. From what I understand in, in pathology medicine, a pathologist does not learn necessarily every bad disease, part of what a human body or tissue can acquire, but they know everything about what healthy human tissue is. So even if they don't recognize a disease, when they look at a diseased tissue, they can go, that's not right. I don't know what it is, but it's not right. The same thing with money, treasury agents learn everything there is about perfect, correct legal money.

Coach Bob King (04:43):

So if a counterfeit comes by and they don't recognize somebody goes, I don't know what that is, but it's not supposed to be there. Same thing ironically, with running. I'm not sure what's going on, but that's not, that's not normal or that's not right. So what we'll do then is say, how do we cure that? Or how do we, how do we correct that? We just simply tell our athletes, all right, we're going to shop and compare because that means I'm going to say right off the bat, I'm not sure what's causing that. So in order to correct it, we're going to go through a menu or a list of things and try until we get it right. So let's go back to the arms. We have several devices. The first thing we'll do is put a lightweight in their hands and close the hand up more than we like.

Coach Bob King (05:24):

But if there's a problem that's extreme. If you go to the extreme correction, most of the time, the land in the middle, and then you gradually take that correction away from him. So sloppy hands could be corrected by breaking the egg, which we say don't do. But if you break the egg, you can't do all the bad things that go with a loose wrist. So we'll swing the pendulum too far to make a correction and then gradually loosen it up, give them a plastic golf ball, carry the egg, but don't break it and just work from there. If that doesn't work, we'll give them a light, one to two pound, maybe older athlete, a three-pound hand weight to run because it's much more efficient to bend the arm and swing it with weight, then swing it open and straight. So we take these, all these little gadgets shop and compare let's find out what works and then use that once we identify the problem that that's fine identifying the problem is usually pretty easy. Give me a solution. That's the hard part.

What's the balance of active running drills versus a more isolated band movement that's slow or on the ground. And you're trying to isolate a body part. Or do you try to do everything where it's all working together? How much do you isolate?

Coach Bob King (06:44):

Initially, we isolate right off the bat because we had to fix a certain movement. If we're going to get anywhere. If we try to do it all at once, do everything get nothing. And so what I like to do is do the drills. Those who are usually slow and controlled, do the gadgets, which may make them do things they're not comfortable with or used to doing. And then I tell them every time, okay, here comes the hard part sprint, just get rid of everything. Don't do the drill. Don't use the gadget and sprint. And a lot of times, if, if they have an athletic aptitude, they're going to start getting the idea, their body catches on pretty quick. So what we'll end up doing is seeing a pretty good improvement right off the bat. And this is, this is the coaching point for coaches. Don't overthink it or over-talk it.

Coach Bob King (07:31):

And let me just say this. We all really have the same information. We can go to the same textbook internet or whatever and had the same information. And I think I run into guys that still do this. Even they've been in the business for several years, too much information. And we all did it in the early stages of my coaching. And we're getting back to the speed in a minute, but this is critical in the early stages of my coaching. One of my goals was to let you know how much I know. Well, that's not the problem because they wouldn't be there with you. If they were worried about how much you did or did not know. So I'd explain things and use all the right terms and everything. And they're looking at me [inaudible] yeah. What do you want me to do?

Coach Bob King (08:11):

And it finally dawned on me. They want to know what to do, not all the stuff I'm giving them. So what we ended up doing is translating things we already talked about, carry the egg. Well, I can't say to flex the fingers to an 80-degree position and hold that isometric contraction until it's time to carry the egg and don't break it, the same thing, better results. And so what we'll end up doing is isolating that movement. That really is the worst of all of them and work on that correction because everything else starts to fall in line. If it doesn't, then we do have corrections for, what's not working everything from our blackout sunglasses, for the head position to straps on the ankles. We've got a big menu of things for corrections. 

What's your observation or your thoughts on those types of stationary corrections? Whereas you're doing a balance of running corrections, how much does running correct the same thing that some of these rehab movements correct? Or where's the place for both?

Coach Bob King (09:49):

That's a great question. It's a great point. I think, and I don't say great just to be, you know, you know, the dialogue part of it, because it actually is great to understand. We do as much moving as possible. We do a little bit of stationery, but that's not our, our objective. Our objective is to get you moving correctly. And there's once in a while, we'll go do some, the wall drills. Sprinting has its own world of wall drills that we use to, isolate a technique so they can go slow, have balance and see it and feel it. Do that again. Do that again. Then we can translate to running. So a classic wall drill is a leg cycle, heel up, heel up around a down. So to do that in motion, we just created the pedal of the bicycle up, around, and down.

Coach Bob King (10:34):

But now we're moving. So you listen to this, you will lift weights. You put weight on the bar and you do more reps and put weight on the bar and do more reps get stronger. So in speed training, we want more strides because strides are like weight room reps. You've got to get them in to get better. So what we'll do is have them do a drill, come back, do it again. Here's the boring part. Do it again. And now give them once the body starts to lean toward, okay, now you're catching on and then we'll add another piece. So if we need to add five principles of a movement, 1, 1, 1, check it off two to check it off 3, 3, 3, 3, check it off. And so we'll get it put into play until they understand it. And their body just figures it out, whether their brains involved or not.

At what point is that athlete or coach spending too much time on isolated exercises compared to training at high speed?

Coach Bob King (11:43):

Yes. Well, you, you answer your own question and people don't realize it. So if you're spending all your time doing that, what are you doing? You're getting good at doing that. So let's go do the thing you want to be good at is take what you're trying to improve and use it and see if there's anything else that can be improved upon. I'm asked all the time. Why you know, it doesn't matter right now, we're in the championship season. You have, you know, NBA's going on. Tennis has got all the big majors going on. Golf majors are going on. And so people ask me, I'll tell why does he need a coach? Well, you need feedback because in your mind you can start saying, oh man, I'm looking pretty good, or I'm not going anywhere. Or I can't, you know, so you could be your own worst enemy.

Coach Bob King (12:24):

And just having a coach who knows what they're doing and saying, that's good. Let's do that again. That's huge. But a coach that can also say, now, wait a minute, you're starting to drift away from the point. Let's make sure you stay on task. So coaching is huge in the sense of keeping you focused so that you are going down the lie, the lane, you need to go down back to your original point. I don't want to be inadequate as a coach, that I have to stay in the corner and do stationary stuff that I'm comfortable with because I'm uncomfortable with the movement because all those moving parts have to work together. And if I have a, you know, if I have a right arm, I have a left arm. So they have to work in sync because just because the right arm correct, does not guarantee the left arm is correct.

Coach Bob King (13:06):

One-sided athletes will have imbalances. So baseball players, you know, throw right bat, right. Or whatever. So you've got to work on the offside to make sure it stays in harmony. It same thing within, you know, tennis and other one-sided athletes. You want to call them that you have to make sure they're in sync and harmony because when they move in their sport, they're doing the same thing over and over one-sided. Now it's rare, but still, have to look for all those imbalances. And once you see it in running, then you can go get the isolated movements and start to raise the deficiencies up to more of an equal balance.

What would you say to coaches who are looking to specialize or would like advice?

Coach Bob King (14:01):

Well, let me give you several principles that I like to use and not all at once because I want to try to address the individual to their level of understanding or interest or attentiveness. So we'll start with technique. Technique produces efficiency, efficiency produces speed and speed exposes flaws. That means it has to be a flow. You have to get your technique down. Once you get your technique, you get to speed up. So don't get, if you spend all your time breaking into details, you never get moving and you want to, you want to create things, correct themselves. If you'll let it, I interrupted myself because I don't want to be more detailed than necessary to say, if you will get moving the body. I was taught this by a Tom house at the Texas Rangers, many moons ago that the body is smart enough.

Coach Bob King (14:49):

If you will let it in words, get out of the way, and let the body do what it can do. So what you want to have the athlete do is run and give them one or two. And I have some, maybe at most four-word cues during a drill, you know, kick up around and down, elbow back, knee up. There are four words, that's it? Elbow back, knee down. So that's elbow back, knee up. That's all I want you to understand in running. So when you're talking about teaching, somebody less is best how much, you know, needs to be interpreted into what they can learn.


Recent Posts