Stronger Athletes

Mystery Guest

July 29 "The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking." -John Kenneth Galbraith

For the summer, we have decided to reduce our frequency and post once or maybe twice a week. We will be very busy training our athletes and taking vacations. We will pick up the frequency again in the fall. We will continue responding to your e-mails regularly so please do not hesitate to send us your thoughts or comments about training.

We return to our Mystery Guest feature in which we present figures who have impacted the role of strength training in the field of traditional athletics. If you would like to venture a guess at who our mystery guest is, please drop a note. Correct answers will be listed next week.

This man can be credited with helping to start the strength training movement on college campuses long before the strength boom of the 1970's. In fact it was in 1922 when Knute Rockne, legendary Notre Dame football coach, began pushing his athletes towards this barbell-happy priest. Over 6,000 athletes, from all athletic venues, trained under his supervision. This all happening without official University support.

It was not until 1960 when Notre Dame began a physical education program and gave it's strength training priest a brand new facility. So, in a way, linked closer to the traveling strongman than the educated ivory tower, (although it was his academic resume which brought his efforts credibility), and decades before any university would hire an official strength coach, coaches at Notre Dame were sending their athletes to his charge. "The strength coaching profession truly should regard him as a founding father."

More information about this week's mystery guest can be found in a book of collected essays by various strength coaches and experts, "Maximize Your Training: Insights from Leading Strength and Fitness Professionals," edited by Matt Brzycki. This book is simply loaded with history, science, and tons of information on safe, productive, and efficient strength training. This 450 page book is well worth the $20 you'll spend to have it on your shelf. The story of Notre Dame's early strongman/priest was found in Chapter I, Might and Muscle: Antiquity to Arnold, by Jan Dellinger. The image of this week's Mystery Guest comes from the Notre Dame Archives .

Summer Conditioning Recap

Like high school football coaches all over America, we are winding down our summer conditioning program and getting ready for the task at hand... playing football. We have, however, had great feedback from our athletes, who as a whole have not had an organized strength training program presented to them like it was this summer. In all fairness to our school's coaches there has always been an interest to develop strength in our athletes. However, this has always been limited to small groups of kids such as the wrestlers or the shot putters, not the overall school body.

This summer we saw our numbers remains consistent from week 1 to week 9 reaching most sport programs except for those in which a coach forbid his athletes to participate. Even in those cases we had some representatives present for training.

We attribute much of our success this summer to the following:

It should be noted that our school's strength and conditioning program is young and has a long way to go before we reach our full potential. We are amazed at the great job other schools are doing in our area and hope to mimic their success in the years to come.

In conclusion, the summer of 2002 was productive for our athletes. We grew as coaches, learning how to compromise and support each others values. Most importantly we grew stronger, literally. We wish all you football coaches the best of luck as your seasons get underway. Coach 'em-up!"

***No Liability is assumed for any information written on the website. No medical advice is given on exercise. This advice should be obtained from a licensed health-care practitioner. Before anyone begins any exercise program, always consult your doctor. The articles are written by coaches that are giving advice on a safe, productive, and efficient method of strength training.***

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