In the beginning of my journey, I mimicked what I saw other coaches implementing into their sessions and programs. If someone I respected (which does not say much for an ignorant amateur) believed that squats below parallel were a sin, then by all means they were a sin in my gym too. If the speed treadmill was used 3 days a week by Joe Blow, and Joe Blow trains Lebron James, then best believe we will be running our treadmill 3 days a week. I had no thought of my own in terms of “why” these coaches are doing what they do, I only watched “how”.
The blessing in starting out so naive (as we all do) is that when watching intently on how someone does what they do (without knowledge as to why), it creates a form that will later be filled to completion (once the knowledge of the “why” is acquired). I believe this has served to be one of the greatest methods of understanding knowledge. first, get to know by experience, and second, getting to know by intellect. The first gives form or context for the second to fit into.
I believe that the love and enjoyment of the art of coaching, has just begun. There is a spark of intimacy and excitement when just beginning to get to know a thing, yet it is immature.
There is another depth of intimacy to be learned after the familiarity of the form, and that is the depths within it. As I seek now, knowledge concerning the “why’ behind the “how”, the strokes of my brush carry new intent & reason (better training).
I will not have my athletes barbell squat in the name of lower body strength. I will not introduce mobility and yoga, for the sake of “flexibility” and “ROM”. My first and only question when coaching is, “Will it transfer?” Will this exercise transfer to their performance in their sport? (How…Why?) If in fact the answer is yes, the principles will be present as the backbone to that yes (or that no).
Looking back at my career, much of the results achieved by my athletes were in my ignorance. This does not excuse the ignorance or motivate me to continue ignorant, but gives light to the idea “what is possible with proper knowledge?” knowledge of the Why. If x has been achieved without the knowing of principles and the “why”, how much more is out there? It leads me to think of how much untapped potential is left lying around within my athletes, covered in dust and cobwebs.
To understand how and why the exercises & protocols transfer to better performance in sport, this is the pursuit. What you seek is what you find. And in seeking knowledge as to how and why, in terms of transferability to sport, we shall find greater performance in sport, due to better training.