Over the past week or so I have gotten into a groove of watching youtube videos of strength and conditioning coaches training their athletes. One thing that has come to my attention is that in this day and age of training with all the “innovative training” and “functional training” methods out on the market today, it has really taken away from the fundamental development of athletes. What I mean by this is that trainers have outfitted their gyms with all these new training tools/fancy toys that supposedly give them an advantage over the competitors.
However, I see these tools becoming the standard to training which is extremely concerning for me considering that the use of these tools takes away from building a solid foundation of movement and strength.
If you are unsure about what I am writing about I will give you an example; the use of sleds, parachutes and other resistance running or even accelerated running tools on the market today should NOT be used on athletes that still need to learn how to run! You do not need anything but space to teach an athlete how to run properly, and even run an effective training session that will have excellent results. The truth is, only a very small percentage of people become ‘experts‘ in movement (running, lateral movement, etc) and until someone becomes an expert the growth, development, and improvement of an athlete’s running mechanics can and will improve immensely with just the training without the use of any tools.
Also when people use these tools they should not sacrifice proper movement mechanics while using the device. I constantly see videos posted of an athlete doing a sled sprint when the sled is clearly too heavy! If you cannot move with proper mechanics then you are using too much resistance.
I do understand that at times a strength coach will have a sled pull with lots of weight and have the athlete grind it out (as seen on STRONG Movie from Joe Defranco) but this should not be confused with speed training. But even in that scenario it is different with hand straps being used instead of a harness or belt.
Bottom line is you need to think about what you are trying to accomplish with your athletes, or with yourself if you are an athlete and think about what you need to do to improve it. Running with a lean that greatly exaggerates regular running mechanics and with a rounded back and terrible posture will only reinforce bad mechanics and as a result hinder and not help you or your athlete.