Tip of the Month – February 2020



Coach Monika Says…


“Spice Up” Your Exercise Program – Add and Vary Exercises Part II

I provided samples of exercises for lower body strength and explosive power in the January Newsletter, inclusive of the chart, showing the impact of exercises and exercises to avoid, especially for younger athletes. 

Here are additional ones for the lower body as well as upper body development.

Series #2

Some of the most basic exercises to develop lower body strength are various Jump Rope activities, and they are also FUN!

Single Jump Rope Jumping

Equipment: long mat (avoid bare floor to prevent shin splints); sport shoes; sport jump rope (hold rope end in each hand; center of rope on floor in front of body by feet; step onto rope center; pull each end into/underneath armpit [touching skin] for correct length size; avoid twisting end around wrist!)

Start position: Stand upright, feet together, rope center resting behind body by feet on floor, facing forward, arms extended by sides of body, holding ends with light grip in each hand, back straight

Action: Assume Start position, long-extended swing from behind body to overhead to front and downward, keeping arms extended, jump tucking legs, rope passes underneath feet, soft continuous rebounding action, always landing softly, set 15-30 seconds, 2-4 repetitions

Variation: keep legs long and extended during continuous jumping action

Add-On Group Jumping

Equipment: long mat (avoid bare floor to prevent shin splints); sport shoes; jumping rope (hold end in each hand; very long rope (8-10-12m). 

We use this German ‘Zauberschnur’ (Internet: https://www.google.com/search?client =firefox-b-d&q=Zauberschnur)

Start position: Extend the rope to full length, 1-partner at each end, grasping rope ends, rope resting on floor, x-number of jumpers stand upright along one side of rope, feet together, facing forward, back straight

Action: Assume Start position, partners start rope swing in long overhead loop with coordinated action and effort, jumpers in waiting position (consecutive numbered: 1 to X-number), observe swing action and rhythm, #1 awaits timing for quick entry to jump, continues jumping, #2 enters, #1 and 2 continue jumping, #3 enters, #1, 2 and #3 continue jumping, continue pattern, continued until error occurs on jumper’s entry, goal: try to get as many jumpers as possible (our record is 22!)   

Jump Rope with Circular Swing and Level Variation

Equipment: Long mat 

Start position: Stand upright, feet together, rope center resting behind body by feet on floor, facing forward, arms extended by sides of body, holding ends with light grip in each hand, back straight

Action: Assume Start position, swing long and straight from behind body overhead to front and downward while tucking legs and turning in a circle, continue overhead swing action while in a squat position, letting rope pass underneath feet, continue overhead swing action while in half-squat position, continue overhead swing while  tucking legs (first movement), maintaining turning (rotation) throughout, 2-4 repetitions completing the full set of jumping variations

Bench Skipping: Dynamic Balance and Leg Strength

We like to combine several physical components when creating drills. We also have developed an entire exercise section of ‘how to use the gym bench.’

Equipment: Gym bench on floor or long mat

Start position: Stand upright at one end of gym bench, feet together, facing forward, arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: Step up onto bench, start skipping action to opposite end of bench, arms extended out to sides at shoulder height, facing forward, back straight, continuous action, step down return to starting end of bench, 4-8 repetitions


References: 

Schloder, M.E. (2018). Personal Resources: Personal training manual: Artistic gymnastics.



The ‘Sad and Dark Side’ of Coaching

Part I – Children and Youth Sports

Abuse of Power and Misconduct

Some time ago, I wrote about the ‘dark side’ of coaching. The topic of abuse in sports has been ‘taboo’ for a very long time (since the early 1950s), and was ‘swept under the rug’ by the ‘old boys network’ and a stronghold of male sport bureaucrats! This writing focuses on abuse in children and youth sports and will be followed next month with coaches in College/University Varsity Sports, and Professional sports leagues, given recent events of firing 2 prominent coaches in the NHL due to emotional/psychological, physical abuse, derogatory verbal assaults, and unacceptable behaviour toward minority players. 

Misconduct is defined as ‘unacceptable or improper behaviour by an employee or professional person.’ With the recent emergence of the ‘me too’ movement, more evidence of physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse – not just female but also male athletes – is surfacing. Greater awareness rose during the 1990s, especially after Sports Illustrated published an article in 1999: Who’s coaching your kid? “The frightening truth about child molestation in youth sports. Every Parent’s Nightmare: The child molester has found a home in the world of youth sports, whereas a coach he can gain the trust and loyalty of kids – and then prey on them.” The report centered on events in the California Baseball Little League with over 100 boys ages 11-14 molested. SI showed pictures of 6 coaches on its title issue cover page. California coach Watson was sentenced to 84 years of prison time. 

According to statistics cited in reports, the average ‘preferential’ molester, the kind most common in youth sports, victimizes about 120 children before he is caught (Nack, 1999). In preying on prepubescent and newly pubescent athletes, Watson was hardly the only one. While no formal studies exist at that time to determine the exact number of child molesters, who have coached youth teams, a computer-database search of newspaper stories reveals more than 30 cases just in the last 18 months of coaches in the U.S. (1999 data), who have been arrested or convicted of sexually abusing children engaged in nine sports, from baseball to wrestling. 

For every child, who reports being molested, according to a variety of experts on child sexual exploitation, at least 10 more keep their secrets unrevealed. The molesters are almost always men, and in youth sports most, though not all, of the victims, are boys. The one girl Watson admitted molesting was only five when he began abusing her. He says because she was a player he viewed her “as just one of the boys.”

More than 10 million children in the U.S. under the age of 16 play organized sports, coached or supervised by more than a million adults, many of them unscreened male volunteers – which is to say, men on whom background checks have never been done. I may add here (Schloder), that many of these volunteers are not certified in comparison to Canada whereby the National Coaching Association requires certification, and every 3-year a police background check of all coaches – no matter the sport. 

“Youth sports are a ready-made resource pool for pedophiles, and we better all get our heads out of the sand before we ruin the games,” says Bob Bastarache, police officer turned private investigator, and current president of one of New England’s largest AAU clubs, the Bristol Stars, of New Bedford, Mass. “Parents today are so busy, they’re allowing coaches to take over the after-school hours, and that’s the foot in the door pedophiles need” (Nack 1999). I (Schloder) want to add, that one parent left a child in my care for 3 hours after gym practice (went shopping and forgot!), which would have been plenty of opportunity and time to abuse the child – if I happened to be a predator.

Today, the reporting of child molestation in youth sports is about where the reporting of rape was 30 years ago. However, there are indications that things are slowly changing. After decades of being ignored, minimized or hidden away, the molestation of players by their coaches is no longer the sporting culture’s ‘dirty little secret.’ “I’m no longer surprised when I read that this or that pillar of the coaching community has been accused or convicted of multiple counts of child molestation,” says Steven Bisbing, a clinical and forensic psychologist from Takoma Park, Md., who studies sexual abuse of children by authority figures. “It’s not an isolated problem, just a few bad apples.” This was the prevailing view for a long time: “It’s isolated. It’s one guy. They’re rid of him. No more problem.” That’s absurd… It occurs with enough regularity across the country, at all levels [of society], that it should be viewed as a public problem.”

While sport is considered to be a safe and healthy environment that contributes to the positive development of young people, it is also an area where abuse of power can manifest itself in various ways, including sexual assault. The term ‘sexual assault’, however, is not used very often in sports literature rather the expression ‘sexual abuse.’ Sexual abuse of young people in sport is a fairly new field of research and studies undertaken to date have methodological limitations that have to be taken into account. Definitions of sexual abuse vary from one study to the next and depend on the individual country or even vary within Provinces in Canada, according to studies. In addition, protocols used to determine the prevalence and characteristics of sexual abuse in sport are presented essentially in terms of frequency of occurrence (percentages). Therefore, there is limited information on possible links between variables such as gender, sporting level, type of sport, and so forth.

According to the Institut national de santé publique, Quebec City, Canada, and studies by the University of Laval show that between 2% and 8% of minor-age athletes are victims of sexual abuse. An analysis of 159 cases of sexual abuse reported in print media revealed that the perpetrators were coaches, teachers, and instructors in 98% of the cases. Various studies on the experiences of young athletes, who have been sexually abused, have shown that certain characteristics or factors consistently recur. However, it goes without saying that all young athletes are vulnerable to sexual abuse and that the presence of the characteristics or factors identified in these studies does not automatically lead to victimization. However, more research is needed to gain a better understanding of the risk factors for sexual abuse in sport, sexual abuse of boys, and prevention.

Studies on sexual abuse in sport indicate that abusers use a range of strategies to achieve their ends. Brackenridge (2001) explains that a relationship of trust is gradually established between a young athlete and the person in a position of authority. Over time, the boundaries of this relationship between athletes and such are crossed, leading to situations of sexual abuse. The strategies adopted by abusers are designed to persuade or force young people to enter into a sexual relationship, as abusers make sure that the young athlete cooperates and keeps the situation a secret. This process reflects the power position of the coach over young athletes

Risk Factors

Current available studies suggest that certain characteristics of young athletes, coaches, and the specific sport environment (sport culture like Junior Hockey) may increase the vulnerability of young people toward sexual abuse. However, it goes without saying that all young athletes are vulnerable to abuse and that the presence of the characteristics identified in these studies does not automatically lead to victimization. That being said, research on the experiences of young athletes who have been sexually abused has shown that certain characteristics or factors consistently recur. 

Factors fall into five categories:

  • Related to people involved in sports (particularly coaches)
  • Related to the young athletes concerned
  • Related to the coach-athlete relationship
  • Related to the culture of that specific sport  
  • Related to the specific institution that oversees and regulates the specific sport (sports clubs, sport federation)

The Coach-Athlete Relationship

Coaches have a major influence on young athletes. While this can be extremely positive in most cases, coaches sometimes overstep the boundaries of a healthy relationship between themselves and the young people under their responsibility. If they misuse their power young athletes can find themselves in a situation of vulnerability. Young athletes often place a great deal of trust in their coaches, and ill-intentioned individuals can take advantage of this to exert their power and dominance, creating a major risk for sexual abuse.

The Culture of Sport

Certain inappropriate behaviours, considered unacceptable in most contexts, take on a certain normalcy in a sports environment. Likewise, injuries and pain are viewed as being normal. According to research, a number of sexual abuse risk factors are related to the culture of sport itself, including the ‘blind trust’ that certain parents have in their child’s coach, and the importance attached to the performance of young athletes at the expense of their well-being. Junior hockey in Canada was faced with big sexual misconduct of players during the 1990s. We could argue it was the ‘quid pro quo’ by a coach to secure sexual favours for guaranteeing the player the entry to NHL level of hockey. Parents and community members in Saskatchewan, Canada were aware of the coach’s behaviour BUT ‘winning’ was more important AND winning he did! He ended up in jail but went overseas when released to coach again!

Sports Institutions and Organizations

Studies to prevent and manage sexual abuse within sports organizations suggest that, despite the efforts deployed to protect young athletes, major improvements are needed to provide these young people with optimum protection against sexual abuse. Researchers note that sports organizations lack the resources and knowledge needed to prevent and act on sexual abuse. Moreover, they do not always perform adequate screening when hiring people to work in sport and few have implemented sexual abuse prevention measures. As the USA does not have a common professional Chartered Coaching Association – individual sport federations “run their own businesses – and many incidents get ‘swept under the rug’!”

What is going on?

I have coached several sports from Beginner to Olympic level throughout the years of my career: swimming, artistic gymnastics, athletics (track and field), modern pentathlon (swimming and running events), and rhythmic sportive at the regional and national level. I have followed these sports and cases of abuse for a long time. While I am addressing such incidences, especially in swimming and gymnastics; however,  there are various reports from figure skating, speed skating, athletics, basketball, tennis, etc. as coaches continue their unethical behaviour unchecked.

Some Examples:

Canada and Swimming

A Swimming Canada disciplinary tribunal suspended coach Matt Bell of Ajax, Ont., for life in relation to sexual abuse convictions. Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi filed a formal complaint under the organization’s harassment policy after the former high-performance coach and CEO of Ajax Swimming was sentenced in November 2016 to seven months in jail, two years probation, and his name was added to the national sex offender registry. An independent panel organized to handle the issue has ruled that Bell is suspended from all Swimming Canada activities for life, effective immediately. “We respect the decision and it sends a message that our policy is zero tolerance of sexual assault and harassment,” El-Awadi said. The organization suspended Bell indefinitely in November 2015 when informed of criminal charges of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and four counts of luring a person under 18 years. Bell pleaded guilty to the charges of sexual exploitation and luring, according to the Pickering News Advertiser. Swimming Canada is keeping all other information relating to the case confidential in order to protect the victims. “We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure every individual can pursue his or her potential in a safe environment,” El-Awadi added. I do believe that there are still cases, which have not surfaced! 

Contrast: USA Swimming and USA Gymnastics 

Exclusive Reference with modifications: Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https: www.ocregister.com/2018/02/16investigation-usa-swimming-ignored-sexual-abuse-for-decades/

For decades the sexual abuse of young athletes by their coaches lingered just beneath the surface in American swimming’s otherwise ‘golden waters.’ In 2005, USA Swimming president Ron Van Pool decided it was time to bring the issue to the surface. Giving his annual State of Swimming address, Van Pool pushed for a more aggressive approach within the sport to taking on sexual abuse. The speech, however, didn’t make much of an impression with Chuck Wielgus, then in his eighth year as USA Swimming’s executive director. “There was nothing that struck me,” Wielgus said later in deposition (see referenced Internet site). Van Pool’s warning certainly failed to spark a sense of urgency with Wielgus, the man in charge of the day-to-day operations of swimming’s national governing body at its Colorado Springs headquarters, or those around him at USA Swimming. 

Five years later, Wielgus was asked in a deposition if, in the wake of Van Pool’s speech, if USA Swimming had taken any steps to bring the organization up to speed on the sexual abuse issue? “No,” said Wielgus, who died in 2017 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. The moment and its sense of complacency is indicative of the failure of USA Swimming to effectively address sexual abuse revealed in thousands of pages of documents obtained by the Southern California News Group (SCNG) and  Wielgus came under fire at that time for his handling of sex abuse cases. While he at first denied culpability, he later apologized in a blog post: “I wish my eyes had been more open to the individual stories of the horrors of sexual abuse. The two decades after Wielgus was hired at USA Swimming saw record-shattering Olympic success, but at what cost? The organization’s failure to check the sport’s “culture of sexual abuse” has resulted in hundreds of new young victims, SCNG has uncovered.

USA Swimming repeatedly missed opportunities to overhaul the existing culture within American swimming where sexual abuse of underage swimmers by their coaches and others in positions of power within the sport was commonplace, and even accepted by top officials and coaches, according to documents and interviews with sexual abuse survivors by former Olympians, USA Swimming officials, safe sport advocates, and some of USA Swimming’s leading financial benefactors. 

Top USA Swimming executives, board members, top officials, and coaches acknowledge in the documents that they were aware of sexually predatory coaches for years, in some cases even decades, but did not take action against them. In at least 11 cases either Wielgus or other top USA Swimming officials declined to pursue sexual abuse cases against high profile coaches even when presented with direct complaints, documents show. With some of the complaints, the decision not to pursue the case was made by Susan Woessner, USA Swimming’s current director of Safe Sport. In 1972, I reported (Schloder) about a swim coach sleeping with his female athletes. I was told: “you are just jealous that he pays no attention to you” (I was coaching another team)! I will report on this coach in the next newsletter. He ‘wandered’ round throughout the USA with various positions, ending up in Florida at a university before he was dealt with for his misconduct!

Three U.S. Olympic team head coaches and USA Swimming vice president were told in the 1980s that a world-renowned coach had sexually abused a female swimmer beginning when she was 12. Wielgus was informed of the allegations against the coach at least three times. But not only did USA Swimming not pursue a case against the coach, but it also allowed him to continue to have access to USA Swimming facilities, U.S. Olympic and national team events, and the Olympic Training Center. USA Swimming even awarded the club owned and operated by him more than $40,000 in grants. The coach was only banned after pleading guilty to sexual assault, more than a quarter-century after the abuse was first brought to the attention of Olympic coaches. 

In the more than 20 years since Wielgus took charge of USA Swimming in July 1997, at least 252 swim coaches and officials had been arrested, charged by prosecutors, or disciplined by USAS for sexual abuse or misconduct against individuals under 18. Those coaches and officials have a total of at least 590 alleged victims, some of them abused while attending preschool swim classes. USA Swimming board members and coaches acknowledged they were aware of statutory rape cases that occurred during U.S. national team trips to major international competitions. 

Since 2010, USA Swimming kept a list of more than 30 coaches and officials ‘flagged’ after being arrested or accused by law enforcement of sex crimes including rape and child pornography but were not disciplined by USA Swimming. Some coaches and officials were not even banned even after having been convicted of felonies. Only six of 32 coaches on the list in 2010 were banned; however, the list is not available to the public. When coaches and officials are banned for life for sexual misconduct it can be years before their names are listed on the permanently banned list on USA Swimming’s website. 

Local swim clubs that are members of USA Swimming are insured by U.S. Sports Insurance Company Inc. (USSIC) with $31.3-million in assets. The company, originally based in Barbados, was created and solely owned by USA Swimming, and governed by former and current USA Swimming officials. While USSIC provides USA Swimming $2-million worth of liability insurance for sexual abuse civil cases until recently the company provided local clubs only $100,000 worth of coverage for similar cases. This policy of reducing the financial exposure of USSIC at the local level was a factor in generating millions of dollars in ‘safety rebates’ from USSIC back to USA Swimming. In some years the governing body has received back as much as $750,000. USA Swimming has also paid $77,627 to lobbying firms to lobby against legislation in California that would have made it easier for sexual abuse victims to sue their abusers and the organizations they worked for or represented in civil cases. Instead of changing U.S. swimming’s culture of sexual abuse and misconduct, documents cover nearly a quarter-century showing that top USA Swimming officials and coaches continued to undermine reforms long accepted by other sports, and refused to investigate allegations of abuse even when presented with evidence from multiple sources. 

The documents also show a strikingly similar story of USA Gymnastics where a culture of abuse enabled U.S. Olympic and U.S. women’s national team coach Larry Nassar’s sexual assault of more than 150 young athletes. In a seven-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan that led to Nassar being sentenced to 40 to 175 years for sexual assault, many among the 156 women who testified detailed how USA Gymnastics and Michigan State officials missed clear warning signs and ignored direct complaints about Nassar’s abuse. Kathie Klages, former Michigan State University women’s gymnastics coach, whose once steadfast support of disgraced former Michigan State and Team USA doctor Larry Nassar made her a lightning rod for criticism, has been found guilty of two counts of lying to police. Klages, 65, could be sentenced to up to four years in prison, set for April 15, 2020. The former coach worked closely with Nassar during their lengthy careers in the sport. Klages said she trusted Nassar until after his arrest in 2016, so much so that she allowed her own children and granddaughter to see him as patients.

“At this time I am convinced that the only way to effectively eradicate childhood sexual abuse in swimming is to, as we are seeing now with USA Gymnastics, completely ‘clean house,’ ” said B. Robert Allard, a Bay Area attorney who has represented several former swimmers who were sexually abused by their coaches and other officials. “If this type of remedial action were justified in USA Gymnastics due to the abuse committed by one pedophile (Nassar), certainly it would be appropriate for USA Swimming where we have well over 100. We are hereby demanding the immediate removal of USA Swimming’s entire Executive Leadership Team, starting with Chief Operating Officer Mike Unger, Managing Director Pat Hogan, Executive Director Debbie Hesse, Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko and especially Safe Sport Director Susan Woessner, as well as its Board of Directors. “

“Only then can we ensure that USA Swimming has leaders in place, who take child protection seriously and won’t turn a blind eye to childhood sexual abuse because of a desire to preserve image and reputation, and consequently monetary interests.” Like the Nassar scandal, USA Swimming’s handling of sexual abuse cases has caught the attention of Congress. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce informed USA Swimming on Friday, Jan. 26 that it is “investigating matters related to sexual abuse within organized sports, including USA Swimming.” “The country attended a seven-day master class on the damage inflicted by sexual abuse. Most people will hear just 5-10 stories like this in their lifetime,” said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic swimming champion and founder of Champion Women, an advocacy group for girls and women in sports. “We just heard 160 survivors address their abuser, Team USA’s doctor in gymnastics. Knowing the true cost, it is gratifying that Congress is looking within the Olympic sports movement and sees now another sport with over 100 Larry Nassar-types in a single sport, that is to say, USA Swimming. That’s a much bigger scale of abuse, one worthy of inquiry.”

“In my position as head of an organization that advocates for girls and women in sport, I hear the pain too many swimmers have suffered. There are still too many abusive coaches, who are either still coaching and still make it into the Hall of Fame! This is almost as bad as ethical coaches, who have been ‘blackballed’ for advocating for athletes, for doing the right thing. They’re offended by a culture of coaches that regularly go to strip clubs in the evenings after a day of competition, offended by the sexualisation of young girls but powerless to stop it.” Critics like Nancy Hogshead-Makar said the continued high rate of incidents of sexual abuse is largely the result of USA Swimming’s failure to implement policies that would create effective deterrents. 

USA Swimming emails, memos, letters, reports and notes, Congressional reports, correspondence and files, and court records as well as deposition and law enforcement interview transcripts detail a series of missed opportunities by an organization unwilling to take on its coach-centric power base and obsessed with protecting its image and brand. 

The Gatekeeper

There has been widespread sexual abuse in American swimming for decades, and Wielgus inherited a sport where high profile coaches having sex with teenage swimmers was common knowledge and even accepted. Wielgus was the “gatekeeper and had absolute control of the issue of coach-swimmer sexual abuse,” according to Katherine Starr, former Olympian and founder of Safe4Athletes, a non-profit foundation that advocates for athletes and helps sports organizations adopt policies and programs to prevent misconduct toward athletes. “As a result of my staff’s investigation, it has become clear that child sexual abuse and sexual misconduct have plagued USA Swimming since its inception in 1980,” said George Miller (D-California), Senior Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee, in his July 9, 2014 letter to FBI Director James Comey. But like Wielgus, many of those still at USA Swimming and other positions of power within the sport have not been aggressive, and have been resistant to deal with the issues. Tim Hinchey, coming from outside the world of swimming is Wielgus’ successor and faces the challenge of answering about ongoing investigations to make reforms. USA Swimming did not respond to requests for comments.

Wielgus did not respond to numerous interview requests prior to his death. A 2014 investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and The Workforce found that “detailed actionable information” about sexually abusive coaches “has been well known to USA Swimming leadership and these predators were allowed to prey with impunity because of inaction.” Miller was so concerned about USA Swimming’s history of inaction that he asked the FBI in the letter to Comey to “fully investigate USA Swimming’s handling of both past and present cases of child sexual abuse” “I am confident that the alarming allegations and high-profile reports of sexual abuse in the ranks of USA Swimming necessitate closer scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Although USA Swimming officials in the past have denied that the organization has been the subject of federal investigations, the FBI and other federal investigators have conducted interviews in at least three cases, according to people familiar with those cases. Still, top USA Swimming officials haven’t appeared to share Miller’s sense of urgency or concerns, documents and interviews show. 

Hogshead-Makar in recent years asked Woessner for the reason USA Swimming wasn’t investigating published sexual misconduct allegations against a former U.S. Olympic team coach who was also a longtime USA Swimming board member and one-time member of a sexual abuse task force set up by the organization. Safe Sport was created to investigate sexual and physical abuse cases within the sport as well as create education programs and raise awareness of the issue. “Susan Woessner said, ‘Nancy what does it matter? He’s no longer coaching young swimmers anymore,’” Hogshead-Makar recalled. 

“This Safe Sport thing is a complete farce,” said Dia Rianda, a Monterey-area swim coach and administrator and for several years one of the USA Swimming Foundation’s leading financial contributors. “USA Swimming is all about protecting their brand in any way they possibly can.” That brand generated $39.62 million in revenue in 2016, according to Internal Revenue Service records and USA Swimming documents. USA Swimming paid corporate officers, trustees and key employees $3.75 million in 2016 and spent another $4.99 million in employee compensation and benefits, according to financial records. Wielgus was paid $966,047 in 2016 plus another $72,931 from the USA Swimming Foundation. USA Swimming’s priorities are clear in the documents. Wielgus was asked in a June 2010 deposition if he would confirm that protecting the safety of young swimmers, especially against sexual abuse, was USA Swimming’s top goal. “No, I would not,” Wielgus said. “…I would say that has never been our number one goal.” Instead, USA Swimming officials have been driven by Olympic success and attracting corporate sponsors, an obsession, critics charge that has come at the expense of young swimmers.   

Protecting the Brand

Protecting that brand hasn’t come cheap. USA Swimming spent $7.45 million on legal fees between 2006 and 2016, according to the organization’s financial records.  USA Swimming officials, under pressure from their secondary insurance carrier and wanting to avoid the negative publicity a lawsuit would generate, has arranged settlement agreements in at least three states with victims of alleged sexual abuse by swim coaches before the cases were even filed with a court

Resistance to Reform

How ingrained the resistance within USA Swimming’s membership was evident in the fight to pass rules prohibiting any romantic or sexual relationships between coaches and athletes as part of the organization’s Code of Conduct. USA Swimming members voted down the proposal in 2012. The measure finally passed at the group’s 2013 convention in Garden Grove but only after the U.S. Olympic Committee, under pressure from Hogshead-Makar and others, threatened to cut off funding. USA Swimming was the last national governing body (NGB) sanctioned by the USOC to pass such a rule. 

Summary: Consequences

The consequences of sexual abuse of young athletes are similar to those generally observed among victims of sexual abuse in other contexts. They are major and fall into two categories: psychological consequences (e.g. social embarrassment, problems establishing social ties, impacts on family and friends, lowered self-esteem, alcohol and drug use), and physical consequences (e.g. eating and sleep disorders). In addition, some of the consequences have a direct impact on athletes’ participation in sport: for example, these young people may decide to leave their sport or to take up another one, suffer a decline in performance, fail to attend training sessions, or find it hard to concentrate during training.

Implications for Prevention and Recommendations

More attention needs to be paid to the prevention of sexual abuse in sport. Ideally, prevention efforts should focus on a range of variables: 

  • Factors that influence implementation of preventive measures in sports organizations (training of sports administrators, leadership, support for organizations)
  • Measures to prevent sexual abuse (criminal record checks, behaviour management rules, awareness-raising)
  • Case management measures (disciplinary measures, resources for victims, complaints procedures)
  • In addition, it is essential to not tolerate behaviour in sport that would be considered unacceptable in other contexts, such as day-care centers or schools.
  • Parents can also play a role in prevention by finding out about preventive measures in place within the sport or club organization, and by choosing those that give priority to the well-being of young people.

Foremost, parents should:

  • Do a background check
  • Stay informed
  • Avoid turning the child’s coach into a babysitter
  • Avoid falling for flattery
  • Talk to the child and then listen
  • Beware of coaches bearing gifts 
References:

Brackenridge, C.H, Fasting, K., Kirby, S., & Leahy, T. (2010). Protecting children from violence in sport – A review with a focus on industrialized countries. From the UNICEF website. www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/violence_in_sport.pdf 

Brackenridge, C., Bishop, D., Moussali, S. and Tapp, J. (2008). The characteristics of sexual abuse in sport: A multidimensional scaling analysis of events described in media reports. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(4): 385-406. 

Brackenridge, C. (2001). Spoilsports: Understanding and preventing sexual exploitation in sport. London, UK: Routledge. 

Brackenridge, C., & Kirby, S. (1997). Playing safe: Assessing the risk of sexual abuse to elite child athletes. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 3(4): 407-418. 

Cense, M., & Brackenridge, C. (2001). Temporal and developmental risk factors for sexual harassment and abuse in sport. European Physical Education Review, 7(1): 61-79. 

Fasting, K., Brackenridge, C., Miller, K.E., & Sabo, D. (2008). Participation in college sports and protection from sexual victimization. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(4): 427-441. 

Fasting, K., Brackenridge, C., & Sundgot-Borgen, J. (2004). Prevalence of sexual harassment among Norwegian female elite athletes in relation to sport type. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 39(4): 373-386.

Fox News (2020, February 14). Kathie Klages, former MSU gymnastics coach, found guilty. Retrieved February 24, 2020, from https://www.fox47news.com/news/local-news/kathie-klages-former-msu-gymnastics-coach-found-guilty

Hartill, M. (2009). The sexual abuse of boys in organized male sports. Men and Masculinities, 12(2) 225-249. 

Hartill, M. (2005). Sport and the sexually abused male child. Sport, Education and Society, 10(3): 287-3044. 

Kirby, S.L., Greaves, L., & Havinsky, O. (2000). The Dome of Silence: Sexual harassment and abuse in sport. Halifax, NS, Canada: Fernwood. 

Leahy, T., Pretty, G., & Tenenbaum, G. (2008). A contextualized investigation of traumatic correlates of childhood sexual abuse in Australian athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(4): 366-384. 

Nack, W. (1999). Who’s coaching your kid? The frightening truth about child molestation in youth sports. Nack calls it: Every parent’s nightmare. The child molester has found a home in the world of youth sports, where as a coach he can gain the trust and loyalty of kids – and then prey on them. Sports Illustrated Special Report, September 13, 1999. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.si.com/vault/1999/09/13/266260/every-parents-nightmare-the-child-molester-has-found-a-home-in-the-world-of-youth-sports-where-as-a-coach-he-can-gain-the-trust-and-loyalty-of-kids–and-then-prey-on-them

Parent, S., & Bannon, J. (2012). Sexual abuse in sport: What about boys? Children and Youth Services Review, 34(2): 354-359. 

Parent, S., & El Himi, K. (2012). Sexual abuse of young people in sport. Quebec City, QC: Department of Physical Education, Université Laval AND Institut national de santé publique. Quebec City, Canada. Media Kit on sexual assault. Retrieved February 22, 2020, from https://www.inspq.qc.ca/en/sexual-assault/fact-sheets/sexual-abuse-young-people-sport

Parent, S., & Demers, G. (2010). Sexual abuse in sport: A model to prevent and protect athletes. Child Abuse Review, 20(2): 120–133.

Parent, S. (2011). Disclosure of sexual abuse in sport organizations: A case study. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 20(3): 322-337

Reid, S. M. (2018, February 16). 100s of USA swimmers were sexually abused for decades and the people in charge knew and ignored it, investigation finds. The Orange County Register. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/16/ investigation-usa-swimming-ignored-sexual-abuse-for-decades/

Stirling, A.E., & Kerr, G.A. (2009). Abused athletes’ perceptions of the coach-athlete relationship. Sport in Society, 12(2): 227-239. Toftegaard, J.N. (2001). The forbidden zone: intimacy, sexual relations and misconduct in the relationship between coaches and athletes. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 36(2): 165-182.

Tip of the Month – January 2020

Coach Monika Says…


“Spice Up” Your Exercise Program – Add and Vary Exercises

I learned over many years of coaching one needs to be very creative with exercise programs, inclusive Warm-up, Cool-down, and Conditioning. We designed the so-called ‘exercise complex’, comprising 25 exercises per set (standing to sitting, in essence, top to bottom of the body). It is based on the periodization of 4 Macro cycles per season. Exercises are then changed per cycle or modified based on need. All exercises are performed to music, selected by athletes to keep up the ‘beat’ and maintain their motivation.

We have accumulated a repertoire with more than 700 exercises without (‘free body’ exercises), and with apparatus use such as medicine balls, physio balls, ropes, gym benches, etc. I will be providing samples over several upcoming newsletters. We do have a PDF booklet for purchase (US$7) with selected exercises located on this Website titled “The Kalos Exercise Collection.”

Part I – Series #1 Developing Explosive Power

Want to improve the power & explosiveness of your athletes in just a few minutes of practice? Start implementing Plyometrics (more on this topic will be available in the upcoming January 2020 Newsletter).

1.  Spiderman Jump

Equipment: small exercise mats

Quick explosive jumping static and dynamic balance, leg and core strength, explosive power

Start position: assume medium squat position, feet parallel and slightly apart, center of gravity over feet, arms bent in front of body/at waist height, face forward, back aligned

Action: assume start position,swing arms upward for jump, jumping to full body extension, land in medium squat position, bending knees for safe landing, arms bent in front of body/at waist height, balance over feet, feet slightly apart, continuous jumping action, set number of repetitions

Variation: straddle legs in air, close legs for landing

2. Jumping Rows: Low Boxes or Medicine Balls

Equipment: select number of low boxes, medicine balls spaced equally apart in a row   

Continuous quick jumping series over low boxes or balls

Start Position: stand upright, feet parallel and slightly apart, face forward, arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, arms at sides by body, swing arms upward for jump, land in medium squat position, bend knees for safe landing, bent arm in front of body/at waist height, continuous jumping action, return to start, set number of repetitions

3. Jumping Rows: Low Boxes or Medicine Ball to Standing Long Jump

Equipment: select number of low boxes, medicine balls, 5×7 mat

Continuous quick jumping series over boxes or balls, followed with immediate long jump

Start Position: stand upright, feet parallel and slightly apart, face forward, arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, arms at sides by body, swing arms upward for jump, land in medium squat position, bend knees for safe landing, bent arm in front of body/at waist height, continuous jumping action followed by long jump, return to start, set number of repetitions

4. Frog Jump 
Schlots:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:2 LeapFrog.jpg

Equipment: long mat for number of athletes, plastic disk, frog image placed distance away (in front)

Quick ‘Frog’ Jump for height and flight 

Start Position: assume low crouch position at side of mat (athletes side by side),feet comfortably apart, arms slightly bent, hands flat on mat, fingers spread apart, looking at hands

Action: assume start position, on command, athletes jump, push from both feet and hands, jump upward and forward (height and flight for distance), land in crouch position, return to start, set number of repetitions

*We use flat plastic disks and frog toy images for motivation to increase jumping distance

5. Frog Jump – Handclap in Air

Equipment: long mat

Quick ‘Frog’ Jump with handclap in air

Start Position: assume low crouch position,feet slightly apart, arms bent at sides by body, hands flat on mat, face forward, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from both feet and hands, jump high upward and forward (more height and flight), clap hands in air, land in crouch position, continuous action to end of mat or set distance, return to start, set number of repetitions

6. Hoop Jump 

Equipment: long mat, select number of hoops, equally spaced apart, set distance

Quick and continuous jump series 

Start Position: assume low crouch position,feet slightly apart, arms bent at sides by body, face forward, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from both feet and hands, jump high upward and forward (more height and flight), land in crouch position inside hoop, immediate jump into next hoop, continuous action to end of mat or set distance, return to start, set number of repetitions

7. Vertical Jump 
Schlots:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:7a StVJump1.jpg

Equipment: mat alongside wall, target lines marked with tape on wall at various heights

Quick ‘Vertical Jump, extending arm to touch marked target line (height)

Start Position: stand upright sideways next to wall (right side), feet slightly apart, face forward (standing sideways), arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from both feet, 2-foot upward jump, using strong single R arm swing, touch target with R hand (closest to wall), land bending knees, continuous action set number of repetitions

Variations: 

  1. Repeat from L side of the wall, set number of repetitions
  2. Repeat, one-foot jump, R side, R foot, one-foot take-off, and jump set number of repetitions
  3.  Repeat, one-foot jump, L side, L foot, one-foot take-off, and jump, set number of repetitions
8. Jump from Kneeling – Medium Squat – Jump in Air 
Schlots:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:images.png

Equipment: small exercise mat

Quick Jump to medium squat to Jump in air 

*Advanced level – avoid if weak knee condition

*Put padding under knees 

Start Position: assume upright kneeling position (or sit on heels),feet/heels together, face forward, arms at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from knees, shins, and top of feet, to jump upward with strong arm swing, to medium squat position, immediate jump in air with arm swing to overhead, continuous action, set number of repetitions

References: 

Retrieved January 10, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Wilt

Schloder, M.E. (2020). Personal Resources: Personal training manual: Track and Field.

Want to Improve Power and Explosiveness of Your Athletes?

Start Implementing Plyometric Training

Background:

Plyometric training was the ‘cornerstone’ of Soviet athletic domination during the 1960s and 1970s

Frederick (Fred) Loren Wilt (December 14, 1920 – September 5, 1994) 

Fred Wilt was an American runner and FBI agent, competing in the 10,000m at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, finishing 11th and 21st, respectively. Wilt held eight AAU (Former Amateur Athletic Union) titles, the indoor mile in 1951 to cross-country in 1949 and 1952–1953. He won the James E. Sullivan Award as best American Amateur athlete in 1950 and was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1981.

He visited the Soviet Union to observe their training methods. In 1975, Wilt coined the term plyometrics while observing Soviet athletes warming up. After returning to the US, he began to implement the new training method. Subsequently, sports teams throughout the country and around the world started to incorporate plyometrics into their training programs.

His book “Run Run Run” was published in 1964 by US Track & Field News. It contained chapters by Wilt, notable coaches like New Zealand’s Arthur Lydiard, and Soviet gold medalist Vladimir Kuts; the book went through six printings over the next ten years. He reached out to Dr. Michael Yessis, who had previously introduced this concept to the United States through Russian translation of Verkhoshansky’s work. It inspired their later collaboration to get this information to U.S. coaches with “Soviet Theory, Technique and Training for Running and Hurdling.” After retirement from the FBI, he worked as head coach for the Cross-Country and Track and Field Women’s team at Purdue University. 

What are Plyometric Exercises?

Plyometric Training = Power

Athletes across all sports, regardless of age or gender, benefit from plyometric training. The best news: it only takes 5 minutes to add a ‘plyometric boost.’

Definition and Types 

Plyometric exercises are powerful, aerobic, quick, and explosive movements designed to increase speed, endurance, and strength. Plyometrics also known as ‘jump training or plyos’ as they require athletes to exert muscles to their maximum potential in short periods of time. The exercises are usually geared toward highly trained athletes or people in peak physical condition. However, they can be modified for younger athletes, and those wanting to improve their fitness. 

Two forms of plyometrics have evolved. In the original version, Russian scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky defined the training as ‘shock method.’ Athletes would drop down from a given height (box), and experience ‘shock’ upon landing. This, in turn, would produce a forced eccentric contraction, which was immediately switched to concentric contraction as the athlete jumped upward. The landing and take-off were executed in an extremely short period of time, ranging from 0.1-0.2 seconds. 

The second version, seen to a greater extent in the United States, involves any form of jump regardless of execution time. The term plyometrics has hence become popular with the increase of publications and books on the subject.

Leg Exercises:

There are numerous exercises to develop leg strength and explosive power. 

Examples:

Squat Jumps

Stand upright, feet slightly wider than the hips, lower body to squat position, press up through the feet, engage abdominals, and jump explosively upward, lifting arms overhead for the jump, land, bending knees, lower back down to squat position, 2-3 sets, 10 repetitions

Reverse Lunge Knee-ups

Stand upright in standing lunge, L foot forward, place R hand on the floor next to the front foot and extend L arm straight back, explosively jump up to bring R knee up as high possible, lifting L arm and dropping R arm back and down, land, bending knees, move to starting lunge position, continue 30 seconds, repeat with opposite side/leg/ foot 

Box Jumps

Equipment: boxes, depending on level/skill of athletes (range: 12-36 inches high)

*Advanced athletes can perform the exercise with one-leg to increase intensity

Stand upright, lower to squat position, jump onto box with both feet, lift arms up to gain momentum for the jump, jump backward off box, gentle landing, bending knees, 2 to 3 sets, 8-12 repetitions

Stairway Hops

Start at the bottom of a staircase

Stand upright, hop up the stairs on R leg/foot, return, walking down, 6-8 repetitions, repeat opposite side/leg/foot

Tuck Jumps

This exercise improves agility, strength, and stability. It is useful for any activity that requires quick change of direction

Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, bend knees, jump upward as high as possible, bringing knees towards chest, 2-3 sets, 10-12 repetitions

Lateral Bounds

Start in a squat position, balancing on R leg/foot, explosively jump to L side as high and far as possible, land on L leg/foot in squat position, explosively jump to R side as high and far as possible, continuous, landing back and forth from starting position, 

3-5 sets, 5-10 repetitions

Benefits:

There are many benefits to performing plyometric exercises, especially since they require little to no equipment; they can be performed anytime and anywhere. In what’s known as the stretch-shortening cycle, concentric contractions (shortening the muscles) are followed by eccentric contractions (stretching the muscles). This provides excellent results in strengthening muscles while improving agility, stability, and balance. These combined benefits allow muscles to work more quickly and efficiently.

The biggest benefit is mostly neurological because the central nervous system becomes more explosive, and thus allows athletes to jump higher, leap further, sprint faster, or kicking harder. ​The focus of a plyometric exercise is on training the mind/body connection to activate more muscle fibers more quickly in order to increase efficiency and speed of muscle contractions. Plyometrics ‘tone’ the entire body, burn calories, rapidly stretch the muscles, and improve cardiovascular health. They also boost stamina and metabolism. In addition, the exercises rapidly stretch muscles, allowing athletes to move more efficiently. The result is increased power and athletic performance.

Classification of Plyometric Drills

Macintosh HD:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:Plyo.jpg

Reference: Schloder, M. E. (2017). Lecture Series. Training principles for athletes. Calgary, AB.

Cautions:

  1. While the method is good for increasing force, caution has to be used since it can increase stress and injury. At the same time, performing these exercises correctly has been shown to help prevent injuries.
  2. Use caution when adding plyometric exercises if athletes are beginners or have an injury or chronic condition. It’s best if they already have an established workout routine, and are physically fit before beginning plyometric training. 
  3. Slowly add plyometric exercises to workout routines, starting with basic, lower-intensity moves before moving into more challenging movements.
  4. Gradually increase intensity, duration, and difficulty once the body is strong enough to handle the exercises. If plyometric training is too intense, try a different method of exercise. 
  5. Talk to a personal trainer, exercise physiologist, or exercise professional to learn more about this type of training. It may be beneficial to have at least a few one-on-one or group sessions to help get started.
  6. Touch base with an exercise professional at least once a month to make sure the program is on the ‘right track’, provide helpful feedback, and discuss new techniques. Proper form is essential in order to ensure safety.
  7. Talk to a medical expert before starting any new exercise program. This is especially important if a medical condition or injury exists, and/or medication is taken.

Safety Considerations

The exercises involve an increased risk of injury due to large force generated during training and performance, and should only be performed by well-conditioned individuals under supervision. 

Plyometric exercises have shown benefits for reducing lower extremity injuries in team sports while combined with other neuromuscular training (i.e. strength training, balance training, and stretching). 

Good levels of physical strength, flexibility, and proprioception should be achieved before beginning plyometric training. 

The specified minimum strength requirement varies depending on where the information is sourced and the intensity performed. Chu (1998) recommends that a participant is able to perform 50 repetitions of the squat exercise at 60% of his or her body weight before doing plyometrics (may be difficult for younger athletes!). Core (abdomen) strength is also important. 

Flexibility is required both for injury prevention and to enhance the effect of the stretch shortening cycle. In fact, some advanced training methods combine plyometrics and intensive stretching in order to both protect the joint and make it more receptive to the plyometric benefits. 

Proprioception is an important component of balance, coordination and agility, which is also required for safe performance of plyometric exercises. 

Further safety considerations include: 

Age: needs to be considered for both pre-pubescent and the elderly because of hormonal changes.

Technique: a participant must be instructed on proper technique before commencing any plyometric exercise. He/she should be well rested and free of injury in any of the limbs to be exercised.

‘Loaded’ Plyometrics

Plyometric exercises are sometimes performed with an additional load or added weight, held or worn. This may be a barbell, trap bar, dumbbells, or a weighted vest. (example: vertical jump holding a trap bar; jumping split squats holding dumbbells. In addition, a regular weight lifting exercise is sometimes given a plyometric component, such as the loaded jump squat. Jumping onto boxes or over hurdles holding weights is not recommended for safety reasons. The advantage of ‘loaded’ plyometric exercises is that they increase overall force with which the exercise is performed. This can enhance the positive effect of the exercise and further increase the athlete’s ability to apply explosive power. 

Guidelines

  1. Non-athletes can use plyometrics to promote general fitness, which is helpful to perform daily activities. It’s important that exercises are executed properly in order to gain benefits and prevent injury. 
  2. Using correct alignment and form helps prevent strain and injury. Athletes should perform the exercises when fresh and full of energy.
  3. Athletes should have strength, flexibility, and mobility, especially in the ankles, knees, and hips. 
  4. Core, lower back, and leg strength are equally important. 
  5. Many plyometric exercises are also full-body exercises. They help tone the body by engaging lots of different muscles. Connective tissue is strengthened and athletes can increase resiliency and elasticity.
  6. 10-minute Warm-up should be performed prior to plyometric exercises to loosen and warm up the body. Follow each session with the Cool-down. 
  7. Yoga may be the perfect complement to a plyometric workout since the activity benefits the connective tissue and joints.
  8. Before undertaking plyometric training, it is necessary to distinguish jumps that are commonly called ‘plyometric’ and true plyometric jumps as exemplified in the ‘depth jumps’ of the shock method (refer to Introduction and Chart).

The Bottom Line

  1. Plyometric exercises can help improve athletic performance in athletes and develop physical fitness in non-athletes. 
  2. Plyometrics increases speed, power, and quickness. 
  3. The exercises use force and require strength, mobility, and flexibility. requiring athletes or people to be relatively physically fit before beginning the training.
  4. Consider working with an exercise professional when starting out. This reduces the risk of injury and allows athletes to learn proper form and technique. 
  5. While ‘plyometric’ exercises can be challenging, athletes should enjoy the experience as well as the results.

References:

Alot Health (2018). Pros of the Plyometrics Workout. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://health.alot.com/wellness/pros-of-the-plyometrics-workout–1050

Andrews, E. (2016). Explosive plyometric workout. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5869/explosive-plyometric-workout

Bartholomew, B. (2018). Beginners Guide to Plyometrics. Art of Manliness. Cardio, Health & Sport. Updated November 2, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/beginners-guide-to-plyometrics/

Davies G., Rieman, BL., & Manske, R. (2015). Current concepts of plyometric exercise. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Vol. 10(6), 760-786.

Chu, D. (1998). Jumping into plyometrics (2nd ed.), pp.1-4. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Gas, DV. (2017). Body-weight training: Ditch the dumbbells. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/body-weight-training-ditch-the-dumbbells/art-20304638

Google Books (n.d.), co-authored by Fred Wilt.

Hansen, D., & Kennelly, S. (2017). Equipment in Plyometric Anatomy. Leeds, UK. Human Kinetics and Amazon.com

Hansen, D., & Kennelly, S. (2017). Plyometric anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Healthline (2019, January 23). How to do different plyometric exercises. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/plyometric-exercises#leg-exercises

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) (2013). Developing power in everyday athletes with plyometrics. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://blog.nasm.org/fitness/developing-power-in-everyday-athletes-with-plyometrics/

Patterson, B. (2015). Verkhoshansky’s 5 Rules from ‘Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches.’ Elitefts. Retrieved, January 19, 2020, from https://www.elitefts.com/education/verkhoshanskys-5-rules-from-special-strength-training-manual-for-coaches/

Schloder, M.E. (2017). Lecture Series. Training principles for athletes. NCCP Module: Prevention and Recovery. Calgary, AB.

Thompson, B. (2010). Incorporating plyometrics to a gymnasts’ training program. usagym.org/docs/ Education/library/2010_aug_12.pdf

USA Track and Field (2018). Fred Wilt. Archived from the original, September 18, 2018.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/PAG_ExecutiveSummary.pdf

Verkhoshansky, Y., & Verkhoshansky, N. (2011). Specialized strength and conditioning, manual for coaches. Verkhoshansky SSTM. 

Yessis, M. (2013). Why is plyometrics so misunderstood and misapplied? Dr. Yessis SportLab. Building a better athlete. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://doctoryessis.com/2013/01/02/why-is-plyometrics-so-misunderstood-and-misapplied/

Yessis, M. (2009). Explosive plyometrics. Ultimate athlete concepts. Ultimate Athlete Concepts, Muskegan, MI and Amazon.com

Yessis, M. (2000). Explosive Running (1st edition). NY: McGraw-Hill.

Wilt, F. (1964). Run-Run-Run. Mountain View, CA: Track & Field News.

Wilt, F. (n.d.). USA Track & Field

Wilt, F. sports-reference.com

Wilt, F. trackfield.brinkster.net

Tip of the Month – December 2019

Coach Monika Says…


No Snooze, You Lose

Image result for asleep at desk images

Researchers keep reporting that more and more children, teens, and adults show signs of tiredness during their daily undertakings. Obviously, this also becomes an issue with many younger and older athletes, and those experiencing a sudden growth spurt. College and University students are likewise affected, especially in classes after lunch, leading to a lack of focus and concentration. In numerous cases, schools in the USA and Canada usually begin between 8:00-9:00 AM, and given this situation in Calgary, Alberta, many children have to take the school bus to be transported as early as 7:00 o’clock. This means ‘rise and shine’ around 5:30 AM! If bedtime and ‘tech gadget’ access are not strictly controlled by parents, children are just not getting enough sleep!

Here are tips from NeuroNation, Germany:

Week 1: Give High-Tech Gadget ‘A Break’ (especially at night)

The Journal of “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes” published a study, showing that people, who use smartphones after 9:00 PM were more tired the next day, and therefore less resilient and able to perform under pressure. Transfer these findings toward athletes’ training or having to achieve performance standards! Being on the phone late at night makes it more difficult to fall asleep, and impedes regeneration of the body, especially if calls or communication involves the job or business decisions … take note Coaches!

Week 2: Increase Daily Fluid Intake – Stay Hydrated

Tiredness and sleepiness can be ‘triggered’ by poor circulation or limited blood flow to the brain. When drinking less, the blood becomes more viscous (sticky), and less blood flows to the brain, resulting in tiredness. Determine the daily amount of fluid required by your body weight
(approximately 2 liters/8 cups). Have a bottle of mineral water at your office desk, and at your bedside.

Week 3: Adults – Avoid Alcohol late at Night

Most likely, children and teens are not part of this scenario but coaches and older athletes could be affected. Do you like a nightcap, beer or glass of wine, to help you relax? Some people report that alcohol makes them sleepy and it helps them to fall asleep more easily. However, researchers found that sleep quality suffers, resulting in either restlessness or wakening sporadically because adrenalin is produced. It is recommended to avoid consuming alcohol 3-4 hours prior in order to have optimal sleep quality.

Week 4: Stick to ‘Lean Cuisine’

The more fatty food is consumed, the more sleep disturbances can be experienced, according to the Journal of Sleep Medicine. In addition, not only sleep is affected but also tiredness during the day is attributed to the consumption of fatty food. In other words, not only our body shape but also our sleep is going to benefit from proper nutrition.

Keep the ‘Brain Fit’

We receive and absorb a lot of information during the day. In order to ‘survive’ the brain has to make imperative decisions on storing the information that is important and ignoring the lesser one. The more we take in, the more demanding and stressful it is for our brain… and exhaustion sets in. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, even a disorderly or messy desk (homework or studying) can produce fatigue and exhaustion! The best results have been attributed to engaging in ‘brain fitness’ exercises, and of course, having quality sleep. ‘Brain fitness’ strengthens especially work-related memory, which is responsible for sorting out the information base. The stronger and fitter the brain, the less the chance of fatigue and exhaustion.

Examples of Brain Fitness Exercises:

Test your recall: Make a list of things to do, or anything else that comes to mind, and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall.

Do math in your head: Figure out problems without the aid of pencil, paper, or computer; you can make this more difficult – and athletic – by walking at the same time.

Learn a foreign language: The listening and hearing involved stimulate the brain. What’s more, a rich vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive decline.

Create word pictures: Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try and think of any other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.

Draw a map from memory: After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area; repeat this exercise each time you visit a new location.

Challenge your taste buds: When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.

Refine your hand-eye abilities: Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc. Use your non-dominant hand for selected skills or writing

Try a new sport: Start doing an athletic exercise that utilizes both mind and body, such as yoga, golf, or tennis.

Start writing or type / to choose a block

References: 

NeuroNation, Germany: https://sp.neuronation.com/en/

Why Us ?

Shape Young Athletes
By Having FUN!

INTRODUCING:

Physical Literacy For Children And Youth
Through Fun, Fitness And Fundamentals

Available NOW! – Instant Download or 2-Disk Set

Watch the preview video below!

You will be astonished over the athletic accomplishments of these young athletes’ strength, flexibility, balance, etc.

Click here to purchase your copy today!

 Dr. Monika Schloder Welcomes You To The Home of CoachingBest

Your one-stop for Coaching Tips, Training, and Information for the Athletic Coach

Years of teaching and coaching experience in several sports have provided me with the ability to understand the physical, mental, and emotional requirements for developing beginner to elite level athlete in several sports. The ‘knack’ to analyze sport movement, in essence, detect errors and then develop creative corrections and drills to improve, maximize, and optimize performance – no matter the sport – is one of my greatest assets.

Dr. Monika Scloder, Summer Swim Camp- Turku, Finland

Professional Activities:

  • DVD Production: Swimming; Developing Physical Literacy; Athletic Training
  • Learning Facilitator, Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), having educated nationally and internationally over 26,000 coaches to date
  • Certified Alberta NCCP Coach Developer (2016)
  • Speaker at International Congresses, Coaching Symposiums, and World Clinics
  • Master Coach in Residence, 1991-2004, for the Los Angeles based 84 Legacy of the Games (former Amateur Athletic Foundation or AAF), program developer for Inner City Minority Youth Education and Leadership
  • Author: Coaching Manuals in Swimming and Soccer
  • Co-author “Coaching Athletes: A Foundation for Success”

Honors:

  • Alberta 2008 Coach of the Year
  • Recipient of 14 International Teaching and Coaching Awards
  • 3M Teaching Fellowship Award for Outstanding Teaching at Canadian Universities
  • Recipient of numerous Teaching Excellence Awards, University of Calgary

At CoachingBest.com we offer sport consulting and coaching education to organizations worldwide with an emphasis on current issues, physical literacy, athlete development, performance analysis, and improvement

Visit our Website CoachingBest.com for ‘Tips of the Week’ and sign up for the free Monthly Newsletter


Dr. Schloder has developed a series of Training DVD’s to help Coaches and Athletes
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ASCA Workshop Conference and Presentation

Happenings from November

With Coach Rebecca Atchley – Dr. Schloder was an External Committee Member for Rebeca’s Masters Project Dr. Schloder’s Workshop Presentation

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Conference Photos

Happenings from September

Latest Happenings!!

 Dr. Monika Schloder at the ASCA World Clinic for Swimming, Jacksonville, Florida, Sept 8, 2014 Presenting at the 4-hour Work shop “Dry-land School for Age Group Swimmers” Coaches participate in her workshops… they don’t just sit!

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Back Arch Demo

Coach Schloder in Istanbul, Turkey Swim Camp , June 9-15

Underneath the swimmer to demonstrate the back arch position after the Back Crawl start. Not too many coaches can do this perfectly!

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Developing Physical Literacy

This highly acclaimed presentation was given by Dr. Schloder at the Canadian Sport for Life Summit (CS4L), which will be available as a movie version. Watch for the up-coming DVD: ‘Physical Activities for Children and Youth. Fundamental Movement Skills in the Pursuit of Excellence and Well-being.’

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2 comments

  1. Augusto Acosta

    I love your work!

  2. Kim Cox

    Super new front page on your website, very informative.

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Tip of the Month – February 2020

Coach Monika Says… “Spice Up” Your Exercise Program – Add and Vary Exercises Part II I provided samples of exercises for lower body strength and explosive power in the January Newsletter, inclusive of the chart, showing the impact of exercises and exercises to avoid, especially for younger athletes.  Here are additional ones for the lower …

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The ‘Sad and Dark Side’ of Coaching

Part I – Children and Youth Sports Abuse of Power and Misconduct Some time ago, I wrote about the ‘dark side’ of coaching. The topic of abuse in sports has been ‘taboo’ for a very long time (since the early 1950s), and was ‘swept under the rug’ by the ‘old boys network’ and a stronghold …

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