loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

Track and Field, Weightlifitng and Power Lifting. More important than AFL.

AFL, netball and cricket have high participation rates. I love AFL footy. But these 3 sports will probably never be international sports despite some of the press recently. And in these sports one just needs a mix of fitness and athleticism.

And all these team sports ( and others) are contrived sports based on arbitrary rules or specific equipment. Track and Field, Weightlifting,Power lifting even swimming are really pure sports that almost 100% reflect fitness, strength and conditoning levels of the athlete and thus require pure training methodology.

In reality participation rates are very high in athletics given little athletics. Ahletics (or track and field) is a fundamental sport.  The ability to run fast and also run long and fast is a critical need in many sports. And weight training and power development underpin nearly all sports.

But more Athletics has been the sport which simply has underpinned the understanding of how to run faster and longer/faster, jump higher/longer or throw further.

Trial and error combined with research has created the knowledge base which is utilized by strength and conditioning staff and fitness gurus worldwide. Not a laboratory. Certainly not human movement courses.

In track and field one has to find the extra .01 secs or the extra metre and this requires so much fine tuning. In team sports it is simply important to get things 95% right and get players very fit and very strong and resilient. Then added to that one has to have the best “cattle” and also wait for teams to mature with game sense and experience. Also finances become critical and so on. Thus the purity of athletic preparation is not the main ‘chase”.

I am amazed at how track and field coaches receive little funding in Australia. So many young strength and conditioning staff go straight from university to clubs and institutes and really just slot into systems. Put them to the test and tell them to fine tune sprinters and runners and many simply would fail. Yet by association they become gurus overnight. Odd.

In Australia we have this notion we are sports science leaders. Yes the AIS is awesome and some of the research is great but all these strength researchers abound and yet few can get people really powerful. Powerful people go to coaches like my brother in law Gus Puopolo who can get you to throw 20 metres plus in the shot put and bench and squat massive amounts. And his systems and training at Ringwood simply cannot be rivalled in many so called research/sports science places. Yet he receives a plaque. Weird.

The people researching sport (ie Crawford Report) need to understand that we need coaches (and athletes) striving to run faster/throw further/jump higher. It is a fundamental need and there needs to be a career path.

The spin off for OZ is a pool of people who know how to teach speed and strength and not just click a button on a GPS and connect it to a computer.

We are in danger of producing mediocre coaches who cannot see past repeated speed training and small games and gadgets to assist monitoring. I use all these gadgets but in the end I am sure Federer jumps off plyometric boxes and sprints down tracks and pumps squats more than download sports science data.

Weightlifting is also a fundamental need and yet hardly anyone knows how to lift properly now. The players at Geelong Football Club were lucky. I had people like John Minns teaching them how to squat year in and year out. We talk so much about how important power is and yet we do not encourage the sport of weightlifting (and power lifting). Yet institutions like Edith Cowan pump research out on these topics. Really odd because the people that actually can get people powerful generally reside outside these institutions.

These sports are fundamental. They are historically the main sports from Spartan days and they represent what we actually strive to often do. Run faster, lift heavier. Key needs in survival situations. Yet we are not encouraging them at suburban level.

Kids love these sports. They are key sports to develop coaches and underpin knowledge and research. Yet they are neglected at senior level. Ckubs and coaches are totally unfunded. Weird. Dumb.

Think again. People love these sports but more so they form the critical foundations for all training dogma.

When I see SLAM BALL I cringe. Kids love little athletics but really coaches do not exist after little aths and clubs are destitute. Weightlifting clubs simply hardly exist and gyms now look like factories. All weird. Yet our researchers say POWER is the key. Then they go and train on their treadmills.

Crawford Report? Have these people actually travelled and do they understand the process of training? Or are they good at marketing and political decisions?

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment