November 11, 2021 9:15 pm
Immovable Pillars Built By First Movers On Social Media
Get ready for the most redundant sentence you've ever read. The combination of social media and technological advancements... never mind I'm not going to finish that sentence.
Point is, if you haven't been paying attention to the skill levels within sports in the last few decades, the abilities of the athletes you can watch on TV now are far better than they used to be. The human race over periods of time gets exponentially better at things. Your argument that your favorite athlete from the 70s is better than the best athletes now is fundamentally a bad argument. I am not going to spend any time defending that point, and if you would like me too, comment below and I just might write another post on that.
In the baseball training community we're in an interesting time where the first movers on social media are still holding most of the influence. Cressey Sports Performance
, Driveline Baseball
, and others come to mind. There are tons of fascinating ideas being floated around by people in smaller circles that don't get the same traction as the big training moguls, even though their ideas are potentially better. Having a bigger platform trumps having better ideas.
I would quickly like to add that I am personally trying to move up the ranks in this industry. This by no means is a hit piece on Kyle Boddy or Eric Cressey, and by no means am I saying that they are bad at what they do. Far from it. I respect both men immensely. In fact, I would say they both attained their heights through having great ideas and working insanely hard to build their businesses and platforms. I also am fully willing to admit, that if I don't reach the same level of success they have it is because my ideas aren't as good and I did not work as hard as them.
With that being said, being the first mover in a space is powerful. So powerful that I believe many trainers are not questioning some of the foundational pieces of the training philosophies that have been made popular, and instead viewing them as essential building blocks that are not to be questioned. We're reaching a stage where if you say you're against weighted balls or the trap bar deadlift it sounds similar to you saying you're an anti-vaxxer.
There is no doubt that nearly every training modality and most exercise selections can improve your current ability to perform your craft in some way shape or form. Every decision to use a specific exercise, modality, or method is also a decision to not do another one. Every decision you make is both a decision of inclusion and exclusion. The daunting part of this is that it can certainly lead to a paralysis in action which Dave Maselli talks about in his article about him starting his journey in building and executing his own workout program:
Dave is approaching this task in a healthy way, where he narrowed down a specific objective he wanted to achieve, and built a simple and easy plan that he knows he can show up and execute on a consistent basis.
In the sports performance world, where the stakes are a bit higher than my fellow blogger's fitness journey, we have to dig a bit deeper into training philosophy. Every training plan that is executed with consistency has a ceiling on the rate of improvement. Just because you got better doing a specific plan, does not mean that another plan isn't far far better. It is hard not to become emotionally attached to the type of training that caused you to progress in a craft you've put a lot of time and energy into.
Dramatically raising the ceiling of a program's potency is an incredibly risky task to take on, because it requires uprooting the fundamental structures of your current programming. Changing the type of exercise you do in the D2 block of your program is not going to make a big impact, but reevaluating your entire training philosophy and all of the metas you implore will yield a massive change in results. Those results could easily be good or bad.
If there is one thing I know the top training moguls hate, it is people who bounce around from trainer to trainer and are changing training methods at a rate where they do not use any method long enough to experience the real benefits of adaptation. This behavior is at worst destructive, and at best will cause stagnancy in progress.
To the athletes that are reading this, the game is about building skill sets. Pick skill sets that you believe will yield the best results for you on the field, and train until you are well past a level of competency in them. At that point either double down and become great at those skill sets, and/or add some more. You will be most valuable if you have one or two of the sharpest tools in the game, and access to a decent variety of other helpful tools on the side.
If you would like to hear a great example of this, check out Boyd Summerhays describe why he didn't make it on the PGA Tour and how he should have approached his training. Go to 11:38 and watch until 13:25:
This applies to the weight room as well as your on field skill development. Getting better at a specific exercise is a skill to add to your skill set, but also may not be worth your time.
For the trainers and coaches reading this, you are often entrusted with making these decisions for your athletes. The efficacy of your training protocols and the skill sets you recommend to your athlete may put a ceiling on the rate of development. It is often the most fundamental building blocks that trainers believe are a necessary cornerstone, that are in fact the most limiting aspects of their program design.