Standards and Quality Control

Chris Holder
Kettlebells, Strength and Conditioning, Martial Arts
I think the older I get and the more errors I make, the better a coach I become. I look back on my writing history for this site and others, and I am developing quite the library of mistake articles and putting myself out there to help you learn from my errors. To be honest, I look at some of the programs that I wrote in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and cringe. I have had, and am still having, a great career doing exactly what I want, where I want to do it. But to be completely honest, I have made more mistakes than I can count.
The guy who wrote those programs was well-intentioned, believe me, but he allowed ego, machismo and blind toughness to cloud the vision. The vision is, and always will be, for my programs to be the most efficient strength programs, for that team or individual, with as little fluff as possible. We want effective programs that have safety in mind, while allowing the athletes to keep their foot on the gas the whole time. And most importantly, what I write has to translate to the field. I don’t want to create a bunch of football players, volleyballers and soccer kids who can do it in the weight room, but can’t bring it onto the field. It serves me no purpose to build an offensive linemen who can squat over 600 lbs, but can roll his hips through on a drive block and ends up getting beat all the time.
As the years have passed, what I have begun to see ring through perhaps louder than anything else is setting a standard for each and every lift. That standard needs to be clear to the athlete and very concise as it leaves my mouth so we both know what is exactly is expected on each rep. There are too many of us out there who coach young athletes and assume that these athletes know what we are talking about—and believe me, they don’t.  They need to hear what we want, see what perfect looks like, and know that when technique goes south, they have an out.


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