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Old 11-28-2012, 12:03 PM   #1
tony hipchest
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-...and conditioning coaches!!!

ive gotten so tired of hearing this crap the past 2 years. BTSC has a great piece people should read to educate themselves-

Steelers Injuries: An in-depth look at reasons behind the 83 player games missed (and counting) in 2012

4. Bad conditioning. This is the one that many fans are currently questioning. What the heck our are trainers doing, or not doing, that is leading to this current rash of injuries? Football training is a curious topic and one that many have a strong opinion about.

First, let's dispense with the obvious: if a player is not willing to train their body there is nothing the trainers can do for them. Jim Wexell just wrote an article about how Keenan Lewis has finally started to heed the advice of Ike Taylor and started lifting on Mondays.


It took this long for a professional athlete to realize that he should probably take care of his body. This cannot be blamed on the trainers or the coaches. If one of the trainers could force Lewis to do something even though Lewis does not receive some immediate tangible benefit from it, then they shouldn't be a trainer. They should be in the Middle East negotiating a peace settlement. Coaches can make an athlete go to therapy, but they can't make them work hard while there. Remember, this is the essence of sports. If everyone was the gold standard, it would not be the gold standard would it?

The best trainers can do is design an excellent conditioning program. Do our trainers do that? No, but not for the reason you think. No one designs a program anymore. Everything is individualized. A trainer does an individual assessment of each athlete, sees where they have weak points, and then designs a program to address those points.

A good example of this to consider is Buddy Morris. Buddy was the legendary strength coach of the Pitt Panthers during Pitt's heyday of the 70s and 80s. When Butch Davis got the Cleveland job, he hired Morris. At that time, Morris had built his reputation on injury prevention. He had a lot of research and new exercise to combat injuries. If you walked into one of Buddy's workouts, you would see some athletes doing things like terminal knee extensions, rotator cuff work, lots and lots of core work (Buddy really brought the core stuff to the forefront), medicine ball exercises, tissue therapy, and a myriad of other things.
Guess what? None of it worked. The Browns were devastated by injuries and Davis was fired.

I'm not saying that Davis was fired because of the injuries, but the interim coach that replaced him did. He basically threw Morris under the bus. In what might be the only time in football history this happened, the strength coach called a press conference. Buddy actually made a cut-up of every injury suffered that year. His point was this: football is a high collision sport. There is no way to avoid injury. The best you can hope for is to minimize them and treat them as fast as possible.

To which, one could plausibly retort "In that case, what the heck is the point of having a strength coach and/or athletic trainers?" After a season in which the Steelers special teams were not special, a reporter asked Tomlin how he could square that fact with the amount of practice time the Steelers spent on special teams. His answer was, "Imagine how bad we would've been if we didn't practice special teams all that time."
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