The head strength coach and I share thoughts on different aspects of strength and conditioning every day. I've enjoyed hearing his perspective on many things; most specifically the difference between fitness professionals in the academic world, and fitness professionals actually "in the trenches."
Fitness professionals in the academic setting, or exercise physiologists, know exactly how strength, speed, power, flexibility, etc. is achieved; this knowledge gained through research. Fitness professionals in the trenches, strength coaches, know exactly how to strength, speed, power, flexibility, etc. is achieved; this knowledge gained empirically (trial/error). Both methods seem to work.
The head strength coach has made me aware that not every training session is going to be "optimal;" preworkout snack, foam roll before performing a 3-5 minute aerobic warm up, dynamic stretching, etc. etc. Therefore, he now understands there are certain methods (that maybe don't make sense physiologically) that still get the job done.
I write this post because I am currently struggling with using empirical training methods. Even though my knowledge in the fitness world has been gained through being in the trenches as well as in an academic setting, the fact that I know what is going on physiologically makes it tough for me to design or conduct workouts that don't make sense; even though they may have worked in the past.
My goal is to start to gain a balance of understanding both aspects. I now realize that every workout will not be "optimal." My goal has shifted from doing everything "by the book," to doing everything within my power (taking into account the athletes, situation, etc.) to make each person that walks into the weight room a better athlete.
Hence, the words on the back of my uniform- Athlete Development.