Strength and Conditioning, From Mike Gentry to Ben Hilgart: Part 1

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A strength and conditioning article is a good excuse to use this great picture. (Jon Fleming)

For the next two weeks we’re going to look at strength and conditioning, and specifically talk a little about how VT’s work in this field has changed in the transition from Mike Gentry to Ben Hilgart. Strength and conditioning is a nebulous construct for most folks, even for those who’ve spent time in the gym and had some experience in competitive sports.

Most football fans can take a stab at describing a “read option,” but if you ask them to define “rate coding” (which involves the recruitment of muscle fibers under heavy loads), they’ll think you’re talking about phone bills. Ask them about a great football coach, and they can reel off names galore going back to the founding of the game. Ask about a great strength coach, and you’ll get names of people they’ve seen in Men’s Health or on Good Morning America, but not guys like Al Vermeil (the only S&C coach who’s coached title-winning teams in both the NBA and NFL) or Al Roy (who basically invented the field in America.)

I’ve seen the topic of sports performance appear on the TSL boards over the years, though compared to the depth of game knowledge and behind-the-scenes