A look into the professional athlete’s strength coaching world today.
Who’s pumped? You better be pumped because the below info is solid f’n gold.
Tim DiFrancesco stops by to offer some of his advice about where the professional athlete and the average gym goer’s programming can cross paths as well as what the new trainers/coaches coming into the industry should be thinking about.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Tim and can say that besides being an epic professional with a HELL of a resume, he is a quality and humble human being. The fitness industry could use more of guys like that.
Tim’s Bio (read: check him the F%#$ out)
Tim DiFrancesco spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. DiFrancesco graduated from Endicott College with a Bachelor’s in Science in Athletic Training and from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He holds PT, DPT, ATC and CSCS certifications.
What is the best advice that you can give a new coach/trainer coming into the industry?
“Volunteer yourself to train as many people of different levels as you can. This is the best way to learn your craft. Be a fly on the wall to as many industry professionals as possible. Pay attention to what you like and what you don’t like from their approach. Expose yourself to as many training systems and approaches as you can without marrying yourself to any single one. Use what you see to help you to craft your own philosophy. Start writing early in your career. You don’t have to publish right away, but learning to share your thoughts on various platforms is key. Draft your ideas on paper and offer them to established blogs or websites to share. This is a key skill in this industry and the only way to get good at writing is to write. Lastly, recognize that your people skills are your greatest asset. Develop your people skills and make relationships your priority.” -TD
What are some things that you’ve learned from coaching the pros that can be translatable regardless of the clientele?
“Training pro athletes is not as different from training general population or non-pro athlete clients as most people think. Pro athletes tend to have skipped steps in their training history. Many trainers assume that they don’t need to do the basics with elite athletes. This is a mistake because then they fail to master the fundamental movement and training principles that provide a solid base for athletic development and injury prevention. The same goes for most any client of any level that I’ve ever worked with.” -TD
Assuming that in your programming with athletes that you have some staples strength exercises that you do often without “changing it up” every 4-seconds, how do you keep them engaged in doing the same thing often?
“Ha, I see this often: trainers to the pros or stars tend to be more concerned with keeping their clients from getting bored than getting them results. I’ve found that athletes like to see and feel their progress. This is hard to do when every workout is completely different. By staying the course on a planned out program you’re able to show the athlete the progress they’ve made. They feel when they’re able to do more weight as time goes on and they feel workouts getting easier as they adapt. This keeps them coming back for more. Additionally, I think you can always make subtle changes in how an exercise is loaded, planes it crosses and stance positions. This keeps it fresh while still allowing you to accomplish what you and the athlete need.” -TD
What are some of the main cornerstones of your training/programming philosophy?
“My philosophy is based on the idea that as humans in today’s world we don’t move enough and we aren’t exposed to enough heavy lifting. Humans need to learn basic movement patterns/skills first and then learn to own those movements/positions. I help people learn how to move first and then help them to strengthen or own those movements by loading them.” -TD
Tim, you’re a G, thanks for stopping by
Thanks for reading and Kaizen on, Beast