John Cissik's

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Squats: Form Matters

weightlifter

The squat is one of the most widely used exercises in athletic strength and conditioning. It’s also one of the most controversial. Over the years there’s been a standard in terms of squatting technique; heels on the ground, push the hips back (as opposed to the knees forward), knees aligned with the toes, etc. However, not everyone agrees with this.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has an interesting little study examining the impact of squatting form on...

Narcissism and Coaching: Is It Bad?

Matosic et al in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports have an interesting article examining the impact of coach narcissism on whether athletes are more autonomous or are more controlled.  The authors define narcissism as follows: “Narcissism is a self-centered, self-aggrandizing, dominant, and manipulative interpersonal orientation. Individuals… seek attention and admiration, feel entitled, and are amoral, focusing on personal benefit, even at the blatant expense of others (pg. 255).” The authors suggest that this is not a...

The Power of “Don’t”: Coaching the Back Squat

Recently I had a post on social media about the importance of the squat for athletics. A friend that I really respect asked me about my thoughts on progressions for teaching the lift. I thought this would make a good post, but I’ll warn you in advance that I think we make this lift way too complicated.   First off, if you work in a one-on-one situation then you have the luxury of time. You also have the need to...

Teams Win Championships: A Case Study

Players win games, teams win championships. To me that phrase means that individuals have great statistics in sports, but it takes a group of people working together in order to achieve greatness when faced with other groups of people that want to accomplish the same thing. Two seasons with one of my basketball teams were a great study in this. The same players were on both teams, but in 2016 the team lost every game and finished last. In 2017...

Olympic Lifting and Sports: An Evolutionary Tale

Last week I published a blog about a study that at least suggested that we may not need to catch the bar to get the optimal benefits from the Olympic lifts. I got a lot of emails, messages, and comments about that study. So, I figured I’d put my thoughts together about this.   Let me start with a confession, I began as a really arrogant Olympic lifting believer. In college I was a 70-kg lifter who could clean and...