Why I trust coaches more than sports scientists

John sardos

Level 4 Valued Member
I think having a sports scientist who can simplify the information to deliver to the strength coach so that coach then can tinker their program and use the info as they see best fits is an ideal relationship between the two. I have seen too often a sports science person become an AD or head of a strength and conditioning program because they have a doctorate, but no training experience. I have also seen programs without a sports science person on staff that try's to collect too much data but have no idea what we are doing or looking for. As you can image both scenarios end up being a mess. Respecting each others lanes while having a basic knowledge of what the other one does is ideal. Charlie Weingroff talks about this for Canada basketballs sports performance model. Instead having a tier system where one person is the boss he talks about more of a web where different people have their expertise but everyone has a basic understanding of what the others do.
 

DuncanGB

Level 6 Valued Member
@mprevost

In the light of your reading of Antifragilty, would you mind sharing your thoughts upon PART II of The Quick and the Dead?
 
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DaveS

Level 1 Valued Member
And I am a sports scientist. I have felt this way forever but couldn't quite put my finger on the reason for it. It became crystal clear after reading Nassim Taleb's Antifragile. I highly recommend the book. He introduces a few simple ideas that have broad application to so much in life, including training programs. I am on my 3rd reading of the book and every time I get a few new insights.
Interesting topic and something i’ve thought too, that some of the best sports scientists are the elite coaches that have to experiment in the real world, observe patterns and gain empirical based evidence as they go rather than hypothetical insights from short range studies.

Another thought is how much of current science is fuelled by scientists having to compromise their research and experiments to ‘find’ a predetermined conclusion to please the person/company that is paying for the study so they can then claim ‘scientifically proven’ when advertising the product they’re selling! This ‘pressure to make a living’ leads to loads of bogus studies that become published and then interpreted as ‘fact’ by many business folk with ulterior motives and innocent readers. My A&P lecturer at uni when doing i was doing a sports science degree testified to this idea as he had previously worked in the field for many years and agreed most of what is published should be taken with a pinch a salt as the studies were bias before they started.

This further supports a lot of the past Eastern block studies Pavel often quotes as though I’ve never seen them, the fact they were done in a communist country hell bent on performance results to showcase to the world the might of the nations with state sponsored funding, makes it much more likely the studies were done with the correct intent to ‘get to the truth’ from the outset and so had much more integrity in the protocols and conclusions made building a body of work much closer to the truth. Pavel’s genius as a true hybrid scientist/coach then is making all that accessible and clear for the masses with programs that really work 😎
 

mprevost

Level 6 Valued Member
@mprevost

In the light of your reading of Antifragilty, would you mind sharing your thoughts upon PART II of The Quick and the Dead?
I don't know anything about PART II of the Quick and the Dead as I have not read it. I should qualify this by saying that I am fully retired, and am no longer in the business. I have no need for any additional programming knowledge and am not looking to optimize my personal training. My goals are modest and I have more than enough programs in my pocket to last a lifetime. I just don't read fitness or training related stuff at all anymore, no matter how good it is.
 
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mprevost

Level 6 Valued Member
Interesting topic and something i’ve thought too, that some of the best sports scientists are the elite coaches that have to experiment in the real world, observe patterns and gain empirical based evidence as they go rather than hypothetical insights from short range studies.

Another thought is how much of current science is fuelled by scientists having to compromise their research and experiments to ‘find’ a predetermined conclusion to please the person/company that is paying for the study so they can then claim ‘scientifically proven’ when advertising the product they’re selling! This ‘pressure to make a living’ leads to loads of bogus studies that become published and then interpreted as ‘fact’ by many business folk with ulterior motives and innocent readers. My A&P lecturer at uni when doing i was doing a sports science degree testified to this idea as he had previously worked in the field for many years and agreed most of what is published should be taken with a pinch a salt as the studies were bias before they started.

This further supports a lot of the past Eastern block studies Pavel often quotes as though I’ve never seen them, the fact they were done in a communist country hell bent on performance results to showcase to the world the might of the nations with state sponsored funding, makes it much more likely the studies were done with the correct intent to ‘get to the truth’ from the outset and so had much more integrity in the protocols and conclusions made building a body of work much closer to the truth. Pavel’s genius as a true hybrid scientist/coach then is making all that accessible and clear for the masses with programs that really work 😎
I think this is certainly true. The aim of US scholars is often tenure, and to gain status among their peers. This sometimes conflicts with getting at the truth. In the Soviet model, coaches and scientists are aligned in their aims.

I've had some conversations with Pavel about the biochemistry of training adaptation. I can tell you that his knowledge, and reading of the science is as deep as any PhD. He certainly taught me some things. Pavel is a rare mix of real world experience, scientific knowledge, and a sharp mind.
 

mprevost

Level 6 Valued Member
When I think back on my academic career and the path I took, I can see more clearly that I turned left, when turning right may have been more productive. I went to grad school in order to more fully understand how to make people bigger, faster and stronger. When I was still in a MS program I was given the opportunity to intern (no pay) in the LSU strength and conditioning facility. Instead, I signed up for a PhD. I can see now that the former was the shorter path (much!) to gaining the knowledge I was seeking. But the latter lead to an interesting life.
 

DuncanGB

Level 6 Valued Member
I don't know anything about PART II of the Quick and the Dead as I have not read it. I should qualify this by saying that I am fully retired, and am no longer in the business. I have no need for any additional programming knowledge and am not looking to optimize my personal training. My goals are modest and I have more than enough programs in my pocket to last a lifetime. I just don't read fitness or training related stuff at all anymore, no matter how good it is.
Weird qualification given that you are quoted at the start of Q&D PART III... no?
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
When I think back on my academic career and the path I took, I can see more clearly that I turned left, when turning right may have been more productive. I went to grad school in order to more fully understand how to make people bigger, faster and stronger. When I was still in a MS program I was given the opportunity to intern (no pay) in the LSU strength and conditioning facility. Instead, I signed up for a PhD. I can see now that the former was the shorter path (much!) to gaining the knowledge I was seeking. But the latter lead to an interesting life.
I'm sure your path worked out just fine.
A D1 football program can be an excellent training ground. A hundred twenty plus athletes, wide receiver to O line, DB to rush DE, many test sets in that varied group.
 

DuncanGB

Level 6 Valued Member
And I am a sports scientist. I have felt this way forever but couldn't quite put my finger on the reason for it. It became crystal clear after reading Nassim Taleb's Antifragile. I highly recommend the book. He introduces a few simple ideas that have broad application to so much in life, including training programs. I am on my 3rd reading of the book and every time I get a few new insights.
@mprevost
I wouldn't trust you, if I were you, either:p
 
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SteveR

Level 1 Valued Member
I recently worked with (lucked into) an orthopedist who lifts/does cross fit. With due respect to all orthopedic practitioners, the communication was really enhanced because of this.

Finding out that he had actually done squats and lunges under respectable loads naturally boosted my confidence in his advice.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
I recently worked with (lucked into) an orthopedist who lifts/does cross fit. With due respect to all orthopedic practitioners, the communication was really enhanced because of this.

Finding out that he had actually done squats and lunges under respectable loads naturally boosted my confidence in his advice.
Yes. Nice to bump into someone in the health field that is congruent, that eats their own cooking.
 
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