Hey, Jeff Reinardy here, Winona State University and today we’re going to talk about, you know, getting back to basics. We’re finally back at school, or we’re getting there very shortly for most of us. Now, some of it’s going to be hybrid some of it’s going to be online but I know that some of the facilities for the athletes have begun to open. Including within that is going to be their weight rooms. So there’s going to be some basic things that we need to get started, kind of back to the beginning once again.
Safety, Protocol, & PPE
First thing you have to think about is make sure you have all your safety protocols in place. I know that’s been talked about quite a bit but make sure that you have everything in place that you feel is necessary to make sure your athletes have their fullest opportunity to workout and yet are still gonna stay safe. Obviously, that might include masks at this point. I know that some of our athletes in high school have to wear masks the entire time. Now that might change their ability to do certain things. So you have to make certain that, you know, the level of exercise that you’re inducing at that time, make sure that there’s a little restriction when it comes to that breathing. So that could cause some things that you need to think about.
The next thing you need to think about is, there’s probably going to be little to no spotting at this point. So make sure that they’re in a situation where they can be spot free. Now, if you’re adjusting the safety catches, whatever it might be that you need in place, but again, there’s probably going to be minimal to zero spotting at this point, make sure that you’re assessing that.
See how Jeff is prepared to get athletes in the weight room without a spotter – No Spotter, No Problem.
The next thing you need to think about is assessing, where are they at, it’s been, what, five, almost six months that we’ve been into this pandemic at this point. Now we finally are getting them back. Remember, we’ve been off for five or six months. So we need to think about where they might be. For some of our more, you know, upper level type athletes, they might be, you know, have been able to keep themselves in pretty good shape, but you’re going to find some that have done virtually nothing. So you have to look and say, where do I need to begin with this.
Again, back to basics – need to do kind of fundamentally make sure that they have all their technique the way it should be. Make sure that every aspect is accounted for, that instead of maybe a straight bar, we’ll have to use some dumbbells instead of a back squatting a front squat. We might have to go to a goblet squat with a dumbbell in front, some things that are a little bit more remedial, working our way back to where they maybe had been. But again, that five month break is really going to impact them.
Make sure that that your warm ups themselves might need to change. If you’re doing a group warm up, you might have to do it right within the weight room facility, you might be accustomed to going into your gymnasiums at that point. And you’ve had the ability to have some spacing there. But right now, depending on your numbers, you might have to stay in the weight room itself and kind of look at different ways that you can get a good warm up in. If you are in the gym, again, you have to make certain that you’re keeping the distance the way it should be. So you might have to break your groups up a little bit different than you have in the past. But just certain things to think about.
Keeping Warm-Up Fun
Keep those warm ups fun. Making sure that we’re covering a lot of different aspects of the warm up not only just the flexibility-mobility piece, make sure they’re good and warm. Maybe you can do some, some running aspects and variations of that makes sure we’re getting some good turn of the hips, all those pieces that need to come into place, you might have to get creative. I understand there’s a game called Spikeball out there that has become extraordinarily popular. Those are the types of things you might have to look at different ways to warm people up, different ways to keep people in shape when we are limited at this point.
Again, looking at being back to basics, if I’m going to squat, let’s start with a standing, you know, arms out front, squatting down, making sure technique is absolutely rock-solid sound, we make sure our fundamental aspects and all of our techniques are just where they absolutely need to be. So again, you’re going to take some steps back, we’re going to have to be a little bit remedial, with where we might begin, there’s always room to kind of move it right along. You can determine that once you’ve made those assessments with where your students at, where are their technique aspects add, and where are we to kind of get things again, starting back to basics. Good luck. Stay safe, stay healthy.
The 2009 Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year, Jeff is in his 16th year at Winona State University as Strength and Conditioning/ Director of Fitness. He is responsible for 10 Division II teams. Previously he was the head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports at Iowa State University, an assistant at the University of Memphis, and an assistant at the US Olympic training center in Colorado. Reinardy was part of two men’s basketball national championships in three appearances, numerous conference championships, and several individual national champions at both the Division I and II levels. He also holds club coach and sports performance certifications through USA Weightlifting, and is the former ADFPA American Squat record holder in the 148 weight class and four Minnesota state ADFPA championships.