by: Brandon Richey
The Role Of The Strength And Conditioning Coach For MMA Performance…
Unless you look and perform like the guy in the picture above then you need to understand the role of the strength and conditioning coach. Even if you do the Brock Lesnars of the world still had to be trained by somebody. A few things come to mind when I look at athletes such as Brock and others that I have had the fortunate opportunity to train and that is commitment, planning, and performance.
Let’s face it, no matter the sport you compete in if you can outperform the other guy then you stand a greater chance of winning. I know I sound like Captain Obvious by saying that, but the point is that you can train, but do you train with purpose? To figure out which combo meal you’ve been ordering keep on reading.
The Role Of The Strength And Conditioning Coach…
You see as a strength and conditioning coach I’ve been fortunate enough to stack up a few years of experience with a wonderful variety of athletes. A while ago I recall having had a conversation with a guy that competes in Jiu Jitsu. He was bragging (ok maybe bragging is too strong of a word) or telling me that he got all of his strength and conditioning from merely practicing and competing in Jiu Jitsu alone.
This is the type of statement that I just have to chuckle and shake my head at before making the argument that I always do to the person to change their perception and prove them wrong. Yes, I am always right, period end of discussion. Ok I confess I’ve been known to be wrong once or twice in my life, but you know where I’m coming from. 😉
In a nutshell I proceeded to make a comparison of his statement to another sport. For instance, How do you think a football player would do if he just practiced and played football all the time and steered clear of the weight room during the offseason? As you can imagine there was a moment of silence. I then followed up by asking him if he had ever rolled with one of my more committed students that were committed to both strength and conditioning performance and Jiu Jitsu? Of course he had and it was not a pleasant experience for him. That guy was strong and I couldn’t submit him, he responded. Thank you for making my point.
You see the role of the strength and conditioning coach is obvious, but it goes beyond the example that I just gave you. From a strength and conditioning standpoint it is also my job to assess the needs of the student and to train that student based upon his or her needs. By filling in the gaps the student will be better able to perform at a higher level while lessening the incidence of injury or ailments occurring during an athletic event. It’s important that strength is built for any athlete, but I like to work hard at also trying to provide my trainees with enhanced mobilization as well.
Even beyond this it is about developing a BELIEF. I want my student to believe that he or she can physically dominate his or her opponent no matter if they feel their Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai technique is somewhat inferior. The fact is that if you can’t be submitted or KO’d by a more technically sound opponent then you will give your opponent a b*tch of a headache and frustrate the ever loving piss out of them.
In addition to this when you grab them and throw them around with ease, or if you punch or kick them and you feel like they are going to break that is what I like to refer to as the comfort zone. I like to provide all my MMA athletes with this type of comfort zone by training them OUT of their comfort zone! Wow, now that was a pretty cool statement ha? If you weren’t on page with me before then hopefully you are now.
I heard a quote from a UFC fighter the other day that was very telling. Someone asked him if MMA was a sport? He said something to the effect of MMA is definitely a sport, but it is not a GAME. It’s not like baseball or billiards. This is not something that you can just play for fun. It requires a different kind of commitment. Very well said my young Jedi. This is very true for MMA, but it is also true for just about every sport. One great example of a strength and conditioning coach recognizing the needs of his fighter that I like to reference to drive home the point is Rocky Balboa’s coach. Yes, I just said Rocky Balboa’s coach!
If for some reason concerning copyright this video was shutdown then go and rent Rocky VI. If you were able to view it or have already seen it then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it because you don’t like Rocky then you need to just leave this page. 😉 Just like the MMA quote referenced, as well as the importance to an aging Balboa, the training is for something serious and not so much for a game.
Some Other Major Roles Of The Strength And Conditioning Coach For MMA (Or For Any Other Means Of Performance For That Matter)
- Identifying and correcting postural problems(Btw kettlebells are great for this)
- Identifying and correcting asymmetries (Yep, kettlebells are great for helping here too)
- Proper instruction of exercise technique
- Proper instruction of flexibility exercises
- Effective programming for achieving goals within the athlete’s sport
- Nutritional guidance
- Being a library of information regarding human performance!
- Being up to date
- Being versatile
- Of course, being as cool as possible, hence the Rocky Balboa reference!
The point is that strength and conditioning is a science and the proof is in the pudding. Some of the absolute best fighters in the UFC and other top competing leagues have top notch strength and conditioning programs along with the coaches to implement these programs. I like to think that I am doing my best to offer my students the same thing.
Many of them have benefited up to date and the value of this specific area of training within all sports is growing at a rate faster than Kim Kardashian hitting the front page of the Enquirer. Now that’s fast! If you are in need of fixing your program, problems within your training, or looking to learn more about how you can enhance your performance then start simple by signing up to join my email list right here for FREE. Upon joining you’ll get a ton of FREE stuff. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.
Please leave any questions and comments that you might have in the comment box below this article.