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About The Author

Joel Smith, MS, CSCS is a NCAA Division I Strength Coach working in the PAC12 conference. He has been a track and field jumper and javelin thrower, track coach, strength coach, personal trainer, researcher, writer and lecturer in his 8 years in the professional field. You can connect with Joel on his website.


Recent Posts

How To Structure Speed and Power Training for Advanced Athletes

By Joel Smith | Mon, Jan 15

“Anything works” when you are dealing with novice athletes.

You can do 5-3-1, Starting Strength, 1x20, Triphasic, Husker Power, APRE, and the list goes on. There are also plenty of vertical jump programs and 40-yard dash workouts that will deliver good results for those who haven’t done much serious training.

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3 Speed Training Methods That Don't Work (And What To Do Instead)

By Joel Smith | Mon, Dec 11

In the realm of getting fast, there are lots of proposed fixes... lots of things that “look” like they are training speed. But in the end, not as many things truly work as well as they say.

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Power Through Plateaus With These 3 Isometric Training Protocols

By Joel Smith | Mon, Oct 23

Are we right to think that full-range “up-and-down” lifts against resistance are the only way to train for athletic speed, power, and even muscle endurance?

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3 French Contrast Workouts For Improving Acceleration, Vertical Jump, And Change of Direction

By Joel Smith | Wed, Jul 19

Have you been looking for a training modality that can rapidly deliver gains in speed, power, and vertical leaping ability? If you want to get powerful in a hurry, there are few applications that will deliver this in the manner that the French Contrast platform can. 

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4 Scientifically Proven Ways To Develop Explosive Power (And How To Program Each)

By Joel Smith | Mon, Apr 24

Building athletic power is one of the most desired, if not the most desired, quality in athletic performance today. The question is...how do we optimally train it? 

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8 Daily Routines and Systems to Organize Your Coaching and Optimize Your Life

By Joel Smith | Mon, Feb 27

“Discipline = Freedom” - Jocko Willink

Physical preparation may be one of the most saturated and competitive fields in existence. How do you get the edge? In a word: discipline.  

Discipline for a performance professional is of the essence. I’ve found discipline manifests itself in the realm of getting things done in two ways:

  • Motivation
  • Productivity Principles
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3 Principles to Building a Successful Team Culture

By Joel Smith | Tue, Oct 18

“To win takes talent… to repeat takes Character” - John Wooden

Take a look at any team dynasty through the years in sports, and behind it all, you’ll see a coach that created a culture of success.  Any team can win it all one season, but to repeat success time and time again takes something more.  

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5 Movements to Build Powerful Glutes and Hamstrings for Athletic Performance

By Joel Smith | Mon, Sep 5

We all know things like deadlifts and Olympic lifts are great general posterior chain builders, so I’m going to leave those movements for now in favor of some more over-arching philosophy. 

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The Great Max Out Debate: 7 Questions to Ask Before You Test Your Athletes 1RM

By Joel Smith | Sun, Jul 10

In the midst of any training program, the idea of measuring and monitoring one’s limits is a vital part of the equation.  

How much do you think you might improve in a strength training program if you never knew how much weight was on the bar?  The nervous system must test itself to be able to create improved patterning.  

It is important to measure and improve one’s abilities in any training program, but the pressing question is, how and when should the maximal abilities of an athlete be measured, especially in terms of absolute strength.

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Accelerate to Dominate: 5 Drills That Improve Acceleration

By Joel Smith | Fri, Apr 29

If there is any one skill that defines an athlete’s ability in team sport, it is the ability to accelerate.  

Like most things in Strength and Conditioning, acceleration is extremely trainable.  It's entirely possible for an athlete to hack tenths of a second off of their 40 like butter with a good training program, and this shows up big-time on the field.

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