Thursday, 21 February 2013
Training with the Hurricanes

Today started as most of my the weightroom!!  The players have seen me the past couple days and they've introduced themselves and talked to me, a couple of them were with the Crusaders and remember me from my visit for training camp in 2006. I was officially introduced and welcomed and allowed to sit in on team meetings.  We headed to the rugby pitch and the training session started off with one my favorite parts of a rugby match...the scrum!!  I watched from the best advantage points I could, took video and pictures so I can study the body positions, strength/power requirements and very importantly the physical breakdown of the scrum so I can best design training programs for this important part of a rugby match. Was even more fun when I was put on the scrum machine as the boys worked hard.  Being right over the front row looking down from my advantage point was an education for sure!! During lunch Ben and I talked about other the roles that the prop plays during rugby games but also the common injuries that happen as well. It's important to understand the common injuries associated with not only the sport but the different positions.  I have some great ideas rattling around in my head for sure!!! 

Hurricanes working on the scrum. I am fascinated by the biomechanics here. 

Posted on 02/21/2013 1:10 AM by Ed Cosner
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Wellington, New Zealand

Well I arrived safe and sound here in Wellington.  Was the usual "fun times" traveling!!  Got in after almost 30 hours of travel had a little clean up and was off to Hurricanes training.  Watched the last 45 minutes of the session and met up with Strength and Conditioning Coach David Gray. He gave me the tour of the facility and of course the place I love to be...the weightroom!! After practice was over I met with the Head Coach Mark Hammet or as he's known in rugby Hammer!!! He welcomed me as he remembers me from my visit to the Crusaders in 2006 where he once coached. We went for a feed before Ben had to be in meetings and thank God because I was hungry and in need of coffee!!! After his meeting Ben hit his weights session with me which was good as we continue to make our adjustments to the training program.  We finished off with some solid sandbag training. Tomorrow is a day off for them so I get to see more of Wellington. I can't wait!! 

Sign on the door of the Hurricanes' weightroom

Posted on 02/19/2013 10:39 PM by ed Cosner
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Next stop...Wellington NZ

Well I always say if you want to learn something then learn it from the best and I am going to do just that!!  A big THANKS to Ben Franks for setting it all up for me and to Genna for putting up with me for 2 weeks!!  

On Sunday I am heading to Wellington, New Zealand to spend 10 days with the Hurricanes of of the Super 15 Rugby League. I'll be doing a lot of watching and learning and maybe even a little teaching!! I'm excited to have the opportunity of learning from Head Coach Mark "Hammer" Hammett, Scrum Coach Dan Cron and Strength and Conditioning Coach David Grey. What a blessing to be able to learn from the best as I work on my presentation roughly titled "Strength, Power and Fitness Training for Rugby Forwards" as well as increase my own coaching knowledge.  

I picked up something (actually I've learned a lot) from Al Vermiel of the Chicago Bulls, he said that he would spend equal or more money on learning than on equipment.

Stayed tuned right here for updates on the trip!!

Kia Kaha-Be Strong


Posted on 02/13/2013 3:21 PM by Ed Cosner
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Believe in Yourself

I look back on my life and I can't help but to think about this path I've choosen.  I can't remember a time in my life that I did not want to be a strength coach even when I was told that it was a stupid "dream" (not a goal but a dream) and that I would probably amount to nothing in life if I choose to pursue this. Funny how things turn out!! I work really hard and have sacrificed much to ahieve my goal and I will admit at times I've lost a little belief in myself but never for very long before the Good Lord would gently (and sometimes not so gentlly) remind me. Now I know that there have been people in my life that have helped and guided me along the way and I have never forgotten any of them. 

This is posted in my gym and a copy is also in my training log.  I wish I could remember where I got it but I try to live by it daily.

                Believe In Yourself

FACE IT. Nobody owes you a living.
What you achieve or fail to achieve is directly
    related to what you do or fail to do.
No one chooses his parents or childhood but
   everyone can choose their own direction.
Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome
   but that too is relative to each individual.
You can change anything in your life, if you want to 
   badly enough.
Excuses are for losers.
Those who take responsibility for ther actions
   are the real winners.
Winners meet life's challenges head on,
   knowing there are no guarantees, and give it
   all they've got.
And never think it's too late or too early to begin,
Time plays no favorites, and will pass whether
   you act or not.
Dare to dream and take risks...
If you aren't willing to work for your goals,
   don't expect others to. 

Posted on 02/09/2013 11:13 PM by Ed Cosner
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Forgotten Strength Work

I've been thinking for a while now about the things I program into my athletes' training plans as well as my own that I just don't see in other programs. I"ve always preached that I'm "old school" in my approach to training. Trust me I don't use that description as many others do.....I've been training for Strength and Power the entire time that I've been training. However, not only do I want to be strong, powerful and fit I want to look like it as well.  

So I'm going to attempt to cover some areas that seem to be overlooked anymore in training.  I've become sick to my stomach seeing some of the "finishers" that so called experts come up with!!  That would be a very long blog and will really piss off some of them when I attempt to write that!!  

First up for us....neck and traps.   I can remember when I joined the Army and was training at the base gym in Würzburg, Germany this guy comes over to me and says "Hey boy you better be training that stack of dimes you call a neck!" I believe training the traps falls right in there with neck training.  Look at a good strength athlete, an athlete that plays a contact or collision sport they will have neck and traps IF they are training correctly. As far as I'm concerned after reading, visiting strength facilities and observing the training being done not enough coaches are programing this critical area into their training plans.  You know, it really wasn't that long ago that neck training was a priority for all football players from high school, to college all the way to the pros.  Most facilities had the plate loaded 4 way neck machine (even the commercial gym I trained at in San Antonio had one).  Now there are ways around the expense of this machine if the facility or team is on a tight budget.  Here are some other options...neck harness, old football helmets with a rod in it to load weights on, wrestler bridges(for more advanced athletes), I've discovered a way to use stretch bands for a 4 way neck workout, partner resisted work and finally one of my favorites placing the plate on your forehead and the back of your head to do the work!!

While I don't agree with some of the old HIT Training methods they always did neck and heavy machine shrugs in their training.  Look up old articles from Dr. Ken Leistner and you'll discover a whole new world of information!! I love reading his articles and I will admit they influenced me quite a bit and they still do!! 

Beisdes the "look" of a strength athlete there are important other factors in training the neck if you indeed play a contact or collision sport it had better be a priority in your training.  In fact properly training the neck can help even so called "normal" people as well. Ever think that some of the chronic neck problems you have from sitting at the computer could possibly be from having a weak neck. 

So why not finish your training off with some neck work and shrugs but watch out and be warned.....buldging traps and thick necks are the result of this!!  
pictured is Bill "Kaz" Kazmaier one of the greatest strength athletes ever!!

Train Hard...Play Harder...NO EXCUSES



Posted on 02/06/2013 11:50 AM by Ed Cosner
Sunday, 3 February 2013
Deer Park Coaches' Clinic

Headed out early in the morning to Deer Park to attend their Coaches' Clinic.  Doug Bull puts on a GREAT clinic.  Huge auditorium with comfortable seat and a great lunch wtih plenty of BBQ!!  What a speakers list he had!!!  Was sitting next to 2 coaches I really respect in Tim Swords and Garrett Taylor so I learned a little just listening to our conversations as well.   

Got to hear one of the coaches that helped form my coaching philosophy early on, Vern Gamtetta was his usual passionate self up there and I was my usual self, writing down everything I could so I wouldn't forget it when I asked him questions!! He spoke on "Game Speed' Refining Movement in Skills & Agility".  Another speaker I was excited to hear was Ron McKeefery and he delievered. This was the first time to hear him speak but I am familiar with some of his coaching and he did not dissapoint he delivered a great talk on "Hard Knox" Conditioning!! Can't wait to pick his brain in the future.  Now comes the surprise of the clinic for me and that was Dr. Brandon Marcello, PhD. the Director of Sports Performance at Stanford University and he spoke on "Training the Female Cardinal" .  He posed some great questions and delievered some better answers on differences in training male and female athletes.  Really made me think and re-examine some of my training plans and I look forward to talking more to him and doing some research on my own.  There were a few more speakers and as usual for me I took a little from each of them.

Clinics like this are wonderful to attend and I plan on making sure I am there next year!! You were able to interact with the speakers and other coaches.  

Posted on 02/03/2013 10:26 AM by Ed Cosner