1. Biomechanical Concepts

Module author: Dan Pfaff

Editors: Ellie Spain & PJ Vazel

This course deliberately includes multiple references to real-life experiences in addition to current and important historical research. It is also filled with anecdotal and empirical findings and discussions – do not accept these as dogma or fact, but as a point of view to complement your arsenal of understanding. In cases where medical discussion results, always refer cases with athletes to the proper medical authorities in a timely manner. Whatever your coaching experience, a key part of building a deep understanding is becoming a critical consumer of research, and resources.

Selected elements of this Biomechanics section also reference the landmark writings and work of my close friend and colleague, Irving ‘Boo’ Schexnayder. Boo is a world renowned coach and in my opinion one of the best applied biomechanists currently in the business of sport.


2. Applied Physiology

Module author: Dan Pfaff

Module editors: PJ Vazel & Ellie Spain

Guest contributor: Athletigen

5. Planning & Organization

Module authors: Derek Evely & PJ Vazel

Editor: Ellie Spain

Welcome to Semester Two of the Foundation Course! We are excited to be able to continue working with you to develop your understanding of the planning and organization process.

This Planning & Organization module aims to build on the foundation of understanding you will have developed from Semester One’s Methodology module. It includes a number of explanatory videos which will take you step by step through the various processes required to successfully plan for different populations, as well as templates and resources required to create your own plans. Whatever your sport – once you have mastered and understood these steps – you will be able to apply the concepts to the athletes you work with.

You will find this module has fewer specific learning checks than in previous modules. This is deliberate – as certain sections instead ask you to use the templates and resources provided to spend time building your own version of the planning processes outlined. We really hope you take the time to go through these valuable steps, as it will hugely increase your understanding of the content.

6. Progressions

Module Authors: Derek Evely & PJ Vazel

Editor: Ellie Spain

7. Cueing

Module author: Dan Pfaff

Editor: Ellie Spain

8. Athlete Management

Module authors: Dan Pfaff, Andreas Behm, Stuart McMillan, Ellie Spain

Guest contributors: Brett Bartholemew, Derek Evely, Greg Hull

Module editor: Ellie Spain

9. Strength Development Fundamentals

Module Authors: Stuart McMillan & Matt Jordan

Editor: Ellie Spain

Module introduction – by Stuart McMillan

The young strength coach in the early 90s had a few journals they could read in the library (remember those?), a few good books, and – if they were lucky – some good conversations with experts in the field.

… and that’s about it.

The internet was not around yet, DVDs were not available, and S&C Conferences were few and far between. It was pretty easy because of this sparseness of information. Most of us had access to the same material – and coming up with a training philosophy was not the potential mess of mass confusion that it is now.

Besides the almost infinite information at our fingertips, today’s coaches have the added (often contradicting) influences of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Crossfit, etc. Where does a young coach start? And especially – where do coaches who do not necessarily have a background in strength & conditioning start?

I don’t envy these coaches. It’s great that we now have so much information at our fingertips – but without context, and background knowledge, if is nigh on impossible to know where to begin.

It’s great that we now have so much information at our fingertips – but without context, and background knowledge, many people are confused as to where to begin.

I don’t profess to be all-knowing in this, but as a sprints coach with an S&C background, I feel I am in as strong a position to offer my thoughts as most. And hopefully provide some context, and some basic information that will help coaches with their program design.

Common questions we get asked, at the ACP, via our online channels, and otherwise are:

1. What are the best exercises?
2. How heavy should the athletes lift?
3. How strong is strong enough?
4. How do you organize the weight-lifting into the overall program?

Through this module, and our Strength Exercise Inventory we aim not only to answer these questions, but expand upon the underpinning knowledge which gives you the ability to think creatively, and individually to best program for the athletes in your training environment.

To start this task, we need to answer the question ‘why?’

Why do we lift?

Or – why do we have our athletes lift?

Understanding ‘why’ we have our athletes lift is a critical first step to designing and effective strength program.

Until we answer this question – until we have a very clear justification of what is possibly a taken for granted assumption, we are hamstrung before we even get started. How can we write an effective strength program, if we don’t truly understand why we are doing it in the first place?

The first section in this module will therefore be delivered by Matt Jordan. Currently completing his PhD in Calgary, Canada, Matt is undoubtedly one of the top strength coaches in the world.  With an in-depth understanding of sport science, as well as almost two decades of practical experience, Matt has a unique ability to combine the two, and communicate it in such a way that makes sense to dummies like me.

I hope you enjoy the following – what we feel is necessary background information.  Digest this –  then do some additional reading around the areas that are more interesting – or more confusing – to you. Following this you will move onto for section 9.2, which will offer more information on loading parameters.

11. Speed Development Fundamentals

Module Author: Dan Pfaff

Editors: Ellie Spain

Module aims –

To do as a video.

  • Our focus is on developing linear sprint speed. The concepts surrounding this underpin all other elements of speed
  • Understand speed and its components
  • Define each element of speed
  • Understand correct technique
  • Understand what to watch, measure and analyze: See landmark positions, angles, pathways and actions during ground contact and flight phases.
  • Next level analysis would study these factors at touchdown, mid-stance, toe off, early flight, top of parable and descending flight. Special attention is often given to amortization metrics during the contact phase of each stride
  • Understand how to identify the worst or most gross motor errors and attack them first. One must build a list and hierarchy of mistakes and attack them first. Realize that finding and fixing the key motor errors will most likely clear several other sub-viruses.