CSCA Candid Conversations: Joe McCullum

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Contact Preparation Post-COVID

In this webinar, Joe McCullum, Head of Strength and Conditioning at the University of British Columbia, describes the movement skills necessary for success in combative sports and explains how they can fit into a strength and conditioning plan.

Success in sport can be influenced by the quality of movement skills performed, combined with the rate of force development when performing these skills.  As a strength and conditioning coach it is our responsibility to develop fundamental movement skills that are transferable to sport, and the power necessary to execute these movements effectively.  Lifting, sprinting, agility, and jumping mechanics are often the focus of most programs, and transfer well to sport, however there are many other movement dimensions that should be considered, especially in contact sports.

Many sports have a contact component.  Some sports are defined by contact, such as football, rugby and hockey, while others experience contact as a secondary effect of the game, such as falling on the court in volleyball or blocking out in basketball.  Contact increases the dimensions of movement skill needed to be successful.  There becomes a need to learn how to fall, tumble, and leverage an opponent.  Some of these movements borrow from combative sports such as wrestling and tumbling sports such as gymnastics.  As a result, techniques used to train these athletes can be applied to contact sports to improve movement skill.

The COVID shutdown has resulted in a prolonged period of non-contact for athletes.  In the near future, athletes will be expected to return to competition with a shortened preseason.  It is therefore useful to develop this tolerance to contact prior to the competition season to insure athlete readiness.

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