I don’t know any way to say this elegantly. I f*cking hate entertainment training with a passion, to put it mildly.
What is Entertainment Training, Clance?
Entertainment training to me is a training that is a complete waste of time and does not contribute to the goal of the block of training for this given athlete. The only thing entertainment training does is satisfy the boredom or fulfill obligations from a team program.
But from time to time, it must be done, not for the athlete’s progression physically, but mentally and politically.
The only time I’ll let entertainment training slide by is when an athlete has reached a certain strength level that we deem fit, and we have reached a strength ratio based on our international strength standards that will optimize their strength, speed, explosiveness, and conditioning levels.
The law of the training economy applies, and we need the available resources to contribute to this goal of meeting these standards as much as possible.
For example, hockey, soccer, and football players must be able to squat to their body weight to get optimal transfer to their sport. This is the requirement that helps athletes play at a higher level of performance, and it helps them express more speed, agility, and explosiveness.
This is a fact and backed by numerous research and real-world experience.
Throughout my years of reading books, studying exams, reading scientific journals, I’ve learned that what may look good on a paper, does not always apply in the real world.
That’s why I love being in the trenches, pulling real data from the beginner to the high-level athletes.
A few years back, a hockey player who was new to our program and only trained for a month, asked if we could change up the program and add some more core and cardio to it.
“I need to get my conditioning up and I’m getting bored.” he said.
Some context: The player was tight, weak, and uncoordinated. The hockey season was 12 weeks away. We have time to develop, so ramping up conditioning (‘cardio’) is not important just yet until at least 6 weeks before camp.
Players must obtain adequate strength levels and power at the beginning because that takes time to build, and it’s most important during an off-season.
Even without the strength and power levels – the player was tight as a brick and extremely uncoordinated.
He moved like a robot, highly robotic from all the body bodybuilding and partial range of motion exercises he did in the past.
Whenever I hear all about core training or I need to train my core, I ask them simply: “What do you think is getting stronger while you are squatting properly?”
The so-called fancy ab burning core training I’ve seen online is producing weaker and injury-prone athletes – it keeps them away from real lifts such as squats, pulls, snatch, cleans, and overhead pressing.
Real lifts that will produce a tremendous amount of core strength. Core strength to withstand forces dealt to them in their sport.
I have no problem with athletes doing ab work every day and (not planks) exercises like back extensions from different angles.
I have no problem with entertainment training once the meat and potatoes are done, and the standards are met or at least you are close.
Basically you have to qualify to a certain standard before I even entertain you to doing entertainment training. I’m not going to prescribe it or advocate for it, but if it’s something that can help the athlete mentally, and won’t affect the main purpose of training, then I will allow it.
I say to my kids all the time: get your meat and potatoes in first before you have dessert… and you can only get dessert if you’ve finished your homework.
If you want to be a dominant player, then do what dominant players did to get them there in the first place.