Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC)
I was just wondering, for those of you who work with tactical athletes, what kind of training protocols you rely on? Also, do you switch up training protocols, depending on their job duties or branch of military?
I know when we look at the law of specificity, we obviously train individuals specifically for their positions. However, are there times when you train all your athletes under the same protocol? For example, I was working with a Army Special Forces athlete at the same time as a FBI Special Agent and put them both on similar programs. This was simply because they both demanded the same development of physical characteristics.
Have any of you trained your athletes in a similar manner?
I try to get everyone following a linear progression on the strength/power side of things, specifically if time permits. Occasionally, if the OPTEMPO is crazy, we'll switch to an undulating to make sure we get a wide variety of parameters to suffice all energy systems. Also, if large groups are doing the same program, then the schedule has to be undulating in order to accomodate facility space and equipment.
I've been finding that most of my groups lack anaerobic capacity.
Conditioning: try to get 3 quality days constantly (speed/SAQ/VO2, tempo, LSD) with all my groups.
As far as training different, my strength programs look a little different based on MOS obviosly. Overall, would like to create well rounded soldier athletes across the entire post.
Just my 2 cents!
What tests have you been utilizing to track your athletes' anaerobic capacity measures?
Thanks for sharing! It definitely pays off to remember the little things. As coaches, it's easy to overlook them sometimes.
I think as a strength coach and former Marine from 04-09, I can attest that the general tactical populace still requires brilliance in the basics of strength and conditioning. Strength, Power, Endurance, SAQ. What you will find though is that certain MOS's require a little more of one than the other. For coaches, though, that shouldn't be a very difficult task to work with. A major problem is the varied time availability between MOS's. Infantry units, for example, lack the time in the day to spend 60-90 minutes teaching proper clean or snatch technique. They have 30-45 minutes to train 30+ members at the platoon level or 100+ at the company level. Other MOS's have the luxury of time, but this is far from the case in infantry units and other time demanding MOS's. From my experience, just having a set progressive plan (linear, undulating, nonlinear, etc.) focused on developing athleticism would be optimal. Many units do not have a program, nor do they know what they have planned for the next day! It's all off the cuff when the time comes.
With deployable units there is usually a 10-12 month layover from deployment to deployment (Marine Corps). This should give a strength coach optimum time to develop a plan that can benefit the majority while possibly only holding a few back.
The real battle for a strength coach is selling it to the Commanding officers. As you can assume, the "old timers" are strong in there old fashioned ways. "Crushing" their squads; "Smoke Checking" them is how they operate. They want (Marines, Soldiers, Seamen, etc.) spitting nails and pissing napalm. Rest?, Recovery?, these terms come from myths and folklore. The challenge is changing the culture of military physical fitness and educating the masses on the right way and wrong way of training.
Obviously there is much more I would like to elaborate on in this post, but it would be too long. I'm very passionate about this because I physically went through the monotonous push up, crunch, pull up and run till you puke philosophy and want to do whatever I can to educate and instruct the leaders on proper training. We then can create high caliber tactical athletes. Hopefully one day i'll get my shot with a unit and pass on my knowledge and experiences.
...good luck everyone!