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The SCJ is the professional
journal for strength coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists, athletic
trainers, and other health professionals working in the strength and conditioning
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Timothy DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS
Timothy DiFrancesco graduated from Endicott College in 2003 with his Bachelor’s degree in Science/Athletic Training. He then went on to the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2006. In 2007, DiFrancesco co-founded TD Athletes Edge, LLC, which offers a systematic, results-driven approach to performance training and rehabilitation. He spent two seasons as the Head Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA-Developmental League from 2009 to 2011. In December of 2011 he was named the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. DiFrancesco enjoys helping athletes of all levels connect movement, training, and nutrition with results!
Connect with Coach DiFrancesco! www.tdathletesedge.com
1. How long have you been working in the field of strength and conditioning?
2. What is your philosophy on training?
Train safe, smart, and hard; corrective exercises used to balance wear and tear of hard training. You can’t out-train a bad diet!
3. How has your philosophy evolved over the years?
I have learned that volume of work is always more on the body than it is on paper. This has brought me to be very conscious of how much work I do with athletes. Now, I seek quality vs. quantity – I’m always trying to find how I can achieve my goals with the least amount of volume as possible.
4. Who has influenced you the most throughout your career and why?
Brijesh Patel (Head Strength Coach at Quinnipiac University) – he showed me that training hard and training smart with attention to detail can and must coexist! His passion for what he does is infectious and I will always think of him when I think of the best in the business.
5. How do you adapt your programming to fit the needs of each athlete you work with?
Each athlete I work with is screened using the Functional Movement Systems (FMS) and from there I have a road map of where I am going.
6. What do you think is the most overlooked concept in the field of strength and conditioning?
Basic core activation/patterning and corrective exercises. Nutrition is also often overlooked.
7. What resources do you use the most when it comes to getting continuing education as it pertains to the field?
Experts in the field, such as, Mike Reinold, Eric Cressey, Brijesh Patel, Dan John, and Pavel Tsatsouline.
8. What is your take on “specificity” of training and how (if so) do you apply it to your programming?
Specificity, to me, refers to the fact that exercises and programs should be specific to the athlete (i.e., their limitations), the sport, and the position they play. I apply it by screening all athletes and watching film of them in games – it tells me a lot about what they need to specifically be working on.
9. What is your favorite tool in your toolbox?
Right now probably Gray Cook Bands, TRX Rip Trainer, and Valslides. My all-time favorite tool however, is heavy weights!
10. What are your five favorite exercises?
1) TRX feet elevated H row; 2) Elevated retro lunge to single-leg deadlift; 3) Front plank body blade; 4) T-spine prayer with rotation; and 5) DB goblet squat or hex bar deadlift.
11. What advice would you give to young coaches who are just starting their careers and want to follow in your footsteps?
Do the best possible job that you can at whatever level. Never injure your athletes in the weight room. Never do an exercise for the sake of doing something. Always select what you will do with your athletes because it will help them last longer/perform better on the field of play.