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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't be so fast to blame Albert Haynesworth's trainer...


I almost wish his name wasn't out there. But with the 24 hour newscycle, it would have been hard to hide.

Ok you all know the story by now 'Big Al' flunked 3 tries at a standard NFL conditioning test. Albeit trumped up by Mike 'The new Boss not same as the old boss' Shanahan.

That being said he should have been ready and his trainer Tripp Smith has to take some of the responsibility.

It is easy in this business to 'playuh hate' and pile on calling Tripp a 'fraud' however I leave the hate for the '4 letter network' geekaloids of the world.

From the descriptions of his workout regime in a phone interview, it sounded like a pretty solid plan. Boxing style conditioning with a heavy bag and cardiovascular work of up to 45 minutes.

What we don't have, and this is where the teachable moments come in, are the specifics of the workout. That being said he must be ready by the time he got to camp. I supported the decision here on local TV to workout on his own with the proviso: 'It has got to work.'

What I mean by 'work' is that Albert had to be ready for any conditioning test that was to be thrown at him. Structuring the workouts is the responsibility of all of us strength and conditioning coaches. But there is one word that is paramount to the success of a strength and conditioning program or you trying to lose that spare tire on P90X: compliance.

That means that I can tell an athlete what to do in a workout, but it is up to him/her to not only follow my instruction, but to give it his/her all and put the level of intensity that will gurantee a desired result. We don't know how many time Albert possiby quit on a drill or durin exercise that Tripp skillfully planned. We do not know and never should know how many workouts he missed, blew off, or just flaked on.

And above all; all of you who are trying to denounce the credibility of Albert's long time trainer, better take a look at yourselves. I am talking specifically to my fellow trainers and strength coaches who know better than to judge these unfortunate results as an indictment of Tripp Smith's ability as a coach.

This conditioning test which consists of 6 shuttle-style sprints totalling 300 yards is not easy by the way. I would like to see many of you try it.

Even though none of us have the full story of why Albert Haynesworth was not ready and not completely in shape for camp; In this case of this conditioning drill, we may have a prime example of a non-compliant client.

So the lesson to be learned here boys and girls is do what your trainer or coaches tell you to do. It could start with something as simple as ...Oh I don't know showing up to off-season workouts?