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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Journey into Strength and Conditioning with NHL athletes to everyday people with Ryan Van Asten and The US High School Hockey Show


  • By Clarence Paller

    Calgary Flames Strength and Conditioning Coach, Ryan Van Asten knows what it takes to develop athletes to reach their pinnacle of performance. His previous tenure with the Los Angeles Kings includes two Stanley Cups in three seasons. Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to the young and developing Flames. Already in his second season with the Flames we can see development and improvement in Flames athletes. In addition to his winning pedigree, Ryan possesses an exceptional educational background. He holds two degrees from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, a Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree. He also possesses a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Calgary. This article chronicles Ryan’s career up to present day and provides insight into the work he is currently doing with the Calgary Flames. This article also offers insights and guidance for both athletes and non- athletes that can be implemented on a daily basis.


    Ryan shares with us how he started his career as a trainer. “It was an interesting path gained the experience necessary to begin as a young professional. I was actually a hockey player myself. As a player, I was never the biggest player or the fastest, but I had a tremendous work ethic. While playing hockey and studying at Queen’s University, one of the guys I was playing with, Anthony Slater, started working at Athletes' Performance which is now known as EXOS. He helped me design a structured program that helped me immensely on my growth as an athlete. He got me interested in improving my knowledge about strength and conditioning. Later on when I was already in Grad School in Calgary, I ran into a group from Athletes’ Performance at the Human Performance Lab at the UofC, and after meeting with them and talking to Anthony I was able to land an internship at one of their facilities. That internship was my first exposure to working with professional athletes. It was a really good learning experience. In fact, I think that was the turning point in my career.”

    Ryan reflects that “before the internship I was working as a trainer and going to school. I would train people in a very ordinary way. Beginning with a warm up for 10-15 minutes, then we would lift weights and then we would do conditioning. The internship changed my perspective on training and showed me a movement based approach. ” Ryan elaborates, “I began to think about movement differently. The internship helped me realize that strength and conditioning is partly about making athletes move more efficiently, which is beneficial for non-athletes as well.”

    Movement Based Training for the Every Day Person

    Ryan adds “it is really difficult to start learning about movement based training on your own. Ideally, you need to find a trainer who is knowledgeable in this area and knows what training program will best suit you. To put it into perspective, I’ve had professional athletes, some of the best players in the world that have difficulty performing simple movements on dry land when they are out of their element. It takes a little bit of coaching to help them get better. For the regular person being able to move without discomfort or pain requires just a bit of guidance.”

    Individuals who influenced Ryan

    Ryan comments, “There are many people that I came across in the past who have helped me.” Anthony Slater who was mentioned earlier in this article and who is currently the Vice President of strategic accounts at EXOS “really got me excited about Strength and Conditioning”. Then there is, David Frost who is now a PhD researcher at University of Toronto. Ryan explains, “Dave and I were in school together at Queens University. His knowledge on the topic of Strength and Conditioning was superior to mine. I tried to learn from him as much as possible. There are other individuals who influenced me like the great group of strength and conditioning coaches at the Canadian Sport Institute in Calgary, including Matt Jordan, Scott Maw, Mac Reid, and Jeremiah Barnert. Another guy that I should mention is Andy O'Brien. He is Crosby's coach and now works for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Andy has helped me a lot over my career and we still communicate regularly.”

    Ryan continues, “Having done grad school in Calgary under the tutelage of the two brightest physiologists on the planet, Dr. Dave Smith and Dr. Steve Norris, has helped me immensely with my physiological knowledge. Honestly, learning physiology from them, one can't learn better from anyone.”

    Launch of Career

    After completion of the internship, a position opened up at the Canadian Sport Institute in Calgary where Olympic athletes train to reach the Olympic podium. He was able to land a job with the Women’s Olympic Hockey team for the 2010 Olympics. Ryan explains at the Institute, “I was lucky enough to be contracted to Hockey Canada which resulted in being a part of the World Championships and ultimately being selected by Hockey Canada to be the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the women’s hockey team. It was an awesome experience coaching the women’s team at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and winning the Gold Medal.”

    NHL Career with LA Kings

    It was in 2011 that the opportunity knocked to work in the NHL. Ryan was selected to be the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the LA Kings. In his first season (2011-2012) with the team he won a Stanley Cup. This feat was again achieved in 2014 when the Kings won the cup a second time in three years.

    Ryan comments on his remarkable achievement. “That was the most amazing thing in my career. Winning Stanley Cup is a lot different than Olympic championship. To win both Stanley Cups is really impressive. It is such a hard accomplishment. I was so fortunate to be part of that, twice! I would like to think that my work with those players helped the athletes perform through the grueling games and rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ultimately, winning the cup is something you dream of as a kid. I never won a Stanley cup as a player, but to be a part of it feels amazing! I don't think you can ever repeat the road to the cup the Kings took in 2014 where the team became only the 4th team in NHL history to come back from a 3- 0 deficit in a series to win it. Not many things in the game are more difficult than that. Going through those dramatic and intense moments with the group of athletes in that locker room was just really phenomenal.”

    The Role of Strength and Conditioning in the Play Offs

    Ryan explains that during the Playoffs Strength and Conditioning is kept relatively simple. At that point in the season “I don't want to introduce all kinds of new things into my program. Things that change during the play offs in terms of Strength and Conditioning typically are the volume and intensity of the work. In the playoffs you are essentially playing every other night, it all boils down to how the athletes recovered from game to game. In 2012 we got relatively lucky, as we finished all the rounds sooner. There were series where we got almost a week in between and everyone was able to recover in that time.”

    Coming Home to Calgary to be the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Flames

    For the 2014/2015 season Ryan decided to return home to Calgary to become the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Flames. Currently, Ryan is in his second year with the Flames. Ryan comments on his decision to come back to Calgary, trading in the sandals he can wear to the beach in LA for snow shoes to wear in Calgary, “The biggest reason for the move back was a family decision. My wife was in Calgary pretty much the whole time I was in LA. She is a doctor, so we found out it was very difficult for her to come to LA to work. Also, Calgary is my home. And, working in Canadian city, in a Canadian Market with unbelievably passionate Fans is something to behold. So far it has been unbelievable.”

    When I asked Ryan what kind/type of work he has been doing with the Flames and how different it was from working with the Kings, he responded: Ryan responded, “It's a similar approach, but I’d like to think I made some changes that have made my program better. Hockey players are a relatively homogeneous group, so there are lots of similarities within this group and how you structure the training and nutrition. The gyms are a bit different in terms lay out and availability and often, I have to structure things around because of that.”

    Ryan comments on what we are seeing this year with the Flames and what are his plans for the team for the rest of the year. “Building off of last year’s success, I think you can expect the same. I don't think there are many teams that work harder than we do in terms of training and practice. In my opinion, we are one of the fittest teams in the league. One of our young players, Sam Bennet, who is 19 years old, had a really great off season training. He is bigger and stronger than before due to the hard work he has been doing to improve his body composition and performance. And I would expect this to continue. Overall, you can expect Calgary Flames to show lots of progress this year.”

    Behind the Scenes

    Ryan takes us behind the scenes tour of how Hockey Strength and Conditioning programs are developed. “When the players come to Calgary in September, we do a full battery of physical testing on them. This encompasses strength and power to energy systems and functional movement. From there you can start building individual programs. There are younger and older players that we work with. For younger players, their potential is broader as they have not accumulated the same type of training volume over the years. So, for them, mastering the basic movements is essential. For older guys, in terms of their physical maturity, most of the time they need to work on different things. They might not necessarily need to build more general strength, although often they need to work on mobility and movement. We still do lifting as they are trying to get stronger and faster. If we take Mark Giordano as an example, he is the fittest guy on the team, by far. His strength and power is impeccable and he is really easy to work with. He might need to work on his mobility and flexibility, little things like that, while maintaining everything else and trying to get better each time. Another example would be Johnny Gaudreau, who is a smaller athlete and doesn't have as much strength and power. However, he is a relatively strong guy from the stand point of the gym. Like other young players, he needs to accumulate some good quality training over time and just continue to improve.”

    Ryan gives as a typical training scenario, “The way I would break down a workout session is when guys come in, they would do their own soft tissue work, like foam rolling or using a softball. After that we work on lengthening of the tissue through just basic stretching types of movements and mobilizing joints. From there, they need to re-introduce good pattern. If you shut down the soft tissue to lengthen it, you want to re-activate then and integrate them into the appropriate sequencing and patter. Then I would start increasing the intensity in terms of the dynamic movement. That is essentially the main body of the warmup. Then we go to all the skill work. We would include things like linear and later skill, resisted movement patterns, complexed with free movement patterns for example. All that would take from 45 minutes to an hour. After that, guys would go into the weight room and do the lifts assigned for that day. And then we would do some conditioning. A typical training in the off-season could be up to two to two and a half hours long. Plus, if they are going on the ice, it could be another 45 minutes.

    Tracking a Player’s Progress throughout the Year

    Ryan outlines how to track and measure the progress of a player. “In the summer, with the athletes in Calgary, we do weekly tracking on bilateral force plates. A force plate is designed to measure the forces and moments applied to its top surface as a subject stands, steps, or jumps on it. We measure force and asymmetries of vertical jumps. One of the neat things is that if you are doing such jumps, you can see how athlete decelerates and if one leg is taking more load than the other. We are tracking things like that. Also, we track body weight, body fat, body composition, various strength, power, core and speed measurements. Throughout the year we do monthly body composition measurements. There are quite a number of things we do to track the athletes, such as sleeping hours, readiness to train, performance, resting and fatigue levels.”

    Important Components as Part of Strength and Conditioning

    Blood Analysis

    Ryan explains, “One of the biggest things for athletes is their recovery and their sleep. With the Flames we do blood work with our athletes and customize nutrition plans and supplementation.”


    “From the nutrition stand point, in my opinion nothing beats real food. So we always have high quality foods available to our athletes. We also have a nutritionist on our team that works with athletes and builds a personal diet for each one of them. I don't think supplements are always necessary. However, we do have supplementation available, such as amino-acids, whey protein isolate, recovery supplement and a carbohydrate supplement.”

    The Role of Proper Footwear and Even No Footwear While Training

    Another aspect to training is proper footwear. Ryan explains, “The shoes that every team in the NHL gets are the same type of Reeboks. We are using CrossFit shoes at the moment. I like them as they are flat and have pretty solid sole. They are good for sprinting and lifting in the weight room.

    Most of the players gravitate towards more of minimalist types of footwear. New Balance also has these. Actually, there are many things that I would want to do without shoes. You have a different type of connection with ground; it changes your proprioceptive feedback that can help you with your balance and your movement. It's teaching your feet to work differently using different muscles and sequencing, which will in turn increase strength, conditioning, coordination, and balance, which will make an enormous difference when on ice.”

    Building Speed and Agility

    Ryan explains, “In most cases, especially with young players, lack of speed is typically lack of strength. Strength is often overlooked when talking about speed and agility: if you don't have adequate strength and aren’t putting enough force into the gorund, then you simply aren't going to be fast. There are many ways in which you can train to improve your strength, some main exercises and most common ones would be squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Sled pushing is also an excellent exercise in strength building. It can get you in a low, almost acceleration type position and you can use it in many different ways. You can use it in speed work and conditioning. You can do resistant movements with a band and have a partner help you. The partner could put the band around your waist and add resistance while you march, skip and do high kneed drills. Also, there are all kinds of exercises with medicine balls.”

    Ryan adds, “Another way to build speed is sprinting in a straight line or with changing directions. At the same time the quality of the movement has to be really good. Everyone has to learn the mechanics of the body to even run properly. Otherwise you might not get all the benefits that you want from it.”

    Building Stamina and Endurance

    Ryan explains, “For our athletes, it's a systematic approach to building stamina and endurance. What you need to look at is what is going on in one shift, how many shifts the person has during the game, how many games have been played in a year and so on. Also, we need to look at the aerobic system and the anaerobic system particularly in the summer because it is difficult to do off-ice in season with the rigorous schedule.

    Some of the athletes don't need to do so much pure speed work, but they are lacking lactate capacity. Let’s say the athlete is trapped in their own zone. The longer the shift goes and the more intense it is, the athlete gets more fatigued and their lactic acid builds up which in turn drops their performance. When they stop skating or moving, that is when penalties are taken, goals are scored on you or you are forced to ice the puck. Increasing the tolerance to lactic acid in an athlete will make them attenuate exhaustion in their muscles and that could be the difference from getting scored on during an extended shift or getting the puck out of the zone. Overall, building stamina and endurance is a very complex approach that needs individual assessment.”

    Building Mental Toughness in Athletes

    Ryan explains, “Some guys innately have mental toughness. They don't need to work on it. Some guys can work on it a little bit. From my stand point, to work on that, means to surround them with people who already have the mental toughness in them. That is a huge motivator. In addition, we do have sports psychology available for players if they need it.”

    Strength and Conditioning for Everyday People in Everyday Life

    Ryan offers everyday people advice to improving their quality of life through strength and conditioning. “In terms of strength and conditioning, the biggest piece of a puzzle would be your nutrition. That would have the biggest effect on your health and body composition. My philosophy for an average person would be: make sure that you are eating whole and real foods, mostly vegetables, basically as many as you want. Drink lots of water and don't eat anything processed.”

    When it comes to the training stand point, the biggest thing is to do something that you like to do. People who live the longest and have the most fulfilling lives, are not the ones who go to CrossFit gyms and work at their 110% intensity on a regular basis. Rather, they walk a lot; they stand a lot, etc. These people are just living a long fulfilling life being happy and healthy. Essentially, be moving all the time. You don't have to go to the gym every day and set world records. If someone says that you are just weak and don't want to work hard that is not true.”

    When asked what great moves are to begin with, Ryan answered, “Simple movements like split squats. If you are able to go nice and low and able to have control in that low position and stand up with a weight that would be the simple drill to complete. Then you can progress to reverse lunging, side lunging, etc. Doing these exercises will reduce and eliminate pain such as lower back pain. Lower back pain usually is the result of really weak glute muscles and as a result people’s hips don't move and extend properly. As a result lower back takes the hit. This is why some people can’t bend over to tie their shoes, lift groceries or stand up from a chair!”

    Combat the Effects Sitting All Day

    Most people spend their days sitting all day for work. Ryan explains “sitting all day is detrimental to your health. Some progressive companies have “stand up” desks. I think that is the best thing. While sitting for the whole day, your shoulders fall forward, your arms are internally rotated, your head is forward all the time, and the front of your hips are in a shortened position. Deadlifts are a great exercise to train hip extension and the posterior muscles of your body, rowing for upper part of your back and any type of shoulder work. The work for the posterior musculature can be done daily.”

    How you can work on Balance, Core Strength, Stamina and Endurance

    Ryan explains, “In terms of core strength, I think you need to think about functionality. It boils down to stability of the lumbo-pelvic complex. Simple movements such as front and side planks are a great start. During rotational exercises, the movement should be coming from hip rotation and not from the spine. The lumbar spine should be relatively stable throughout the exercises. An important thing to remember is that there are so many different variations of exercises and you must start from the simplest and slowly build up to the most complex exercises.

    When it comes to the everyday person’s life, most people sit all day and don’t really know how to take control of their pelvis. People don't know how to rotate their pelvis with their own power; they have no control of it. Therefore, part of the core training is teaching athletes and people in general to control their pelvis to keep strong in the glutes and in the lower abdominal muscles.”

    Future of Strength and Conditioning

    Ryan believes “Strength and Conditioning will progress in the technology side. It is exponentially growing in its applications and what it can potentially add is unbelievable. One thing I am cautious about is that you have to make sure that your philosophy and program are sound before you start messing around with the technological novelties. They are useless if your training philosophy is not set. The training is increasingly becoming more based on movement rather than old-style lifting and running.”

    Ryan’s Immediate and Long Term Goals

    Ryan explains his “immediate goal is to win a Stanley Cup in Calgary. It's been a while since the Flames won the cup dating back to 1989. For me, just seeing all the fans at the play offs last season was unbelievable! Last year, when Calgary won the first round against Vancouver, I could barely drive home, because people were celebrating on the streets and having a great time! What I love about Calgary is that the fans are so passionate.”

    Secondary, “I started an internship program with Calgary Flames. Every summer I am taking one or two undergrad or graduate students and I share with them my philosophy and show them how I train hockey players. My legacy and long term objective is to help these young people reach their goals. Also, I would like to continue to keep myself in great health, eat well, and exercise frequently. There are other things I am interested in, such as doing research for/about hockey.”


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    Friday, February 25, 2022

    US Sports Fitness Strength training for beginners


    • Author Troy Van Spanje
    Best Method for Strength Training for a Workout Beginner

    “The best workout program is the one you’re not using.” is a motto in which there is some wisdom, even though the design of a workout program is not very simple.

    There are many early studies regarding weight training that have attempted to find out the best single program for set/rep training. "There can only be one" is what is said in the Highlander series. (Continued below.....)

    This Week's The StrengthCast PowerShow:

    Part one:
    The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Hybrid Athlete
    You can lift heavy and run fast, but can you do both when it really counts?

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    Part two:
    Pullover with Physioball Leg Curl

    The Pullover with Physioball Leg Curl is a complex, functional exercise that provides a significant stability- and coordination-related challenge due to the unstable movement patterns involving multiple segments of the body that must be performed in a synchronized fashion. Learn more at - -

    (...Continued....)  One example is Arnold Schwarzenegger's 5x5 method that was made popular by his mentor Reg Park, who was himself a Mr, Universe, and played the role of Hercules in the movies. Reg Park was the first bodybuilder who was able to bench press 500 pounds and was as strong as he appeared to be.

    In 1981, Mike Stone and his other colleagues published a study that suggested that it is best to combine protocols instead of concentrating on one protocol for strength training. In this study, "A Hypothetical Model for Strength Training", there was a transition in the workouts from low intensity/high reps with fewer sets or high volume to high intensity/low reps and more sets or low volume. This was based on on a model that was published in 1954 by Leonid Matveyev, a Russian sports scientist, as a popular periodization model. The end aim of this was to be able, at the end of a cycle of one repetition, to lift the maximum weights for 1RM (1 repetition maximum).

    This program has four phases, and each phase lasts for three to four weeks.

    1. Hypertrophy: 3-5 reps with 6-12 sets at 67-85% of 1RM

    2. Basic Strength: 3-5 reps with 6 sets at 85% of 1RM

    3. Strength and Power: 3-5 reps with 1-5 sets at 75-90% of 1RM

    4. Peaking or Maintenance: 1-3 reps with 1-3 sets that progress from high intensity to a very low intensity

    Another system of program design that is popular with strength coaches in colleges, non-linear periodization, has a focus on a variety in training. Compared to the Stone model of changing that changes set/rep protocols after every few weeks, this program varies them with each workout.

    There is a book on this topic written by Steve Fleck and William Kraemer, "Optimizing Strength Training" and which introduces a workout for 16 weeks with a rotation of repetitions:

    Monday: 12-15 repetitions

    Wednesday: 8-10 repetitions

    Friday: 4-6 repetitions

    Monday: 1-3 repetitions

    Wednesday: 3 repetitions or fewer

    Friday: 12-15 repetitions

    I am in agreement with the necessity of changing repetition protocols, especially with athletes who are advanced. I follow a general guideline that has me changing the volume/intensity of workouts every fortnight. However, from a physiological view this is a program that does not make sense, as it does not allow the body enough time to understand what it has to adapt to.

    To explain this, understand that, as an example, when you perform 12-15 sets, it puts the focus on "slow twitch" muscles and muscle fibers of Type I, and sets of 1-5 would help in the development of "fast twitch" muscle fibers of type II. It is not possible for for Type I fibers to convert to Type II fibers, and as a result, football linemen or discus throwers who are strength/power athletes, would not find any value in this workout. It is a fact that Type II fibers will assume the characteristics of Type I fibers after aerobic training.

    All this will tell you that the design of a program for periodization is a complex subject , but there is no need for you to be left hanging. If you are a beginner, the one program that can be quite effective and useful is the 10/8/6 Training system. This is a system that is more than a century old, but the earliest reference that I got for this was from one of my colleagues, who told me that it was in 1972 that he was introduced to it, when he was a member of a Fremont, California club known as Bob's Athletic Club. The owner of this gym was Bob Perata, and the gym was named after him. Both the book cover and movie poster of "Pumping Iron" featured Ed Corney for whom Bob's Athletic Club was a home gym. Ed Corney is also one of the great posers for bodybuilding. In 1975, Franco Columbu had to run for his money in that year's Mr. Olympia in the lightweight division when he had to compete with Ed Corney. To add to that, Corney was made the poster boy for "Pumping Iron", a movie that featured the preparation of Arnold for the 1975 Mr. Olympia. A book by the same name, written by Charles Gaines and George Butler, also had Corney appearing on its cover.

    Beginners can get motivated by the 10/8/6 program as it has fewer reps on the 2nd and 3rd sets ,so that you can use heavier weights, which can then give the illusion that the workout has made you stronger, even if the previous sets have caused fatigue. The recovery ability of beginners is slow and this makes the three sets performed as more than plenty. The progress of trainees in Bob's club led them to use another program for some time, but they can then come back to this program. When there was an improvement in their recovery ability and they became stronger they could add another set and go in for permutations like 12/10/8/6 that focuses on muscle packing, and 10/8/6/4 for any additional strength requirements.

    The 10/8/6 system is not considered appropriate for all kinds of exercises. Olympic lifts, snatch and clean and jerk are too technical for these reps to be used. If you still did this, the light weights used would have little effect for strength training. In 1982, a system was introduced by Vince Gorin that made use of a 10/8/6/15 protocol. In this, use was made of progressively heavier weights for 8 to 6 reps and this was finished with a 15 rep set with a light "pump". If this is converted into percentages,its workout progress would be:

    10 repetitions at 50% of maximum weight can be used for 6 reps

    8 repetitions at 75% of 6RM

    6 repetitions at 100% of 6RM

    15 repetitions at 35% of 6RM

    An individual who can press 100 pounds for 6 reps would rest 60 seconds between sets. He would do:

    10 reps with 50 pounds

    8 reps with 75 pounds

    6 reps with 100 pounds

    15 reps with 35 pounds

    I believe this repetition is too large for the optimum gain in strength as the body does not what it has to adapt to, but Gironda's system is time tested. It suits those who want to leave the gym quickly while leaving with a massive pump. If you want details about this workout program, read the book "2nd Workout Bulletin: 10-3-6-15" written by Gironda. To get the most from your strength training become a student of the Iron Game so that you can determine the best training system that can allow you to achieve your goals.

    Start with the 10/8/6 workout system, if you are a beginner.

    Troy van spanje is personal trainer with over 18 years experience. For more info visit

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    Beyond Retro

    Thursday, February 24, 2022

    Concealed Carry: OH no! Warrant Issued After Concealed Carry Gun Seen in a Photo



    Hilliard, Ohio – For one man, what started as a night of cheering, ended in police issuing a felony warrant for a gun crime.

    Last Saturday night, a state wrestling match at Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio, drew a large crowd. Some kids won, others lost, and everyone went home to resume their lives. But, days later, a man who attended the match found himself the subject of a felony warrant.

    Warrant Issued by Hilliard Police Department —

    Hours after the wrestling match, a school official contacted Hilliard Police Department (HPD). The unnamed person notified HPD that they had become aware of a photo taken during the wrestling match.

    The picture (included below) shows a man cheering with hands raised over his head, exposing what looks like a gun in the front of his waistband.

    Police later identified the man as a 37-year-old Johnstown, Ohio resident called Dylan and issued a warrant for his arrest for the charge of:

    Ohio Code 2923.122 – Illegal conveyance or possession of deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance or of object indistinguishable from firearm in school safety zone.

    The crime is a fourth-degree felony and is punishable by a definite prison term of six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, or 12 months; a fine of up to $2,500; or both.

    Dylan is not in custody at the time of this post. (Continued below....)

    Since 2015 the NRA has been endorsing Laser Simulated Training with the SIRT. Training with your real gun at the range is important but by itself it is setting you up to fail. To be fully prepared for a deadly encounter you need a tool like the SIRT to fill the gaps in your firearm training plan.

    man seen with concealed carry handgun

    Photo courtesy of NBC4


    Observations —

    First, there is a big difference between Ohio law regarding bringing a gun onto a private property business and a school “safety zone.” The first is a misdemeanor, the latter a felony. Furthermore, as we can see, you’re not likely to receive grace for violating any school “safety zone” gun laws.

    Know the law –

    You need to know the gun law in your state. And be aware that gun law changes from time to time. That is why I highly suggest our resource called the Legal Boundaries by State. It covers the gun laws of every state and DC. It also contains information on traveling and guns on planes. We update the digital version in real-time when a law becomes active and the physical book regularly.

    Learn more about the Legal Boundaries by State

    gun law resource book

    I won’t advocate anyone violating the law. However, we all weigh the pros and cons of violating any given law. For example, if you willfully break the speed limit, you accept that being late is worse than the consequences for speeding.

    This would be a tough way to learn the law if Dylan didn’t already know he couldn’t carry in a school.

    You’re on camera –

    Secondly, we do live in a surveillance state. In 2018, FOX31 reported that the average American gets caught on camera on average 70 times per day. I couldn’t find the data behind their numbers, but a 2021 report from Reolink in England estimated Londoners appear on video 300 times a day.

    We don’t know the exact number, but it is safe to say we’re on camera or photos a lot! So we have to be aware, especially if you carry a gun in a non-permissive environment.

    Clothing and carry positions –

    Consider your clothing choices and if particular movements expose your gun.

    In this incident, the man is carrying inside the waistband, in the 12’oclock or appendix position. However, your gun can become exposed in any carry position, especially if you carry small of the back.

    woman disarmed in gas station

    This video shows a man assaulting and disarming a woman inside a gas station store. She was carrying in the small of her back, and the suspect observed her gun. I believe she wasn’t open carrying; instead, the gun became visible because of her clothing.

    Consider the law’s purpose –

    We often argue the ineffectiveness of these “gun-free zone” laws by pointing out that criminals don’t follow the law, so these laws don’t make anyone safer. But, if the law doesn’t make anyone safer, what is the point?

    These punitive laws do not prevent crime; they only punish people after the fact.

    We don’t know if Dylan possessed a valid Ohio Concealed Handgun Licence or not. But, assuming he did and is found guilty, he will likely lose his license and the ability to get one in the future. That is pretty harsh, considering he didn’t harm or endanger anyone.

    Someone may argue Dylan endangered people because he “could have” done something like leave his gun in the bathroom, and that could harm people. We need to be very careful in punishing people for something that “could happen.”

    concealed carry gun free zone sign

    Furthermore, if merely possessing a firearm secured in a holster is sufficient to endanger people, why are there any exemptions for police or anyone else?

    Finally —

    I’m not going to criticize the man in the story. Everyone is responsible for their own actions.

    I’m also not going to join the chorus of “he makes all concealed carriers look bad.” I say this because I believe “gun-free” laws like these are pointless and only harm otherwise law-abiding citizens. If I say that, I can’t then turn around and criticize a man for carrying in a “gun-free” zone.

    At worse, he had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction at an inopportune time. I hope he gets good representation, and he can plea out to a lesser crime that won’t affect his future ability to possess a firearm legally.

    What do you think? Does arresting this man make people safer?

    Wednesday, February 23, 2022

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    The Coach


    Rick Stewart

    Coaches Helping Coaches

    Coach Stewart has been a football coach for 27 years, 16 as a head coach, Stewart has been to 2 CIF Section Finals, and his 12-0 team lost the CIF championship on a hail mary pass in the rain.

    He took three losing programs to playoffs.

    Coach Stewart has turned around three different schools and led each team to the playoffs within his first two seasons at the helm. Since none of these schools had any scholarship players on their roster, Stewart’s system gave his players a chance to be successful versus superior talent.

    • McFarland, a small, agricultural school of 600 students with no weight room, had lost 24 games in a row. Stewart served as offensive coordinator, and they went 8-2 with only 3rd playoff berth in 75-yr school history
    • Stewart left McFarland for 3 years and they went 3-26 during his absence. He returned as head coach to make the playoffs in Year 2. (the Disney movie, “McFarland”, starring Kevin Costner is the same town and school)
    • Broke 0-27 losing streak at Corcoran, a school with 900 students, winning an undefeated league title in Year 2;
    • Porterville, a large, rural school of 2,000 students, won 40 games in 5 years, including back-to-back section runner-ups at a that had won 8 games in the 5 years prior to his arrival.
    • Pennslyvania. Stewart went to a different state to coach a team that had went 3-7, 2-8, and 4-6. Stewart's team went 9-1 and was #6 in entire state in total offense. The school had only won 9 games twice: 1982 and 2009.

    Stewart also has coached basketball, serving as AAU director for girls' basketball in California and tutored seven girls to D-1 scholarships. He understands what coaches want and his company, ALL ACCESS COACHING, is all about helping the next generation of coaches. Book this course today!

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