Lesson 1 of 17
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Opening Remarks

Rudy Thomas December 6, 2020

… presentation order. I wanted to say it’s the saving the best for last, but unfortunately, that’s just not true in this instance. You get to work for the company, you get to stay last in case people have to go for various reasons, then they only miss your talk as opposed to everybody else’s. This one’s going to be a little bit different than maybe what you’ve had.

But I think it ties in well with Coach Uyeyama and some of the other talks that we’ve had today in that this is another way, this athlete load monitoring, this is another way to look at your training, classifying how you’re talking about training, how you’re talking with your coaches. It’s a conversation starter essentially. This is going to be a lot of jargon, but in the end, it’s about how to create more lines of communication between you and the athletes, and more specifically you and the sport coaches.

Is anybody doing anything like this? Wellness questionnaires or session RPE data? So that’s an athlete load. What we typically think of right is volume load, right? Something like that or just percentage of max prescription. That’s another way of obviously tracking load from athlete to athlete. But ultimately this is a bit of a balance. This is talking about the balance between fatigue and fitness as we go through this.

So I didn’t really, I mean, introduce myself, but I obviously worked for PLAE and I’ve been in college strength and conditioning for a number of years in the private sector. And a couple of years ago, Coach Mark brought me back to the PLAE family. And I got to tell you, having done a lot of jobs in the industry, there’s a lot that you like and a lot that you don’t miss and a lot that you do miss.

And hearing coaches talk, there’s a lot about having that athlete interaction on a daily basis, especially being in the high school or the collegiate level where they keep you young, right? You’re always on your toes, you’re always dancing to a degree having to figure out and solve problems on the fly every day. But the job I have now is pretty cool. I mean, I get to travel, which I get to do the things I like to do essentially.

I get to travel, I get to hang out with like-minded people, my friends, coaches, talk shop, but most importantly, I get to learn. That’s all I do, is just travel around and just essentially just take shit, to steal. And whatever I want to use for me, that’s what I do. Honestly, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s I still train some athletes, but it’s not like it used to be.

A lot of this stuff is selfish, it’s for me. I’m like, I want to use it on me. I want to see how it works because I’m curious. I want to learn and the way I learn is to take it and try it. I’m constantly going, “Oh, I want to do that. I want to see how that fits into what I understand and then put it into my program.” So yeah.

I got a big thanks to Coach Mark, he’s, as I said in the beginning, I interned for him and he’s been a mentor of mine and he’s always been somebody I could go to and turn to and ask questions and he’s always been in my corner and he brought me back in. And a lot of the things you’ll see today, I have China up there. I spent a year coaching for the Chinese Olympic Committee and Coach Benji was there as well with us.

And I got a chance to be exposed to those athletes and specifically the sport of rowing, which I hadn’t had a lot of experience and that was life changing. I got to travel around the world with that particular team. But a lot of these things you’ll see today are things that not only I learned to do, but got to do and got to employ while I was in China. Not only because it helped, but it was necessary.

And number four, just the people in Europe and in Australia, they’re doing a lot of this stuff. Not that we’re not in the US, but they really helped to drive home some of the importance. And they were ahead of us, to be completely honest with you, in the use of their technology and the use of data and analytics and they were ahead. And so it really lit a fire under me to learn it and to start to own it and figure out what it meant.

I mean, when it comes down to graphical presentation and pivot charts and stuff like that, it’s impressive. I don’t know if it’s always necessary, but it’s impressive what they can do. And then of course, the athletes, the athletes being open to us asking them a ton of questions every day and always kind of being… and you have to dance that dance a little bit of, you need to get this data if you need to get it, but you have to get it from the athlete. So it takes a lot of cooperation. So they have to be cooperative.

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