Science of Sports Performance

Interview with Jay DeMayo of University of Richmond

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Jay DeMayo is the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Richmond.  He answered several of our questions in an amazing interview about his training philosophy, the CVASPS seminar, and several other topics!  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

SO: Tell us a little about your background, where you started and how you ended up at Richmond.

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JD: I started as an undergrad at SUNY Cortland working for our then ATC CSCS and really enjoyed it. From there I took an internship at SUNY Binghamton, a GA at Indiana State University, and then a paid internship here at U of R. I’ve been here ever since.

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SO: Dr. Yessis has been a big influence on your training, can you explain where you learned about his method of training and when you began to implement it with your athletes?

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JD: I had met Doc through The Seminar, and more importantly through my relationship with Yosef Johnson of Ultimate Athlete Concepts back in 2010. Yosef and I talked quite regularly, but the conversation kept coming back to the same questions: “Are you satisfied with the results you get” and “Where do you rank those results against your peers.” We probably had the same, or at least very similar conversation, a dozen times. Finally I asked him what he meant, and he responded with the results that he had seen using Doc’s methods. To be honest, I didn’t believe him. In fact, I thought he was full of shit, but he kind of challenged me to try it, so I did. They didn’t disappoint. We saw guys adding 3-5 inches on their vertical in the 1st year, and continually cutting 10% off of their speed tests. This was back in 2011, and we have progressed forward since.

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SO: Can you quickly describe low dose training, and tell us what results have you typically seen in administering it? 

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JD: Low dose is kind of a misleading term. Maybe I’m a hipster, but I hate to use ones that are mainstream too, and that term is optimal dose. For some guys, the amount of training they do on specific days, they would argue that there’s no way it’s a “low dose”, so let’s just be lemmings and use that term for now. To describe it, I think Henk Kraaijenhof said it best, “give them what they need, not what they can handle.” What do I mean by this? I mean, dose them with enough “stress” (i.e. exercise) to elicit a stress adaptation. It’s not something that should require multiple days to weeks to recover from, it’s just enough that when they come back in a couple day’s they’re ready to roll, and possibly can handle a little more stress.

I think we look at too many cool and sexy models for training and overlook the simplistic nature of progressive overload for a vast majority of our student athletes. By doing so, we are skipping a great area that would allow them to not only improve, but possibly improve for a longer time and at a greater rate. When you can start to get a handle on it (and that is WAY easier said than done) you can see some pretty neat stuff from your kids.

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SO: Many people have a strong misconception about the 1×20 system, what would you say to those to clarify it?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]JD: Misconceptions, well there are many. I guess the 1st one is that people get bored with it, and that refers to both the kids and the coaches. Well, let’s just get past that for two reasons: 1) training athletes isn’t about your entertainment, and 2) training athletes isn’t for their entertainment. Training is a secondary means to increase the athlete’s ability to perform at a high level, period. So all these “boring” or “fun” excuses aren’t worth shit, just get over it. If kids don’t think that having a vertical go up almost an inch a month in the off season isn’t fun, or having their 10’s drop full tenths of a second, 20’s drop almost 2 full tenths, then I don’t know what fun is.

The next is that you can do whatever you want on whatever days you want. The big thing, and people forget this, is that Doc is a biomechanist. These training programs are about improving techniques, so you keep the same exercises and try to improve once the athlete is ready and technique is perfect. Now, do we change exercises? Of course we do. Willie Danzer said it great in an interview on my site, “do stuff until it stops working, change it, and do that until it stops working.” Yup, that sums it up pretty damn good.[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Divider divider_type=”ts-divider-border” divider_text_position=”center” divider_text_border=”#eeeeee” divider_image_position=”center” divider_image_border=”#eeeeee” divider_icon_position=”center” divider_icon_color=”#cccccc” divider_icon_border=”#eeeeee” divider_border_type=”outset” divider_border_thick=”1″ divider_border_color=”#eeeeee” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

SO: When did you get the idea to host the CVASPS? What was your original goal with it?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]JD: Ha, well, I think I’ve told this story plenty, but it all comes back to being called out. When I started working with hoops here there wasn’t anything “basketball specific” out there, so I thought, “that would be a great idea.” So I sent an email to every DI coach out there asking if they’d be interested. Many responded, some told me to stop bugging them (some not so nicely), but one responded with “Hey, speaking of that, I got it ready to roll. Want to help?” So I did whatever Charles Stevenson asked, which to be frank wasn’t all that much, and headed down to Raleigh for the first basketball symposium. Charles does a really awesome job, and is a super dude, so if you are in hoops you should check that out. Well I get back and my boss at the time was really heated because the one at NC State was rad and ours blew. Blew might be a rough word, but it wasn’t anything special. So he called me out, and from there this grew to what it is now.

It started out the same way it is today. I want to bring in people who are smart and I want to learn from, and then I want to bring in people who they think are smart and want to learn from. For example, I think Cal Dietz and Landon Evans are super smart coaches who are smarter than I am. Well Landon recommended Henk, Cal recommended Dr. Ben Peterson. Now that’s four CRAZY smart fellas. In that sense it’s been so rewarding. Now you tie in the connection to Ultimate Athlete Concepts and Yosef’s involvement and you bring Dr. Verkhoshansky, Dr. Issurin, Dr. Bondarchuck, Rick Brunner, and all of his authors in the mix, and we have a pretty sweet set up. It really is, and always will be about the information though. I don’t charge much, shit I’m basically giving away housing, food, and beer this year ($150.00 for 2 night, 4 meals including 2 cook outs with local craft beers) because I want to have individuals able to attend the lectures, and the lectures to drive the conversations after. Which is why I’m asking our presenters to have result based lectures. Meaning, “This is where we started, this is what we did, and this was the results.” So we can talk about what training actually does, and how we can get better as a profession.[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Divider divider_type=”ts-divider-border” divider_text_position=”center” divider_text_border=”#eeeeee” divider_image_position=”center” divider_image_border=”#eeeeee” divider_icon_position=”center” divider_icon_color=”#cccccc” divider_icon_border=”#eeeeee” divider_border_type=”outset” divider_border_thick=”1″ divider_border_color=”#eeeeee” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]SO: Every year is a new lineup of all-star speakers, what are your long term plans with the seminar?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

JD: The plan will always be the same. Bring in the best coaches and scientists that I can find to share what they have uncovered, and then ask them who they want to learn from to keep expanding these professional relationships.

[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Divider divider_type=”ts-divider-border” divider_text_position=”center” divider_text_border=”#eeeeee” divider_image_position=”center” divider_image_border=”#eeeeee” divider_icon_position=”center” divider_icon_color=”#cccccc” divider_icon_border=”#eeeeee” divider_border_type=”outset” divider_border_thick=”1″ divider_border_color=”#eeeeee” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]SO: What training modalities have you implemented in the past few years that has given your athletes the biggest return on their investment?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

JD:  Can I say everything? I think that what we have found more than anything is that you don’t need to progress as fast as you think you do, and my doing that, adaptations become more plastic. Now, I’m not saying we don’t train hard, or push the guys, but we do so when they’re ready. IF they are able to use proper technique on an exercise, and not look like they’re dying at the end of the set, AND have a state or readiness that allows them to handle an increase in stress, then we increase whatever it is, if not, we stay there. I think that following that model has been what has “changed” the most and been what brings us our greatest ROI.

[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Divider divider_type=”ts-divider-border” divider_text_position=”center” divider_text_border=”#eeeeee” divider_image_position=”center” divider_image_border=”#eeeeee” divider_icon_position=”center” divider_icon_color=”#cccccc” divider_icon_border=”#eeeeee” divider_border_type=”outset” divider_border_thick=”1″ divider_border_color=”#eeeeee” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]SO: Do you have a general training philosophy you go by when designing a team’s programs?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

JD:  Yosef likes to call it “Cut The Check”, I guess I’ll call it “worry about shit that matters”. You need to look at each kid and figure out what physical qualities can you develop that will improve performance, what you are willing to “spend your money on” if the kid isn’t “ready” on a specific day, and how you are going to be there. Now, along with that, if you can’t measure it I don’t think you can train it. So everything must have a way of being measured if you are going to tell me you’re training for it. At the end of the day Carl Valle couldn’t be more correct in saying “it’s a crime not to time.” Speed and quickness matter. You’re ability to change direction matters. Acceleration matter. Strength, to a point, matters. What are you doing to make your kids better at their sport, not what are you doing to allow someone who looks like Tarzan to play like Jane.

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SO: Can you give us an example of an offseason 1×20 Program?

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JD: This is probably the best way:

[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLYZG-eusJA “][TS-VCSC-Divider divider_type=”ts-divider-border” divider_text_position=”center” divider_text_border=”#eeeeee” divider_image_position=”center” divider_image_border=”#eeeeee” divider_icon_position=”center” divider_icon_color=”#cccccc” divider_icon_border=”#eeeeee” divider_border_type=”outset” divider_border_thick=”1″ divider_border_color=”#eeeeee” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]SO: What have your experiences with Omegawave been? How have you implemented them with your training, and how do you modify your training based on the results?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

JD:  First I’m very lucky, not only to have the technology, but to have the relationship with the individuals within the company that I do.   I feel that it is an absolutely fantastic tool that helps us in so many ways that I’m sure that I’ll miss some of them here. Our experiences have been wide and many. It has become a barometer of where we are, and where we are going. It allows us to know more about these kids then we ever thought we would want too, good bad or indifferent I guess. If we want a specific “experience” then I’d say the day we “caught” a cardiac dysfunction with one of our athletes with it. Now, it didn’t diagnose the kid, but it kept telling us something wasn’t quite right and we would probably want to get this person checked out. Turns out it was a Grade 1 AV Block, so nothing “crazy” but still an issue that rears it’s head from time to time. With all the issues we have today with kids having serious complications to training I don’t understand, that if you KNOW you can be advised of issues with this, why anyone wouldn’t want to check their kids as often as possible on it.

How do we use it to make modifications in our training? That’s the cool stuff I think. First, I think what people need to understand is that none of these monitoring devices (Omegwave, Catapult, Heart Rate Monitors) are deities. They do not dictate what you’re doing, nor should they. They provide information to allow you to make better decisions about what you may or may not do. Second, remember that DiVinci was an artist, and a scientist right. You still need to know what’s what and understand that on some days you just got to train, period. Now, will there be a cost later? Of course, and you know that you’ll pay it later, but you have to know that it will be there. So back to the question, we use it as a tool to help us determine the volume and intensity of the stressors we will provide to our student athletes. What do I mean by that? If we just go off “readiness” (the overall ability the athlete possesses at that moment to display their readiness and adapt to stress) then we can look at it this simply, green means we push it, yellow means repeat it (or slightly back down depending on “how yellow”), red send them home. Now we dive into more specific numbers, and different ones for different guys. So let’s say we have 2 kids, player one is a “limited athlete” but has a HUGE motor and can go all day, player two is a freak show who burns out real quick. Well if today’s training is about improving speed, power, quickness (alactic power if you may) and both have a “yellow” cns, and “yellow” readiness, but no issues with pain/injury, I may give the “limited athlete” guy a little more leeway to push it this day. If he needs to get better, and I know the next day is something he’s good at and doesn’t need much work in, I’ll “pay-back” tomorrow. I would do the opposite for the other. I guess the summary is that you need to know that everything has a cost that you are going to have to pay back at some point. You just need to understand what the kid needs, and where you can pay them back later, so that they don’t fall apart, and continue to improve.[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Divider divider_type=”ts-divider-border” divider_text_position=”center” divider_text_border=”#eeeeee” divider_image_position=”center” divider_image_border=”#eeeeee” divider_icon_position=”center” divider_icon_color=”#cccccc” divider_icon_border=”#eeeeee” divider_border_type=”outset” divider_border_thick=”1″ divider_border_color=”#eeeeee” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]SO: The CVASPS this year has Cal Dietz, Ben Peterson, Dr. Bryan Mann, Steve Magness, Jim Snider and more, is this the best CVASPS yet?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

JD:I sure hope so, but I guess we will find out soon right? I’m really excited. The speakers are all really awesome dudes. Guys that I’m as excited to drink a beer with as I am to listen to what they have to say. Speaking of that actually, we have added a housing and meals package that will get you 2 nights stay on campus, breakfast and lunch Friday, and our cookouts Thursday and Friday night for $150.00. That’s about what it costs for a night at the Marriott down the street. Oh, and 2 local craft breweries are providing some “German lemonade” both nights too. So I guess it really could be. We’ve got some heavy hitters in attendance as well, so I’m pretty excited about it. Like I said earlier, if the information is good, that’s what I’m about, so I hope people can take as much away from this edition of The Seminar as they have in the past, if not more.

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If you are not going to the CVASPS this year, you are missing out!  People who enjoy the content on this site will be thrilled by the topics, which provide both a practical and theoretical basis for you to implement.  Seriously, check it out!

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Steve Olson

Steve Olson is a sports performance coach with a special interest in program design and periodization. He believes training is planning and tracking, and uses many different but effective methods of training for the short and long term development of athletes. He has trained Athletes from youth, high school, collegiate and professional, and utilizes different periodization models, training systems and modalities for each to maximize the athletic return from that athlete. He is also the owner and founder of Excel Training Designs, and can be reached at steveolson2202@gmail.com

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