Science of Sports Performance

Interview with Jeff Moyer of DC Sports Training

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Jeff Moyer, owner of DC Sports Training, is quickly growing as one of the best and most knowledgeable trainers in the industry.  He has trained extensively at the high school and collegiate level, and has studied and worked names such as Dr. Dr. Natalia Verkhoshansky, Mike Woicik of the Dallas Cowboys,  Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell and Fellowship under Dave Tate of EliteFTS.  Jeff answered a few questions for us about his philosophy and training protocols![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

SO: Briefly describe your training background.

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JM:  In 2006 I was an assistant football and S&C coach at a D3 school in upstate NY. The head S&C coach there, Paul Adey, introduced me to Eastern European sport science and training. Coach Adey really opened up my eyes to sites like Westside barbell and EliteFTS, where I became enthralled with wanting to learn as much as I can.   I developed a deep, sick passion to want to learn as much as I can on eastern bloc training and sport science, and for me not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I wanted to learn straight from the people that were teaching and speaking about it. So on several occasions I went out to Columbus OH to spend time with Louie Simmons, Dave Tate and the members of EliteFTS. I would attend seminars by James “The Thinker” Smith, and email him weekly. I bought every book and DVD that Louie and James would talk about or cite in there articles. Long story short, that lead me to Ultimate Athlete Concepts and all of their products. I was fortunate enough to strike dialogue with the owner of UAC Yosef Johnson, and I began to hound him with questions about his products and the training methods of his authors. I have been fortunate enough to become friends with Yosef and also consider him a mentor. Through him I have had the great fortune to have the ability to correspond with and study under his authors and other experts in other fields.

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SO: What led you to training with Dr. Yessis?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]JM:  I have read many of Doc’s books and even attended several of his seminars, but it wasn’t until about 2010 when I began as an assistant football coach and head S&C at a high school in Upstate NY. I knew that Yosef had been apprenticing under Doc for about 15years and I knew that he had been training high school athletes for sometime, so I started asking Yosef some questions as to how he trains athletes. He described some of the methods he used, which caught my attention, so I figured to give it a whirl with half of the team while doing a hybrid concurrent-vertical integration approach with the other half. The results weren’t even close both in general strength but also in explosive strength. So I decided to which them all over. Meanwhile before that off-season, the starting quarterback fractured his growth plate in his elbow in the 3rd game of the season. The fracture was a non-contact injury, so I knew it was from his poor mechanics and overuse, but I wasn’t able to figure what the issue myself. So after the quarterbacks surgery that winter, I asked Yosef if he could help get me in contact with Dr. Yessis and hire him for his services. We did, and since 2011, I have been an apprentice under Doc since.[/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: Your company is Dynamic Correspondence Sports Training, describe how you came up with the name

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JM: I wanted a name that resembled some of our principles and philosophy.  The use of specialized exercises are a large part of what we do with our exercises, with my apprenticeship under Dr. Yessis and his knowledge of biomechanics, coupled with the Principle of Dynamic Correspondence, it helps use in our selection of exercises. I thought the name fit what we do pretty well.

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SO: There has been a lot of talk lately about minimum adaptive threshold, but very few seem to actually understand it. How would you describe it?

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JM: It is the threshold of which we are trying to find what is the minimal effective dose that we need to get a positive adaptation. This means that we are trying to find the lowest volume and intensity of stress we need to apply to the athlete that yields an improvement.  More often than not, the answer is usually a lot less that what coaches think. As coaches, there are very few things that we can do that can speed up the adaptation process; but there is a ton of stuff that we can do that can certainly fuck it up! I believe that with all of the monitoring that our industry is doing (which I think is fantastic), the threshold for adaptively and the threshold for recovery is different (at least for lower level athletes), with adaptively being lower thus allowing for a positive adaptation that allows for recovery from the training loads.

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SO: What would an example jump program be for an untrained 15 year old soccer player use at your facility?

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JM:  Its hard to lay out specifics as each player is different, but the underlying general progression that I use for selecting jumping exercises stems from the work of Dr. Verkhoshansky and Dr. Yessis:

  • We progress from general to specific
  • From Extensive to intensive
    • Simple / Relaxed – Slight overload – Isometric Holds – Intensive Overload – Plyometrics
  • So for a soccer player it might look like: jumping rope – power skips – extensive low box jumps – extensive lateral hurdle jumps – squat jumps – intensive single leg side to side jumps (iso hold) – some form of broad jump (either single or double leg) – leaping – compass jumps (plyo)
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SO: In your opinion and based on your interaction with other coaches, what are the biggest misconceptions in American strength and conditioning?

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JM: Two things come to mind. They are nothing new that hasn’t already been said before, but an over emphasis on general strength development and a lack of knowledge on mechanics of sporting movements/techniques. I have spoken with and heard from many coaches that believe that general strength development will take care of all else for the athlete. As I believe the answer should be with most questions in our field, the answer should be it depends. Second, I don’t believe that coaches necessarily need a masters in biomechanics, but with our industry so enthralled with movement screens and mechanics of general movement patterns, I believe that there would be less injuries and more transfer of training if coaches had a better working understanding of sporting mechanics.

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SO: If you could offer one or two pieces of advice to every coach reading this, what would it be?

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JM: With this being the age of information, and there being SO MUCH out there, try and find the originality of an idea/method and the original context in which it was meant for, who, what and why it was created for. I think that if coaches were to trace back to the origins of a technique/method/whatever, that it will help them sort though much of the BS that is out there.

Do not be afraid to reach out to people that you want to learn from. Coaches/scientists are more often than not, more giving of their time and knowledge than you might believe.

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SO: Recently you have studied and implemented more vision & sensory system training, tell us more about what it is, why it works and how you implement it.

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JM: Training the sensory system is a huge piece of the puzzle that is I unfortunately never hear about in athletic training programs. 10-20mins a workout of it really helps my athletes make reads, decisions, reactions faster, and ultimately lead to better performances on the field/court. The program we use enhances our athletes abilities by giving them the opportunity to learn quickly by recognizing and reacting to various stimuli while helping process information that is useful and blocking out information that is not which can cause them a lose in inches and tenths of seconds.

We begin with general reading and recognition drills that will develop response skills and techniques. As the athlete progresses through the program, we begin to transition to more movement based reading and recognition drills.   Later on, our athletes will then will progress to the use of drills that are more sport specific will be incorporated later on that aid to develop anticipation, visual search strategies and decision making that is relevant to all aspects of the sensory system, techniques and physical qualities that the athlete must demonstrate in their sport. For example, with my quarterbacks I set up various visual charts in front of them. Before the snap, I will give them coordinates to look for on a chart while they must immediately perform their dropback. The coordinates will give them a specific stimuli (number, color, shadow) that they will have to make a decision on that will tell them where to throw the ball (matching the various targets in the room).

A major benefit of this type of training is the improvement of “mental toughness” when performing under pressure.  Although the arguments about mental toughness and its development are pissed around between coaches and athletes.   A large part of mental toughness comes when the athlete learns to remain 100% focused on the specific cues for the task, despite distractions by irrelevant sounds, visual disturbances, ect.  It’s not as easy to quantify an improvement in performance as say improving in your 10yard, or vertical jump other than improvements in their exercises. But many of my athletes have said that they have noticed a big difference with their abilities to react on the field/court/diamond.   My baseball & softball players say they are able to pick up the pitch better, or see the ball coming off of the bat faster.[/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 books would you recommend to coaches at different levels?

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JM:

  • A Multilevel Approach to the Study of Motor Control and Learning
  • Perception, Cognition & Decision Training: The Quiet Eye in Action
  • Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches
  • Explosive Running
  • Transfer of Training Vol. 1 & 2
  • Biomechanics and Kinesiology of Exercise
  • All of the old Soviet Sport Reviews
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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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