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Articles | Matt Johnson's Strength Coach Concepts

Soft Tissue Treatment: The Missing Piece

Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to train basketball players of all ages, skill sets and performance profiles.  When looking back at all the players I have trained, they all possessed one commonality.  They simply did not know how to adequately prepare and regenerate their bodies...

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Guest Post: Nate Shaw, Arizona Diamondbacks Strength Coach

Designing training programs for baseball players can be very simple.  There are a few concepts to focus on before you get started.  A successful program is one that a player can complete without a large risk of injury.  A successful program also helps the athlete achieve some specific goals.  The...

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"The Mistake": Adding Strength to Dysfunction

Squatting heavy when one can't perform a deep body weight squat. Benching when one can't perform a pushup. Lunging when one hasn't performed a split squat. These are all examples of potentially adding strength to dysfunction.  Quite possibly one of the most detrimental mistakes you could make as a coach toward your athletes...

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Accountability and Intrinsic Motivation

A few days ago, I was brushing over my inbox while getting my daily dose of Facebook (you know we all do it).  Mixed amongst the "event invites", "page suggestions" and marketing campaigns, was a message from a past college athlete of mine, Dana Borges.

The message was about...

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Single Leg Movement and The Lateral Sub-System

Have you ever thought of human movement as a puzzle?  Imagine puzzle pieces scattered across your coffee table.  Now, imagine a completed puzzle.  I tend to fall back on this teaching tool to help my athletes understand terms such as human movement, function and dysfunction.  Human movement consists of numerous...

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Corrective Strategies for Overhead Athletes

We all know that the shoulder complex is well…..COMPLEX!  Whenever I talk to coaches, athletes and parents about baseball strength and conditioning, the following question always surfaces.  “My shoulder has really been hurting….Is there anything I can do?”  I respond in the same manner every time.  Pull more than you push! ...

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Caloric Expenditure Guidelines for Today's Athlete

If you have read any of my earlier posts, you understand how critical nutrition is in the optimal performance spectrum.  If you want to reap the benefits of your training, you must fuel your body with the correct amount of calories.  Parents, athletes and coaches always ask me, "how much...

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Coaching Cue Corner: Lateral Movement

A few weeks ago, I posted an article which reviewed backpedal coaching cues.  Coach - Athlete interaction is essential if the goal is improvement.  Why?  Improvement is driven through cognition.  If your athletes are able to "Understand" they will be able to "Do".

I've been playing basketball my whole...

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The L.E.F.T Test: An Assessment for Neuromuscular Control

Did you watch the NFL combine this year? If you did you most likely watched this year’s rookies perform the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, 20 & 60 yard shuttles, L-Drill and Bench Press. I like to label these drills as "DNA Assessments". Each drill or assessment labels...

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"A Sandful of Benefit"

I am a strong believer in unconventional strength and conditioning.  Kettlebells, sandbags, ropes, suspension devices such as the TRX and Jungle Gym have really improved my program design due to the vast amount of variation they all provide.  If you have been in the trenches for a number of years you...

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Coaching Cue Corner: The Backpedal

Coaching cues are vital to the education of athletes. I feel that coach and educator go hand in hand. It is impossible to be a successful coach without utilizing the fundamental tools of education. What are the two most powerful educational tools an individual can use to teach a task?...

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Movement Based Exercises To Improve Squat Technique

What trait do most athletes have in common?  They can’t squat efficiently!  Now, I understand that some of you will say “so what” and shrug your shoulders.  For those of you who agree, you understand the kinematics of human movement.  Why?  If you are able to squat efficiently you will...

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Into Thin Air: The Secrets Behind Hill Training

A few weeks ago, Sportscenter spotlighted a pre-season training camp video on "Mount Pain". What is "Mount Pain"?  It's a 45 foot tall hill with 45 and 30 degree slopes on opposing sides. Throughout his 12-year NFL playing career with the Chicago Bears, Coach Singletary used hill workouts to help...

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Who's At Risk?: ACL Prevention

Neuromuscular differences are common place in the field of strength and conditioning.  Each athlete has different musculoskeletal differences- either excellent or poor.  Neuromuscular limitations should be addressed in order to prevent the incidence of injury in your athletes.  If you're a football fan, I'm sure you know who Tom Brady and...

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It All Starts In The Weight Room...Is this True? Part 1

For the past few weeks I have been very busy.  If you didn't know, I am a huge research guy.  To date, I have conducted over 10 studies including my graduate thesis relating to the field of strength and conditioning. One thing I have found about the field of S&C...

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"It All Start's in the Weight Room..Is This True? Part 2"

Wait!  Before you view the results, have you taken a look at part 1?  If not, be sure to take a look at it before looking any further.


20 yd (Pre)

20 yd (Post)


Percent Improvement

Average Improvement



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"It All Starts In the Weight Room" Part 3

In this final episode of my "top-secret" study, I will give meaning to the results.  If you have not had an opportunity to read Part 1 and Part 2 here are the links for each episode.  I recommend reading them before going any further.  Part 1   Part 2  

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Improving "Power" in your Power Clean

The Power Clean Is An Integral Lift For Champion Wrestlers. Now You Can Discover The Secrets To Developing More Power And Explosiveness With This Great Exercise…

The power clean is one of our staple exercises during the in-season because it incorporates virtually every muscle in the body. When performed...

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Late Specialization: The Ticket For Success

Recently, a topic of discussion that has created a lot of buzz in the field of strength and conditioning is "Early Specialization". I'm sure you are familiar with this theory if you read any of Mike Boyle's blogs (  Mike does a great job of "painting the big picture"...

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The Glute Medius: The Solution for Optimal Ankle Health

Well, winter is here.  I can't say I'm excited because I hate the cold but I am looking forward to seeing my basketball athletes excel this season.  As a collegiate player, ankle injuries plagued my teammates season after season.  Why was this?  Prior to the start of every season, our...

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