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Interview with Director of Strength and Conditioning at Robert Morris University: Todd Hamer

Right now Adam Gentry is the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for Olympic Sports at the University of Pittsburg.  He made some time in his rigorous schedule to interview Todd Hamer from Robert Morris University.  Adam is a great student of Strength and Conditioning and constantly creating learning experiences for himself.

We rarely make enough time to learn from each other as coaches.  Put the ego aside and we’re sure you’ll be able to take one or two things from it.

http://junction25.com/movie-chit-ozinho-xoror-ao-vivo-em-garibaldi/ Interview with Todd Hamer – Director of Strength and Conditioning at RMU

-A. Gentry MS, SCCC, CSCS

“Todd Hamer is the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Robert Morris University. He is also a competitive power lifter, avid outdoors man, and all around bad-ass. Earlier this year Coach Hamer competed in a push/pull meet pressing 430 and pulling 540 pounds, later the same month Hamer led a group of RMU staff on a 340 mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. With manhood the size of coconuts, you have to shop for pants at a special store.”

• Tell us a little bit about your background as a strength coach. How you got started, where you have worked.

I began my career working at University of Pittsburgh under Buddy Morris. I can honestly say I knew nothing about this profession when I got to Pitt. I was lucky that Buddy allowed me to learn and grow. I just stood in the corner for the first 2 months learning. I would then go home and read the articles/books that Buddy let me borrow. I would just shut my mouth and try to understand what Buddy was saying and doing. From Pitt I went on to Penn State where I shadowed JT for a summer. This was quite a bit different then what I thought I knew. It was good that I had such a diverse view of this profession early on. From PSU I spent time at a few other University’s from intern to GA to assistant and finally as the head strength coach.

● Who in the field has influenced you the most as coach/ Who have you learned the most from?

I do not think there is one person that I learned the most from. I have been lucky in my career to learn from so many different professionals. I have learned from Buddy, Mylo (Tom Myslinksi), Tim Beltz, Tim Kontos, Cal Dietz, Jim Roney and many many more. Also, I am lucky as my wife does editing work for Dave Tate and Louie Simmons so this has opened many doors for me as far as learning from people who may not be strength coaches but know strength.

Buying Phentermine In Cozumel ● At RMU you have a packed schedule – 23 varsity teams. How do you manage your teams/programs/training with the facilities and staff you have available?

Controlled Chaos! haha. We do the best we can with what we have where we are. (Yes I stole that quote, but it fits well). We have to pick and choose our battles. We can see over 250 athletes on any given day. My staff includes myself, 1 GA, 2 paid interns & a few unpaid interns. I have been blessed to have good help over the years. One bonus for me is I offer interns hands on experience. I believe in learning by doing. So I let my interns get on the floor and coach. If I have a meeting I have to trust my interns/GA to run the room. As Kaz from Baylor once said, Are you the Steelers or Rambo? This defines us. Rambo is a one man team if someone kills Rambo it’s over. The Steelers have a culture of winning, and everyone contributes. We try to have a culture of coaching and hard work.

● How have you seen your philosophy and your programming change over the years?

More than I would have ever guessed. At 25 I knew everything; at 30 I knew most things; at 35 I realized I know nothing. We get together with the other strength coaches in the region about 6 times a year and every time we meet I realize how much we, as a profession, are really growing. As Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the smartest of a species that survives but, the most adaptable to change.”

Buy Phentermine Slimming Pills Uk ● What do you view as the most important part of your training program – how does it vary between sports?

Most of my sports need an increase work capacity. After watching athletes for years I have noticed that it is not always absolute strength or speed work that needs to be done. It is work capacity that needs to be addressed. I think of this as GPP type work. As the strength coach it is important to remember that all work we do is GPP. SPP work is done in practice. So our job is to better prepare our athletes for practice and games, while trying to reduce the chance for injury.

● Anything else you want to discuss regarding training, programming, ect.?

Yes. I think somewhere our profession is missing the boat is in speaking in injury rates. The fact is we can help reduce the chances of injuries occurring but, injuries have so many more causes that we cannot control. There is a huge luck aspect with injuries so do not hang your hat on injury rates. Here’s an example why you should not do this. Last season my football team went 9 games without losing a starter (this may be a record) this year we cannot go 9 plays without losing someone. There are many factors that affect this beyond my control.

● What’s the best piece of advice you can give to up and coming strength coaches?

Intern, volunteer and work your butt off. I have many interns come through and I often find it funny that many interns tell me they NEED to make money. Accept that you may not make money for your first few years gaining experience. So, you have your CSCS; my response, that’s cute now you have earned the right to be an unpaid intern. I am not saying that I abuse my interns, I work with them, they have side jobs, and I even try to get them camp money from team camps. But, you must pay your dues.

● You provide a lot of intern opportunities. What is your philosophy/approach/expectation for interns?

Work hard. There is not much more. As I tell my athletes when they first arrive on campus, be on time and work hard and you will be fine. I never ask new interns about philosophy or what they believe in. As an intern your goal should be to work hard, learn and help think of new ideas.

● If you could go back and start fresh, what would you do differently?

Open my mind earlier. As a profession we must respect each other more and learn from each other instead of judging each other. I have fallen into this trap in the past. I now realize that there are many great strength coaches out there and we must learn from all of them!

● What’s the most important thing you have learned as a coach?

How to communicate with the athletes, coaches and administration. This is something that is not taught in your undergrad but needs to be.

● What do you find most rewarding about coaching young athletes?

Watching them grow. I was at Volleyball senior day this weekend and I sat with one of last year’s seniors. These are the most rewarding times to spend time with these students as they grow from students to adults.

● You are big on continuing education, what are you reading right now? And what are some resources you recommend?

I am currently reading a book about an NPR personality’s time in Baghdad. I know this is not what you were looking for but, diversity of education is very important in my eyes. Five years ago I only read strength books, today I read at least 3 non strength books for every one strength book. My goal in the summer is a book a week, during the school year I try to read a few books per month. The last few books I read were Racheal Carson, “Silent Spring,” Lisa Endlich, “Be the Change.” These are far from books that relate directly to what I do, but everything I read makes me better. As the adage goes, you will be who you are in 5 years except the books you read and the people you meet.

• Coach Hamer, thank you for your time. I know you have a busy schedule to get back to.

Thank you – Hamer.

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