On Saturday, February 11, Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) hosted Philadelphia Eagles strength and conditioning coach, Josh Hingst, for the inaugural BMA Athlete Development Forum.
A total of 13 leading local strength and conditioning coaches representing the US Ski Team, GMVS, SMS, St-Johnsbury Academy, XIP Training, the University of Sherbrooke and BMA joined forces to attend this novel one-day workshop. The event came on the heels of the recent opening of the Ronnie Berlack Center and BMA being named the first official U.S. Ski Team Development Site.
“The concept for the gathering was to bring coaches together and talk training with no secrets kept,” said Darrell Gray, director of high performance at BMA. “The topics for the forum came from the attendees and everyone had the opportunity to participate in the discussions. The sharing of experiences from coaches of different backgrounds and sports contributed greatly to all our learning.”
The coaches addressed team training culture, athlete monitoring (Internal, External Load, and assessment of Training Load Response & Recovery), assessment, periodization and yearly planning (off-season vs. in-season training), and considerations for high school athletes.
“I’m incredibly thankful I had the opportunity to bounce back across the country for this get-together,” said Michael Bingaman, the strength coach for the USST Men’s Europa Cup group who flew in from Colorado to be a part of the forum, using the day for continuing education. “Learning from Josh’s insights and philosophies regarding his coaching was fantastic, and having such a diverse group present meant a wide variety of responses, ideas, and approaches were shared.”
“Our discussions on culture were invaluable to me, specifically regarding the creation of a Fail-Friendly Environment as well as a culture of Personal Mastery” added Bingaman. “The thoughts shared on monitoring were great as well, as I’m currently working through different monitoring methods with my own athletes. Lastly, it was hugely beneficial to be prompted to step back and evaluate our own coaching methods via the internal versus external cueing discussion. A little humility goes a long way – just because we’ve been doing something a while doesn’t mean what we’re doing is right,” he concluded.
Entering his fifth year coaching in the NFL, Hingst is a registered dietitian and a certified strength and conditioning specialist with considerable coaching experience at the college level. Prior to joining the Jaguars in 2012, Hingst previously spent three years (2009-11) as the director of sports nutrition at Nebraska and spent the 2008 season with the Atlanta Falcons as the team’s nutritionist.
At Nebraska, Hingst directed body composition analysis, nutrition education, performance fueling strategies and counseling for sports supplements and hydration. In addition, he coordinated menus and education at the Nebraska training table and planned meals on the road for various Nebraska teams.
“Community is something that sticks out to me as one of the important takeaways from the workshop,” told Hingst. “The forum reminded me how much we have to gain and learn from each other. The power in coming together as a group and hearing the challenges and achievements of other professionals working towards a similar goal. Our athletes need a community of fellow athletes, peers, and coaches to be challenged, grow, and become the best they can be and we as coaches need this same community,” he concluded.
In the spirit of its new official U.S. Ski team Development Site designation, BMA hopes to host up to three such athlete development sport science and coaching workshops annually, bringing in world-class keynote speakers to share their expertise with regional stakeholders. The intent is to keep each forum to less than 30 participants to ensure quality exchanges.
The primary audience will continue to be coaches involved in the sport of skiing, with consideration for coaches representing other sports who can contribute valuable insights.