Quick Thoughts: 001 – Home Base

One idea I’ve had in my head for a while is to start a blog series of short and to the point thoughts. These “Quick Thoughts” will hopefully be much shorter than traditional posts, but longer than Twitter’s maximum character limit of 280. Posts will be about random thoughts, ideas, and opinions brought about by my personal experiences in sport, conversations with others, or even the Twitter debates that happen all too often in the sport performance world.

If you notice, I’ve numbered my first volume “001” in hopes that this goes beyond a just few random paragraphs posted on this blog. Maybe in the future this will turn into hundreds of thoughts that, individually, may be thought provoking, provide insight, or just be another thing to debate about on Twitter, but together, become a small library of short anecdotes that can be of value to all sport coaches.

Quick Thoughts: 001 – Home Base

“Home Base” training is a concept that I’ve pulled from Boo Schexnayder. While I suppose I’ve been doing it all along these years without thinking about it, he reinforced the idea when I attended his virtual speed/power symposium in April of 2020. Home base is a training session, training element, or exercise (and potentially even specific volume and intensity) that stays relatively consistent throughout a specific short to long time period. These are items on the menu every 7-10 days to maintain and potentially improve strength and power. Moving away from anything for much longer than ~10 days is a surefire way to induce some major soreness if volumes and intensities aren’t modulated well when returning to the exercise or given training session.

Home base offers the ability to continually train intensely without much of the major negative effects of soreness and stiffness that typically occur with novel training stimuli. Since it is a training session or exercise that is consistently on the menu, the athlete should be or should become very technically proficient. This leads to greater intensity (load lifted and/or speed of movement) during the exercise and in turn greater motor unit recruitment and potentially other favorable neural adaptations. 

What about variety? While novel stimulus does have it’s place, in dense competition periods most shifts in training should come from small mutations of the exercise rather than changing the the exercise completely (this should generally be occurring anyway).

Team sport athletes, specifically athletes that are starting or playing major competition minutes, can benefit from this a bit more in my opinion, but this concept can be important for all athletes. Most sport competition schedules are on a one, two, or three day turn-arounds, especially in 2020. In team sports, with very dense competition schedules, soreness and stiffness are not ideal. Home base training allows for strength and power training to continue even one or two days out from competition (or even on competition day).

Published by John Grace

John is a performance coach, specializing in the development of speed, power, and strength, with experience coaching in professional soccer at the national and international level and in weightlifting at the junior, university, and senior national level and masters international level. Along with this professional and national level coaching, he has coached athlete's in a variety of semi-professional sports as well as Division I, II, and III athletics. With more than a decade of extensive coaching experience, he aims to provide an unparalleled training experience.

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