Dan John: Strength as It Relates to Performance

I believe we grow the athlete out. We grow the athlete out. This is the foundation of how you coach the athlete.

Your performance levels should reflect your strength levels. Your strength levels should reflect your performance levels. It’s easy to overdo one side. You have to work together.

Now the whys are important.

Sometimes, for example, out on the track, I can give a shot putter an overweight implement, and do strength training in the movement.

But if I have a basketball guy—they did that study about heavy basketballs years ago, and they found out that it destroyed the shot because it’s too similar.

There are times where the strength coach can go out on the performance field and make a difference. There are times where we can mess things up.

In the weight room, for football, we found that double kettlebell cleans really felt like the game feels. The game of football feels its hinge, contact, hinge, contact, hinge. Double kettlebell cleans feel like that.

Tumbling is like playing football, so by tumbling and doing double kettlebell cleans, I can make you a better football player.

You watch me throw the discus, you say, “Won’t dumbbell flies make you a better discus thrower?” Let’s review.

It looks like the discus throw, right? Except when you throw the discus, it’s stretch, reflex. I’m trying to make my boxers stronger by doing triceps extension? Skull crushers? When they get into a fight, what’s that look like?

Trust me, I’m a lover, not a fighter, but I don’t mind my chances against a guy coming at me like this.


This material is an excerpt from Dan John’s video, Now What?.

assessing and program design for athletes