Sports Coaching

Managing Athlete Well-Being & Performance with Michael Vaughan

Alastair DavidsonUK Content Specialist, Firstbeat

Firstbeat Sports Podcast episode #2: Managing Athlete Well-Being & Performance with Michael Vaughan

Welcome to the Firstbeat Sports Podcast where we talk with coaches and sports scientists to explore the latest in performance monitoring and how it is making a difference in NCAA and pro sports alike. We’re going to connect you with practical advice from the best in the business to help you take your athletes to the next level.

On the line today is Michael Vaughan. Mike in his fourth year as Director of Women’s Ice Hockey Operations at Merrimack College where he also serves as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has previously worked with the United States Women’s National Hockey Team and has spent time as a S&C coach at Mike Boyle’s Strength & Conditioning. (Image: Merrimack College.)

Topics discussed with this episode:

  • Putting together a sport-specific training program
  • The challenge of load management in ice hockey
  • The critical importance of monitoring student-athlete well-being
  • How data can be used to empower student athletes
  • Advice on how best to implement technology into your program

Episode Notes:

  • Mike’s path to Merrimack College (0:58)
  • How Mike juggles between Director of Operations and Strength & Conditioning (2:51)
  • What Mike considers when tailoring a strength & conditioning program for Ice Hockey (4:00)
  • How has the programming changed after stepping up from club to D1? (4:56)
  • How much Mike looks into aerobic/anaerobic split from data (5:31)
  • Why Merrimack chose Firstbeat Sports (6:00)
  • How has the buy-in been with athletes and coaches? (6:42)
  • The most important data points for Mike (8:00)
  • Differences between back-to back games (8:37)
  • Morning skates – are they needed? (9:42)
  • TRIMP numbers of morning skates (10:32)
  • Examples of data influencing training situations (10:55)
  • Have the data identified any red flag situations? (11:48)
  • What protocols Mike uses for their athlete well-being (13:25)
  • Future of NCAA Hockey (15:07)
  • How much time Firstbeat Sports adds to Mike’s weekly workload (15:57)
  • Mike’s best advices for new coaches using Firstbeat Sports (16:31)
  • The role of technology in strength & conditioning (17:15)
  • How Mike would respond to a Head Coach asking who’s working hard and who’s not (18:12)
  • Have athlete well-being protocols helped open up conversations with athletes? (19:03)

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Alastair Davidson

UK Content Specialist, Firstbeat

Alastair is a Content Specialist who has previously worked in sports journalism and tech communication. These experiences now help him create unique content about Firstbeat's role in sports and wellness in the form of blogs and case studies. An avid sports fans, Alastair continues to play football in his native U.K., and enjoys keeping up with the latest wellness trends.

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