menu Sign Up

gamespeed guidance & curriculum

~ I first wrote this blog post in 2013 for one of my older blogs, but felt it was worth the repost and share.

Over the years I have received emails and/or messages from younger coaches asking for suggestions on the best “route” to take on becoming a top-notch performance coach. And I will say that a majority of them are looking for me to suggest some certifying body to acquire the all-powerful paper certificate with some arbitrary initials.

Well, I decided to put together a short blog post listing my general curriculum for what “I” feel will lay the proper foundation for advancement in the performance field.

Please take “note” that I do NOT have any specific issues with any of the certifying bodies. I am just a firm believer in the holistic development and that there is much more to learn and see when you examine the details of the whole.

My wish is not to confuse the young coach but to stimulate thought. To ask you to honestly examine the process of application. What is “IT” we seek to learn, to question? Where is this knowledge located and how do we apply “IT”?

So, here is the performance curriculum structure:

101: midori journal / note book { you will need pencil & paper to write thoughts, experiences & sketch observations } Quality Japanese stationery and writing materials.

102: How to brew French Press Coffee { you will need the caffeine, and most notably the ability to understand specific steps and instructions. respect the process and drink it black }

201: Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture Design { Seth Godin makes this statement, “Architecture is a combination of sculpture and art and engineering and user interface. It is high tech and low tech at the same time, utilitarian and beautiful and virtually always budget constrained.” You need to understand the organic nature of construction. }

202: Alex Grey { You will need anatomical knowledge and reference. }

300: Aristotle, On the Motion of Animals { written in 350 BC to solidify your understanding of biomechanics and anatomical movement. }

401: Behavioral Response, B.F. Skinner { Operant psychology is based on the idea that an action taken by a person or an animal often has consequences that occur naturally in the environment. Physical, mentally and emotionally we seek a goal. }

402: Warfighting { You will need various attributes to succeed in life and this transcends into the additional facets of your world. }

500: Study of George Balanchine Dance { You will need to “see” rhythm and movement through stability and mobility. There are so many resources. }

601: Bushido { True warriors build others, true warriors serve and true warriors seek perfection in all areas of life. Strive to be complete and have HONOR. }

602: Japanese Tea Ceremony { Patience is a MUST! }

I am certain this outline won’t make sense to many readers, but then perhaps “TRUE” knowledge is not what you requested. If you are only searching for exercises and sets with reps, then you are on a different path.

I hope you enjoy your journey..


gamespeed /

Is Olympic-Style Weightlifting A Necessity For Athletes?

Over the years (and I’ve been working with athletes for nearly 15 years), I am asked when my son or daughter will start using the “Olympic Lifts” in his or her training. My answer is quite simple…. “perhaps never”.

This usually results in the “blank stare”……. as if my very statement was going to cast me straight to hell.

And for some uncanny reason… athletes, parents and coaches think everything needs complexity and that they are extremely advanced in their training maturation?

I’m curious as to what makes parents, athletes, coaches, lions and tigers….. sorry I was getting off track, believe or think that Olympic lifts are the “be all end all” for athletic development?

Go ahead… I’m waiting… #crickets!

Now I am an advocate of olympic style lifts and their variations for athletic training programs. But also keep in mind, under the appropriate timing and necessity. The pros must outweigh the cons in the scenario. The general population (parents / sport coaches), tend to perceive olympic lifting as the ultimate measuring stick of their son or daughter’s athletic ability.

barbell high-pull

Athlete Sean, performing a barbell, clean-grip, hang high-pull.

I have a lengthy resume of very successful athletes ranging from the NFL to student athletes that fenced at Duke. With some, I have employed olympic lifting variations and with others… they have never utilized a barbell.

As a “professional” coach you must evaluate the wants vs. needs.

So, what can be the positive transference of olympic lifting?
(And note – I mentioned “can be”)

• proper rate of force development
• some kinematic joint similarities to sports
• strength-speed
– just to list a few

So, what’s the problem? Why not just unleash the hounds?


Well, my largest observation is the improper execution of the lifts and their variations by the athletes. Parents typically don’t have the background knowledge to visually decipher what is right from wrong and coaches tend to negate on form / technique in favor of the weight on the bar.

So, what can be problematic?

poor power clean

Absolutely horrific technique and execution of a clean related movement.

• not sufficient strength levels ( and there is no calendar markers for this )
• lack of proper motor control
• inefficient technique ( if not perfected… you are NOT achieving the desired goals )
• biomechanical  restrictions ( what is interrupting the technique? )
– and you simply can not default to “practice makes perfect” in this situation, the math is not that simple

As an athlete… you are training for your sporting event(s)… you are NOT a powerlifter… you are NOT an Olympic lifter.

Saquon Barkley power clean. Poor landing position with feet too wide, too much external rotation at the hips, elbows low and squeezed inside with poor wrist position. NOT WORTH THE RISK!

There are greater alternatives to simulate the actions and training transfer. But the coach must explore the desired relationships that they are trying to achieve.

med ball backwards scoop

Here is an excellent alternative to a clean related movement of a med ball backwards scoop with a weighted vest, executed by the author.. wait that’s me!

The movement displayed directly above, involves the utilization of a 40lb. weighted vest and a 25lb medicine ball. I was capable of creating proper posture, driving my feet through the floor, executing triple extension from toes to finger tips to toss the medicine ball directly behind myself.

As a coach, and as an athlete, you must have a clear understanding of what the end goal is.

As a coach, how do I train my athletes and provide a safe performance environment?

As an athlete, I must make myself aware and recognize that I’m training for my sport. I’m not a powerlifter. I’m not an Olympic lifter. And the weight that is on the bar means nothing in the context of how well I play at my chosen sport.

Poor execution and application of a movement(s) like Olympic-style lifts simply leads to dysfunctional movement patterns that sooner or later are recognizable through injury.

Feel like a debate….?

Reach out… I’m good for a cup of coffee and a discussion.
– Coach Moody


Personal Paths To Recovery

Recently, I have received several emails and direct messages regarding what I do to help myself to recover from training sessions and maintain health. I know that I have made a few direct posts about recovery and a few modalities that I use on the GameSpeed Instagram page.

But, I felt the need to go into greater depth with some of the ways that I attempt to stay healthy. I don’t have a magic formula and my methods are nothing of monumental exploration. I make use of repetition and observation to determine what gives me the best results.

The primary focus is the control and proper reduction of inflammation in the body. These selections are in no particular order. I focus on my food choices and nutrition. I’m far from perfect, but probably adhere to an 85% to 15% ratio of good to poor food selections. I’m game for a kick ass piece of pizza and yummy peanut butter pie on occasion!


First, my recovery begins with a mindful application to my training. Making use of the ITT, and BLaK Reset developed by the IISM. Becoming methodical with the patterning and co-contraction assists me in helping to minimize my movement dysfunction.

Haute Sauna Studios

I frequent Haute Sauna Studio located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. The localized heat from the infrared saunas provides a fantastic healing environment, and it makes me feel truly relaxed post session. There are many benefits to infrared therapy, and the positive impact on immune system function is unbelievable!

Chiropractic Family Health

I have been getting chiropractic care from my friend Shawn Richey for nearly 15 years. I can not say enough great things about the benefits of the chiropractic applications. I’m obviously a big believer in postural care and joint congruency, Shawn takes his time and there are many visits where he’ll make manipulations from head to toe.

I also utilize the power plate within the practice. The power plate is a great vibration therapy that accelerates healing in the body and stimulates the lymphatic system. Schedule permitting, I consistently make office visits 1 to 2 times a week.

Cranberry Cryotherapy

Now the complete contrast to infrared heat, I have made multiple visits to Cranberry Cryotherapy, located in Cranberry Twp. Throughout my athletic years, the use of cold therapy played a large roll in the reduction of inflammation post practice sessions and during the rehabilitation of injury. The cryo-chamber offers me a compressed time-frame to the exposure of the cold. I personally have not performed any research or examined the comparison of the cryo-chamber versus the ice tub submersion, but the my body feels extremely rejuvenated and “ready” when I complete the session.

Sangha Center

I enjoy the practice of yoga. There are many forms and I always advise someone new to the practice to explore different styles and methods to see what benefits them the best. For me personally, I love the vinyasa flow and yin yoga. I appreciate the patterning and blend of the sequencing. I have practiced yoga at many different studios. Recently my visits take me to, Sangha Center with Andrea Kirkham. If you are in the area, please stop in and attend a class.

binaural meditation

A majority of my friends and family would never suspect this next one! But, I get geeked about the research and findings in the relationship of frequencies and the various healing properties. It’s fascinating to investigate the neural connections of frequencies, beats and their health related properties. Even something as simple as a cat’s purr has benefits to the human body.
This has been my go to site to explore various frequencies. Music is therapy… remember that.

tens unit

And finally, I’ll try to put closure to the long-ass post! But, massage, manual therapies and the stim unit greatly assist me with recovery. Again there are many modalities available, so I would suggest determining what works best for you. The stim unit makes for great company while watching the news with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning!

I utilize the following whole food supplements along with my diet to control inflammation. I’m not going to push or suggest any specific brands… they aren’t paying me to endorse them. But I highly recommend looking deep into the ingredients and origin of the supplements. Avoid synthetic bullshit!

• Curcumin
• Bromelain
• Vitamin C
• Magnesium lotion ( topical absorbs into the body at a much greater rate )
• Aged Garlic

So, there you have it. The many paths to recovery!

– Coach Shawn

« Older Posts
News & Updates