Scott Sinclair, MSCC

Scott Sinclair: Squatting Lays The Foundation

Strength coaches hear it all the time from position coaches. On-field drills must translate well to game day. The same is true of the weight room. That’s why Scott Sinclair, MSCC, director of strength and conditioning for the University of Georgia football program, believes in squatting heavy and regularly.

“That movement happens in most sports,” says Sinclair. “Most sport coaches, they talk about how a guy’s gotta be able to bend. We don’t want a waist bender; we want a knee bender. To me, the squat mimics that athletic stance. You are moving weight to accelerate it, to decelerate it, to stop it, to hold it. In particular with football, you’re playing the sport on your feet, and you have to squat on your feet too.”

Sinclair calls the squat “a foundational movement.”

“I think it builds lower-body strength and core strength,” he says. “I think if you do it the right way, or you’re doing a bunch of reps, it can be cardio. It’s a movement that builds a lot of different things. It puts the body in angles that it may encounter on the field.

“I think it shows flexibility, from an ankle flexibility standpoint and a hip flexibility standpoint. It shows core strength as far as keeping your chest upright during a front squat. It does a lot of things that can tell a coach what an athlete may be missing or is good at.”

Sinclair even calls October “Squatober.”

The team squats on Sundays (which sets the tone for the week), and also on Wednesdays during the season. It’s even a part of “Throwdown Thursdays,” the day of the week that Sinclair competes against his student-athletes. Throwdown Thursdays and Squatober aren’t about Sinclair lording over players, barking instructions and removing himself from the process. He wants to be in the trenches working with them. He’s not recruiting or giving press conferences. Sinclair is behind the scenes ensuring the Bulldogs are ready every Saturday during the fall. It doesn’t matter if a player is a veteran, a third-string lineman or a five-star recruit.

“The standard we have at Georgia is not changing just because you’re here,” says Sinclair. “For you to come in and compete, you have to meet that standard.”

That standard has been instrumental in elevating Georgia to national-championship expectations and building student-athletes who want to challenge each other. A properly performed squat is central to that standard.

“I just believe that when these guys can squat good weight, and they feel comfortable doing it, I believe it helps protect our lower limbs and our hamstrings,” he says. “I think it’s a movement that gives our players confidence. We squat low at Georgia. We pride ourselves on getting a good parallel squat. We don’t want a high squat. Our players know, if they’re squatting 400 pounds or 500 pounds, then they sure as heck can handle a double team of two guys that weigh 550 pounds.”

This article was written by Paul Markgraff, contributing writer to CSCCa Magazine and CSCCa Monthly.

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