Our guest today is Nicolai Morris, strength and conditioning specialist with High Performance Sport, New Zealand.\u00a0 Nicolai is the lead S&C with the New Zealand Women\u2019s (Field) Hockey Team (Blacksticks) as well as coaching an international elite high jumper.\u00a0 From Nicolai\u2019s athletic career origins as a swimmer, she has honed her eye for movement through a wide range of land and sea-based sports and athletic situations. Nicolai has previously worked with New Zealand Rowing in the elite and U23\/Junior pathways as well as, multitude of sports in her role as strength and conditioning specialist at Sydney University including swimming, track and field, rugby, rugby 7\u2019s, water polo and soccer. She also worked as the Head strength and conditioning coach for the Australian Beach Handball team and the NSW Women\u2019s State of Origin team. Nicolai is a ASCA Level 2, Pro-Scheme Elite coach, and a Masters in Strength and Conditioning with over a decade of coaching experience. We talk on this podcast often about going beyond simply looking at, and emphasizing weightlifting maxes for athletic performance improvement; moving into some of the finer biomechanical details of speed, jumping and athletic technique.\u00a0 At the roots of all technical ability in sport is baseline human ability to sense and coordinate ourselves in space.\u00a0 Although we have had good conversation on the importance of developing body control and coordination in regards to training children, it\u2019s not often we speak on how to integrate gymnastic and coordinative ability into training with mature athletes, despite the fact that there are so many \u201cpoor movers\u201d on this level, whose base line functioning often leaves them pre-disposed for injury. On today\u2019s podcast, Nicolai speaks about her transition as a swimmer to strength coach, as well as a deep-dive into the role that gymnastics and rough-housing work plays in the developmental process of her athletes.\u00a0 She also speaks on building buy-in and belief from her athletes (and team management\/head sports coaches) from a female perspective, and we close out the show with a brief chat on blood flow restriction training (BFR). Today\u2019s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Head to www.lostempireherbs.com\/justfly for 15% off of your purchase! Timestamps and Main Points How Nicolai went from a swimmer to a physical preparation coach How Nicolai incorporates gymnastic work and general work to improve movement quality across sports and age groups Progressing gymnastic work based on their ability and sport needs Correlations between gymnastic movement ability and some of the best athletes Nicolai has worked with How Nicolai integrates gymnastic and movement training into her own regimen Integrating roughhousing work into training, and differences between genders in this type of work Buy in\/attitudes of males\/females vs. coaches in working as a female How Nicolai made a big impact with a team by focusing on the needs of her team versus traditional coaching expectations Nicolai\u2019s experience with blood flow restriction training and the benefits for middle-distance energy system athletes \u201cIf a squat would make all athletes Olympic champions, then we would have more people who squat well performing at a higher level\u2026 we have to get that transfer and that connection\u201d \u201cYou\u2019d ask people to say \u201cwhat\u2019s the coolest thing you can do into the foam pit\u201d, and they\u2019d do backflips, and gainers\u2026. they\u2019d push their body to a place that it had never been before\u201d \u201cMy main 3 gymnastics elements that I use are tumbling, hanging variations, and handstand variations, and depending on what athletes I got, it has a higher relevance\u2026 I\u2019m in hockey right now and it has more relevance for my goalies\u201d \u201cThe only thing that took my shoulder pain away was gymnastics, hanging and handstand work\u201d \u201cIn terms of hanging, I start with dead hanging, and some people can\u2019t even do that\u201d \u201cI think as a human race, we have lost the ability (to hang and do monkeybars)\u201d \u201cIn contact sports, like rugby, you have to be good at (roughhousing) work, you have to know how to move your body, and what ways to grapple, because you are making contact\u201d \u201cIf you have that natural base of a lot of roughhousing when you are little, it makes it a lot easier when you get older\u201d \u201cI haven\u2019t had too many females balk at doing (roughhousing) but it needs to be integrated at the right pace\u201d \u201cMy style is a bit different, really showing I cared, like I turned up when I didn\u2019t have to, I really wanted to know about them as a human, which is what we all should do as coaches.\u00a0 That made such a difference for them and we had such a good relationship between me and the squad.\u00a0 We ended up doing something that had never been done and being undefeated champions, and it made such a difference\u201d \u201cFor me the feeling I get with blood flow restriction is the exact same I feel at the end of the race in swimming\u201d Show Notes Elderly gymnastic practitioners in China https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vEjnlSSt5K4o&listRDCMUCHBDXQDmqnaqIEPdEapEFVQ&index1 Single leg swipes, the movement I could do in high school that I\u2019m working on getting back https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v7IE6A0UKEjI About Nicolai Morris @nicolai_morris Nicolai Morris is a Strength and Conditioning Specialist with High Performance Sport New Zealand and the lead strength and conditioning coach with the New Zealand Women's Hockey team (Blacksticks) and a Diamond League winning and international medalist high jumper. Nicolai has previously worked with New Zealand Rowing in the elite and U23\/Junior pathways as well as, multitude of sports in her role as strength and conditioning specialist at Sydney University including swimming, track and field, rugby, rugby 7\u2019s, water polo and soccer. She also worked as the Head strength and conditioning coach for the Australian Beach Handball team and the NSW Women\u2019s State of Origin team. Nicolai is a ASCA Level 2, Pro-Scheme Elite coach, and a Masters in Strength and Conditioning with over a decade of coaching experience.