What is it that really makes an athlete stronger and faster? State of the art equipment? Expert program design? Effective coaching? If you have the budget of a division 1 university, then obviously you want it all. But, what if you are a high school basketball coach on a tight budget?
Let's address equipment first. Yes, you must have some equipment to produce speed and strength gains. Power racks, plyo boxes, sled, DBs and cable machines are all pieces that you will see at SOAR. However, if you walked in my gym for the first time, I guarantee you that the first words out of your mouth will not be "Wow, look at this beautiful facility!" In fact, its probably more like a dungeon then a palace. (For the record, it is clean and sanitary, just not pretty.)
Ask any long term client of mine how they feel about my facility and they will tell you that it doesn't matter. They are paying for my expertise and my coaching. There is no single piece of equipment that is going to make or break you as an athlete or general fitness client. In fact, I would run away from any trainer that lives and dies with one piece of equipment. Bottom line - If you are on a tight budget it would be much wiser to spend your money on good coaching instead of the newest piece of performance equipment.
Now onto program design. I spend hours per week designing programs for all my clients. As they become more advanced, that job becomes even more important. However, the best strength and power program in the world is worthless if you can't coach. You could copy all the programs in my data base, but if you don't understand human movement, it won't be the same. I see many high school programs using advanced power lifting programs to train their players. The program looks great on paper. But, if the kids are performing the lifts with poor technique and too heavy weight, the program might as well be a referral to a physical therapist.
So if I had to choose one - I would pick coaching. At SOAR, we coach.....all day long. We coach the warm-up, we coach how to jump, how to sprint, how to decelerate, how to squat, ect. Its the main reason our program is so successful for beginners and elite athletes. All clients receive a program and coaching that is tailored to their individual needs - expert coaching combined with expert program design.
In this day of age with all sorts of Internet programs, dvd's and elaborate equipment promising insane results in less then 6 weeks, the consumer needs to be wise. Will a DVD done at home really take you to the next level of athleticism if nobody is monitoring you? Can 1 piece of equipment really increase your vertical by 8 inches in 8 weeks if the seller has never seen you train before? Are you paying for a state of the art facility or the coaching that goes on inside of it?