At the end of day, training comes down to a few core principles. Yet the complexity of the human body often cause us to lose focus of this and make training more complex than it needs to be in many cases. On this episode of the GAINcast we discuss the need to keep things simple and how to keep things simple.
This Episode’s Question: Why should coaches keep training simple?
The episode was inspired by Al Carius, the North Central College cross country coach who has led his team to nearly 20 NCAA Division III titles. In a quote floating around last week, he discussed how we are making things too complicated:
“Whenever I am at a coaching clinic I am amazed at the seemingly overwhelming flow of new ideas about distance running; a sport that I always thought was very simple. What I am suggesting is that we in too many cases are over complicated the sport of running, and also other sports, drawing away from the simplicity, fun, and true meaning behind ‘playing’ sports . . . It’s not that complicated. If you have someone who is motivated, you can do just about anything in a workout and he will get better, and if you have someone who is not motivated, you can do almost anything in a workout and he will not get better. Keep it Simple.”
Every time we reanalyze our training, we tend to add something in. The result is that training becomes more and more complex when the simple solution often worked in the first place. Throughout the episode we discuss how simple works and why we need to stick to the simple in training:Don't try to impress with complexity, try to impress with results. @coachgambetta Click To Tweet Just because we know it in more detail, doesn't mean we have to teach it in more detail. Click To Tweet Training is simple: motivated athletes improve significantly more than unmotivated athletes. Click To Tweet Overcomplexification is in most cases just a standization of disfunction. Click To Tweet
To learn more about this topic, you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Simple solutions to complex problems is one topic we will address at our upcoming seminar in London on May 20 with John Kiely and myself. We will discuss topics like periodization, performance, planning, and more in detail, including real world examples of smart planning in practice. Learn more and register here.
- Applications for GAIN are still being accepted, but space is filling up fast. It will take place from June 13 to 17, 2017 in Houston. Listen to GAINcast 41 for more details about GAIN or register here.
- Simplicity was also a topic we covered in GAINcast 22.
- The full text of the quote from Al Carius is available on Twitter.
- This post was also inspired by Ken Doherty’s Track and Field Omnibook. Vern wrote about the value of the book’s simple approach in a recent blog post.
- Some other books recommended on this episode: How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete by Steve Ingham, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient by Norman Cousins. If you prefer watching movies, The Karate Kid is always a great resource.