John Kiely has done some groundbreaking work on periodization, but that isn’t the only topic he is interested in. When it comes to his work with rugby, track and field, and soccer he focuses on making an impact through coordination. On this week’s podcast we take a look at the framework he uses to understand coordination, and how that translates into some surprising methods with athletes.
Notes and quotes
John Kiely has one foot in the world of academia and one foot in the world of elite sport. His primary role is a senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire. But he keeps skin in the game as a coach, most recently assisting Egypt in the run up to this summer’s world cup. Previously he worked for Irish Rugby, UK Athletics, and several other organizations.
To start out the episode we reflected on his recent experiences at the World Cup, before looking in depth at the topic of coordination.
Reflections on preparing for the World Cup
- 3:30 – Managing expectations.
- 7:00 – Presenting yourself as a coach to get the most out of players. “Coaches need to be consistent and reflective to be effective. “
- 8:15 – Defining routines.
- 11:30 – Taking care of yourself and stress management: “If coaches don’t manage themselves and their energy, you won’t be at your best when you are with your players. “
- 14:30 – Finding consistency.
- 16:30 – The logistics of team preparation and travel.
- 18:00 – Finding the right load within limitations.
- 22:30 – What is coordination and how Kiely got interested in the topic: “The simplest way to define coordination is as the learned control of movement. “
- 26:45 – Kiely’s research focus on fatigue and coordination: “Your ability to manage the shock of impact changes when you are fatigued. Even before you are very consciously fatigued, your ability to manage change is impacted. “
- 28:00 – Kiely’s practical interest in coordination and the role of plasticity in coordination.
- 33:00 – How to train plasticity.
- 35:30 – Sensory feedback. “You can only send appropriate signals if you have sensory information and an estimation of where you are in space and time. Moving without sensory information is like trying to drive with your eyes closed. “
- 38:30 – Sensory motor loops: “Other theories of coordination do not factor in sensory information. We need it, but we don’t directly target it in training. “
- 43:15 – Slowing down movement: “When you slow movement up and make it precise, you can see gaps in control. “
- 48:30 – Example of creating coordination challenges: “It’s not what looks fancy or turns them into circus performers, it’s about finding the degree of challenge that is appropriate to the athlete. It has to be challenging that the brain has to focus intently on the sensory feedback. “
- 53:30 – Gaining confidence through coordination.
To hear more about these topics 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:
- Don’t forget to join HMMR Plus to get full access to our video, article, and podcast archive here on HMMR Media. Our August theme is rugby, with input from some of the world’s best coaches. Last week we interviewed Lachlan Penfold from the Melbourne Storm and James de Lacey of Romanian Rugby, wrote about breaking down the sport, and more.
- Also don’t miss our latest book Training Talk: Conversations with a Dozen Master Coaches for more in-depth insights on training from some of the world’s top coaches, including John Kiely’s training talk on periodization and planning.
- You can find Kiely on Twitter at @simplysportssci. He was also a guest on GAINcast 61, where we discussed the future of periodization, and Episode 48 of the HMMR Podcast on mental biases.
- We have lots of resources from Kiely on this site too, including our webinar on understanding stress and adaptation, an interview on new models of stress, a compilation of additional resources.
- We have also written about Kiely’s most recent article on creating a new model for stress and adaptation and finding a new periodization paradigm. All of his articles are available on ResearchGate.