Everybody trains and everybody trains hard. So what separates the good from the great? How they use their time and energy in training. The best coaches and athletes have a relentless focus on learning and getting better. On this week’s GAINcast we dive into some thoughts on getting better, including some practical examples of how to put learning processes into practice.
Entries by Martin Bingisser
One of the constant struggles we have in Switzerland is keeping athletes involved in the sport after they retire. If you look at the all-time list in the hammer throw, only two of the top 25 throwers (myself included) are actively coaching. A few others coached briefly, but for the most part once athletes retire we will never see them again.
When we think about conditioning, one time of year comes to mind: the preseason. As the season ends, the next year inevitably starts with a rest phase, followed by rigorous preseason training. As many sports are about to head into their training camps for the fall season, it is time to rethink our approach to the preseason.
Athletes are reporting to training camp in many sports right now and that often means one thing: grueling fitness tests to check an athlete’s shape. But the testing is getting out of hand. On this episode of the GAINcast we take a close look at fitness and performance testing, with examples of how to do it right and wrong.
Strength and conditioning coaches normally understand what the S stands for in S&C. But how do you define the C? On this episode of the podcast we look into the often overlooked part of our job, as well as getting a few rants off our chest, and discussing the current state of American throwing.
No matter the sport, speed matters. Speed is a topic we’ve covered a lot here on HMMR Media, and it is also a topic we will keep coming back to because it is so vital to elite performance. In July we put together a variety of resources on the topic from 10 contributors, including 1 new video lesson, 5 new podcast episodes, and 7 detailed training articles.
Some of the training concepts laid out by Frans Bosch in his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach can be intimidating. Many disregard his ideas without even reading the book. Others read it and get lost in the details of motor learning or anatomy, as I did at first. But when you look at the coaches successfully putting the ideas into practice, it is quite easy to see that it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, even Bosch himself takes a very straightforward approach to implementing the ideas.
There are several hot topics and challenges facing team sports at the moment such as hamstring injuries, how to best measure and use training load, and developing sport specific speed. These are hardly new questions, but they have proved tricky since the currently favored solutions don’t seem to be doing the trick. Edinburgh Rugby’s Nick Lumley spends his offseason visiting clubs around the work to get the pulse of team sports training. He just returned from his latest trip and joined this week’s GAINcast to share his perspective on these issues and where he thinks we should be looking to move forward.
121 athletes made the trip out to Sacramento for the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. After qualifying through local and regional competitions, the national finals began on Monday with the hammer throw finals taking place on the first two days of competition. Junior Markayla Billings (Elk Grove, CA) provided the biggest highlight by added 12 feet to her personal best in the 17-18 year old competition. She hit her best in the first round and led from start to finish. Olivia Campbell (Western, Barry, IL) won the other girl’s age group. On the boy’s side Woonsocket throwers swept both categories with wins by Logan Coles (Woonsocket, RI) and Tarik Robinson O’Hagan (Woonsocket, RI). O’Hagan also approached a personal best in the competition.
High intensity training can have a massive training effect, but at a certain point intensity alone is not what drives adaptation. You have to be more creative. Stuart McMillan has confronted this issue first hand in working with post-collegiate sprinters at Altis and joins the podcast this week to discuss how he searches for adaptation and his thoughts on many more topics.