Navigating the technology paradox in sport

Technology is a good thing, right? When we evaluate technology we tend to focus on the benefits: what it can add. But the paradox of technology is that it often has hidden costs we do not see up front. Determining whether technology is good or not can be harder than it looks. Read more

Using Bondarchuk as a pandemic planning solution

Strict lockdowns might be over in much of the world, but coaches continue to be challenged daily by the difficulties of planning during a pandemic. On last week’s HMMR Podcast we hosted a roundtable of NCAA coaches. Most athletes have now been allowed to return to campus and train in person, but that only means one set of problems has been exchanged for another. Read more

Beyond shapes

During last month’s GAIN Master Class Series event, Grace Golden spoke a lot about shapes. “Shapes” has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years. The concept is great: if you body can’t make the shapes your sport needs, you don’t stand a chance. By focusing on shapes, we start shifting the focus from muscles to movements. But what is often missed in the message is that shapes are not enough. Shapes are just one piece of the performance puzzle. To reach elite performances, you have to go beyond shapes. Read more

Tips for adding exercise variation to a training plan

Take a look around Instagram and you’ll see hundreds of variations of your favorite exercises. Exercise variation is critical to sustained progress, but how you vary exercises matter. Randomly copying what you see online isn’t going to do the trick. The latest training program we posted in the HMMR Classroom provides a great look at how exercise variation can fit into a training plan. Read more

Start with why, but don’t forget what

My long-time coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk was an open book. You could ask him about anything in training and he’d sit down with you for hours and explain the why and the how. He would explain his experiences with all types of training, good and bad. There was only one topic that was off limits: a sample program. Bondarchuk repeatedly refused to share sample programs. Read more

The value of controlled chaos

Different types of coaches frame training in different ways. Skills coaches often think in terms of time: a 20-minute block spent on passing and 10-minutes on defensive positioning. Strength coaches, on the other hand, tend to frame training in sets and reps. Each frame has its place in training, but depending on the task one can be better than the other. Read more

What PE can teach us about assessing movement

There is a lot that coaches can learn from physical education: how to teach, creating a fun environment, organize games, progressions, the value of movement variety, thinking beyond reps, and more. Jeremy Frisch put together a must-read article on the topic last year. But there is one area that is often overlooked: understanding and assessing movement. Read more

10 lessons on putting leg training concepts into practice

This month’s site theme is training the legs. We’ve posted a lot of content, and have more to come. Our focus over the last week is on a lot of the methods many of the authors have learned from Vern Gambetta. Read more

Think external, not internal

George M. Perry is a running and sports performance coach with emphases on movement training and post-injury return-to-play. Edited with minor contributions from Martin Bingisser.

Most coaches’ instruction approaches drills biomechanically: body positions, joint angles, activation patterns underlying movement sequences. These referents require an internal focus of attention. Athletes are directed and trained to think about how they are moving their body. What if we have been going about it all wrong? What if athletes instead focus on the intended effect on an implement, the environment, or something else external to the athlete’s body? Read more

Teaching old dogs new tricks

The more you do something, the harder it is to change. If you have ever worked with older athletes, or been one yourself, you know first hand the struggle involved. Beginners can make drastic technical changes in a matter of minutes, but older athletes can spend a year fighting for a minuscule change. That is the great challenge facing experienced athletes, but there is hope. Read more