Ashton Eaton, the shot put, and individualization

Ashton Eaton may be the world record holder in the decathlon, but when you watched him throw shot put that was not the image that came to mind. To start with the implement always looked a size too big for him. He also adopted an unorthodox technique in which he started with his other foot and then shuffled across the ring in his tennis shoes. Watch him take a few throws and you are reminded more of a masters thrower at a neighborhood track meet than the world’s best athlete. Read more

Defining your coaching philosophy

I’ve been blogging for more than a decade, and doing interviews for seven years now. Over that time I’ve had the opportunity to conduct more than 160 interviews with top coaches around the world on this site, the HMMR Podcast, and the GAINcast. The interviews have covered the whole range of coaching, from coaches of gold medalists and world record holders, to the best minds in youth training and physical education. Read more

England Rugby and the art of coaching

It was just past noon and I was starving. After taking an early train from central London to Pennyhill Park and spending all morning on the rugby pitch, I was ready to eat. I loaded up a plate full of chicken teriyaki and noodles, but as I sat down Eddie Jones asked me a question before I could get a bite in: “So, Martin, what gives you an edge in the hammer throw?” Read more

Integrating medicine ball training into the plan

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out.

In my article last week I looked at the unique advantages offered by medicine ball training and how to design exercises to get the most out of the dynamic training tool. But once you find the right exercises you also need to put then into a plan. Should medicine ball training complement the primary sport work you are doing? Should it contrast it? And how do we make sure it doesn’t counteract it? Finding the right plan is perhaps more important than finding the right exercises. Read more

How to get the most out of medicine balls

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out

When I was first handed a medicine ball in training, the first thought that came to mind was “the grind.” I had a preconceived notion of the medicine ball as an arcane training tool used exclusively in vintage newsreels of calisthenics. Individuals would pick up a heavy leather ball and grind through exercises with a partner. The public image of medicine balls has change a lot in the decades since, but often the intent in medicine ball training – the grind – remains. That’s unfortunate as it keeps us from getting the most out of a great training tool. Read more

It all starts with a handshake

If you want to learn about team culture you can look at examples from some of the most successful professional teams in the world. Or you can walk down to you local high school. Clay Erro is on example of that. You likely don’t know his name, but in nearly 40 years as a football and track coach in northern California he accumulated one of the top winning percentages of all time. And he did it through team culture. Read more

How John Pryor adapts training to culture

Over the past few years, perhaps no coach has influence my coaching more than John Pryor. Currently the head of strength and conditioning for Fiji rugby in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup, Pryor has decades of experience in the sport working for Japan, Australia, and top clubs in both countries. He has a unique ability to blend the art of coaching and sports science, and also objectively critique his own performance. Read more

Finding your team culture

Culture has been a buzz word among coaches that has gained a lot of traction over the past year, but most discussions often just stick to slick slogans and anecdotes. That’s why we’ve chosen culture as the theme this month on HMMR Media. We’re going to present some new perspectives on the topic by bringing together in-depth discussions on what a strong culture can look like and how it is developed. We’ll have contributes coming up this month a half dozen coaches on the topic. But to set the tone for the month I wanted to help get rid of the idea that culture is one thing. Culture is not some formula that can be applied on your team to automatically improve results. Like all of training, it has to be tailored to the athletes and the environment. Read more

Bondarchuk’s latest thoughts on transfer

We’ve dedicated a month to discussing the topic of transfer. So to close out February I’d like to take a look at the latest thoughts on the topic from the man who help popularize the phrase “transfer of training” over the past decade: Anatoliy Bondarchuk. In his latest book, Transfer of Training Volume 3, he takes another detailed look at transfer and I also had the chance to speak with him about the topic recently. Read more

Talking transfer with Kabuki Strength

In case you aren’t tired of hearing me on the HMMR Podcast and the GAINcast every week, here’s one more podcast for you to listen to. Last week I was also a guest on the Strength Chat podcast by Kabuki Strength. Read more