Stay backstage or bring out the clowns

To say that I was upset when I read this poorly written and researched article is an understatement. It is an affront to all of us who care about the coaching profession. This is not coaching; what they are talking about is entertainment and cheerleading. Read more

Emphasize what matters

In life and in coaching it is important to focus on what matters. What matters most is relationships – people – the human element. In today’s world of fast information and big data it is easy to forget that the numbers, data, scientific measurements are one-dimensional – we coach people who are multidimensional. They are not machines, they respond to care and concern. Good coaching is about developing trust and working together with the athletes to guide them to grow athletically and personally. Read more

Some tips to optimize the training session

Have clearly defined goals and outcomes/expectations for the session. They should be specific, observable and measurable. Read more

We have it backwards

Today we spend an inordinate amount of time and effort preparing the path for the athlete. We make sure that everything is controlled. We make the path smooth and straight when in reality the path is circuitous and crooked with many detours along the way. Read more

Just doing it is not enough

Just doing it may work for Nike selling shoes but in no way does it represent what needs to be done to grow and develop an athlete. Read more

Musings on coaching excellence

Just like athletic excellence, coaching excellence has been a fascination of mine since I was an athlete in high school. I observed teams and individuals that seemed to “over achieve” or punch above their weight as the saying goes. The closer I observed and analyzed this the common denominator was coaching. Coaching makes a difference. Over my 50-year professional career I have seen great coaches, good coaches and indifferent coaches. The great ones share common characteristic. Here is what I have seen. Read more

Discipline

So often when we think of discipline we think in terms of rules or others driving us to do something. For the champions that is not what disciple is. The champion practices self-discipline to do what is necessary, often what is uncomfortable to do what needs to be done. There is no need for disciple to be imposed from outside. It comes from within in the form of self-disciple. Read more

What is your filter?

I am currently reading Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee, it is very revealing and disturbing. Naturally it got me thinking about my own filter. How do I sort through the tsunami of stuff available in the space of sports performance, athletic development, sport science and coaching? Wading through the training porn, misinformation and outright stupid stuff is not an easy proposition and I am very selective in who I follow and what I read. Training porn just like porn is seductive and addictive. It disturbs me to see so many coaches consume this stuff like it is gospel, especially if they find a research article to validate it. How are some of the things I do and people I respect do: Read more

How much is enough?

This is a straight forward question with complex implications for the development of an athlete. It requires a shift in thinking away from quantity to quality. It is not how much but how well the work is executed that ultimately counts toward performance improvement. Optimum load is the goal. Read more