Getting Better at Making Your Athletes Better

6a00e5521cccd08834019b00cfbc5a970d-320wiThese are five books that every coach must read if you want to get better at making your athletes better. Ultimately how you you teach determines how effective you will be as a coach. Read more

Coaching – A Process

Coaching has been my life’s focus. I have had great role models and coaching mentors to guide me on this journey. I know it takes passion, commitment and focus, it also demands balance in your life if you want to be truly effective. Technical knowledge and proficiency is a given, that is the easy part. What exactly is coaching? Read more

Workouts

Everybody wants workouts. Can you send me the workouts you do with your swimmers or a volleyball player is a common request I get. Why? Workouts are only good for the people they are designed for. Sometimes (hopefully more often than not) they work and sometimes they don’t. If you work with football at Central Nowhere High school does what State University does in training have real relevance to what you are doing with you ninth graders? Workouts are all so contextual. Read more

The Sports Gene

sportsgeneREAD THIS BOOK! In the past three years I have read over 300 books, the Sports Gene is one of the best books I have read in that time. David Epstein not only nails the science but he tells compelling stores that bring the science to life. He takes the complexities of genetics and makes it comprehensible and applicable to the development of athletic performance. To me the clear message is that it is not about nature or nature but it is how we can best nurture nature. Read more

Searching For Marginal Gains

“The aggregation of marginal gains” is a phrase that became the mantra of Dave Brailsford performance director of British cycling. What is overlooked in this phrase is the term “aggregation.” Certainly everyone in elite sport is looking for the tenth of a percent that can be the difference maker. In the search for marginal gains it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it is a process that is built on solid fundamentals and consistent focused training. Read more

Self-Management for Coaching Success

As coaches a huge part of our job involves management. Management of our athletes first, then management of our assistant coaches, support staff, facilities etc. To be a good coach it is absolutely necessary to be an effective manager. That being said the biggest management task we face is management of ourselves. Without effective self-management I contend it is virtually impossible to manage others effectively. In preparing a team or individuals the goal is always to be best for the big game, or for the championship meet or match. We get our athletes ready to go, but what about ourselves? We need be on our A game, completely energized, when often it is the opposite because we have failed to mange ourselves properly. Read more

I Think I Can

trainthatcouldMaybe this is subliminal programming from my childhood, but I grew up thinking I could. My favorite book as a child was The Little Engine That Could. When I had children I read it to them at least once a week. There is a clear message – Embrace the challenge. Look at possibilities. What can you do? How can you do it? Take one step at a time, move forward, never look book. Recognize that doubt and fear of failing are real – acknowledge that, but don’t be consumed by it. Yes you can, if you think you can. Read more

Just Doing It

Just doing it is not good enough to get significantly better. You can go through the motions and just do it. Anybody can that, but if you truly want to be the best and achieve your potential you must go beyond just doing it. Just doing it is putting the time; it is mindless work that makes you tired. Read more

Getting It and Getting There

Why do some athletes get it and make it and others with equal talent and ability fall by the wayside. This is a lifelong fascination of mine. Talent and ability are a given to make it to elite status, but it is so much more than that. Some athletes navigate the path easily and directly and other struggle, but both still make it. Why? Certainly athlete development and passage through to elite status is a process. There is no one model or framework. Nor is there a set time like ten years or a time period like 10,000 hours. No doubt it is related to practice depth and quality. It is related to coaching guidance to first ignite the spark of interest, then inspire and guide the athlete. Read more

Coaching Specialization

In the whole athlete development process we are very aware of the dangers of early specialization and even over specialization in young developing athletes. I was thinking yesterday after my interaction with some young coaches over the past couple of months that one of the biggest changes I see in the current generation of coaches is very narrow specialization. I see coaches who are incredibly knowledgeable in a very narrow area, but have no idea how their area fits into the bigger picture. As far as I can see this poses as much danger for the development of the coach as early specialization does for the athlete. My generation of coaches out of necessity had to be generalists. Read more