Posts

Load management and walking on egg shells

The whole concept of load management as it is being interpreted and implemented is beyond me. Frankly, it makes no sense. Call me old school, but isn’t good planning and training design that prepares the athlete for the rigors of competition what we are supposed to be doing? We have reduced the quality and intensity of training to meet magic numbers developed by flawed measurement devises based on artificial algorithms. Read more

Step by step

Adaptation to various training stimuli take time. You can’t force adaptation to happen faster than the athlete’s current level of trainability and physical capacity. You must be willing to go step by step. Read more

Over recovery syndrome

I have identified a new syndrome – the over-recovered athlete. I look at the landscape and I see athletes and teams spending as much or more time doing ice baths, cryotherapy massage etc. as they do in actual training. Rest and recovery are fine and necessary but only of benefit if you first do the necessary work. Read more

Sleep, stress, and physical performance

Whilst athletes and coaches have long focused on the physical aspects of performance enhancement, such as training program design and exercise selection, it is only relatively recently that we have started to pay attention to how stress and sleep might also influence both the magnitude of adaptations seen following a training program, and competition performance. Based on this recent research, we have an increased understanding of the need to account for psychological stress, including, in the case of younger athletes, academic work load, when developing optimal training programs. Read more

Clearing the path or preparing the athlete for the path

A recent post reporting Tony Strudwick’s comments is what prompted me to write this post.

Let’s stop putting inordinate amount of time in clearing a smooth and direct path for the athlete. All it does is set up unrealistic expectations. No journey toward athletic excellence is straight and narrow toward the destination without any bumps in the road, detours or breakdowns. Instead let’s shift the emphasis back to where it should be: preparing a robust adaptable athlete to negotiate any path put in front of them. To quote my colleague Bill Knowles what we have today is a “Medicalization of sport (sports medicine/sports rehabilitation): the process by which sports specific conditions and problems come to be defined and treated as medical conditions, and thus become the subject of medical study, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.” Read more

From simple to advanced individualization

A few years ago I had a long conversation with a old and successful coach who told me that his plan fits to every athlete. As he put it: “They will get used to it after a while and then they will improve a lot.” He couldn’t convince me with this. What I saw in his group at this time was frustration and injuries. This kept coming up again and again with his athletes, but he was not willing to think where this could came from. For me the answer was clear. Read more

Personalizing the training process – a look at stress

In recent years, the individualized training movement has grown in momentum. Coaches no longer debate the need to individualize training; instead we often focus on the best methods for individualization. Individualizing the training process is something that is very interesting to me. My doctoral thesis is built around how of genetic testing may prove useful in the development of individualized training programs. Another area that I want to look into here is that of stress, the individual response to stress, how this affects our psycho-emotional state, and how that can alter our training responses. Read more

Dinosaur or cockroach? Adapted or adaptable?

Do not look for adversity, look for opportunity. Ask yourself what you can do each day to make the athletes that you work with better. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – March 2018

In the March edition of Sports Science Monthly we look at new research across a variety of areas including the impact of coaching behavior, Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome, nordic hamstring exercises, genetic testing, monitoring fatigue and more. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – February 2018

The February edition of Sports Science Monthly is perhaps our most in-depth yet. We take a look at 10 new studies this month on a variety of topics from how soon injury rehabilitation should start, adaptations from small-sided games, how resistance training stacks up against plyometrics, and the ketogenic diet for athletes. In addition, we dive into some novel topics like new research on the placebo effect, RPE, and stress contagion. Read more