Posts

Three dimensional agility

Agility training is often perceived to be conducted in two dimensions. Whether programmed, random, game or task orientated, it usually consists of change of directions on a left –right and forward –backward continuum. Yet movement rarely takes place in just two dimensions: subtle and not so subtle changes of height and depth also take place. A boxer bobbing and weaving or a gymnast doing a double front somersault both have to move their centre of gravity up and down as well as sideways and forwards respectively. Read more

Preparing the body to change direction

The purpose of this article is to give any readers an insight into how I think about and prepare people for change of direction tasks. These change of direction tasks are simply that, not agility tasks. We want athletes to be able to change direction powerfully, quickly and efficiently in competition. In preparation, I like to look at these qualities in reverse: efficiency, speed and power. Change of direction all starts with promoting efficiency by understanding the attractors of the movement. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 223: Water the bamboo (with Travis Knight)

Underdogs come and go, but Gonzaga University’s basketball team keeps coming back. The small school team is the perennial overachiever and strength coach Travis Knight has been there the whole time. He joins this week’s podcast to discuss the unique team culture and process that helps them keep up with their bigger budget competitors, as well as his approach to training agility for one of the most demanding sports out there.

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The importance of sport-specific stimulus in training agility

When we talk about agility in sports, you cannot separate the concept from perception. What makes the quality of agility unique is that it is a movement in response to a stimulus. How we set up training to deliver that stimulus has an impact on whether our agility training will actually transfer to improve agility performance in games. In the article below I look in more detail at the role of the stimulus in both training and competition. Read more

Training for the demands of curved sprinting

While great attention has been placed on how to train linear sprinting, in team sports running in a straight line is only a small part of the game. As players have to evade the opposition, sprinting is more often curvilinear and very rarely linear. Does this mean as coaches we should spend less time sprinting linearly and more time sprinting in a “sport-specific” curvilinear manner? Read more

Going backwards to move forwards

It’s a common saying in life that sometimes we have to take a few steps backwards in order to move forward. However, Aaron Uthoff, a researcher based in New Zealand, has been taking this literally with his recent research on backwards running, the findings of which we might all be able to utilize in our practice as a means of enhancing performance. Read more

Understanding and implementing hip lock into training

As John Pryor mentioned on this week’s GAINcast, hip lock is one movement attractor emphasized by Frans Bosch that he immediately grabbed on to and saw results from. Look at people experimenting with Bosch’s methods on social media and you’ll likely see a variety of exercises aiming to improve hip lock. The problem is, much of what is going around lacks context and a full understanding of both the function and intent of these exercises. Read more

GAINcast Episode 126: The basics checklist

The basics are crucial in training. If you don’t get the basics right then everything that follows will be compromised. But with all the talk of basics, what exactly are they? On this week’s GAINcast we look in depth at Vern’s eight key components of the basics, and related training factors. Read more

Athletic development: the basics

When I was growing there was a TV program about two detectives on the LA Police department. It was called Dragnet, the main character was Sargent Joe Friday, Badge 714, his famous line was “just the facts” when talking to a witness. To paraphrase Sargent Friday in coaching athletes to be better it all comes down to “just the basics.” That being said I have come to the realization that there is often not a good understanding of what the basics are. Read more

GAINcast Episode 117: Moving, fast and slow

Movement is the foundational feature of sport. If you can’t move, you can’t play. Heck, it’s the foundational feature of life. Looking back at history, if you couldn’t move, you wouldn’t eat. On this episode of the GAINcast we talk about the basic principles of good movement, building better foundational movements, and helping athletes connect them through training progressions. Read more