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GAINcast Episode 160: Beyond pathways (with James Marshall)

There are dozens of long-term athlete development models out there that try to explain the best way to turn youth athletes into champions. The problem is that they incorporate much more theory than practice. In reality, success cannot be broken down into one pathway or plan. On this episode of the podcast, leading youth coach James Marshall talks about how the systems fail us and what he’s doing to make youth athletics better in his community. Read more

Psychological considerations for strength coaches

“What allows you to perform at your peak in the season?” mental performance coach Julian Coffman asked a room full of America’s top developmental skiers last summer. “Confidence,” one of the athletes offers. “And where does that confidence come from?” Julian counters. “From trusting in your preparation and in your summer training,” the athlete replies. Read more

Building a foundation for athletic development

We all have to learn to crawl before we walk, walk before we run, and run before we sprint. Too many times I have seen coaches just throw their athletes into heavy squats, heavy bench, heavy cleans without the athletes being able to handle their own body weight. Movements like pull ups, push ups, bench dips, body weight squats etc. are skipped or neglected to get to the heavy stuff. Read more

The challenge of training over the break

It’s that time of year where young athletes are about to go on vacation. Over the next few weeks, most high school and college athletes will be away from their coaches during the holidays. This can be challenging for the strength coach because athletes are traveling out of town, may not have transportation to a training facility, and may just flat out not be motivated to train over the break partly because their normal schedule is thrown off. For a number of years I have tried many different remedies to counter this break and make sure all the improvements that were made over the course of the fall and part of winter were not lost. Here are my ideas and opinions on how we got the job done. Read more

Warm up to play, don’t play to warm up

When I started coaching at the University of Wisconsin, our men’s soccer team always started the season in August by playing an exhibition against a visiting club from Germany. Despite the mid-summer heat, the German goal-keepers would be out on the field a good hour before the game, building progressively towards game-like movements at game pace. Read more

GAINcast Episode 143: Coach Developer (with Troy Engle)

Coaching has evolved, and so has how we develop coaches. As director of coach development at Sport Singapore, Troy Engle has tried to set up a new approach to developing both coaches and the coaching culture in the city-state. He joins us on this week’s GAINcast to talk about his project, his philosophy of developing coaches, and the challenges of coaching across cultures. Read more

Force summation through medicine ball training

If you listen to our podcast, you’ll know I love training with medicine balls. The reason I like it so much because a good medicine ball throw requires you to recruit and coordinate forces from the entire body. This is also known as the summation of forces: when all body parts act simultaneously in practice, the strongest and lowest body parts around the center of gravity move first, followed by the weaker, lighter, and faster extremities. This is also known as sequential acceleration and results in successive force summation.

» Related content: Watch Nick demonstrate and explain his favorite medicine ball routines in the HMMR Classroom Lesson 5.

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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

10 athletic development tools you can find at any track

Listening to GAINcast 111 at the start of the month got me thinking. On that episode Vern Gambetta and Martin Bingisser talked about how you can creatively use your training environment when you lack equipment. I realized that, as an athletics coach, there are numerous hidden training tools around me every day at the track: hurdles, steps, partners, nets, mats, and more. Listening to the episode gave me inspiration to share some of the possibilities I’ve found at the track in the video below. Read more

Training the legs better

Last month on the podcast, Martin and I discussed some of the various training methods we use to target leg strength. As this month’s HMMR Media site theme is “beyond the barbell” it made sense for us to dig a little deeper into the methods we use outside the weight room and what options are available to coaches in this regard. Read more