“When we start out, the fundamentals and basics are necessary to give us a base of support, not unlike a base in running. It’s why learning about the X’s and O’s of coaching, the science behind it, and the history of great coaches cannot be skipped. But as we grow as coaches, the innovations in training shifts to seeing patterns in ideas that may not come directly from our specific discipline.”
I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but I finally sat down with Nassim Taleb’s bestselling book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder earlier in the month. I’ve given the book some time to settle and it has already influenced my thoughts on training more than any of the training-related books I have read recently. Read more
I think I may have set the record for the longest pre-order period in the history of the world. My upcoming book on hammer throwing, The Ball and Chain, has quietly been in our online store for more than a year. The core of the book itself has been done for that long too but that is only part of the work; I still had the copy editing, layout, cover design, and more to finish. This took a back seat to other projects and, since my wife is a perfectionist in this area, we had to get it just right before finalizing. Read more
In the move to evidence based practice are we shooting ourselves in the foot once again? So much “evidence based practice” is questionable, inaccurate, fraudulent or flat out wrong. I put my stock in practice-based evidence that I can support with good science where I can. In 45 years of coaching I have found that where it is necessary to produce results coaching (clinical) significance trumps statistical significance. I have yet to see a doctor or a scientist innovate a training method or a technical modification. Read more
Here are some that I neglected to share last week. I want to call you attention to two true classics – Science of Swimming by Doc Councilman and Modern Training For Running by Ken Doherty. Read more
Here are books that I recommend if you want to consider yourself an educated coach. All these books are books I find myself referring to on an ongoing basis. Some are classics and some are contemporary. No doubt they represent my bias and my background in Track & Field, which has served me well in my career. There are a few more I will add later. Read more
This is my top ten list of the 125 books I read in 2014 and ten honorable mentions. This list could have been easily twice as long as there were so many good books that I read last year.
Anytime you mention communism it is a sensitive political topic. Throw sports into the discussion and doping then dominates the conversation. It was far from a perfect system and, as Vern Gambetta pointed out over last week, communist countries could have learned much from the US and others. But it is also undeniable that there were some things they did right and there is much to be learned by studying sport under communism.
In my last post I talked about the book Only the Paranoid Survive. The central theme is about finding “inflection points.” When you figure out that the situation you are involved with has reached an “inflection point” it is time to change. When do we know its time to change? Author Andrew Grove explains that we need to “figure out who our major competitor is and see if they’re about to change. If there is more then one competitor then there is something significant going on.” When this is realized there are a number of things that Grove suggests you do:
Being that I am from San Jose, California I have always followed our Bay Area sports teams. One of those teams being the Stanford University football team. A number of years ago Stanford was considered one of the worst football teams in all of NCAA Division I football. Then came Coach Jim Harbaugh. There was an immediate effect as soon as Coach Harbaugh took over Stanford football. In the following years Stanford went from one of the worst football teams in Division I to one of the top programs. This obviously intrigued me and led me to read everything available regarding Coach Harbaugh’s coaching style. After I found that he endorsed a book called Only the Paranoid Survive, I immediately purchased it in hopes that it could be applied to my own coaching.