Posts

More data isn’t always the answer

This month’s theme on HMMRMedia is technology and sport. Over the past few years technology has often become synonymous with data. New technologies are allowing more data to be collected in sport. This information can then be utilized by coaches and support staff to understand where the athlete is at, and to make decisions on a future course of action. Read more

The downsides of sticking with the plan

The SS Torrey Canyon was a massive Supertanker, almost 300 meters in length and 40 meters wide, that was first launched in 1958. In early 1967, the ship left Kuwait, loaded with oil and headed for Milford Haven, a port in Wales. The route took the ship past the Scilly Islands, which are located around 24 miles west of the coast of Cornwall. When sailing towards Milford Haven, ships can choose to go west of the Isle of Scilly, into the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean, or to the east, squeezing between Cornwall and the Isles. The eastern route is much faster–as it is a straighter line between two points–but the narrow channel has a variety of navigational hazards, the most famous of which is the Seven Stones reef. At nearly two miles in length, and one mile wide, the reef is a well-known danger, responsible for over 200 wrecks in its history. Read more

GAINcast Episode 130: The playmaker’s advantage (with Len Zaichkowsky and Daniel Peterson)

The definition of a playmaker is a bit elusive: it combines having the right mindset, anticipation, perception, and decision-making skills. In their new book The Playmaker’s Advantage: How to Raise Your Mental Game to the Next Level, Len Zaichkowsky and Daniel Peterson take a look at what the science says and how coaches can help their athletes improve in this area. On this episode of the podcast, the authors join us for a chat on what they learned writing the book, and how it can be applied in practice. Read more

Don’t confuse outcomes with performance

I’m not an avid watcher of American Football, but through a strange set of circumstances I found myself watching the 2015 Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots in a sports bar in Toronto. If you follow the NFL, you likely know the story, but if not, with 26 seconds remaining on the clock, Seattle was on New England’s one yard line, a score away from victory. On the pitch, they had one of the best runners in the league in Marshawn Lynch, with many fans hoping, and indeed expecting, to see a running play which would result in a touchdown. Instead, a passing play was called by Pete Carroll, Seattle’s coach, which in the end was intercepted by Malcolm Butler, ending Seattle’s dream of consecutive championships. Read more

Hammers, nails, and opening up your world view

The law of the instrument is a cognitive bias that occurs through the over-reliance on a familiar tool. It’s commonly summed up through a quote by Abraham Maslow, where he stated, “it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”. We can follow from this cognitive bias that how we view the world may alter our perceptions of what is actually occurring, which, in the case of improving performance, might lead to sub-optimal results. Read more

Signal or noise?

The ability to be able to recognize patterns has played a crucial role in the evolution of humans. In order to be able to pass on our DNA, we need to be able to breed, which means that we need to keep ourselves healthy enough (and alive enough) to do. Read more