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GAINcast Episode 22: Simplicity

We often think that the more complex something is, the better it is. Fancy sports cars, new computers, and Swiss watches all revel in their complexity. But in coaching simple is often better. Unnecessarily added elements can distract us from our core focus. On this episode we talk about the value of simplicity and ask how simple is too simple. Read more

Breaking Things Down vs. Dumbing Them Down

Last month I had an interesting exchange with Simon Nainby and a few others coaches. At the time the England rugby team had ventured south to Australia for a three-match series. Fans eagerly awaited the action, but as much attention was on the coaches as the players. Australia coach Michael Cheika took a struggling squad last year and turned them into runners up at the World Cup. England’s new coach Eddie Jones, an Australian himself, was brought in to do the same and has already moved England’s world rank up from seventh to second in his first six months on the job. Both coaches were eager to prove they could continue their momentum. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 59: Subjective Feedback (with Dan Pfaff)

In an era when coaches are searching out more and more objective data to evaluate training, master coach Dan Pfaff has been using more and more subjective data to assist him. Subjectivity has been given a bad reputation lately, but it offers many advantages to coaches: it is cheap, it is easy to implement, it saves time, and can often times be more accurate. On this episode of the podcast Pfaff joins us to discuss the role subjective feedback plays in his training. Plus, for track fans, we discuss some of the failure of the Diamond League’s new rules for field event athletes. Read more

Words

Words are so very powerful. They can hurt and they can heal. They can inspire. They can despair. They can discourage or they can encourage. Words, written or spoken are a cornerstone of communication. Read more

Words of Wisdom, Vol. 10

We might think of coaching as being about training methods, science, and physiology. But don’t forget that more than anything coaching is about communication. We are teachers: it does not matter how much you know if you are unable to convey it to your athletes. With that in mind, I assembled a few quotes I’ve jotted down on my notebook on the theme of language and communication. Read more

Words

Words matter! So use words that matter. Words can be helpful or hurtful. So select words with intention to gain the desired attention. Read more

Learning to Ride a Bike

Early in the summer of 2015, my 4-year-old son decided that he was brave enough to take the training wheels off of his bike. I proceeded to do so immediately, before he changed his mind. At the start of our journey, I used to the same old techniques that we’ve all seen to get going. I started by pushing him down the sidewalk. Then I let him attempt to start the bike’s motion on his own. After too many attempts and being analytical (as normal), I noticed several things: Read more

Coaching – A Creative Process

The process of creative coaching it is the ability to see the same skill, the same movement and see something different than everyone else is seeing or has seen. Coaching is constant iteration, prototyping, tinkering to get it right for that athlete and team. Coaching is not a reductionist paint by numbers algorithm. Read more

3 Tips for Better Coaching

I’ve spent my career learning things from all sorts of athletes and coaches. Whether it be good or bad, there is always a lesson to be learned. I’ve been extremely observant of behaviors and trends of successful and unsuccessful pairings of athletes and coaches. Based on my experience, here are the top three suggestions I recommend for improving results in a coach athlete relationship. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 24: The Coach’s Attitude

I organized a Swiss Hammer fall training kick off event two weeks ago and invited along a special guest Nicola Vizzoni. Vizzoni has impressed many with the longevity of his career, winning major medals a decade apart. But what impresses me more is how he won those medals. At both the 2000 Olympics and 2010 European Championships he was up against a wall. In Sydney he was about to be knocked out of the competition in the third round and then responded with a personal best to take silver. In Barcelona he had been knocked off the podium and responded with a season’s best on his final attempt for a medal. During our Q&A with him he credited his performance under pressure to his coach, whose attitude during the competitions put subtle pressure on him without making him panic. Read more