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HMMR Podcast Episode 208: History in the desert (with Joe Kovacs)

The most amazing performance at the recent World Athletics Championships didn’t take place on the track, it took place on the field. On his final attempt, shot putter Joe Kovacs summoned the best effort the world has seen in nearly 30 years. Not only was his performance historic, but the whole competition was as he edged out both of his top rivals by just one centimeter. Kovacs joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about the competition, the ups and downs he’s faced in the years leading up to his breakthrough, and the evolution of rotational shot put technique. Read more

Can you catch anxiety?

Yawn.

Just reading that word will cause many of you to yawn. In fact, the more I mention the word “yawn”, the more likely you are to carry out a yawn. Are you yawning yet? Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 195: The champion’s mind (with Adam Nelson and Szymon Ziolkowski)

We watch champion’s win all the time, but rarely do we get a chance to see what is going on inside their head. On this week’s episode we get to talk to two Olympic champions and see what their thought process is in competition, how they prepare, and how they’ve overcome some of the most difficult situations imaginable in sport. Tune in to hear shot putter Adam Nelson and hammer throw Szymon Ziolkowski share their experiences. Read more

GAINcast Episode 156: Chucking spears (with Steve Backley)

Watch the javelin in full speed and it is a thing of beauty. Watch it in slow motion and it’ll often make you cringe. In order to throw a spear the length of a football field requires athletes to put their body in extreme positions with massive amounts of force transferring through the kinetic chain. Mastering it is hard, staying at the top even harder. Steve Backley was not just one of the best javelin throwers of all time, but sat atop the sport for 15 years. On this episode of the GAINcast, Backley joins us to discuss how he developed in the sport, what creates the perfect throw, and becoming a better competitor. Read more

GAINcast Episode 145: From training to competition

How many times have you seen athletes killing it in training only to fall flat on their face in competition? Translating training results to competition results is not as easy as it seems, and a number of factors could contribute to why athletes may fall short on competition day. On this week’s GAINcast we explore this issue and share some examples of how to close the gap. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 175: Rediscovering play (with James Marshall)

Play is often disregarded as a form of training, but it is a lost art that can be a valuable tool in developing athletes. Over the past few decades, the rate of play has drastically declined among children worldwide. James Marshall has put this point front and center in his approach to long-term athlete development. On this episode of the podcast Marshall joins us to discuss play and how it can be incorporated into more formal training sessions. Read more

GAINcast Episode 125: Gold medal roundtable

Every June, GAIN brings together world-class practitioners from a variety of sports. In addition to the presentations and practical sessions, this year we had a roundtable discussion on coaching Olympic champions, with panelists from Fiji rugby, snowboard, USA women’s hockey, and USA women’s basketball. We recorded the discussion and are sharing it in its entirety on this week’s GAINcast. Read more

Situational Practice

This weekend, I witnessed via my television screen one of the biggest blunders in college football. The situation of course was the fumbled snap, the re-fumbled recovery of that snap, and the subsequent recovery of that fumble for a last second touchdown. Michigan State wins and beats Michigan in their big in-state rivalry, and one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the football. The person who fumbled that snap has a name, and his name is Blake O’Neill. After October 17, 2015, every Michigan football fan will know his name. @blakewoneill on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets went crazy! The comparison of this young man’s blunder and Ray Finkle, the fictional character from the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective movie, are alive. I don’t know a lot about Blake O’Neill, but the little that I do know, and the bit of science has grown to help us understand performance, should tell us all he alone is not the only one to blame. Given his lack of situational experience any one of us could do the same thing, and the coaches had the primary responsibility to give him more situational practice. Read more