Posts

Preparing the body to change direction

The purpose of this article is to give any readers an insight into how I think about and prepare people for change of direction tasks. These change of direction tasks are simply that, not agility tasks. We want athletes to be able to change direction powerfully, quickly and efficiently in competition. In preparation, I like to look at these qualities in reverse: efficiency, speed and power. Change of direction all starts with promoting efficiency by understanding the attractors of the movement. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 223: Water the bamboo (with Travis Knight)

Underdogs come and go, but Gonzaga University’s basketball team keeps coming back. The small school team is the perennial overachiever and strength coach Travis Knight has been there the whole time. He joins this week’s podcast to discuss the unique team culture and process that helps them keep up with their bigger budget competitors, as well as his approach to training agility for one of the most demanding sports out there.

Read more

The importance of sport-specific stimulus in training agility

When we talk about agility in sports, you cannot separate the concept from perception. What makes the quality of agility unique is that it is a movement in response to a stimulus. How we set up training to deliver that stimulus has an impact on whether our agility training will actually transfer to improve agility performance in games. In the article below I look in more detail at the role of the stimulus in both training and competition. Read more

Training for the demands of curved sprinting

While great attention has been placed on how to train linear sprinting, in team sports running in a straight line is only a small part of the game. As players have to evade the opposition, sprinting is more often curvilinear and very rarely linear. Does this mean as coaches we should spend less time sprinting linearly and more time sprinting in a “sport-specific” curvilinear manner? Read more

GAINcast Episode 188: The green zone (with Stephen Seiler)

Elite athletes use all zones of intensity, but what makes them elite is knowing what each zone can be used for and what doses to use it in. Stephen Seiler has been at the forefront of analyzing how elite athletes train. He joins this week’s GAINcast to discuss successful training strategies for elite athletes. Read more

Going backwards to move forwards

It’s a common saying in life that sometimes we have to take a few steps backwards in order to move forward. However, Aaron Uthoff, a researcher based in New Zealand, has been taking this literally with his recent research on backwards running, the findings of which we might all be able to utilize in our practice as a means of enhancing performance. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 222: Off the snow (with Tschana Schiller)

Snow sports run the gamut from acrobatic jumping and high speed downhill, to long distance endurance. Tschana Schiller has supported them all in more than a decade with US Ski and Snowboard. Athletes face unique demands on the snow, and she looks to find the best ways to support them off the snow. She joins us on this week’s episode to talk about the demands of snow sports, with a deeper look at cross-country skiing and supporting athletes remotely through velocity-based training. Read more

April 2020 in review: legs, legs, legs

As with any area of training, when it comes to training the legs we often fall back to our same training routines and exercises. That’s a shame since it is one of the most fundamental aspects of training. We wanted to help coaches get out of that rut this month by exploring some different ways to train the legs. Through the month we published 12 new articles, 2 new videos, and 1 new podcast on the topic from a 9 different contributors. Read more

Progressions in lunging

Some exercises are built for load, and some are built for athleticism. I see a lunge as an area for improving coordination, mobility and co-contraction in all planes of motion. What it is not, for me, is a movement pattern that invites heavy resistance. I feel as though when it comes to lunging variations and progressions a lot of coaches and physios divert down the resistance path to the detriment of the other qualities I mentioned above. Read more

Studying the effects of bilateral vs. unilateral training

Rightly, or, as some people would argue, wrongly, resistance training is a major component within the training programs of most sports. We know from research that improvements in strength tend to lead to improvements in physical performance—such as sprint speed or jump height—and, in many cases, injury resilience. But how specific does that resistance need to be? Read more