Posts

Gaincast Episode 157: Find the right fit (with John Baumann)

Supporting a track and field team might sound like a simple enough, but when you look a bit closer you see it can often mean helping 100 athletes competing in vastly different sports. John Baumann knows the sport inside and out, having helped develop NCAA champions as both a technical coach and strength coach. He joins this week’s GAINcast to talk about his work as the head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Kansas track and field team, how he learned from his background as a throws coach, and finding the right program for athletes from varied backgrounds and diverse events. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 100: The Century

It has been two years since we started the HMMR Podcast and for our 100th episode we decided to switch things up a little. Rather than discuss training, we’ve invited on previous guests Dan Pfaff, Gary Winckler, Derek Evely, and Glenn McAtee to discuss some of the passions that drive outside of coaching as well as how that might connect to coaching. Read more

GAINcast Episode 9: Performance Influences (with Gary Winckler)

Gary Winckler is one of the top sprint and hurdle coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. On this episode of the GAINcast Winckler explains the performance influences that led to his success as a coach. Read more

Looking Back at GAIN 2014

gainnewlogo300[1]From June 17th to June 21st I was fortunate to present at and attend the GAIN Professional Development Yearly Conference at Rice University in Houston, Texas. First off, GAIN stands for Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network. Vern Gambetta is known as the father of functional sports training. (Martin has reviewed his most popular book here). The great thing about Coach Gambetta is that he does not limit himself to being involved with one sport. He is involved with and has had success coaching numerous sports to optimize their athletic development living by the philosophy that you must “Link, Sync, Connect, and Coordinate” the body in order to have optimum sports performance. He has worked with levels ranging from youth swimming clubs to the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, and Chicago Bulls. He has also worked with elite track athletes, premier soccer teams, rugby teams, and beach volleyball players.
Read more

Three Versus Four Turns

Some of you may have glossed over the disussion of hurdling technique in my training talk with Gary Winkler. But his answers could equally be applied to the hammer throw or any event. I asked him why so many athletes were switching from eight to seven steps before the first hurdle and his response was quick:

Most of it is just groupthink … There is not always a lot of analytic thinking going on when these decisions are made.

Why do no top Americans glide in the shot put? Or why do no Germans spin? Is it just group think?

Why do no top Americans glide in the shot put? Or why do no Germans spin? Is it just groupthink?

The same could be said in the debate about why so many shot putters spin in America versus using the glide. Or about the big question in the hammer throw: three versus four turns. The majority of throwers use four turns now, but plenty of success has been achieved with three turns, including the current men’s world record by Yuri Sedykh and the current American women’s record by Amanda Bingson.
Read more

Training Talk with Gary Winckler (Part 3)

winckler_uiI had the chance to pick the brain of sprint and hurdle coach Gary Winckler last month and the post below is the latest installment of our training talk. We began by talking about reactivity training and then moved on to discuss periodization. This part of the talk focuses on posture and coaching technique.

Before I let you start reading I do have to mention that this was one of the most interesting training talks I have done. Obviously it was fascinating to learn from a master coach and go into much more detail about a non-throwing event than any other training talk I have done. But I found it the most interesting that as we dove deeper into the intricacies of hurdling, the conversation became inexplicably more relvant to hammer throwing. The events have more in common that I realized and likely have just as much in common with other events too. Read through Part 3 and let me know your thoughts below.
Read more

Training Talk with Gary Winckler (Part 2)

Last week I began a training talk with Gary Winckler. The man needs little introduction: he is simply one of the best sprint and hurdle coaches in the world. We may not all be hurdlers, but there some basic rules of training that apply to all events and Gary has coached almost all of them. Part one of our discussion focused on implementing principles of reactivity training talked about by Frans Bosch. This second part moves on to talking about planning and periodization concepts. But we are just getting started, so check back for more later in the week.
Read more

Training Talk with Gary Winckler (Part 1)

Gary Winckler is one of the top hurdles coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. His two best known athletes were 2003 World Champion and Canadian 100-meter hurdles record holder Perdita Felicien, and 1996 Olympic 400-meter hurdles bronze medalist Tonja Buford-Bailey. Buford-Bailey’s best mark remains the fifth-fastest of all-time.

Photo from the Daily Illini.

Coach Gary Winckler (Photo from the Daily Illini)

Despite his retirement, Winckler keeps very busy making saddles in the Pacific Northwest. But he still continues to give seminars (he will be presenting at GAIN 2014 along with our Nick Garcia and other top coaches) and it was just announced he will write an occasional blog for the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre starting soon. He took some time to talk about training last month and give his input on reactivity training, periodization, training technique, and a variety of other topics. Part one of our discussion focuses on implementing principles of reactivity training talked about by Frans Bosch. The remaining parts of our discussion will be posted over the next week, so keeping checking back for further installments.
Read more