Posts

Stop and Think

Before the day starts today take a minute and reflect. Read more

Coaching Pitfalls: Taper and Pre-season Training

Over the years, I have seen that there are two periods of the year where good coaching can go awry: The pre-season training period and the taper. Both are essential but both are fraught with perils and pitfalls characterized by the same root cause – the willingness/desire/need/obsession to do more than is necessary. Ultimately do to insecurity and lack of trust in the process. Read more

GAINcast Episode 78: Talent Identification

Talent is a divisive topic, but it is hard to argue that you can create a champion without any talent. Properly identifying and nurturing that talent is therefore a key element of high performance. On this episode we discuss the complexity of talent, how to approach it as a coach, and Vern’s multi-step approach talent identification. Read more

Why Did Usain Bolt Lose?

Athletics fans love statistics, and I’m no different, which is why it was so exciting to hear that the IAAF and Leeds Becket University were to collaborate on a biomechanics project at the recent World Championships, giving us some insight into what makes up a world class performance in athletics. As the Championships finished last weekend, the first initial reports were released for the men’s 100m and 10,000m, men’s discus final, and women’s pole vault final, which you can find here. The extended analysis will come in time, but the initial analysis does contain plenty of interesting bits of information. As my athletics knowledge is primarily limited to the sprints, that is where I’ll focus. The initial report itself does a great job of presenting the pertinent points, but I hope to add a little extra context where possible. Read more

Paths to Performance

There are many paths to performance. Note that it is plural, paths not path. There is no one way, in fact it is highly individual. This is perhaps the biggest conundrum in coaching: how to fit/tailor the training to the individual athlete to achieve each athlete’s optimum performance level. There are fast responders, slow responders and a few non-responders. Each athlete brings their individual qualities to their sport or event. We must recognize and account for this. You can have the wired explosive athletes and you can have a slower less explosive athlete – they can achieve very similar results in competition but must take different paths. Read more

GAINcast Episode 77: More Odds and Ends

Every few months we take a look back at all the short topics we’ve wanted to cover but haven’t had the time. Well, now’s the time. On this episode we take a quick look a several diverse topics. We start off by discussing categorical thinking and its impact on velocity based training, energy systems, and other areas of training. Then we look at genetic testing, training speed, EMGs, FMS, and several other topics. Read more

Can You Repeat That Please?

You might not know it, but scientific research is facing a crisis. Swathes of previously accepted research findings are being called into question, as subsequent experiments have failed to reproduce the same findings as the original papers. This replications crisis is strongest in psychology, especially social psychology, but has roots in, and implications for, all branches of science. And as more coaches are looking for an edge in the latest scientific research and social psychology findings, this has a large impact on coaching too. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 114: Bondarchuk for Team Sports (with Derek Evely)

A history of training methods for team sports is essentially a history of adapting individual sports methods to the team environment. We frequently get asked how the methods of Dr. Anatoliy Bondrachuk could be adapted from track and field to team sports. To tackle this question we invited Derek Evely back on the show to exchange some ideas. Read more

HMMR Podcsat Episode 113: The Stronghold (with Adam Kuehl)

In some sense athletes have an easy job: what they need to do is defined by clear rules, which allows coaches to make a solid game plan and training plan. But what happens when you throw the rulebook away? On this week’s episode former world-class discus thrower Adam Kuehl talks about his transition to training soldiers in the special forces. How do you prepare for an uncertain environment? How do you got about preparing athletes mentally? Tune it to listen to these topics and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 75: Ask More, Tell Less (with Jim Richardson)

In nearly 30 years as head swim coach at the University of Michigan, Jim Richardson develop a powerhouse. Much of that success came from one thing: asking questions. On this week GAINcast we sit down with coach Richardson and hear how asking question led him to become a better coach, to rethink the athletic development of his athletes, to reduce injuries, and more. Read more