Focus on the basics

Do you know the basics? What are the basics? What do you have to do to develop the physical qualities appropriate for the sport or activity you are training for? Everything I do now and have done for the past fifty-one years is grounded in the basics. I learned early on that if I deviated from the basics there was nothing but problems. It is straightforward and simple in concept but complex in application. Read more

The Functional Path Training Blog

This is the 15th anniversary of my blog. I started it in August 2005 after I left the madness of six months with the Nike Oregon Project. Initially I started it to help get me in the routine of writing everyday so that I could finish my book Athletic Development – The Art & Science of Functional Sports Conditioning. I finished the book and it was published in 2007. Read more

GAINcast Episode 195: Role of competition in development

Sport is about competition. Without games or races, training often has little meaning. Sports are being forced to reevaluate their structure due to the global pandemic, so it as good a time as any to rethink what we can get out of competition and how to organize it. Competition is about more than the final score and the more we set up competition to focus on that, the better. We share some thoughts and ideas on this week’s GAINcast.

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Sports Science Monthly – August 2020

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the August edition we start off looking at some lessons we can learn from a recent editorial giving an elite athlete’s perspective on training and load management. We also look at the modern consensus on hamstring injury risk, coaching resilience, how the athlete biological passport has impacted performance, team comedians, and more. Read more

The balancing act of planning

Quite often on the HMMR Podcast and this blog I write about the various elements of athletic development: strength training, sprinting, jumping, multi-jumps, multi-throws, and more. Sometimes the hardest part is not understanding each element, but in figuring out how to combine everything into a plan. To help readers get an idea of how I do it, I just posted the first eight weeks of our high school thrower sprogram in the HMMR Classroom.

» Learn more: the complete 8-week program, including all sets and reps, is available for HMMR Plus members.
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Athletic development: the concept

The term “athletic development” denotes an integrated system to enhance athletic performance, not an isolation of individual physical qualities. No single component of conditioning can be solely responsible for athletic development. It is necessary to have a balanced and integrated system to facilitate, develop, enhance, and motivate individual and team athletic performance. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 229: The 8-week plan

We often talk on the podcast about different components of training: lifting, jumping, sprinting, throwing, and more. We spend less time talking about putting it all together. The best way to learn about that is to take a look at an example. Last week Nick posted an 8-week throws program on HMMR Media. We walk thought it to understand the thought process behind it and how coaches can look at fitting all the components of athletic development into a plan. Read more

The days of iron men & wooden ships?

I played college football in the mid 1960’s at Fresno State College. My goal from the time I was 12 years old was to play college football. It was a long shot as I did not even start on my high school team until I was a senior. I was a late developer having started high school at 13.5 years old, so in essence I was always a year behind my class. I made it; I was captain of the freshman team. We were terrible with only 23 players, so I played 58 minutes a game at offensive center and defensive tackle. I was about 190 pounds. Spring practice 1965 I made the varsity and earned a $50 dollar a semester scholarship. I bulked up to 220 pounds. I was the third string center starting in the fall. My goal was to make the traveling squad to play University of Hawaii the last game of the year over Thanksgiving break. I made it, got to go to Hawaii and fly in a plane for the first time. I was the youngest on the team. Many of the other players were in their mid-twenties and had been in the service and played two years of JC ball. They rented cars and went out drinking while I went for walks on the beach. Read more

Start with why, but don’t forget what

My long-time coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk was an open book. You could ask him about anything in training and he’d sit down with you for hours and explain the why and the how. He would explain his experiences with all types of training, good and bad. There was only one topic that was off limits: a sample program. Bondarchuk repeatedly refused to share sample programs. Read more

History is alive

It is so important to know history, especially in today’s climate of instant information. Historical context is all important. Many training concepts and methods being practiced and promoted commercially are 50, 60, 70 years old or even older. Historical perspective gives a clearer direction on what you are doing now or what you are planning to do. Certainly, we can learn how these concepts and methods were previously used, what worked and what did not work and most importantly why. Often these methods fell out of favor for various reasons, it is helpful to know why. History can tell us that. Understanding those reasons will help us to avoid repeating mistakes. Read more