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GAINcast Episode 67: Periodization Trends (with Dave Tenney)

All eyes look towards Europe in the soccer world and if you look close enough you will see there are some interesting team sports planning trends gaining momentum. As the High Performance Director for the MLS champions Seattle Sounders FC, Dave Tenney has tried to keep his team on the cutting edge and has looked closely at the new models emerging from Europe. On this episode, we have a discussion with Tenney about the direction periodization is headed and how he has seen successful solutions implemented at various clubs. Read more

GAINcast Episode 33: Connections

Connections are all around us in sport, but we often overlook them. Muscles connect, movements connect, athletes connect, coaches connect, disciplines connect, sports connect, and so on. On this episode of the GAINcast Vern discusses what role these connections play and how we as coaches can enhance connections. Read more

Singing or Screaming Muscles?

A segment NPR Weekend Edition Saturday March 26, 2016 got me thinking. The segment was titled Glitch In Your Golf Swing? Listen To It Sing: “Stanford professor Jonathan Berger turns golf stroke data into sound. A nice sound means it’s a good swing, a sour sound means something’s not right. In this revealing piece he tells Scott Simon how that helps people learn.” Read more

3 Tips for Better Coaching

I’ve spent my career learning things from all sorts of athletes and coaches. Whether it be good or bad, there is always a lesson to be learned. I’ve been extremely observant of behaviors and trends of successful and unsuccessful pairings of athletes and coaches. Based on my experience, here are the top three suggestions I recommend for improving results in a coach athlete relationship. Read more

The "Complete" Adaptable Athlete

To thrive in the performance arena demands a versatile highly adaptable athlete whose training reflects the demands of the sport and the needs of the individual athlete. We must recognize that for the body to execute movement, whether it is a sustained endurance activity, explosive bursts or fine motor skill that all parts and systems need to work together in harmony. Movement is a symphony not a solo. Read more

Toenails to Fingernails

The body is a link system; this link system is referred to as the kinetic chain. Great training and optimum performance is about linkage – it is how all the parts of the chain work together in harmony to produce smooth efficient patterns of movement. Read more

Perils of Reductionism

A reductionist, mechanistic approach that segments the body into parts and separate systems results in biased one-sided training regimens. This creates robotic athletes that are good in a sterile training environment but have difficulty transferring training to the sport. Read more

Creating Robots

karate_kidIn the name of teaching technique beware of the tendency to needlessly segment and break skill into disconnected parts. This takes away the flow of the movement and disconnects rather than connects. Read more

Thoughts on Function

Function is meaningful movement, it is not an isolated event, and it is movement that is leading toward something not an end unto it self. Movements that are less functional are movements that repeat themselves and are isolated. For example the leg extension or leg curl repeat themselves, they are essentially an end in themselves. Contrast this to the lunge that is progressive and can lead to many variations. The body is a link system and movement involves the timing of the movement of the links of the kinetic chain. It is helpful to visualize the process as total chain training moving from toe nails to fingernails. The outcome is functional sports training which incorporates a global systems approach to training & rehabilitation. Read more

Focused Training

Multitasking does not work in life nor does it work in training. In designing and implementing an effective training session focus is essential. It is tempting to include more, to tick off the boxes so speak so that you touch all bases in a training session. Instead it is imperative to have a specific objective for the training session and a very focused means to achieve the objective. Less is more, trite but true. Read more