Posts

GAINcast Episode 127: Individualization Q&A

In his nearly 50 years of coaching, Vern quickly learned the need to adapt the training plan to the athlete and has run into all types of different individuals along the way. On this episode of the GAINcast we have a Q&A with Vern on individualization, the July HMMR Media site theme. We cover a variety of topics such as when to start individualization, how to individualize in team sports, the role of testing, and more. Read more

From simple to advanced individualization

A few years ago I had a long conversation with a old and successful coach who told me that his plan fits to every athlete. As he put it: “They will get used to it after a while and then they will improve a lot.” He couldn’t convince me with this. What I saw in his group at this time was frustration and injuries. This kept coming up again and again with his athletes, but he was not willing to think where this could came from. For me the answer was clear. Read more

Individualizing pre-competition caffeine use

This month’s theme on HMMR Media is around the personalization and individualization of performance. Typically, this focuses on the physical side, but at the start of this month I wrote about how a focus on differences in stress tolerance—a largely psychological aspect—might guide individualized training a bit more. But there is another area where we can turn our attention; that of ergogenic aids such as caffeine. Towards the end of last year I co-authored a paper with John Kiely on factors that might impact the individual response to caffeine intake in athletes. In this article, I want to expand on that topic, and discuss how athletes and coaches might use this information in a real-world setting. Read more

Ashton Eaton, the shot put, and individualization

Ashton Eaton may be the world record holder in the decathlon, but when you watched him throw shot put that was not the image that came to mind. To start with the implement always looked a size too big for him. He also adopted an unorthodox technique in which he started with his other foot and then shuffled across the ring in his tennis shoes. Watch him take a few throws and you are reminded more of a masters thrower at a neighborhood track meet than the world’s best athlete. Read more

Individualization made easy

This month’s topic on HMMRMedia is the individualization of training. The one size fits all model is a thing of the past; both scientific research and hard won experience have shown the need to individualize training. But many coaches still struggle to figure out how to start with individualization. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 162: Find the right fit (with Boo Schexnayder)

Coach Boo Schexnayder found an interesting situation last year: LSU had asked him to step in and help coach events he hadn’t worked with in decades. The transition was easy for him in part because his training is based on the individual, not the event. He’s used that approach to produce world-class jumpers for decades, and this year it help produced some top throwers too. On this episode of the podcast Schexnayder joins us to discuss his approach to individualization and finding the right fit for an athlete. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 161: Individualization

It is common to hear coaches say we need to fit the plan to the athlete, rather than the athlete to the plan. But how exactly do we do that? On this week’s podcast we focus on individualization, when coaches need to start doing it, what should be individualized, and different ways to put the concept into practice. Plus, Nick and Martin start off the episodes with an analysis of the state of American throwing. Read more

GAINcast Episode 95: Endurance Planning (with John Larralde)

Over the past month we’ve run a series on endurance training, first discussing concepts and methods and then outlining the basics of athletic development for endurance athletes. On this week’s podcast we bring the conversation full circle to discuss how to bring it all together with coach John Larralde. Larralde shares examples of how he has used different methods with different athletes from different athletes can produce top results. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 130: Personalizing the Plan (with Jeremy Fischer)

The real art of planning doesn’t come in creating the plan, it comes in knowing when and how to change it. On this week’s episode we are joined by Jeremy Fischer, Director and Head Coach of the USATF Residence Program. He’s coached World and Olympic champions in the jumping events and explains his approach to planning, plus several cases studies of how he’s had to personalize the plan. Read more

Finding the athlete-appropriate plan

I was musing recently on concepts like “long-term athletic development,” “periodization,” and “adaptation” and I had a thought which I hope carries the idea of “athlete-appropriate” a bit further into the light. Adaptation is the tool we use to get better, but we have to know where we are adapting from and where we are adapting to first. What is are generally missing in our hopeful attempts to accelerate athletic progress with young people is not about the methods or tools, but about the awareness and full appreciation of the deciding factors that permit a coach to know what kinds of training are appropriate with individual athletes and what kind are not. Read more