Posts

Think for yourself

Thirty years ago, when everyone was wearing polo shirts with an alligator on them I found a company that sold shirts with a rat on them. Not to be contrarian, but to make a statement. Be independent, think for yourself, analyze. Innovate don’t imitate. Read more

GAINcast Episode 55: Technical Models

Technical models are often what we turn to when we develop an athlete’s technique. How do we develop models? And how do we adapt them to the athlete? On this week’s episode Vern looks at how technical models fit into training and what steps coaches need to take to get the most out of them. Read more

GAINcast Episode 34: Live from Glasgow

Two weeks ago Vern and I got the opportunity to present at the Scottish Athletics annual coaching conference. At the end of the seminar we got that chance to pose some questions to all the presenters at a roundtable session. We recorded that discussion and present it as this week’s episode. Read more

GAINcast Episode 25: Train to Play (with Steve Myrland)

Steve Myrland is one of those hard working coaches focuses his energy on getting things done rather than talking about them. You may not have heard of the former University of Wisconsin and San Jose Sharks strength coach since he is not even on social media. But we snagged him for this interview and he walks us through some of his rules for training, the influence of yoga on his methods, and the key lessons he has learned in his career. Read more

Case Studies in Collegiate Hammer Development

While in Minneapolis last year I got a chance to catch up with University of Minnesota throws coach Lynden Reder. Coach Reder and I competed against each other as students. He beat me then, and now he is beating me as a coach by producing top hammer throwers every year. Just last week Sean Donnelly threw a big personal best of over 23 meters to place third at US nationals (and over 74.35 meters in the hammer today). But his success aside, he is always up for a good conversation on training and we are not afraid to challenge each other, a quality that is often lacking when talking shop with other coaches. I used one of our chats as a topic for an Ask Martin post on the pros and cons of the NCAA system for athlete development. And in a recent article he turns that same ability to challenge on his own training. Read more

Changes

With two throws left in my last training session before leaving for the Tucson Elite Throwers Classic, we changed my entry from a step back, to starting with both feet to the back of the ring for a more static approach. Crystal pointed out that I’ve had the tendency to step out much too wide when I prepared to enter off of the second wind. Needless to say, it was interesting feeling my way through this new entry on the fly and at meet speed. I did ok, but I left a couple more good throws on the table, including one that was just short of 76m again in the second meet. So you know I wasn’t pleased about that. 🙂 Read more

Hitting the Low Point

Last weekend we held our first weekend training camp for the Swiss hammer throwers. As part of the Swiss hammer project we gathered together the top athletes and coaches for a chance to learn from each other and have a bit of fun. Even though I get to work with my throwers all the time, they benefited a lot too. Having a weekend focused only on hammer let us take a step back and analyze a few things we have overlooked. Read more

Meaningful Training

There is training that is just work and leads nowhere – this is training as performance. This is the Crossfit WOD mentality that each workout is an end unto itself and must be as hard as possible to be good. These workouts make you very tired and sometimes even put you in the hospital. Read more

Can Do

I see too much emphasis on limitations and dysfunctions either imposed from the outside because of results on an artificial movement screen or self-imposed by the athlete. As a coach I am much more interested in what you can do rather what you can’t do. Certainly any real or received limitations should and will be taken into consideration but we can figure it out and dial up or dial down the training so that it is appropriate for what the athlete can do. Read more

Hamstring Solutions

The solutions to the issue of the explosion of hamstring are quite straightforward. Here some of the things that have worked for my colleagues and me. All of these take a deep commitment to coaching movement. Read more