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Sports Science Monthly – September 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the September Sports Science Monthly we look at the continuing debate on periodization and whether periodization is more effective than simply adding variation in training. We they dive into diverse topics such as injury risk, stress for university athletes, genetics, the effect of training time on strength adaptations, and more. Read more

Rethinking conditioning for contact sports

Conditioning for team sports and contact sports has evolved a lot in recent years, but when you look around there are still some big misconceptions that many coaches cling on to. There are two points that always stand out to me: that conditioning is only about energy systems and that conditioning only comes through volume. In this article I take a look at how we can rethink these areas and share what I have implemented in rugby training sessions to address both topics. Read more

GAINcast Episode 166: Team sport issues (with Nick Lumley)

There are several hot topics and challenges facing team sports at the moment such as hamstring injuries, how to best measure and use training load, and developing sport specific speed. These are hardly new questions, but they have proved tricky since the currently favored solutions don’t seem to be doing the trick. Edinburgh Rugby’s Nick Lumley spends his offseason visiting clubs around the work to get the pulse of team sports training. He just returned from his latest trip and joined this week’s GAINcast to share his perspective on these issues and where he thinks we should be looking to move forward. Read more

Does sprint training “inoculate” athletes against hamstring injuries?

Hamstring strain injury (HSI) has remained a problem for athletes across a range of sports that involve sprinting. In team sports such as soccer, HSI is responsible for more games lost than any other injury. Athletes with a history of HSI, or who are older, are at greater risk of injury. Although these risk factors cannot be controlled, there are other risk factors that can be addressed in the physical preparation of athletes. One risk factor is low hamstring strength, and it is common for strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches to prescribe hamstring strengthening exercises as part of an injury prevention program. The choice of exercises has become a controversial issue with practitioners debating the pros and cons of hip dominant or knee dominant exercises, as well as eccentric exercises (e.g. Nordic) versus isometric exercises. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – July 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. The amount of research in sports science has exploded, and for coaches in the trenches it can be hard to keep up on it all. That is one of the reasons we have put together the Sports Science Monthly, and we start off the July edition by looking at where coaches get their sports science information. After that we look into new research on small-sided games, re-examine training load monitoring, as well as looking into other topics. Read more

The hamstring paradox

This is from the 2018 AFL Injury Report produced in collaboration with AFL Doctors Association, AFL Physiotherapists Association, and AFL Football Operations Department. “Hamstring strains remain the most common injury, with an incidence of 6.3 new injuries per club and are the most common cause of matches missed (25.2 matches missed per club), with a recurrence rate of 20%. These are the highest rates we have seen for a number of years.” Read more

Why athletes should avoid the bars

Perhaps the most persistent blunder athletes and coaches make in training to compete is regularly mistaking “strength” for “athleticism,” so let’s clear this up right away: Athleticism—the ability to express one’s physical self with optimal speed, agility, strength, balance, suppleness, stamina and grace while avoiding injury—is the goal. Strength, as you will note by re-reading the sentence, above, is a single element of the collective term: athleticism. You cannot be athletic without being strong; but you can be strong without being athletic. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – June 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the June Sports Science Monthly we start off by looking at new research on how parents can affect athlete development. We then give you the latest updates on how hormones change while recovering from exercise, mental health, collagen and tendon pain, functional movement screening, and more. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 193: Aim high (with Dana Lyon)

As a javelin thrower Dana Lyon was undersized and overlooked. It forced her to aim high and learn more about the event to succeed. She climbed her way up to become US champion. On this episode of the podcast she comes on the show to discuss how she developed her throw, her coaching philosophy, the competition mindset, and military life. Read more

GAINcast Episode 156: Chucking spears (with Steve Backley)

Watch the javelin in full speed and it is a thing of beauty. Watch it in slow motion and it’ll often make you cringe. In order to throw a spear the length of a football field requires athletes to put their body in extreme positions with massive amounts of force transferring through the kinetic chain. Mastering it is hard, staying at the top even harder. Steve Backley was not just one of the best javelin throwers of all time, but sat atop the sport for 15 years. On this episode of the GAINcast, Backley joins us to discuss how he developed in the sport, what creates the perfect throw, and becoming a better competitor. Read more