Posts

The downsides of sticking with the plan

The SS Torrey Canyon was a massive Supertanker, almost 300 meters in length and 40 meters wide, that was first launched in 1958. In early 1967, the ship left Kuwait, loaded with oil and headed for Milford Haven, a port in Wales. The route took the ship past the Scilly Islands, which are located around 24 miles west of the coast of Cornwall. When sailing towards Milford Haven, ships can choose to go west of the Isle of Scilly, into the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean, or to the east, squeezing between Cornwall and the Isles. The eastern route is much faster–as it is a straighter line between two points–but the narrow channel has a variety of navigational hazards, the most famous of which is the Seven Stones reef. At nearly two miles in length, and one mile wide, the reef is a well-known danger, responsible for over 200 wrecks in its history. Read more

Signal or noise?

The ability to be able to recognize patterns has played a crucial role in the evolution of humans. In order to be able to pass on our DNA, we need to be able to breed, which means that we need to keep ourselves healthy enough (and alive enough) to do. Read more

Resources on stress, adaptation and periodization

I’ve had the pleasure to work together with John Kiely over the past few years on a variety of topics and projects. We’re trying to start a new type of conversation around adaptation, stress, periodization, and planning. This week we released our latest webinar on understanding stress and adaptation. This is part of the conversation, but in order for the conversation to continue people have to keep exploring the topic. Every seminar we do ends with a list of books, articles, and resources attendees can read to explore the topic more. We’ve shared that list below. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on these topics. Read more

GAINcast Episode 45: Perform (with Randy Ballard)

Helping athletes perform their best is about more than strength and conditioning, sports medicine, physiotherapy, or any individual component. It is about brining all the fields together. Randy Ballard, the University of Illinois Associate Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine, joins this week’s podcast to discuss I-PERFORM, the unified approach to student-athlete health, well-being and performance he has implemented in Champaign. Read more

Illusions of Causality

In 2007, I ran my fastest ever wind-legal 100-meter time. I also recorded what was, at that point, my lowest ever body fat score. It would seem, therefore, that the two are linked; my 100m time improved because my body fat had reduced. Right? Read more

Survivorship Bias

How often do we focus our analysis on winners? They could be winners in any aspect of life; sport, business, medicine, but the case is clear – we tend to look towards those who are successful for clues and lessons on how to be more successful ourselves. But is this actually the right way to do things? Read more

Confirmation Bias in Coaching

You’re a rational human being aren’t you? You evaluate the evidence, and then make a decision based on the strength on that evidence. You have an open mind. Except you’re human, and that means that you’re perhaps not as rational as you might think. You see, there’s something called confirmation bias. This is where we tend to search for information that supports our preconceptions. If we come across new information, we tend to interpret it in such a way that it will confirm our previously held beliefs. This is one of many biases that together it impossible humans from being rational in our day to day lives. Read more

3 Things I Learned From John Kiely

I’ve given many seminars over the past few years, but last weekend’s event was perhaps the most unique event I have been involved in. It might have actually been the first periodization seminar ever that spent all of 10 minutes discussing the actual periods. Instead we took a step back to look at the complexity of the problems we are trying to address with periodization, strategies and processes to deal with the complexities, and then surveyed a variety strategies in action. My portions focused on some many of the best practices we can learn from some of the master coaches I have worked with and had the chance to interview for HMMR Media. My co-host John Kiely focused his time on the complexities and what we can learn from science about the problem and potential solutions. He covered many topics like mental biases and how to deal with them, gaining power through simplicity in training, and optimizing organizational processes. I could write several posts with what I learned on Saturday, but decided to focus on three big picture take-aways I learned from Kiely over the weekend. Read more

Episode 48: Mental Biases (with John Kiely)

Developing high-level performance is not an easy thing. There’s a hugely complex mess of factors and science has taken a simplistic approach that, in the end, does not always provide us with the answers we need and we are left to fill in the gap ourselves. In light of our upcoming seminar with Irish coach and academic John Kiely, on this episode we sit down with Kiely to discuss one of the topics he will be presenting on: what are the mental biases we confront when trying to fill the gaps. Read more