Competing is the reason that we’re all involved in sport, and how you or your athlete performs in those competitions is what determines whether you’re a success or a failure; no one gets medals for good training programs. However, when discussing training theory, we tend to focus on the mechanics of physical preparation in the big picture, while neglecting the short periods of time directly before and directly after a competition. Read more
At this year’s World Championships Tom Walsh emerged as the surprise champion in the shot put. Insiders, however, were caught slightly less off guard as Walsh has been the most consistent big meet performer over the past few years. On this week’s episode his coach Dale Stevenson comes back on the show to discuss training both the mental and physical dimensions of peaking and how coaches can create processes to continue to improve even at the highest level. Read more
Over the years, I have seen that there are two periods of the year where good coaching can go awry: The pre-season training period and the taper. Both are essential but both are fraught with perils and pitfalls characterized by the same root cause – the willingness/desire/need/obsession to do more than is necessary. Ultimately do to insecurity and lack of trust in the process. Read more
It’s championship season in Track & Field. This is what everyone has been preparing for all year. Are your athletes ready? Rest assured at this time of year there is always doubt. Have I done enough? Have I done too little? The bottom line is that you must trust your preparation and assure your athletes that their preparation has been what they need. Read more
As coaches, the competition season is our test. Did we get our athletes ready for the big competition? On this episode Vern talks about strategies and best practices for helping your athletes peak and get ready when it counts. Read more
For this week’s episode we sent out a request for listener questions and you responded with a suggestions on a wide range of topics. We tackle them all head on, covering plyometrics, in-season straining, transferring drills, work-life balance and more. Read more
Peaking at the right time matters, but for many athletes it is just as important to be able to hold that peak. For my athletes, at the high school level, the post season lasts nearly two months. Therefore we have to stay in top shape for a long period in order to qualify and place well at the state meet. I’ve always said one of the reasons I like the Bondarchuk program is how it is able to keep athletes at a top level after reaching their peak. Read more
Dan Pfaff’s name is hardly foreign for readers of this blog. As the head coach at Altis, the new name for the ever-growing World Athletics Center, he currently coaches dozens of athletes and helps run a successful coaching education program. With success producing champions in nearly every track and field event, he is without a doubt one of the top coaches in our sport. This year is no exception as Pfaff was Mr. Long Jump at the world championships taking in two medals and three top-four performances. He guided Fabrice Lapierre to silver and Greg Rutherford to gold. Pfaff helped Rutherford capture Olympic Gold in 2012 while working in the UK and starting working with him again recently. In the women’s long jump Christabel Nettey broke the Canadian record on several occasions this year and placed fourth at the World Championships, just two inches from the podium.
In addition to being a top coach and having a wicked mustache, Dan is also a top educator and a person I am always looking to learn more from. When Dan told me he would be in Switzerland for 48 hours for the Lausanne Diamond League meet earlier this summer, I booked time off work and bought my train ticket. I’m not a big fan of the Diamond League for how they treat the throwers, but there some few advantages to having two Diamond League meets in the immediate vicinity.
Two years ago he joined us for a training talk about strategies for coaching technique, training intensity, and defining key performance indicators. When he came to town this time I wanted to both take a look at his training in more detail and take a step back. To start with we talked about his in-season programming and his three-day rollover method, which I have written about a little before. In the second part of the interview, which will be posted later this week, we then took a step back to discuss his training philosophy and how he takes that to create a plan. Read more
With the post-season in full swing for high school and universities, it is a great time to talk about meet preparation and peaking. This episode starts off by discussion different ways to approach the days leading into a competition as well as mental preparation for meets. We then turn to the larger topic of peaking and compare both traditional approaches and discuss Bondarchuk’s method of tapering. Read more
A few thoughts on taper and peaking, the swim teams I work with are in this process now with championship meets all coming in the next month so this has been on my mind. Read more