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GAINcast Episode 146: Microdosing training

Microdosing has become a buzz word over the last year in training circles, but it isn’t a new concept. Small but frequent units of training can add up to provide significant value to athletic development. On this episode of the GAINcast we discuss the concept of microdosing, how it looks like in practice, and how to progress microdosing over the season. Read more

Putting tactical periodization into practice

A lot has been written about tactical periodization on HMMR Media this month, including a primer on tactical periodization from Craig Pickering and a detailed discussion of Dean Benton’s experience with tactical periodization. I’ve come to tactical periodization from a different route. Much of the discussion around tactical periodization looks at complex data modeling and GPS metrics. With a background in physical education and coaching rugby at the grass roots, I simply looked at tactical periodization as a tool to help us better define how we wanted to play and train for that. This article aims to show you how I’ve taken some of the ideas from tactical periodization and put them into practice. Read more

Rethinking the 7-day microcycle

Last week Nick Garcia shared some of the innovative training templates he’s using with his athletes at Notre Dame High School, and talked more about his approach on Monday’s HMMR Podcast. As you can see, his approach focuses on athletes needs and it’s tied to a seven-day timeline. Think about athlete needs first, and the calendar second. Read more

Setting up training around a competition

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

Creating and implementing template-based training

When becoming an athletic development coach there are many things you have to consider before developing a training plan for the athletes you are working with. These include the amount of athletes you are working with in each session, total number of teams you are working with, and how much time you have for each training session. There are so many things to think about, that it can often become overwhelming to start from scratch each time. This is where templates can come in handy. With useful templates, a coach help make sure they cover all the bases needed in a training session or week. Read more

Talking tactical periodization with Dean Benton

I first met Dean Benton at the 2013 International Festival of Athletics Coaching in Glasgow. Benton was presenting about his work in rugby at a track and field conference and I was entranced at the dynamics of the sport. As we shared a mentor, Vern Gambetta, we kept in touch. Two years ago he moved to Europe from his native Australia to take over sports science at England Rugby. Since then I’ve had a chance to visit his training several times and see first hand how he puts some of his concepts in practice. Read more

A primer on tactical periodization

This month HMMR Media has been presenting a lot of new content about the work of Frans Bosch and John Pryor. While much of their contributions to coaching have been in the area of coordination and agility training, John Pryor’s work with Japan Rugby has also pioneered another area of performance: tactical periodization. Read more

August 2018 in review: rugby training

Over the past few years I’ve had the chance to get more involved in the sport of rugby. The complex demands of the sport, combined with the fraternity of players and coaches, have been a great learning experience for me. This month on HMMR Media we wanted to dig deeper into the sport to learn from some of the top practitioners. Throughout the month contributors helped put together 1 new video, 3 new podcasts and 5 great articles. Below you’ll find links to all our new resources and some highlights from our archives on the topic. More archived content focused on field sports is also summarized in the topics section. And, as always, become a Plus Member to make sure you get access to all of the vast resources on the site. Read more

Fitter, stronger, faster: a needs-based approach to individualizing team sports training

Working in Olympic sports you are afforded an almost unlimited amount of time to work with your athletes in small groups allowing the delivery of all sorts of bespoke programs. In rugby, with 45-50 players and I have a staff of three coaches plus three student interns, individualization becomes a bit more difficult. Read more

What exercise classification can and can’t do for your training

You can classify exercises in a number of ways: on a scale of specificity, by the plane of movement, by degrees of freedom, by the speed of movement, or through various other methods. One approach is that of Anatoli Bondarchuk, who we have covered many times on our podcast and in our webinar on his training methods, which divides exercises into four categories based on his definition of specificity. In talking with coaches over the past few years, his method provides a simple tool that coaches in any spot can implement. But let’s be clear, it also has it’s limitations, like any method of exercise classification. Exercise classification is the start of a process, not the solution itself. There are certain things that exercise classification can and cannot do. Read more