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Looking back on 2018: top training resources

Each year we try to get a little bit better, and looking back at 2018 I think we achieved that goal. Throughout the course of 2018 our 22 contributors produced 104 new podcast episodes, over 300 articles, 8 premium video lessons, 12 monthly themes, 6 member hangouts, and our new movement Library. To help you sort through all the great content, we’ve assembled our top 30 articles, 10 podcasts, and 5 videos from the year, as well as some more highlights and links. If you want more, you can browse our archives and also check out our top posts from 2013201420152016, and 2017. Read more

Warming up in a chaotic environment

At the core, the ideas behind a warm up are relatively straightforward and well-understood: increase muscle temperature, increase range of motion, dial in an athlete psychologically, increase heart rate, prepare the joints, ligaments, and tendons for movement and impact, and much more. Together the warm up should prepare the athlete physically and mentally for training and competition. In most sports, the timing and execution of a warm up is simple. But in winter sports, challenges appear all over for something that should be one of the easiest parts of training to implement. Read more

The challenge of training over the break

It’s that time of year where young athletes are about to go on vacation. Over the next few weeks, most high school and college athletes will be away from their coaches during the holidays. This can be challenging for the strength coach because athletes are traveling out of town, may not have transportation to a training facility, and may just flat out not be motivated to train over the break partly because their normal schedule is thrown off. For a number of years I have tried many different remedies to counter this break and make sure all the improvements that were made over the course of the fall and part of winter were not lost. Here are my ideas and opinions on how we got the job done. Read more

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