Posts

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

Bosch made simple

Some of the training concepts laid out by Frans Bosch in his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach can be intimidating. Many disregard his ideas without even reading the book. Others read it and get lost in the details of motor learning or anatomy, as I did at first. But when you look at the coaches successfully putting the ideas into practice, it is quite easy to see that it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, even Bosch himself takes a very straightforward approach to implementing the ideas. Read more

The anatomy of a team sports speed session

Team sports require a mix of physical qualities to be trained concurrently due to the performance requirements, but one stands out above the others: speed. Speed is often the difference between elite and sub-elite teams. Speed is not just about that one breakaway play, it underpins all aspects of the game such as the overall tempo of play or the ability to execute skills at high speeds. Therefore, there should be an emphasis on training speed “in” within a structured training period. Read more

Track speed vs. team speed

As a young coach, one thing I didn’t realize was how variable speed requirements are between different sports. We might think of speed as a single quality trained in a single way, but the reality is that speed manifests itself differently in each sport and therefore needs to be trained differently. As I have gained experience in different sports, my thought process has slowly evolved. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 197: Physical education (with Greg Thompson)

For many kids, their introduction to sport and physical activity comes through the school. This can be either a good or a bad thing. A good experience can set them up for a lifetime of athletic achievement and physical activity. A bad experience can turn them away from sport. On this episode of the podcast award winning PE teach Greg Thompson joins us to talk about what makes for good PE, the art of progressing young athletes, using a games-based approach, and thoughts on constraints-led training.

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

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