How John Pryor adapts training to culture

Over the past few years, perhaps no coach has influence my coaching more than John Pryor. Currently the head of strength and conditioning for Fiji rugby in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup, Pryor has decades of experience in the sport working for Japan, Australia, and top clubs in both countries. He has a unique ability to blend the art of coaching and sports science, and also objectively critique his own performance. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 145: Culture shock (with Nick Hill)

When you arrive in a new situation, there can be a bit of culture shock. Even more so when it is half way around the world. Nick Hill did just that when he accepted a job to teach and coach in Chile several years ago. Throughout the journey he learned several things about getting athletes on board with your approach and developing a culture around it. That served him well in his recent return back to England as the head of athletic development at the Stowe School in England. On this episode we leverage that experience in a discussion about the process of change, how long it takes, and how it works. Read more

Improving transfer through better testing

Most strength and conditioning courses cover basic training principles, and testing is a recurring theme. Our job is to ensure transfer; that is to train athletes in a way that they get better at their sport. As a coach it is important to hold yourself accountable to an objective outcome, and data can help assess the effect of an intervention. Whilst coaches shouldn’t act on data alone, it allows them to make well-informed decisions. Read more

Searching for transfer in Fiji

Earlier this month I wrote that transfer is not as straightforward as it seems, even with something as simple as linear speed. In response, some coaches, such as rugby coach John Pryor, have rethought their approach to training speed and strength. Pryor is currently the head of strength and conditioning for Fiji in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup. We’ve written several times about his approach to training speed, and he’ll cover the topic again at GAIN 2018 in June, but a few weeks ago I had a chance to talk to him about the process that got him there. Read more

GAINcast Episode 99: Fitness & Endurance Training for Team Sports

Our recent series of GAINcasts looked at different aspects of training for endurance athletes. But what about training for fitness and endurance as a competent of other sports like for team sports like soccer or even individual sports like tennis? On this episode of the GAINcast we discuss the factors to consider when training fitness training for team sports and walk through several sample training methods. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 134: Endure and Recovery (with Nick Lumley)

When it comes down to it, much of sports training is about being able to endure more and come back and do it again. These are both points that rugby strength coach Nick Lumley has focussed on since taking over his role at Edinburgh Rugby this summer. He comes back on the podcast this week to explain how he has tried to improve body composition, increase endurance, and optimize recovery for his team. Read more

A framework for recovery methods

The word recovery gets used a lot in sport with a variety of meanings in my experience. A common misconception I come across is the assumption that one size fits all in the world of recovery. There are various aspects of post-exercise recovery and it is completely individual to the situation and the athlete. In my opinion recovery should be viewed as a tool to manipulate in order to optimize performance. Below I want to explai na little about what recovery is how I categorize and use recovery methods, and some non-negotiables when it comes to recovery. Read more

Training Talk with Dean Benton (Part 1)

After tackling adaptation as last month’s theme, our focus at HMMR Media moves on to rest and recovery in December. To kick things off we sat down with Dean Benton, one of the leading practitioners in this area. Benton is currently head of Sports Science for the England Senior Rugby Team. In this role he is responsible for the co-ordination, design and delivery of athletic performance, sport science, recovery, rehabilitation, reconditioning to the England Senior Rugby team in the lead into the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Read more

How embracing risk helps you control it

I recently came across an interesting book by Greg Ip titled Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe. It’s a fascinating look at the balance between risk mitigation and risk adaptation, both of which compete to either make us safer, or more at risk than before. Read more

GAINcast Episode 72: Voices of GAIN

Some of the world’s leading coaches make up the faculty at GAIN each year, but there are even more world-class coaches are in attendance. On this week’s episode of the GAINcast we wanted to take a chance to hear those other voices. We sat down for a quick chat with coaches like Greg Gatz (UNC), Darren Ritchie (Scottish Athletics), Nick Hill, Vinny Comiskey (Navy), and Dan Nobel (Hill Academy). Read more