Posts

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

GAINcast Episode 134: Sports science has lost its way (with Tony Strudwick)

Over the last decade the field of sports science has grown exponentially. At the same time it has started to lose its way. Rather than telling players what they can do, it often tells players what they can’t. Rather than focusing on adaptations, it focuses on measuring loads. And rather than being coach-driven, training has become driven more by the backroom staff. On this episode of the GAINcast, Tony Studwick shares his experience as a sports scientist. In more than a decade with Manchester United he saw first hand how the field has evolved and what the best teams do differently in this area. Read more

GAINcast Episode 132: Learning to control (with John Kiely)

John Kiely has done some groundbreaking work on periodization, but that isn’t the only topic he is interested in. When it comes to his work with rugby, track and field, and soccer he focuses on making an impact through coordination. On this week’s podcast we take a look at the framework he uses to understand coordination, and how that translates into some surprising methods with athletes. Read more

The role of genetics in reducing hamstring injuries

Hamstring injuries in sport are highly pervasive, often representing the most common injury site across a range of sports from rugby to sprinting to American football. One sport in which hamstring injuries have been well examined is that of soccer; during the 2016/2017 English Premier League season, 27% of all injuries suffered were hamstring injuries. This lead to the loss of over 20,000 training days, with the wages of the injured players exceeding £131 million. Alongside this massive financial burden is the issue of future performance decrements; having suffered a prior hamstring injury, players are more likely to suffer a further hamstring injury, an injury at another site, and a reduction in future performance. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – July 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Science Monthly. This month, we take a closer look at monitoring post-match fatigue, the debate on hamstring muscle action, mindfulness, warming up, travel, and more. Read more

May 2018 in review: training speed

The old saying goes “you can’t teach speed.” Or, I should say, that’s how the old myth goes. Not everyone can be Usain Bolt, but everyone can get faster and, no matter the sport, speed is crucial. Unfortunately the topic of speed is surrounded by gurus, myths, and misinformation. Throughout the month we have looked in depth at training speed by cutting through the bullshit and sharing best practices to help coaches learn how to train speed better. Read more

GAINcast Episode 117: Moving, fast and slow

Movement is the foundational feature of sport. If you can’t move, you can’t play. Heck, it’s the foundational feature of life. Looking back at history, if you couldn’t move, you wouldn’t eat. On this episode of the GAINcast we talk about the basic principles of good movement, building better foundational movements, and helping athletes connect them through training progressions. Read more

The importance of sprinting in injury rehabilitation

Start talking about sprinting and it won’t be long until you the discussion turns to hamstring injuries. Hamstring injuries are a major concern of any athlete that has to sprint. Soccer has a notorious hamstring problem, but they are not alone. Hamstring injuries are also the most prevalent form of non-contact injury within sports like athletics, American Football, rugby union, Australian Rules Football, cricket, and basketball. 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