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GAINcast 142: Book club

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes there are things words can express uniquely. A good book can teach you in a way that other methods simply can’t. On this episode of the GAINcast we look at a few of the books that truly helped shape us as coaches. In addition, we discuss which individuals we’d like to sit down and have a beer with. 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

Sports Science Monthly – October 2018

There are lots of hot topics covered in the October edition of Sports Science Monthly. We start off by looking at the transfer of different types of strength to sprinting, then see how monitoring can be taken best from theory to practice, before diving into density of high speed training, adductor strengthening, dehydration, transcranial direct current stimulation, and more. Read more

Measuring caffeine consumption is harder than you think

Caffeine is a well-established performance enhancer; this is no secret, with many athletes using it to improve their performance. Non-athletes know this too, which is why almost 80% of the world’s population consume caffeine on a daily basis. As a result, caffeine is ubiquitous, and we are exposed to it in a number of different ways; primarily through hot drinks (such as tea or coffee), but also through foods (like dark chocolate) and medicines (many extra strength cold and flu or pain medicines contain caffeine). Read more

How much does your family impact your chances of winning an Olympic medal?

The Olympics represent the pinnacle of sport, and competing in one is recognized as a major achievement in an athlete’s career and winning an Olympic medal akin to the finding the Holy Grail. Given the importance of such an achievement to countries and governing bodies, there is an increased interest in understanding the factors that increase the chances of such an achievement. A recent study published in Frontiers of Physiology sheds some additional light on this as the authors explore the impact that having an Olympian in the family has on an athletes chance of winning a medal. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – September 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Science Monthly. This month, we take a closer look at the timing of injury prevention training, mental fatigue, antioxidants, max testing, agility, chocolate milk, and several other topics. 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

So you want to be a strength and conditioning coach?

As a university professor, I often ask students who are undertaking a degree in Exercise and Sport Science if they want to work with elite athletes. Typically, about a half of the class put their hands in the air. This isn’t really surprising when you consider the glamorous image of being involved in elite sport, either professional or Olympic sports. However the stark reality is that, by its very nature, elite sport doesn’t provide enough jobs for the vast number of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Read more

HMMR Podcast Epsidode 170: Throwing mechanics (with Don Babbitt)

Don Babbitt is one of the world’s best throwing coaches, having produced champions across every event and both genders. In addition to his role at the University of Georgia, he has been working with the IAAF on their recent biomechanical analysis of the 2017 World Championships. By adding a coach’s perspective, he can help identify key points to take away from the project in all throwing events. On this week’s episode we break down the report what its findings mean for coaches. Read more

Two methods to break down complex sports

In many ways, track and field coaches have it easy. When I am coaching a hammer thrower, for example, I have just one athlete to worry about, one movement to train for, and one technique to master. Athletes in open-skilled sports, on the other hand, have a much more difficult puzzle to put together. How do coaches decide what to focus on in training and programming in such a situation? Read more