Olympic medalist and two-time world champion Reese Hoffa recently retired as perhaps the top shot putter of this century. His longevity and consistency helped him set a record with 138 competitions ever over 21 meters. Since retiring, he has focussed on building up his own throws academy. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss what helped give him such a long and successful career. In addition, we discuss transitioning to youth coaching, how to individualize technique, building athlete ownership and more. Read more
Technical models are often what we turn to when we develop an athlete’s technique. How do we develop models? And how do we adapt them to the athlete? On this week’s episode Vern looks at how technical models fit into training and what steps coaches need to take to get the most out of them. Read more
Imitations have always been a huge part of my technical development. Hours and hours of work in front of a mirror, before every single throws session and in between lifting sets. But when I was a developing junior I did do some imitations but never really in a structured manner. It’s dangerous to drill movements repetitively without purpose or meticulous attention to detail. Especially as a junior, where we need to create the foundations for career-long development and prevent having to “undo” bad habits. Read more
Recently Ashton Eaton announced his retirement. During his career he took the decathlon to new levels and it was coach Harry Marra who helped guide him there. In order to break down 10 complex events, Marra has become a master of communication and the art of coaching. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss the art of coaching, the decathlon, and more. Read more
Knowing about speed is one thing, but teaching it is something else. This is where the art of coaching comes into play. On this week’s episode Vern walks us through what he would do on the first day of speed training with a new group of athletes. It’s a great look into the mind of a coach to see how they put together their session and why. Read more
There is an ongoing debate about when maximum strength training reaches a point of diminishing returns. Increasing maximum strength has benefits for athletes in nearly every sport. If an athlete increases their bench press from 200 to 300 pounds their shot put results will undoubtedly improve as a result. But will the same thing happen for an athlete that improves their bench from 400 to 450 pounds? Ask a dozen coaches and you might get a dozen different answsers. Read more
Gary Winckler is one of the top sprint and hurdle coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. On this episode of the GAINcast Winckler explains the performance influences that led to his success as a coach. Read more
You might have notice this episode arrived a week early. With some extra time over the summer Nick and I decided to try doing the podcasts on a weekly basis until we run out of time or ideas (whatever comes first). Read more
In the name of teaching technique beware of the tendency to needlessly segment and break skill into disconnected parts. This takes away the flow of the movement and disconnects rather than connects. Read more
I had the chance to pick the brain of sprint and hurdle coach Gary Winckler last month and the post below is the latest installment of our training talk. We began by talking about reactivity training and then moved on to discuss periodization. This part of the talk focuses on posture and coaching technique.
Before I let you start reading I do have to mention that this was one of the most interesting training talks I have done. Obviously it was fascinating to learn from a master coach and go into much more detail about a non-throwing event than any other training talk I have done. But I found it the most interesting that as we dove deeper into the intricacies of hurdling, the conversation became inexplicably more relvant to hammer throwing. The events have more in common that I realized and likely have just as much in common with other events too. Read through Part 3 and let me know your thoughts below.