Posts

Walking on eggshells and creating fragile athletes

What I am seeing today is an ever-widening gap between how the athletes prepare for the game in contrast to the actual game demands. This gap is creating fragile athletes more prone to injury than ever before. Due to artificial restraints placed on training load imposed by a negative medical model that emphasis what the athlete can’t do as opposed to what they must do to prepare. In the attempt to “protect” the athlete we have severely restricted training load instead of systematically overloading the athlete to prepare for actual game demands. I was taught many years ago that one of the purposes of training was to make the game easy, in essence to slow it down by imposing stress in practice that was beyond what was imposed in the game. In other words, don’t try to duplicate game demands, distort them! Read more

A critical comparison of vertical jump testing methods

Vertical jump testing has become a staple of assess athletes. Decades ago the standard coach had to rely on the jump and reach test in order to testing jumping ability. Thanks to new technology and research, today coaches can now better analyze sport-specific jumping performance and more easily measure variables other than simple jump height. Jump height remains the most popular measure, but that is slowly changing as more technology enters the weight room. The advantages and disadvantages of different methods of vertical jump testing will be discussed below, with particular reference to the procedures required to obtain valid results. This is important because if the method you use is not valid or measuring accurately what it is intended to, your assessment will be of little value. Read more

From big data to smart data

There is an arms race in today’s sporting environment. Teams, athletes, coaches and support staff aren’t just fighting for the best facilities and talent, they’re also seeing who can collect the most numbers. This is the era of big data, and the past decade has seen an unrivaled amount of information available in sports from a wide variety of methods, including the use of GPS systems, electronic timing gates, force platforms, blood testing, and general wellness questionnaires. The richness and vastness of information available, however, can also be seen as a curse; both teams and individuals can feel like they have to collect more and more data, in the hope that they can gain an edge over their competitors, and better enhance athletic performance. As with many things, we need to shift the focus on data from quantity to quality. Read more

The path to the premiership

On last week’s GAINcast, Lachlan Penfold took us on a journey through his career working. Penfold is a master of setting up a performance environment, and his results in a variety of different sports is proof of that. One stop on that journey was with the Sydney Roosters, a professional rugby league competing in Australia’s National Rugby League. He worked as head of performance and science for three seasons that culminated in the 2013 premiership title. Since then has worked for Australian 7s rugby, the Golden State Warriors, and currently with the Melbourne Storm, who he has also helped win a premiership title in the National Rugby League. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 137: Training is the test (with Arno Galmarini)

Arno Galmarini works with some of the top winter sport athletes in the world, but rather than being based in the mountains his gym is in the city. That requires him to be creative in defining sport-specific training solutions and even more creative in testing athlete progress towards to unique demands created by ice and snow. On this episode of the podcast Galmarini explains testing philosophy and how he integrates sports-specific testing into training. Read more

GAINcast Episode 88: After the Test (with Ola Eriksrud)

Norwegian coach and researcher Ola Eriksrud is a master at creating innovative testing portfolios. What sets his testing apart is not just what he tests, but how the tests fit into the broader training process. Testing is just the first layer in the process and in order for the test to be helpful, information learned from testing has to be actionable. On this episode of the podcast Eriksrud walks us through some of his approach to testing and also discusses various aspects of coordination such as dynamic postural control, core training, and hamstrings. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 109: Staying Focused (with Nick Folker)

Technology is often presented as a way to make coaching more efficient, but more often than not it just provides us with another distraction. As an elite coach and founder of tech start up BridgeAthletic, Nick Folker has looked at this issue from many angles. He joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss how coaches can get technology to help us do our jobs better. Plus he shares simple tips on how to minimize the downsides of technology. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 96: Complex Problems, Simple Solutions (with Nick Lumley)

Sometimes complex problems demand simple solutions. Scottish Rugby strength and conditioning coach Nick Lumley has learned this lessons first hand. Whether it comes to periodization or monitoring, he has been asked to accomplish a lot with little resources for the Scottish 7s team. And he has found solutions that worked, helping lead the team to their first ever title on the World Sevens Series last year. On this episode we talk about some of the simple solutions Lumley has used to solve complex problems. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – February 2017

In this edition of the Sports Monthly we have a mini-review on the recent research looking at athlete monitoring, and how this accumulated fatigue may predict injury risk. We also have some research on mental fatigue, and how it affects sporting performance, issues affecting warm ups, and hamstring injury prevention. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 90: Method Man (with Bryan Mann)

Professor and practitioner Bryan Mann from the University of Missouri joins our episode for the third time to discuss turning ideas into methods. Many more coaches have now started to use velocity tracking devices, but how do you create a method out of it? Mann shares his thoughts, and also discusses the latest research on velocity-based training, new technology, his new book, and different methods to easily individualize training such as APRE. Read more