The mundanity of excellence

Successful athletes have an air of mystique about them. We spend time thinking about what it is that makes them successful; what is the one technique that they or their coach have found which has improved performance? What secrets have they uncovered that we haven’t? Read more

Individualization made easy

This month’s topic on HMMRMedia is the individualization of training. The one size fits all model is a thing of the past; both scientific research and hard won experience have shown the need to individualize training. But many coaches still struggle to figure out how to start with individualization. Read more

GAINcast Episode 61: The Future of Periodization (with John Kiely)

John Kiely is one of the leading minds in periodization. By taking a critical look at current approaches to periodization, he is asking how we can move the field forward to keep up with what science and leading coaches have learned. On this episode he joins us to discuss how current models can be problematic, what other factors coaches need to take into account while planning, the role of stress and team culture in adaptation, and how technology can help coaches. Read more

Another Training Talk with John Kiely

Next month I will be hosting a seminar in London with John Kiely on periodization and planning. The key theme underlying the seminar is that current periodization models are based on outdated or nonexistant science. The scientific understanding of stress and adaptation, for example, have changed a lot the past century, but periodization has not changed with them. In our seminar we will discuss this new understanding, what it means to coaches, and how it affects the planning process with examples of effective solutions. Read more

The Secret – The Way – The Answer

There are no secrets.

There is no one-way.

The answer is that there is no answer.
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Vern Gambetta

Make Practice Counts

Anyone can work and go through the motions of training. That will even get you a little better for a short time (Longer if you are gifted with exceptional talent) but eventually you will have to pay the piper. Make practice count, come to practice fully engaged in mind and body. Train with purpose and direction. Have a plan for each session, work the plan and immediately post practice evaluate the plan and get ready for the next practice. Read more

What Matters

As we start a new year just a brief reflection on what matters in coaching. As coaches we do not coach sports, we coach people who participate in sports. The human element, seeing the athlete grow athletically and as people is what makes coaching so rewarding. Records, wins and championships pale into insignificance as time passes; it is the relationships that are remembered, the struggle not the triumph. Take a moment today and reflect on how you coach and teach.
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Stimulus Threshold

Basically the challenge in preparing athletes for competition is to find the optimum training load with the appropriate stimulus to ensure continual adaptation. That requires determining the stimulus threshold for each of the physical qualities being developed and what is right for each athlete. Read more

It’s not the bat!

This is from the feature story in last weeks Sports Illustrated “Exit Stage Center” about Derek Jeter by Tom Verducci. If you want some great insights into sustained excellence, competitive greatness and leadership read this article. This story in the article about the bat really resonated with me. Read more

Good, Better, Best

It may be trite to say, but good is the enemy of great. After workout this morning I was reflecting on what it takes to be the best. It is easy to talk about and intellectualize about being the best, but actually taking the actions necessary to be the best is another thing. Start with talent and ability (I know I did not define them, that is a topic for another post I am working on). But I have seen many talented athletes who never took that last step to greatness; it is a big step into unknown and sometimes uncharted territory. It is a step filled with uncertainty and risk. Read more