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GAINcast Episode 147: Warming up

The first part of training is often the most misunderstood. Warming up isn’t just about getting the body warm, it is about preparing the body and mind for the training session ahead. On this week’s GAINcast Vern walks us through some of his warm ups and discusses the key elements to focus on. Read more

Putting tactical periodization into practice

A lot has been written about tactical periodization on HMMR Media this month, including a primer on tactical periodization from Craig Pickering and a detailed discussion of Dean Benton’s experience with tactical periodization. I’ve come to tactical periodization from a different route. Much of the discussion around tactical periodization looks at complex data modeling and GPS metrics. With a background in physical education and coaching rugby at the grass roots, I simply looked at tactical periodization as a tool to help us better define how we wanted to play and train for that. This article aims to show you how I’ve taken some of the ideas from tactical periodization and put them into practice. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 177: Behind the templates

Last week Nick posted an article sharing the templates he uses for traditional training and athletic development. His aim is to train the body from head to toe in all three planes of movement, and he has set up a thorough session and microcycle template to ensure he covers all the bases. On this week’s podcast we dive into more detail on his template to see how he’s put it together, the logic behind exercise sequencing, and how the microcycle fits together to prepare the athlete. Read more

Integrating medicine ball training into the plan

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out.

In my article last week I looked at the unique advantages offered by medicine ball training and how to design exercises to get the most out of the dynamic training tool. But once you find the right exercises you also need to put then into a plan. Should medicine ball training complement the primary sport work you are doing? Should it contrast it? And how do we make sure it doesn’t counteract it? Finding the right plan is perhaps more important than finding the right exercises. Read more

GAINcast Episode 102: Reinvent yourself (with Danny Kerry)

When Great Britain’s field hockey team won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, coach Danny Kerry had a lot to be happy about. Over the course of the prior eight years his team had finished five spots higher. But it was Kerry himself who had perhaps an ever bigger transformation. He had changed from a tactical-obsessed coach ready to quit into a culture-focussed coach ready for more. On this episode of the GAINcast Kerry joins us to discuss how his coaching philosophy has evolved, and how he has put that philosophy into practice in terms of creating a team culture and better designing training sessions. Read more

Training – The Process

Training and preparing athletes for competition is a process. It is not a framework, model and definitely not an algorithm. Each athlete is a case study of one. There is no set formula for preparing the athlete, there are principles and guidelines, but the process demands coaching, being there with the athlete or team day by day, session by session to make adjustments and refinements to keep the training on track toward the ultimate goal. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Some Thoughts on Planning

Planning is the preparatory work the coach must do to structure training systematically in alignment with the themes and objectives of training and the athlete’s level of conditioning. The process is the result of the experience of the coach coupled with applicable sport science concepts. Jan Olbrecht, Belgian sport scientist, likens the training plan to a table of contents. It should be comprehensive, covering all aspects of the athlete’s performance. The training plan (Table of contents) should include: Read more

Practice Breaker – Lectures

6a00e5521cccd08834019b02973881970d-320wiStarting practice with a long lecture is a surefire way to ruin the training session. Coaches are good at talking and love to talk, but the start of practice is not the time and place. Recognize that the athletes are there to train, not to listen to a lecture. My rule of thumb is three minutes of talking that consists of very specific instructions pertaining to the training session. Read more

Practice Breaker – Lines

6a00e5521cccd08834019b028668d5970d-320wiPerhaps the most common practice breaker I see is lines. I was watching a soccer practice recently where 18 players were doing a shooting drill; there were two lines of nine with two balls. Do the math how many times did each player get to practice a shot in a five-minute period? Answer: not enough to be meaningful, not to mention the lack of instruction. Lets be clear lines are important for organization and efficiency, but learn to use lines to be effective. Read more

Practice Breaker – Laps

6a00e5521cccd08834019b026eb7cd970d-320wiHere are two of my favorites: “Let’s go – take two laps and then we will get started with training.” “If you miss this shot then you will have to run.” Think about it, you see this all the time at all levels of sport, talk about a practice killer! Practice time is precious; it is a daily opportunity to improve skill, tactics and sport specific fitness, and wasting time slogging laps to “warm-up” or extra sprints for punishment does not optimize the opportunity to improve. Read more