February 2018 in review: transfer of training

Another month, another theme. In February we gathered some different perspectives on transfer of training from elite coaches. We discussed how some commonly held ideas may not hold up, how coaches have found unique solutions to transfer, and what processes coaches use to refine training and identify transfer. Links to all of our resources from February are below, as well as some additional articles from our archives. When reading through all the content again, three main points on transfer emerged. Read more

Bondarchuk’s latest thoughts on transfer

We’ve dedicated a month to discussing the topic of transfer. So to close out February I’d like to take a look at the latest thoughts on the topic from the man who help popularize the phrase “transfer of training” over the past decade: Anatoliy Bondarchuk. In his latest book, Transfer of Training Volume 3, he takes another detailed look at transfer and I also had the chance to speak with him about the topic recently. Read more

Improving transfer through better testing

Most strength and conditioning courses cover basic training principles, and testing is a recurring theme. Our job is to ensure transfer; that is to train athletes in a way that they get better at their sport. As a coach it is important to hold yourself accountable to an objective outcome, and data can help assess the effect of an intervention. Whilst coaches shouldn’t act on data alone, it allows them to make well-informed decisions. Read more

It starts and ends with testing

The goal of training is to get better; to choose methods that will transfer to results in your sport. In working with US Ski & Snowboard our staff was responsible for working with 10 different disciplines that had incredibly different physiological demands. Although each one might appear similar as they all take place on snow, when you dig deeper, the needs of each sport have unique differences that must be taken into account in training. Figuring out where those differences are and tailoring the training appropriately can be the difference between being on the podium or not. Read more

Talking transfer with Kabuki Strength

In case you aren’t tired of hearing me on the HMMR Podcast and the GAINcast every week, here’s one more podcast for you to listen to. Last week I was also a guest on the Strength Chat podcast by Kabuki Strength. Read more

Searching for transfer in Fiji

Earlier this month I wrote that transfer is not as straightforward as it seems, even with something as simple as linear speed. In response, some coaches, such as rugby coach John Pryor, have rethought their approach to training speed and strength. Pryor is currently the head of strength and conditioning for Fiji in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup. We’ve written several times about his approach to training speed, and he’ll cover the topic again at GAIN 2018 in June, but a few weeks ago I had a chance to talk to him about the process that got him there. Read more

Correlations, causations, and multi-sport athletes

You’ve likely heard of the importance of athletes being exposed to a variety of different sports in order to increase their chances of success in their main sport. It’s widely reported that high level athletes tend to a have a multi-sport background, with 71% of NCAA Division 1 American Football players, and 90% of Division 1 runners being multi-sport athletes. A big news story in 2017 was that 30 of the 32 NFL first round draft picks were multiple sport athletes in high school. It appears that the correlation here is clear; being a multi-sport athlete in your youth increases your chances of success. But does it? Read more

Correlations don’t prove causation, but we can still learn from them

If you ever take a statistics course, one of the first things you will learn is that correlation does not imply causation. It is one of the main tenants of science and if you wonder why that is the case, just think through some examples like the perfect correlation between ice cream sales and shark attacks per month, or other great examples from the Spurious Correlations website. Simply put, just because two things coincide, doesn’t mean that one caused the other and, even if there is a causal link, which direction it is heading. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 141: The judoka (with Allan Macdonald)

In a complex sport like judo, it can be hard to define what type of strength training will transfer onto the mat. A former fighter himself, Allan Macdonald is now the lead strength and conditioning coach for British Judo where he is tasked with that exact task. On this week’s podcast he discusses the complexity of and search for transfer, the role of specific strength in judo training, and examples of exercise design and progression. Read more

Does off-field speed transfer to on-field speed?

This month’s theme on HMMR Media is transfer of training, and to kick it off I thought I would take a timely example of just how complex transfer can be. What you think has carry over to your sport is not always as simple as it seems. Read more