Coaching is about meeting the needs of your athletes, and micro adjustments to meet special needs of individual athletes can make all the difference. What is described as the art of coaching is often just how we make decisions to individualize or not individualize a program. On this week’s episode Dan Noble and James Gardiner from GRIT Athletics Toronto explain some of the factors that go into their decision making, along with examples of individualization in practice.
Notes and quotes
Dan Noble is the co-owner and Director of Athlete Performance at GRIT Athletics Toronto. James Gardiner is a strength coach and certified athletic therapist at GRIT and also the owner of FIRSTAR Therapy.
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 3:30 – Foundations of the training methods at GRIT.
- 12:00 – Involving the athletes in the process: “Individualize by doing the basics very well. Check in on injury history. Learn about the athlete’s personality.”
- 16:30 – Integrating athletic development and physical therapy.
- 21:15 – Tips on individualizing with developing athletes: “I don’t normally individualize the program, developmental athletes have mostly the same needs. Instead I will individualize the starting point, how fast we progress, or how I adjust it on the floor.”
- 23:00 – Nick’s two group approach.
- 30:30 – Module programming, and individualizing based on team trends.
- 33:00 – Integrating athlete choice and autonomy: “I’m more concerned with tempo and intent than the actual exercise itself.”
- 39:00 – More thoughts on intent and developing athlete feedback: “I might want a back squat in a program, but if the athlete doesn’t have confidence I’ll take a front squat with intent over a back squat with doubts any day of the week.”
- 43:00 – When not to individualize: “Individualization are normally there to get people back on the standard program. The program is in place for a reason.”
- 44:30 – Reframing your analysis, watching your athletes in their sport, and acknowledging your program’s gaps: “Our assessments can’t just be timing gates and force plates, but actually watching the athlete play.”
- 51:00 – The gap between the field and the weight room, and listening to athletes: “Experienced athletes know their bodies. They know what they need, but often they have never had a coach that asked or listened.”
- 58:30 – Making hard changes.
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- Noble will present at the August GAIN Master Class series. The series brings together top coaches from around the world to share their approach to training in monthly meetings. You can learn more and sign up for the series here.
- You can learn about GRIT Athletics Toronto on their webpage or follow them on Instagram (@gritathleticstoronto). You can also follow Noble (@coachnoble45) and Gardiner (firstar.therapy).
- Noble was previously a guest on Episode 165 to discuss circuit training, and Episode 111, where he talked more about his background and his influences. He also helped us recap the highlights from GAIN 2018 on Episode 159.
- We also shared our own thoughts on individualization on Episode 161.