Entries by Xavier Roy

The multiple dimensions of an ideal learning environment

Most people view learning as accumulation of knowledge. This can be part of the learning process, but rich learning environments offer so much more. I was reminded of this when listening to last week’s episode of the GAINcast. GAIN is a community I have been lucky to be a part of over the past decade. GAIN is an event, but as mentioned on the podcast, it is also a network and a community where people will reach out to each other year-round to share ideas, ask questions, provide suggestions and recommendations, etc. To me, it is one of the best examples of what an ideal learning environment can look like.

Session planning in sports: moving away from tradition?

It is quite common that former players, once their playing career is over, transition to a coaching position to give back to the sport. For many of them, they might coach a youth team sport in a recreational setting where kids are there to have fun and play the game.

Off-ice speed training for on-ice performance

Physical performance for ice hockey requires that athletes possess well-rounded physical qualities such as speed, muscular strength and power, anaerobic an aerobic fitness, mobility, and stability given the multidirectional, high-intensity intermittent efforts of the game. These physical qualities also support the development of sport-specific skills such as skating, shooting, and passing the puck.

Tips to individualize training in a team setting

The expression ‘there is no I in team’ is often used in team sports to suggest that no individual’s needs, abilities or ideas should take precedence over the combined skills and efforts of the entire group. From a team culture perspective, I would tend to agree with this saying. However, the core principle of individualization also suggests that coaching and training should be based on the athlete’s actual state of training, experience, athletic potential, and characteristics. Research has clearly shown standardized training program will produce a wide range of adaptive responses, with the same training producing large, small or negative responses among different athletes. How is a coach to deal with these seemingly contradictory points?

Seeking, accumulating, and connecting knowledge in coaching

Coaching is a dynamic, complex, and often chaotic process. Coaches often get caught in the continuous cycle of planning, delivering, and reviewing. At times it is essential for the coach to step back and hit pause to question this process. One question that the coach might have after a succession of those cycles is: “How do we getter better as a team?” This question might evolve into “How do I get better as a coach?” or “How do I get better as a person”?

A theme-based approach to microdosing training

The achievement of optimal sport performance at all levels of competition requires that athletes undertake physical, technical, tactical and psychological preparation over an extended period of time. With limited time and energy, it’s no wonder that athletes and coaches can feel they are engaged in a tug of war scenario. As Gandalf said: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Periodization in uncertain times

A planned program of preparation is the foundation that elite performance is built upon. Under normal circumstances, a coach creates a strategic plan based on a variety of factors, the athlete then executes the plan, and results follow.