Replacing prediction models with learning models


We often think about periodization and planning as a process of prediction. The longer I coach, the more I see we need to reframe periodization as a process of learning. The best coaches implement planning methods that allow them to learn. It took me too long to realize this distinction, but the sooner as coaches understand it, the sooner they can take their athletes to the next level.

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The top 5 periodization myths

Yesterday Vern and I put on a workshop about periodization and planning here in Zurich. Over the last decade we have seen more and more critiques of periodization come out. On the outside some of the cracks are starting to show in traditional approaches to planning. But at the same time coaches keep coming back to it. With that in mind we kicked off the day with looking at busting some myths of periodization. If know you where something has flaws, you have a better chance to address those in your own planning. Below are 5 major myths that coaches need to understand and address in order to improve their planning.

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A systems approach to calf complex injuries

At beginning of this year we penned our thoughts on the hamstring injury phenomena and illustrated how a reductionist approach to reducing hamstring injuries just doesn’t work. A complex problem can’t be solved by something as simple as getting stronger; it demands a more holistic interpretation. Below we turn our attention to a similar injury trend: injuries to the calf complex.

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August/September 2022 in review: session design

Throughout August and September we looked at session design. A lot of literature is out about season planning and periodization, but much less time is spent dissecting the session. The session is the building block of training and if you don’t have good training sessions, you have no chance for good seasons either. This summer we have put together 1 new video lesson, 3 new podcasts and 4 new articles on the topic from 7 contributors. Find links to both our new and archived resources on session planning below.

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May/June 2022 in review: jumping

Throughout May and June we looked at team at jumping. Our team of contributors put together 1 new video lesson, 4 new podcasts and 6 new articles on the topic from 9 contributors. Find links to both our new and archived resources on jumping below.

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Lessons on bounding from John Pryor

Bounding is a core component of track and field training and one of the most powerful forms of plyometrics. As with any powerful tool it is a double edged sword. Used effectively it can be one of the best tools to develop reactive strength. Used poorly it can hinder mechanics or lead to injury. In our latest video lesson, coach John Pryor looks in detail at bounding and discusses how he uses bounds effectively for his athletes. Below are four key lessons that I took away from him.

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A guide to jumping for throwers

When I think of jumping for throwers, Werner Günthör is the first athlete that comes to mind. The 130-kilogram Swiss shot putter could almost fly and this explosive strength helped him capture three world titles. Jumping is perhaps the ultimate expression of power and can play an integral role in preparing throwers. But as with anything, it needs to be adapted to the needs of the sport and athlete, especially in a sport whether athletes can be massive. Below are a few considerations for integrating jumps into the physical preparation of throwers.

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The power of instructions in jumping

As strength coaches we focus a lot on exercise selection. But exercise execution is just as critical: perform the same exercise differently and you can train two entirely different physical qualities. On last month’s GAINcast with Professor Warren Young we got one great example: how you intrust an athlete to perform a drop jump can lead to drastically different execution.

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Adding the hips into jump training

Jumps come in all different forms, and so does jump training. By tweaking how we perform jumping movements in training, we can focus on different physical qualities and skills.

For example a standard countermovement jumps or squat jumps are more knee dominant, primarily utilizing power from the quadriceps to extend the knee. Allow athletes to use their arms and they can create more momentum from the shoulders as well. Reactive drop jumps, on the other hand, are more ankle dominant. Top performers have great ankle stiffness that allows them to have shorter ground contact time despite the higher eccentric forces. But what about the hips? The hips play a central role in nearly all athletic movements, but jumps training often neglects the action of the hips and core.

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April 2022 in review: preparing for contact

Throughout April we looked at team at preparing athletes for contact. Our team of contributors put together 2 new podcasts and 5 new articles on the topic from 8 contributors. Find links to both our new and archived resources on contact below.

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