Seeing the world with a child’s eyes

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is a picture of my ten-month-old granddaughter, Taylor at the California Academy of Science Aquarium. Her eyes tell the story. It is a reminder to us as coaches to see the movements we coach through a child’s eyes.

We can miss the wonder and beauty of movement by being too technical and reductionist. Don’t be afraid to be a kid again to see what is there.

Rhythm and tempo

When working on writing projects I listen almost exclusively to two classic jazz albums: Time Out with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Kind of Blue with Miles Davis. Over the years it is the rhythm, tempo, time, and phrasing that keep me coming back to these classics.

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Coming home to roost: injuries in sport

Injuries at all levels of sport are off the charts. Despite much hand wringing, bloviating, and elaborate injury prevention programs injures continue to rise. In the actual sport training, we are so concerned with “load management” that we not stressing the athletes enough to prepare them for the rigors of the competition. In short, we are reaping what we sow – we have a generation of fragile athletes unprepared for the demands of competition.

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Now what?

You have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports science. You know more scientific theories than Newton and Einstein combined. You can run a GPS tracking system and generate multiple spreadsheets; you know how to measure lactate. You can analyze sleep. You have done multiple free internships with professional teams. You are now applying for coaching jobs. Only one problem: can you coach? Do you understand the fundamentals of pedagogy? Can you make meaningful corrections based on the numbers you have gathered? Can you relate to the athletes you are working with in a language they can understand and apply?

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The best exercises for . . .

It drives crazy to see posts that list the best exercises for ______ . . . you fill in the blank.

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A reflection and thank you

In the coaching profession it is said that the measure of a coach is the ability to have their athlete or team ready on the day. I can’t say enough about the job coach Brent Arckey did getting Emma Wyant ready for the 400 IM at Olympic Trials. Not only did she win but also swam a lifetime best – that is being ready on the day!

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Stop and think

Why do we persist in prescribing exercises that isolate individual muscles? Instead, we should be focusing on the coordination of movements and muscle synergies that involve those muscles.

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What is your filter?

What is your filter for differentiating “sports science fiction” from valid & valuable sports science research & content?

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Just thinking: some random thoughts on training and life

Some thought about training and life:

  • The higher you progress in sport the faster everything happens. When they talk about the speed of the game it is true. You have significantly less time to make decisions and act or react.
  • Forget barriers, they are artificial, mental contracts that hold you back. Instead think of frontiers to conquer. Keep pushing into the unknown, unexplored territory.
  • Stay essential: focus on what will make you better. Getting tired is not training.
  • In sprinting forget segmenting the sprint stride into front side and back side instead focus on the reciprocal cyclic scissor action of both legs. Can’t separate front side and back side.
  • “Attitude is a choice” Ron Adams, Assistant Coach, Golden State Warriors
  • Don’t think less of yourself, think of yourself less.
  • Don’t let school interfere with your education.
  • Unlearning may be just as important as learning
  • “The note next to the one you think is bad corrects the one in front.” Miles Davis
  • Also write your training plan in pencil.

Three great books!

I have been doing an unusual amount of reading lately. As many of you know I am a voracious reader but of late it has bordered on the ridiculous. Since April 28, when I went to California, through to today, I have read fifteen books.

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