Making shapes

Shapes was brought to the forefront of my thinking about 10 years ago when I was working with one of my swim teams. The coach kept talking about getting smaller into the wall and taller off-the-wall off the wall into a streamline. I left the workout thinking what he was really telling the swimmers was to make different shapes. This got me thinking about the whole concept of shapes and what we needed to do to impact the athlete’s abilities to make the required shapes. Read more

Systematic sport development

Sport systems have always fascinated me, even before I started coaching. When I was in college, we played the great San Diego State Football teams coached by Don Coryell. It was obvious they had a system and played to that system and recruited players for that system. My junior year in college we had a clinic at Fresno State and the defensive line coach at San Diego State, John Madden, was the featured speaker. He gave insights into the system, how he selected players for the positions and what he did to develop them. Needless to say, that confirmed what I had seen on film and on the field, it left a deep impression on me of the need to have a system if you wanted to have sustained excellence. Read more

Accidental fitness

“Accidental fitness” is a great concept articulated in a recent GAIN Master Class coffee break by University of Portland assistant cross country and track coach Jack Mullaney. Essentially accidental fitness is that small edge of fitness you get from general life activities, like walking to class, perhaps working in the yard or just moving meaningfully. Read more

Brave Enough by Jessie Diggins

I have always been an an avid reader of coaches and athletes’ biographies. Each biography gave me insights into what that athlete tick. How they approached training. How they got into their sport. How they were coached. There is so much to learn  from the experiences of others on the journey to achieve the pinnacle of sport performance. Read more

My learning journey: influential people

Of late I have been thinking about those who have influenced me over the course of my career. Below I have listed the people in four categories:  teachers/professors, coaches, sport scientists, and athletes. Some of these people I have been able to work directly with, some I just learned from through reading their writing and some through observation. Read more

Dealing with change

We are living in a time of unprecedented change. This gives us a great opportunity to grow and adapt. There are two choices:

  1. React to change; or
  2. Manage change and own it.

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What can you do?

Instead of looking at ways to predict injury and search for hidden dysfunctions why not spend the time looking at possibilities to determine the athlete’s level of trainability. Read more

House of cards

Always build and rebuild your athletes from the ground up. Emphasize training movements that connect and coordinate. Start with fundamental movements and add complexity as the athlete’s gain mastery of the fundamentals. Don’t worry too much about being sport specific; instead emphasize movements that are sport appropriate to prepare the athlete for the sport demands. Read more

Are palatial facilities necessary?

I keep seeing pictures of these palatial collegiate strength training facilities. Is that degree of opulence really necessary? Read more

The mundane

So much of what we do as coaches is quite mundane. There are repetitive tasks that we must do to make the other less routine tasks more effective. Read more