GAINcast Episode 32: Reflections

This past weekend both Vern and Martin presented at Scottish Athletics National Coaching Conference in Glasgow. During the seminar they took a few minutes away to share some instant impressions on the seminars they had heard so far, including topics like distance training, youth athletic development, and more. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 58: Warming Up

Every training sessions starts with a warm up. We often focus our attention on the next parts of training, but hidden in the warm up are some of the most important aspects of training. It is a chance to set the tone of the session. It is a chance to do a substantial amount of work. It is a chance to develop robust athletes. It is a chance to assess your athletes. And so much more, including a chance to warm up. On this week’s podcast we talk about all things warm up. Read more

HMMR Media Visits the West of England

HMMR Media has been rolling out some new content at our recent seminars. Last weekend John Kiely and I presented an innovative seminar on periodization which is perhaps the first periodization seminar ever not to go into detailed discussion of periods. Instead we focused on how coaches can improve their process and approach to periodization in order to make it more effective. We had great feedback and I will have a more detailed report later in the week.

And next month Nick Garcia will be joining me in the West of England to put on a new workshop on athletic development. Read more

Definitions to Facilitate Communication & Discussion

In order to facilitate communication it is important to have a common language. These are terms that I think are very important to redirect thinking away from strength and conditioning toward athletic development and to encourage discussion: Read more

Athleticism – Rediscovering the Joy of Movement

Where have all the athletes gone? At first that may seem like a very naïve statement, but lets examine it further. Look beyond the numbers. We have better performances than we have ever had, but there are more injuries and fewer athletes able to sustain high performance levels for an extended career. How have we gotten to this state? What is missing? It is athleticism. We know it when we see it! We talk about it, but do we know how to develop it? What is it? Lets begin by defining the term. Given its widespread use in the world of sports performance I was surprised that I was unable to find an acceptable definition so I came up with the following definition of athleticism. Athleticism is the ability to execute athletic movements at optimum speed with precision, style and grace. It is certainly not a very complicated definition. It is easy to see when someone has it. Read more

Progressing the Developing Athlete

While I coach the throwers at Notre Dame High school, my main role is actually as head strength coach for the school’s athletic teams. From baseball to water polo I get to work with hundreds of athletes each year at a critical time in their athletic development. For the vast majority athletes this is the first time they have seen the inside of the weight room or done any supplemental work. Therefore it is critical start out on the right foot. This is the topic I focused on for my presentation at GAIN 2015 last week. Read more

Training Talk with Steve Roush

Steve Roush is the former Chief of Sport Performance for the United States Olympic Committee. In that role he oversaw a record medal count for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics. Currently he works as a senior sports performance consultant for TSE Consulting. In this role he advises sports organizations and governmental agencies in improving elite athlete performance by providing strategic advice in areas such as: Athlete Development Pipeline, High Performance Planning, Olympic Games preparation consultation and Evaluation of sports performance systems. Having worked with federations and governments of many countries across the globe, Steve is in a good position to see what works and what doesn’t in sports organizations. I had a chance to talk with him recently about these points. Read more

Free The Children

We are effectively working hard to destroy a generation of children by what we are doing and not doing to them in the name of education. The headline in our local paper last Sunday was: Mandatory Cramming – Students and Schools are anxiously bracing for this years vast array of tests. Is there any relief in sight? Read more

LTAD – Let Them Be Kids First!

It is one thing to say that young athletes are not miniature adults and then to turn around and treat them as miniature adults by imposing adult training, competition and practice schedules on them. They are young and still developing and need to be treated as such. We need to get away from emphasizing where they will be, their future potential, there is time for that later, put the focus on where they are now and build upon that. Develop them so they have mastery of fundamental movements and fundamental sport skills acquired through play. Read more

Role of Free Play in Developing Athletes

Youth-soccer-indiana[1]In children free play is all about testing boundaries and pushing limits – there is no fear rather there is pure joy of discovery and enjoyment. There are no rules, at least prescribed by adults; they make up their own rules as they go along and they change frequently. Through unstructured free play they learn the wisdom of their bodies through exploration. It is unsupervised improvisation. They figure it out. Read more