Posts

Learning how to win ugly

By his own admission, Brad Gilbert was not the most talented tennis player. And yet, across the span of his sporting career, he accumulated $5.5 million in prize money, and achieved a career high world ranking of #4, along with twenty singles titles and an Olympic bronze medal. By almost anyone’s account, that is a successful career—so how did Gilbert, who on paper, should have been a middle of the pack player, achieve so much success? As he points out in his book, Winning Ugly, it’s because tennis matches aren’t played on paper, they’re played on a court, between real people—and people can be gamed. Read more

Developing strategic pillars for success

As the athletics season in the Northern Hemisphere comes to an end, many coaches will be evaluating how their athletes performed in the previous season, and then use this information to inform their training program for the coming, and future, seasons. This is similar to what businesses do frequently, particularly when it comes to developing a strategy to drive what they do on a daily basis towards a long-term, overall aim. Read more

Current reading

These are the books I am currently reading, rereading, and  reviewing. I usually read about six books at a time, sometimes more, seldom less. I love to read. My reading interests are broad and varied. I am finding myself going back and rereading many works that I have read over the past few years. I seem to get more out of them on the second read. Read more

What coaches can learn from Frans Bosch’s Anatomy of Agility

Frans Bosch’s upcoming book Anatomy of Agility: Movement Analysis in Sport is the most comprehensive text I have seen on human movement and the underlying biological systems that regulate it. It expands on Bosch’s previous book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach and goes into a huge amount of detail to explain how complex dynamical systems theory applies to the regulation of change of direction in field sports. Below I hope to explain the key takeaways in the book, where I struggled, and how it will impact my own approach as a strength and conditioning coach. Read more

Churchill – Walking With Destiny

I highly recommend the book Churchill: Walking with Destiny. Not an easy read. It is long and detailed. Very rich in content with many insights into a very complex man. I have always been fascinated by Churchill, after reading this I am no less fascinated. He had his flaws, that was for sure, but somehow under the direst circumstances he led his nation through one of the most difficult times any nation in history has endured. Read more

What is your filter?

I am currently reading Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee, it is very revealing and disturbing. Naturally it got me thinking about my own filter. How do I sort through the tsunami of stuff available in the space of sports performance, athletic development, sport science and coaching? Wading through the training porn, misinformation and outright stupid stuff is not an easy proposition and I am very selective in who I follow and what I read. Training porn just like porn is seductive and addictive. It disturbs me to see so many coaches consume this stuff like it is gospel, especially if they find a research article to validate it. How are some of the things I do and people I respect do: Read more

The Passion Paradox: a wake up guide to using your passion

I know Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg; they are two passionate people, so it seems appropriate that their new book is about the paradoxical nature of passion. I knew they were working on a new book but had no idea what it was about until it showed up in the mail. Read more

Current reading

These are two books that have just finished. Read more

Book Club: Simon Sinek’s Start With Why

Everyone is looking for the secret formula for success. The funny thing is, it might just be one word: why. In Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, he explains the power of simply asking why. The word goes a long ways. The best companies understand the why. The most successful athletes understand the why. Good coaching starts with why, as Vern Gambetta talked about on this week’s GAINcast. This month’s site theme is setting goals, and good goals start with why. Sinek summarizes the topic well early in the book: Read more

Book Club: Ray Dalio’s Principles

What are the rules that consistently govern your actions? What do you turn to when faced with challenging circumstances or unique opportunities? How do you know if what you’re doing aligns with what you believe or with who you are? Though it seems elementary to one’s ability to function at a high level, so few people have actually taken the time to write out who they are and what they believe in. Read more