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GAINcast Episode 118: It’s all about effort (with Alex Hutchinson)

In his new book, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, Alex Hutchinson tries to synthesize to wave of recent research on how the mind and body control human performance. In the end, he writes, the competing theories all come down to effort. Effort is what matters. On this week’s episode we discuss his book, how effort can be trained, and great examples of some of these theories in practice. Read more

The Giving Tree

Lately I have many discussions with friends and colleagues about achieving working and life balance. The discussions reminded of a book one of my athletes gave me almost forty years ago: The Giving Tree. I suggest all you coaches and athletes read it and meditate on it. How much can you give? Read more

Another classic resource

In July of 1986 I flew into Tucson to visit Anne E. “Betty” Atwater, a professor of Biomechanics at University of Arizona, in order to pick her brain about throwing. This was an area where she had done some landmark research on pitching mechanics in the late 1970s. I previously had the opportunity to work with Betty on the biomechanical analysis of sprinters and hurdlers in preparation for the 1984 Olympic games. In our conversation, she recommended a book that changed my paradigm in regard to strength training and the use of isometric and eccentric work. Read more

Is There a There There?

I just bought a book (quite expensive I might add) by one of the current keyboard guru’s because I am always trying to learn and increase my knowledge base and it was highly recommended by a young coach. It was full of marketing, buzzwords, pseudoscience and general mumbo jumbo. In addition, I suspect good portions of it were copied without any attribution or reference to the sources. Read more

Resources on stress, adaptation and periodization

I’ve had the pleasure to work together with John Kiely over the past few years on a variety of topics and projects. We’re trying to start a new type of conversation around adaptation, stress, periodization, and planning. This week we released our latest webinar on understanding stress and adaptation. This is part of the conversation, but in order for the conversation to continue people have to keep exploring the topic. Every seminar we do ends with a list of books, articles, and resources attendees can read to explore the topic more. We’ve shared that list below. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on these topics. Read more

The Biology of Our Behaviors

In sport, we’re defined as much by our failures as we are our successes. In my athletics career, I won a World Championships medal, a European Indoor Silver medal, a European under-23 Silver Medal, a European Junior 100m Gold medal, and numerous national senior and age group medals. I was selected for two Olympic Games and five World Championships across two different sports, and yet I’m still perhaps best known for being responsible for being responsible for the disqualification of Great Britain’s 4x100m relay team at the 2008 Olympics, in the event in which we were reigning Gold medalists. Read more

The Periodized Life

How does one achieved sustained success in a venture? That’s the ultimate question in life, whether one is aiming to throw the hammer far, or just be the world’s greatest father. It’s also a question that distance coach Steve Magness and write Brad Stulberg pose at the start of their new book Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success which will be released next week. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 97: Extreme Ownership

A central tenant of strong leadership is being invested in and taking ownership of your team’s tasks. Coaches are in a leadership role, but unfortunately not all coaches are strong leaders. This week’s episode looks at the book Extreme Ownership by former Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin and discusses what ownership means, what it is made of, and lessons coaches can use to improve their leadership. Read more

2017 Reading

Here’s a look at some of the books I have been reading so far in 2017: Read more

Track & Field Omnibook – A Great Resource

This book is truly a classic! It had and continues to have a huge influence on my coaching. Even though the Fourth edition was published in 1985, many of the concepts and principles are as relevant today as they were then. Even though this is a track & field oriented book it is a must read for all coaches who are interested in coaching the person in a systematic and holistic manner. It just underscores how Ken Doherty was an innovative thinker who was way ahead of his time. Read more