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August/September 2022 in review: session design

Throughout August and September we looked at session design. A lot of literature is out about season planning and periodization, but much less time is spent dissecting the session. The session is the building block of training and if you don’t have good training sessions, you have no chance for good seasons either. This summer we have put together 1 new video lesson, 3 new podcasts and 4 new articles on the topic from 7 contributors. Find links to both our new and archived resources on session planning below.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 283: Going out on top (with Kara and Russ Winger)

Kara Winger has been the top American javelin thrower for 15 years. This season was her last, and she went out in style. Her season highlights included a world number 1 ranking, Diamond League title, World Championships silver medal, and an American record. She joins us on this week’s podcast with her husband and coach Russ Winger to discuss what made this season such a success.

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4 lessons on structuring your training sessions

I‘m responsible for more than a dozen teams at Notre Dame High School. A lot of universities would be jealous with the facility we have, but no matter how large the space or fancy the equipment, the biggest constraint in session design is time. We typically get a group of 30+ athletes for just 45 minutes. The biggest question for us is: how can we accomplish the most in this time? It all comes down to organization.

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GAINcast Episode 251: Swim time (with Chris Webb)

Earlier this month the annual GAIN Swimming event took place. Over the past decade, GAIN has become the leading name when it comes to dry land training. On this week’s podcast Chris Webb and Vern discuss what GAIN Swimming is all about and how they are trying to reinvent dry land training for swimmers of all levels.

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Session planning in sports: moving away from tradition?

It is quite common that former players, once their playing career is over, transition to a coaching position to give back to the sport. For many of them, they might coach a youth team sport in a recreational setting where kids are there to have fun and play the game.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 282: Skills session planning (with Kevin Becker)

A lot of information is out there about session planning for strength training. But that is only part of the equation for athletes and coaches. A bigger question is how can we better plan skills training to enhance motor learning? On this week‘s episode Professor Kevin Becker joins us again to brainstorm how we can rethink traditional session plans to help athletes acquire and improve skills.

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Hats and hooks: an easy way to start planning a training session

Reading is pretty easy. Most of us have done it so long it’s second nature. But being able to read doesn‘t mean you can write a good novel. The same goes with training. Training is pretty easy. We‘ve all done physical activity our entire lives. But that doesn‘t mean every athlete can pull great training sessions out of their back pocket.

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GAINcast Episode 250: LTAD

LTAD has almost become a cliché. Everyone has an LTAD program and they all look the same. How can that be? Because the models assume a linear march to the top of the athletic achievement pyramid. In reality it is a very chaotic process at best, full of detours, false starts and redirection. On this week’s episode we look at rethinking long-term athlete development with some practical examples from yesteryear and the present.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 281: Finding flow (with Steve Myrland)

Good training sessions have a flow. A flow in intensity, a flow in organization, and they help athletes find a flow state as well. On this week’s podcast we sit down with Steve Myrland to exchange ideas on session planning and a few tricks we all have to optimize training session planning and execution.

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The pencil is mightier than the spreadsheet

Whilst watching this year’s weightlifting European Championships this spring, the commentators spent a lot of time talking about an app-based 20-week training program. Apparently, if you entered your details, the app could provide an ‘individualized’ training program. It was a struggle for me to see how this concept would work since I have yet to see any program I design last more than two sessions before we (the athlete and me) have to start making adjustments.

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