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Sports Science Monthly – May 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In this month’s edition we look at research on coping styles of athletes during the pandemic and how understanding that can help coaches support athletes. Then we look at the role of gut instinct in talent identification, health problems in young runners, oral health for athletes, and much more.

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How medicine balls work their magic


We play sports with a ball all the time. Using a ball for athletic development is hardly a novel concept, but it truly can bring a new aspect to athletic development training. The simple idea of training with a ball makes coordination essential to executing the exercises. It’s impossible to use medicine balls without using gravity and enhancing linkage through multi-joint movements.

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GAINcast Episode 215: Peanut (with Kristen Gambetta Anderson)

We’re changing things up on this week’s episode. Rather than sharing a coaching perspective, we’re looking at sport through the eyes of a former athlete, sports businesswoman, and daughter . . . not just any daughter, Vern’s daughter. Kristen Gambetta Anderson joins this week’s podcast to discuss her own under rated path through sport, her work in sports business, and provides a new perspective on Vern as a coach and father.

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Medicine ball myths and truths

The term medicine ball was coined by Robert J. Roberts in 1876. He had been inspired by one of the stories in Arabian Nights where an Eastern Potentate was advised by his physician to toss a large, soft ball of herbs a certain number of times a day until ‘he did sweat.’ Movement was being recommended as medicine back in ancient times. Roberts made a ball weighing 7-8lbs and sewn like a baseball. He then recommended a series of exercises in his work with the Y.M.C.A. that included lifting, circling and throwing the medicine ball. 

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HMMR Podcast Episode 247: More mailbag

On our last episode we dove in deep into the listener mailbag. But we ran out of time before getting to the best questions. Therefore we pick up where we left off on this week’s episode, exploring questions on brisket, throwing, transfer of training, and more.

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April 2021 in review: coaching excellence

The site theme in April was coaching excellence. We looked in detail at what separates the good from the great coaches, and how coaches can move from one level to the next. Last week we shares some highlights from our archive on the topic. Below we have links to all our new and archived content on the topic, including 9 new articles and 2 new podcasts.

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It’s not (always) about the coach

When it comes to coach development, we often pay attention to increasing the capability of a given coach across a variety of domains—most commonly, technical, inter-, and intra-personal knowledge. As such, our belief is that, by making coaches more skilled and knowledgeable, we can improve the outcome for the athlete; better coaches mean better athletes.

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3 overlooked methods to improve your coaching

Good coaches are learners. What often separates the average from the good coach is their process for continuing to learn. Research on serial winning coaches has confirmed that as well: coaches repeatedly at the top of their sport were shown to be highly curious, lifelong learners who drove success through vision, values, and environment.

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Becoming a gardener coach

The pandemic has caused coaches to reevaluate how they think about training. We’ve heard story after story about how the pandemic helped athletes reach new levels of performance. But what about the coaches? For many coaches, the pandemic has had the same effect.

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GAINcast Episode 214: The good coach

We all talk about good coaching and see to know it when we see it, but often we are lost for words when asked to describe it. On this week’s GAINcast we dive into coaching excellence by defining it, sharing examples from our own experiences, exploring how coaches get better, and looking at how different components contribute to success.

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