Tag Archive for: Featured

Bondarchuk on Maximum Strength and Intensities

When I discussed how transfer of training and the reverse transfer of training might make us reconsider he use of high intensity lifting, I presented my point as a simple cost benefit analysis that tends to lean in one direction. I am not one for bold statements since I am generally a non-confrontational person.

Bondarchuk, on the other hand, simply tells it like he sees it. On this point he has a clear opinion and at 73 years old he isn’t slowing down either. He just published the third volume of his periodization series (a review will be online this month) and is finishing up a book on strength. He will also speak at the Central Virginia Sports Performance Seminar in April. As he gets older he prefers spending time with his family over traveling for seminars, so if you have the chance is recommend attending this rare opportunity to hear him in person.

But back to the topic of high intensity lifting. To help promote the event, organizer Jason Demayo did a short interview with him to talk about the scope of his book and related topics. When asked what he thinks is the biggest mistake made by strength and conditioning coaches he did not pull any punches on this controversial topic:

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Reflections & Expectations

These are a few reflections, lessons, random thoughts and some expectations for the New Year. 2013 was a great year of learning and sharing for me; I am looking forward to an even better year in 2014. This next year marks 50 years since graduating from high school, hardly seems like that long, it certainly has been an adventurous journey. It just reminds how fortunate I have been to have a loving supportive family, great mentors to learn from and special friends. Some of them are no longer with us but they are in my thoughts everyday. Read more

2013 Books of the Year

So far in 2013 I have read 124 books (Still a week to go so I probably will end with 127). Needless to say I am a confirmed serial bibliophile. I did not include any novels in this list, no particular reason. I am a big Michael Connelly fan, saving his new book, The Gods of Guilt, for next week. Also have just started reading Lee Child, good escape reading. Next year my plan is to go back and read some Mark Twain, Hemingway and Steinbeck, get back to the American roots. These are the ten books I enjoyed the most in 2013. Read more

USATF Coaching Education Program – 30 Year Later

Yesterday when I working on two chapters for the new and revised Level One Coaching Manual to be published by Human Kinetics I realized that thirty years ago this past week was when we had out first instructor training school and curriculum development meeting. We gathered at Cal State University, Long Beach. Ron Buss was the women’s track coach there and he graciously took care of all the facilities and organization. There were around fifty of us (Somehow the records have been lost as to the exact number – another story for another time). It was an amazing week! Each aspect of the level one curriculum was presented and critiqued and revised onsite. The last two days we had essentially our first level two for those instructors, it was very high level presented by coaches like Ken Foreman from Seattle Pacific and top sport science people. The highlight of that segment was Dr Joe Vigil then of Adams State talking for three hours on the most intricate details of exercise physiology with no notes. It was vintage Joe Vigil. Read more

John Wooden – Master Teacher

woodenCoaching is teaching and no one epitomizes that more than John Wooden. He was a teacher of basketball and life; his classroom was the basketball court. It is no coincidence that many of his ideas about coaching were forged in the classroom as a high school English teacher. He was not a complexifier, he kept things basic and fundamental. The emphasis was on repetition and mastery of basics. Read more

Periodization and the Systematic Sport Development Process – Part Three

Periodization is a viable concept that certainly will help improve our sport development system, but we also need trained coaches to plan and then implement the plan. A productive sport development system is coach driven and athlete centered. The solution lies in educating our coaching in the principles of planning in order to optimize resources and time. To achieve athletic success in any kind of systematic manner, certain principles must be observed. The principles are the same regardless of the sport. The plan is the means to execute the principles. Read more

Periodization and the Systematic Sport Development Process – Part Two

Matveyev was one of many who formalized the concept. Because he was Russian, and the Soviet Union was the dominant geopolitical force in the communist bloc, Soviet ideology tended to prevail even in sport. This explains the dominant influence of the Soviets in the literature of training methodology. Certainly, there were others like Harre in the GDR who made significant contributions. Still, most of what we see in the literature today, including the work of Tudor Bompa, who has done much to popularize the concept in North America, is basically a rehash of the Soviet literature. Not much has been done to modify, study, change or adapt the concept to the contemporary challenges that exist in sport today. Over the years most of the science underlying periodization has been in the form of studies of overtraining. Although today there does seem to be more sports science research directed to studying training adaptation which certainly has the potential to add science to the art of planning. (Rowbottom, 2000) The international sport environment is very different today than it was even twenty years ago. Read more

Periodization and the Systematic Sport Development Process – Part One

Periodization is simply planning. It is something that effective coaches have done forever. Planning gives direction and purpose to the training. It also provides a context to evaluate performance aside from wins and losses or personal records. Periodization is a concept not a model. It is a systematic attempt to gain control of the adaptive response to training in preparation for competition. There is little “hard science” to substantiate periodization. It is mostly based on scientific inferences rather than hard scientific evidence. On the other hand there is an immense body of coaching evidence going back into the early twentieth century that underscores the key elements of what eventually became known as periodization. Read more

Searching For Marginal Gains

“The aggregation of marginal gains” is a phrase that became the mantra of Dave Brailsford performance director of British cycling. What is overlooked in this phrase is the term “aggregation.” Certainly everyone in elite sport is looking for the tenth of a percent that can be the difference maker. In the search for marginal gains it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it is a process that is built on solid fundamentals and consistent focused training. Read more

Getting It and Getting There

Why do some athletes get it and make it and others with equal talent and ability fall by the wayside. This is a lifelong fascination of mine. Talent and ability are a given to make it to elite status, but it is so much more than that. Some athletes navigate the path easily and directly and other struggle, but both still make it. Why? Certainly athlete development and passage through to elite status is a process. There is no one model or framework. Nor is there a set time like ten years or a time period like 10,000 hours. No doubt it is related to practice depth and quality. It is related to coaching guidance to first ignite the spark of interest, then inspire and guide the athlete. Read more