Posts

Two methods to break down complex sports

In many ways, track and field coaches have it easy. When I am coaching a hammer thrower, for example, I have just one athlete to worry about, one movement to train for, and one technique to master. Athletes in open-skilled sports, on the other hand, have a much more difficult puzzle to put together. How do coaches decide what to focus on in training and programming in such a situation? Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 168: Rethinking rugby training (with James de Lacey)

Like most sports, rugby union has its traditions when it comes to training methods. Unlike most sports, those traditions do not always run as deep. The sport has only been professional for two decades, meaning that many more coaches are openly exploring how they can do things differently and better. James de Lacey is the incoming head of strength and conditioning for Romanian Rugby. He joins us on this week’s episode to discuss some of the areas he has been looking at changing those traditions, from weekly planning, to contact conditioning, and sprint training. Read more

Specificity of resistance training for sprinting

It is well accepted that training exercises must have similar characteristics to a competition movement to achieve a direct positive transfer of training. This is not to say that all training must be specific, as general training is important for developing foundation qualities, and for injury prevention. It is also well-known that developing athletes with a relatively low strength training age can achieve good transfer to performance without highly specific training exercises. But, nevertheless, this statement is a good starting point when looking at exercise selection for any sport that involves sprinting movements. Read more

When to move beyond the barbell

As I know Stuart McMillan is fond of saying “To be a better specialist, you have to be a better generalist.” The site theme on HMMR Media this month is “beyond the barbell” and this is the first thought that comes to mind. The topic really speaks to me now with where I am in my career. As strength coaches we often stick with what we know. Broadening our approach can make us better at what we do even if, in most cases, we don’t need the additional tools. Read more

Strength training

Strength training is coordination training with appropriate resistance to handle your bodyweight, project an implement, move or resist movement of another body, resist gravity and optimize ground reaction forces. Let’s look at the elements of the definition in detail: Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 128: Ultimate Instability (with Paul Venner)

One of the paradoxes of training is that you can build stability through destabilizing an athlete. Paul Venner has taken the concept to the next level as founder of the equipment company Ultimate Instability and head of athletic performance for the Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation. He joins us on this episode of the podcast to discuss stability, motor learning, the concepts of his mentor Frans Bosch, and how strength coaches can bring value in these areas. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 124: A Dollar A Day (with Bill Knowles)

Bill Knowles has developed a reputation as the top return to play specialist in the game. But reducing the impact of injuries starts before the injury even occurs. Dating back to his time as a ski coach he learned how a proper athletic development program can reduce injuries before they even occur and make athletes better in the process. On this episode of the podcast, Knowles joins us to discuss how he integrates doses of athletic development into training for soccer and examples of how he uses randomness as a tool to develop stiffness and more robust athletes. Read more

An Introduction to Hammerobics

When you read Frans Bosch’s critique of traditional strength training, two main elements stand out: traditional lifting lacks transfer as it is based on different coordination, and traditional lifting lacks the variation inherent in sport. In his book Bosch outlines a different approach to strength training and while we can argue about his approach it is hard to deny the issues he is working to solve. As a hammer thrower, I am constantly thinking about how our event can address these issues, a topic Bondarchuk has spent his life working on. In this month’s Strength and Conditioning Journal, Olympic champion Koji Murofushi, University of Georgia coach Don Babbitt, and Ken Ohta describe their framework for addressing the problem. They call it hammerobics. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 111: Go Your Own Way (with Dan Noble)

Over the last dozen years Dan Noble has helped transform the Hill Academy from a brand new school to one of the top performing high schools in North America. How has he done it? By forging his own path and rethinking what has always been done in sports like hockey, football, and lacrosse. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to discuss what made him rethink his philosophy, how he went about integrating ideas from Frans Bosch and Vern Gambetta, and what he does to get the most from training through better organization. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 108: GAINz

Earlier this month Nick and I made the annual pilgrimage out to Vern Gambetta’s GAIN event in Houston. With leading coaches and specialists from a wide variety of fields, it was a great idea to exchange ideas about training with faculty members like John Pryor, Steve Magness, Bill Knowles, Jimmy Radcliffe, Michael Joyner, Vern Gambetta, and more. On this episode of the podcast we discuss the highlights and take aways from each day of the event. Read more