The problem with speed training for field sports is that speed can be difficult to transfer to the field of play. In his work with Japan Rugby and several professional clubs John Pryor has sought out solutions to this problem, developing a system of robust running that helps players develop the skills to hit the right positions in the various complex situations they might encounter on the field. In this episode we sit down with Pryor to discuss his approach to speed training for field sport athletes. Read more
Strength coaches often take the weight room for granted. But what would you do if you did not have access to a bar and weights? On this week’s podcast we look at strategies to get stronger without weights. In addition, we tackle the latest listener questions. Read more
A question that comes up nearly every time I present on specific strength exercises is whether such work in the weight room is really necessary for team sports. Athletes from these sports spend large quantities of time on the field and little time training off of it. As a result many strength coaches feel a need to balance out their training and focus only on general exercises once the athletes enter the weight room. I must admit, it is a great question. In fact, I’ve been pondering it for a few months now. Read more
Earlier this week we posted the first part in an interview with Frans Bosch. In it, we discussed chasing perfection, and the role of variation and attractors in motor learning. You can read the interview here. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. We continued the conversation to talk about some topics that are central to what I often write about: transfer, specificity, and transfer. In addition we ask him where his focus is heading forward. Read more
One of the larger influences on my coaching over the past year has been Frans Bosch. His recent book on strength training and coordination does not offer all the answers, but it has gotten me to think in detail about my approach. At the end of the year I reflected on four things I had learned from the book. But at the sam time I see how many of the concepts in the book are misunderstood and also have many questions myself. After meeting Bosch for the first time last summer I have kept in touch and had the chance to ask him some questions about the book recently. Read more
Ever since athletes began strength training, coaches have been debating the role of strength in training. The questions come back over and over: What is strong? How much should we train strength? How strong do we need to be? On this week’s episode of the GAINcast Vern takes a look at this topic and provides some guidelines coaches can use to implement a balanced approach to strength training in their plans.
This Episode’s Question: What is strong and how much strength is enough?
Gary Winckler is one of the top sprint and hurdle coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. On this episode of the GAINcast Winckler explains the performance influences that led to his success as a coach. Read more
In the waning minutes of their opening World Cup match against powerhouse South Africa in September, Japan was trailing by three points. With play entering injury time, the game could end any second yet Japan declined the opportunity to kick a game tying penalty and instead opted to to enter a scrum for a chance to win (or lose) the game. For those of you that do not know rugby, the scrum is likely the image you are most familiar with. Eight players from each team pack together to fight for control of the ball. It is a test of strength, patience, technique, and resolve. Japan won the scrum and took the ball back despite being smaller, weaker, and less experienced. They then went on to win the game. Read more
Gary Winckler is one of the top hurdles coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. His two best known athletes were 2003 World Champion and Canadian 100-meter hurdles record holder Perdita Felicien, and 1996 Olympic 400-meter hurdles bronze medalist Tonja Buford-Bailey. Buford-Bailey’s best mark remains the fifth-fastest of all-time.Despite his retirement, Winckler keeps very busy making saddles in the Pacific Northwest. But he still continues to give seminars (he will be presenting at GAIN 2014 along with our Nick Garcia and other top coaches) and it was just announced he will write an occasional blog for the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre starting soon. He took some time to talk about training last month and give his input on reactivity training, periodization, training technique, and a variety of other topics. Part one of our discussion focuses on implementing principles of reactivity training talked about by Frans Bosch. The remaining parts of our discussion will be posted over the next week, so keeping checking back for further installments.