Posts

Who Lost The Compass?

6a00e5521cccd08834019b01553471970b-320wiSomewhere along the way someone lost the compass and is navigating with an outdated map. This was written twelve years ago, it is just as applicable today as it was then.“Nevertheless, the field of Strength & conditioning still remains susceptible to fads, misconceptions and zealous philosophies that have little to do with sound scientific based knowledge and careful exercise prescription for enhanced sport performance for the athlete.” (Kraemer, William J. and Hakkinen, Keijo. Editors. (2002) Strength Training for Sport. London, England: Blackwell Science, Ltd. Page 1) Has anything changed? It makes you wonder where the field (I hesitate to call it a profession) is going? Read more

The Brick Training Method: The Championship Training Cycle

1. Training Blocks

benchpressOne of the biggest challenges strength and conditioning professionals face is how to organize their training blocks. These “blocks” are often referred to as Macro cycles, Meso cycles, and Micro cycles, but if you are like me, when you see or hear those terms you have to pull out the NSCA text-book to get a quick refresher of what exactly these terms represent again. For the sake of simplicity, I refer to them as the Annual Block, the Specific Block, the Weekly Block, and the Daily Block. Read more

What is Training?

Training is not about the hurt or pain; it is not about puking and being at the max in each workout. That is not training. Training is systematic, sequential and progressive; it incorporates hard workouts and easy workouts to allow the body to adapt. Work is easy training is hard. Anyone can do mindless work that wears out the body; not very many can focus and put the pieces together to systematically improve performance over time. To understand what good training is, it is important to be able to separate fact from fiction and style and marketing claims from programs that have substance and produce consistent results. Read more

Mr. Gravity – Super Athlete

Use Gravity – Don’t abuse it

Defy it – But you can’t deny it

Enhance Gravity – Don’t chance it

Resist Gravity – It will persist

You can cheat Gravity, but it’s tough to beat it Read more

The Sports Gene

sportsgene

Nature versus nurture topic has been a hot topic lately, and was frequently discussed at the International Festival of Athletics Coaching. That is due to David Epstein’s new book The Sports Gene: What Makes The Perfect Athlete, which I just finished last week. Epstein, a former collegiate runner and writer for Sports Illustrated, has put together a must read book on the topic. Since the book’s release in August it has been covered by almost everyone who can write. Mass media outlets like the New York Times, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal have all covered it extensively. The book has also been written about by those within the track and field community since the book spends much of its time looking at track and field topics like Kenyan distance dominance, Jamaican sprint success, the high jump, and other events (I recommend Epstein’s extensive interview with the House of Run). Therefore, other than a whole-hearted recommendation to read the book immediately, there is not a whole lot I can do to add to the conversation. But that won’t stop me from trying.
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Innovation & Change

Everyone likes to think of innovation and change as major things you have to do. Radical departures if you will. I think of change as a constant, if you are not continually changing and adapting then you are not growing. The same with innovation, it is an ongoing process. If you want to stay ahead of the game then change and innovation is part of your daily routine. You have to see your world with different eyes. You have to use all your senses and heighten your powers of observation. Read more

Getting Better at Making Your Athletes Better

6a00e5521cccd08834019b00cfbc5a970d-320wiThese are five books that every coach must read if you want to get better at making your athletes better. Ultimately how you you teach determines how effective you will be as a coach. Read more

IFAC 2013: What I Learned (Part 2)

Professor Vin Walsh of University College London

Professor Vin Walsh of University College London

Up to 20% of the body’s energy is dedicated to the brain, but it is often an overlooked element of training. And I’m not talking about the mind in a metaphysical sense, but the brain as a physical muscle sitting in our head. Each time we move, each time we learn, and each time we throw there are physical changes that occur in our brain. Over the past week I have summarized my own presentation and highlights from other presentations at the International Festival of Athletics Coaching. But with the brain playing such a central but often overlooked role, it is important for my last post about the conference to focus on this important topic.

Professor Vincent Walsh is a leading expert on the brain at University College London where he runs the Applied Cognitive Neuroscience. He gave two talks over the weekend that focused on how this 20% of our energy is being used and how to optimize it and maximize our performance. Much of the discussion centered around things we all have learned intuitively after years of experience. But it is reassuring that the science backs this up and helps provide some solutions on how to move forward.
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IFAC 2013: What I Learned (Part 1)

International-Festival-of-Athletics-Coaching1

Over the weekend I had the chance to both present at and attend the International Festival of Athletics Coaching in Glasgow. While it was a pleasure to teach other coaches, I always enjoy the student role the most.

The IFAC conference is unique since, unlike most other conferences or seminars I have attended, it brings together coaches from every event. Therefore I took advantage of this and actually skipped the other throws presentations by Vésteinn Hafsteinsson. Hafsteinsson is indeed one of the world’s best throwing coaches, but I can send him an email anytime and ask questions. This was a one time chance to learn from some of these other coaches. Below are two topics that I found very interesting over the weekend: long term athlete development and integrated training systems. Check back later this weekend when I move on to one final topic: the brain and learning technique.
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Year Round Training Plan: Basketball

wt-roomThe following information will layout the yearly training program we implement with the Ohio Men’s Basketball team. We rank training variables by order of importance from 1-5, with 1 being of little importance, and 5 being very important. Each time of the year has different demands and we train for them accordingly.
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