Posts

Remembering Jüri Tamm

I remember the first time I saw video of Jüri Tamm throw the hammer. A big round man with a mustache and a fluffy head of hair lumbered into the ring. Compared to his compatriots Yuriy Sedykh and Sergey Litvinov, he seemed to move like a sloth through the circle. His feet flailed around as he completed three turns. It wasn’t the prettiest throw until the hammer left his hand and it flew. And kept flying. And kept flying. Tamm, who passed away on Thursday, set the world record and won two Olympic medals. His best mark is still among the top 10 all-time. Yet still, when I watch him throw, I can’t help but think: what did I just see?

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HMMR Podcast Episode 257: Mailbag

It’s time to open the listener mailbag again. As the track season comes to and end and the fall sports season starts up, we answer some questions on scoring trends in track and field, general preparation, plyometrics, med balls, and share some memories of Yuriy Sedykh.

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No app for that

There is no app that will magically teach you to be a better coach. Becoming a better coach is a process. It requires daily investment in time and effort to achieve mastery of the skills necessary. Coaching is a people profession – it is not high tech; it is high touch. Technology and science should inform what we do, not drive what we do as coaches.

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Global trends in track and field: who’s hot and who’s not

While everyone focuses on the medal table during the Olympics, what I find even more interesting is the placing table. The placing table allocates points for each finalist: 8 points for first, 1 for eighth. Medals can often be a matter of luck, but by looking at a country’s depth you get a real idea of trends in the sport. Below are some insights gathered from analyzing the results from Tokyo, as well as placings for the last six Olympics.

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GAINcast Episode 224: Injury explosion

Coaches now devote more time to recovery and injury prevention than ever before. At the same time, injury rates have climbed to historic levels in many sports. How can it be that we’re working harder to prevent injuries, but athletes continue to get hurt at increasing rates? On this week’s GAINcast we look at how the modern approach to injury prevention might actually be making things worse, and propose some new ideas for reducing injury rates.

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Sports Science Monthly – September 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In this month’s edition we look at what coaches can learn from computer games, the importance of randomness in training, injury prevention, and eccentric training.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 256: Throwing trends (with Don Babbitt)

The dust has settled following Tokyo, giving us time to analyze the most recent trends in our sport. It’s not just a question of who is hot and who is not, but how current throwers are adapting and changing technique to reach new levels. On this week’s podcast coach Don Babbitt joins us to look at the technical trends in the throws that emerged in Tokyo.

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Analyzing the Olympic pole vault competitions

Not only did this year’s Olympic Games mark the high point of the year for pole vaulters, it also presented a new era in the sport. Two first-time Olympians won gold, showing adversity of against the tough conditions, as well as two seasons training and competing under a pandemic. Below I take an in depth look at both the men’s and women’s competition, as well as some thoughts on what sets apart the sport’s biggest star: Mondo Duplantis.

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Something to think about

This post was inspired by my third read of Adam Grants great book Think Again and conversations with coaches and administrators over the past few weeks. It is the time of the year when we are earnestly planning for the next year, debriefing the last year and the last Olympic cycle. One thing I know for sure no matter how successful you or your team has been you must change to be better. It may be small incremental changes or a complete about face from what you have done before.

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GAINcast Episode 223: Limitations on speed

What is keeping us from going faster? Ironically, a lot of times it is what we are doing rather than what we aren’t doing. What we other think is helping our speed can be counterproductive. On this week’s GAINcast we discuss some concepts that might be limiting your speed training, as well as methods and planning tips for getting faster.

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