Posts

6 ways to start in the shot put

A few weeks ago we wrote about how throwers need to find their own throw. Technique is a movement problem that we all have to solve differently based on our size, strengths, and predispositions. But where do you start? To help give throwers an idea of the vast amount of variety among elite shot putters, we’ve taken 6 examples below of different ways to start the throw. This isn’t meant to show all the possible variations or even the best variations, but to illustrate some key differences, which each variety aims to do, and who it might work best for.

Read more

3 lessons to help find your throw

Throughout the month we’ve been looking at different perspectives on throwing. Normally our throwing content focuses more on training methods, but recently we’ve also been giving special attention to throwing technique. One common theme has appeared over and over with different athletes in different events: the best throwers find a technique that works best for them, rather than chasing a one-size-fits-all technical model. Our recent video lesson on hammer throw technique shares some specific examples of this from the hammer throw. Below are three lessons that athletes in all events can learn from in order to find their own throw.

Read more

GAINcast Episode 229: The coach’s coach (with Kevin McGill)

Behind every coach are their influences. When it comes to the throwing events, one quiet coach behind the scenes has been one of the most influential voices in closing the gap between America and the rest of the world in the hammer throw and other throwing events. Kevin McGill has been on a lifelong quest to learn about the throwing events and share his knowledge with others. On this week’s GAINcast he shares some stories and lessons from his journey.

Read more

GAINcast Episode 228: Fitting the event (with Trevor Painter and Jenny Meadows)

Too often we have a concept of how to train for a sport or event and use that as the starting point for the plan. We fit the athlete to the event. That works in some cases, but other times you need to fit the event to the athlete. In no event is that more important than the 800 meters, where athletes come from a wide variety of training and physiological backgrounds. On this week’s episode coach Trevor Painter and former elite 800 meter runner Jenny Meadows join us to share some examples of fitting the event to an athlete, 800 meters training, and more.

Read more

Rethinking speed development for team sports

Speed is often what defines key moments in team sports and distinguishes the good teams from the great teams. The key question faces coaches then is: are we creating and environment that nurtures speed, or kills it? All too often we see athletes that fail to get faster as their careers progress or typically, regress in their speed. The systematic progression of athletic and technical capabilities should see running-based sport athletes reach their speed potential in their late 20s or early 30s. It is up to coaches to create an environment to develop speed to its full potential.

Read more

July 2021 in review: Individualization

The site theme in July was individualization. Throughout the month we shared a variety of new content looking at how, when, why to individualize training. Our archives have even more in depth content on the topic. Below we have links to all our new and archived content on the topic.

Read more

Balance first, individualization second

As a high school athletic development coach one of the first questions I always get when talking to a parent is if I individualize the program or do sport specific programs. It is also one of the most irritating questions. Just like the terms “activation” or “posterior chain” the terms “sport specific” or “individualization” have become buzz words the last number of years. I am not sure of the reason why. Maybe because the person I am talking to wants to sound smart on the subject or maybe it’s just because they heard others refer to the style of training they are doing. Regardless, I do not think individualization should be the first thing on an athlete’s mind when it comes to start a new training plan or working with a new coach. 

Read more

Individualize the delivery, not the program

Ask me 10 years ago about the key to successful coaching and it was all about individualization. Ask me now, and I think most coaches individualize too much. Maybe I’m just getting set in my ways, but the longer I coach the more I see individualization as simply the icing on the cake. It’s nice to have and can make all the difference, but the true substance is the program underneath it.

Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 253: Individualization (with Dan Noble and James Gardiner)

Coaching is about meeting the needs of your athletes, and micro adjustments to meet special needs of individual athletes can make all the difference. What is described as the art of coaching is often just how we make decisions to individualize or not individualize a program. On this week’s episode Dan Noble and James Gardiner from GRIT Athletics Toronto explain some of the factors that go into their decision making, along with examples of individualization in practice.

Read more

Tips to individualize training in a team setting

The expression ‘there is no I in team’ is often used in team sports to suggest that no individual’s needs, abilities or ideas should take precedence over the combined skills and efforts of the entire group. From a team culture perspective, I would tend to agree with this saying. However, the core principle of individualization also suggests that coaching and training should be based on the athlete’s actual state of training, experience, athletic potential, and characteristics. Research has clearly shown standardized training program will produce a wide range of adaptive responses, with the same training producing large, small or negative responses among different athletes. How is a coach to deal with these seemingly contradictory points?

Read more