Posts

Preparing the body to change direction

The purpose of this article is to give any readers an insight into how I think about and prepare people for change of direction tasks. These change of direction tasks are simply that, not agility tasks. We want athletes to be able to change direction powerfully, quickly and efficiently in competition. In preparation, I like to look at these qualities in reverse: efficiency, speed and power. Change of direction all starts with promoting efficiency by understanding the attractors of the movement. Read more

How we can prevent a post-lockdown leg injury surge

We’re in unprecedented times, with the COVID-19-driven lockdown of many countries and cities affecting athletes ability to train. The long-term effects of this lockdown, and how it might influence performance in 2021, are impossible to predict. However an older study, published in 2011 and widely shared on social media in the last couple of weeks, might give us some potentially crucial insights. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – April 2020

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. Coaches often turn to other fields to learn from and a recent trend is looking at the military. To start off this month’s edition we break down some of the key topics the US military is looking at in terms of enhancing performance. Then we look at athlete leadership, parental priorities for athletes, bias in injury prevention strategies, LTAD, and more. Read more

Understanding and preventing leg cramps

If you’re someone who regularly exercises, you’ve likely experienced the feeling of a cramp, or, more specifically, exercise associated muscle cramp (EAMC). During my career, I regularly suffered from leg cramps at highly inopportune moments, including on the start line of the 2011 national championships 100-meter final, which prevented me from being able to compete. Cramps are common, with well over half, and in many cases over two-thirds, of athletes across a variety of sports reporting having experienced it. Given the wide occurrence of cramping, you might think that it would be well understood. You would be wrong. Read more

GAINcast Episode 184: Training teams (with Lachlan Penfold)

When Melbourne Storm director of performance Lachlan Penfold came on the show in 2018, we focused solely on his coaching journey that has led him through the NBA, NRL, AFL, Super Rugby, Rugby 7s, Olympic softball, javelin, baseball, and much more. On this week’s GAINcast we have him back on to dig deeper into his approach to training team sport athletes, including his thoughts on workload, speed, monitoring, testing, injuries, and more. Read more

Staying fit in a pandemic: Vol. 1

I am hoping to share a daily post on stuff anyone can do anywhere while the pandemic changes our daily life. Before I get into Post #1, let me emphasize that in no way am I trying to trivialize what is happening to any of us. Clearly, athletics should take a back seat to this historic and tragic world health event. That being said, maybe these posts will be a little way to make life better for someone out there who can stay fit. Read more

GAINcast Episode 177: Training tendons (with Keith Baar)

Tendons and other connective tissue are often thought of as non-trainable, but more and more research is showing that they are more responsive to load than we thought. Professor Keith Baar is a leading researcher on the topic and joins this week’s GAINcast to talk about how connective tissue works together with muscles and bones to produce movement. We also dive into how connective tissue can be trained, as well as several other topics he has been researching. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – December 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month we start off by looking at research on the performance stages of competition, then look at performance in the heat, genetic test, as well as injury topics related to sleep and hamstrings. Read more

Assessing foundational strength

Foundational strength is the essence of trainability. We need an appropriate level of coordination and strength through a maximum range of motion to set us up for athletic endeavors. Without it training becomes a game of Buckaroo – loading up and getting work done but waiting to get kicked in the mouth. Read more

Optimism in coaching: helpful or harmful?

Are you a better than average driver? In an interesting study from the early 80s, researchers asked a small group of American and Swedish study participants this very question. Their answers were illuminating; 93% of Americans believed they were better than average drivers, as did 69% of Swedes. Logically, this makes no sense; only 50% of people can be better than average drivers, and yet, these study results suggest that many people are unable to accurately understand their true driving ability relative to others. Read more