Posts

Training for the demands of curved sprinting

While great attention has been placed on how to train linear sprinting, in team sports running in a straight line is only a small part of the game. As players have to evade the opposition, sprinting is more often curvilinear and very rarely linear. Does this mean as coaches we should spend less time sprinting linearly and more time sprinting in a “sport-specific” curvilinear manner? Read more

Studying the effects of bilateral vs. unilateral training

Rightly, or, as some people would argue, wrongly, resistance training is a major component within the training programs of most sports. We know from research that improvements in strength tend to lead to improvements in physical performance—such as sprint speed or jump height—and, in many cases, injury resilience. But how specific does that resistance need to be? Read more

Finding transfer in training the legs for team sports

In most team sports, the ability to withstand high ground reaction forces with the lower limbs is one of the important keys to top level performance. The legs have to be strong. Thus begins the pursuit of heavier loads to build strong legs through to two-legged, high resistance exercises. Read more

GAINcast Episode 186: Training transfer (with Dean Benton)

An athletic performance coach hasn’t done their job until you see the transfer of qualities onto the field. Rugby Australia’s Dean Benton has been a forerunner in bringing new training strategies to the sport from tactical periodization and exercise classification, to testing protocols and flexibility. The one thing in common is he is looking for ways to ensure developments off the field help athletes on the field. He joins us on this week’s GAINcast to discuss all those topics and more. 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

HMMR Podcast Episode 217: Transition game (with Jenn Joyce)

How you handle transitions is a key to sports, and a key to careers. Over the past few years Jenn Joyce has transitioned from world-class athlete, to youth development coach, to working with world-class athletes. Her newest role is working with the bronze-medal winning Canadian women’s sevens rugby team. On this week’s podcast we talk about transitioning to a new job, a sport, and a new level as well as insights on training for transitions and speed in team sports. Read more

GAINcast Episode 176: Togetherness (with Calvin Morriss)

Togetherness is not a term you hear about often in training, but all good programs have it. They connect together teammates. They connect together the assets of various staff members. They connect together on field and off field work. They connect strength and skill. The longer Calvin Morriss coaches, the more important this aspect of training is. On this week’s GAINcast, Morriss joins us to discuss how interconnected training is and how his role with World Rugby helps smaller nations connect the dots. Read more

Rethinking conditioning for contact sports

Conditioning for team sports and contact sports has evolved a lot in recent years, but when you look around there are still some big misconceptions that many coaches cling on to. There are two points that always stand out to me: that conditioning is only about energy systems and that conditioning only comes through volume. In this article I take a look at how we can rethink these areas and share what I have implemented in rugby training sessions to address both topics. Read more

Bosch made simple

Some of the training concepts laid out by Frans Bosch in his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach can be intimidating. Many disregard his ideas without even reading the book. Others read it and get lost in the details of motor learning or anatomy, as I did at first. But when you look at the coaches successfully putting the ideas into practice, it is quite easy to see that it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, even Bosch himself takes a very straightforward approach to implementing the ideas. Read more

The anatomy of a team sport speed session

Team sports require a mix of physical qualities to be trained concurrently due to the performance requirements, but one stands out above the others: speed. Speed is often the difference between elite and sub-elite teams. Speed is not just about that one breakaway play, it underpins all aspects of the game such as the overall tempo of play or the ability to execute skills at high speeds. Therefore, there should be an emphasis on training speed “in” within a structured training period. Read more