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GAINcast Episode 21: Linear Speed (with Ken Clark)

No matter the sport, speed is the name of the game. Professor Ken Clark is an expert in speed, having researched the topic in detail. In this episode he explains how linear speed is generated and the implications that has on training for speed. Read more

Training Talk with John Pryor (Part 3)

At the start of my training talk with strength coach John Pryor from the Japan Rugby squad, I mentioned his approach blew my mind. I’ve gotten to know a lot of strength coaches from a wide range of sports, but never before heard a field sport team use such a methodical approach to transfer of training, specific strength, and complex periodization as when he described the Japan squad’s buildup to this year’s World Cup. Read more

Training Talk with John Pryor (Part 2)

In the first part of our training talk with John Pryor from the Japanese Rugby squad we discussed how he worked with Frans Bosch to develop specific training methods for his backs. The unique approach took players out of the weight room and into situations where they were forced to develop the strengths they needed to play the game plan designed by coach Eddie Jones. Read more

Training Talk with John Pryor (Part 1)

In the waning minutes of their opening World Cup match against powerhouse South Africa in September, Japan was trailing by three points. With play entering injury time, the game could end any second yet Japan declined the opportunity to kick a game tying penalty and instead opted to to enter a scrum for a chance to win (or lose) the game. For those of you that do not know rugby, the scrum is likely the image you are most familiar with. Eight players from each team pack together to fight for control of the ball. It is a test of strength, patience, technique, and resolve. Japan won the scrum and took the ball back despite being smaller, weaker, and less experienced. They then went on to win the game. Read more

Eddie Jones – Building Sustainable Performance Excellence – Part Two

After going through the Japan Way, Eddie Jones then went onto to detail the Five Components of Building a Championship Team but before that he underscored the Japan Way values of Pride, Respect and Courage and  how important it was to live those values not just speak them. Read more

Situational Practice

This weekend, I witnessed via my television screen one of the biggest blunders in college football. The situation of course was the fumbled snap, the re-fumbled recovery of that snap, and the subsequent recovery of that fumble for a last second touchdown. Michigan State wins and beats Michigan in their big in-state rivalry, and one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the football. The person who fumbled that snap has a name, and his name is Blake O’Neill. After October 17, 2015, every Michigan football fan will know his name. @blakewoneill on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets went crazy! The comparison of this young man’s blunder and Ray Finkle, the fictional character from the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective movie, are alive. I don’t know a lot about Blake O’Neill, but the little that I do know, and the bit of science has grown to help us understand performance, should tell us all he alone is not the only one to blame. Given his lack of situational experience any one of us could do the same thing, and the coaches had the primary responsibility to give him more situational practice. Read more

Lessons from Japan’s Win in the Rugby World Cup

When Japan beat South Africa I went back to my notes of Eddie Jones presentation at Global Coaches House in London 2012 during the Olympic games. In that presentation he detailed out exactly what their plan was and how they would execute it. It has been very interesting to watch their progress over the last three years as they worked the plan. It all came to fruition on Saturday with the win over South Africa. It was not a fluke win it was by design a combination of leadership with a clear vision and a deep understanding of Japanese culture and how to use that to their advantage. Read more