Posts

Adding an element of theater to coaching

When we go to the doctor, we’re usually either sick or worried that something might be wrong with us. We make the trip in the hopes that we’ll be reassured or cured. What we don’t realize is tha the trip itself might play the most important role in getting better. Recent research has shown us that it is often the very act of interacting with a medical professional, or the thought that our concerns have been taken seriously, is enough to make us feel better . Read more

GAINcast Episode 118: It’s all about effort (with Alex Hutchinson)

In his new book, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, Alex Hutchinson tries to synthesize to wave of recent research on how the mind and body control human performance. In the end, he writes, the competing theories all come down to effort. Effort is what matters. On this week’s episode we discuss his book, how effort can be trained, and great examples of some of these theories in practice. Read more

GAINcast Episode 114: Building an academy (with Finn Gundersen)

The Burke Mountain Academy was America’s first ski academy. What is unique about it is not how progressive it was, but how that progressive mindset has stood the test of time. After nearly 50 years it continues to refine its ability to develop Olympic skiers an world-class individuals. On this week’s GAINcast co-founder Finn Gundersen joins us to discussion the beginnings and growth of the academy, as well as his current work in coaches education in soccer and other sports. Read more

Hammers, nails, and opening up your world view

The law of the instrument is a cognitive bias that occurs through the over-reliance on a familiar tool. It’s commonly summed up through a quote by Abraham Maslow, where he stated, “it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”. We can follow from this cognitive bias that how we view the world may alter our perceptions of what is actually occurring, which, in the case of improving performance, might lead to sub-optimal results. Read more

GAINcast Episode 112: Breaking barriers

The history of sport is a history of overcoming barriers. Once one barrier is taken down, another is set up. How athletes handle those barriers plays a big part in how they will progress in the sport. In this episode of the GAINcast we look at how barriers are erected, what role they play, and how to take them down. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 148: Coaching character (with Dan Lange)

For three decades, coach Dan Lange has been quietly doing his thing out in Los Angeles: producing champions across all four throwing events. He is the only American to have coached an Olympic champion in the hammer throw, yet most people have no idea who he is or how he trains. In this exclusive interview, we get Lange to discuss his career, his character-based approach to coaching, how to deal with egos, and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 106: Lessons learned (with Goldie Sayers)

After more than a decade as the best British javelin thrower, Olympic bronze medalist Goldie Sayers hung up her spikes after the Rio Olympics. After she retired she sat down and penned 36 lessons she learned about sport, success, competition, and life during her distinguished career. On this week’s GAINcast she joins us to reflect on the lessons she learned and how they can help athletes and coaches in any sport. Read more

Searching for transfer in Fiji

Earlier this month I wrote that transfer is not as straightforward as it seems, even with something as simple as linear speed. In response, some coaches, such as rugby coach John Pryor, have rethought their approach to training speed and strength. Pryor is currently the head of strength and conditioning for Fiji in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup. We’ve written several times about his approach to training speed, and he’ll cover the topic again at GAIN 2018 in June, but a few weeks ago I had a chance to talk to him about the process that got him there. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 140: The pit crew (with Michael Lepp)

Stereotypes of NASCAR might not bring to mind physical preparation, but motor sports have joined in the training revolution over the past decade and NASCAR is leading the way. On this week’s episode Michael Lepp of Joe Gibbs Racing joins us to talk about the role of strength and conditioning in motor sports, the mental side of preparation, and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 101: Test practices

Testing is a crucial part of training, even more so in the era of big data. On this episode of the GAINcast Vern walks through his approach to testing and shares his best practices. In the end testing is about getting an accurate picture of the athlete so you can determine the way forward. That’s easier said than done, and Vern has learned a few lessons throughout his career about how to making testing more specific, integrated, and motivational. Read more