Posts

Medicine ball training for tennis

Tennis is the sport I have been involved in my whole life as an athlete, a teacher, a coach and now on the athletic development and performance side of the sport. Throughout the journey, the medicine ball has played a crucial role and has evolved into an almost daily part of our program both on court and in the gym.

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Medicine ball myths and truths

The term medicine ball was coined by Robert J. Roberts in 1876. He had been inspired by one of the stories in Arabian Nights where an Eastern Potentate was advised by his physician to toss a large, soft ball of herbs a certain number of times a day until ‘he did sweat.’ Movement was being recommended as medicine back in ancient times. Roberts made a ball weighing 7-8lbs and sewn like a baseball. He then recommended a series of exercises in his work with the Y.M.C.A. that included lifting, circling and throwing the medicine ball. 

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Improving mobility for weightlifting

The sport of weightlifting requires speed, strength, coordination, and mobility all packed together with skill. Anyone can pick something off the floor, but picking something heavy up and lifting it above the head is much more difficult. Even the strongest individuals can only lift heavy weights so far off the floor. Therefore, in order to lift, you have to get under the bar. And do it quickly under time constraints. This is the essence of weightlifting and distinguishes it from the other ‘strength’ sports such as powerlifting and strongman.

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The warmup: where PE and athletic development meet

The typical warm-up lasts around 10 minutes and starts most training sessions or classes. It is either a garden blooming with possibility or a wasteland of lost potential. Unfortunately, it usually the latter, a perfunctory prelude rather than training with specific long term adaptive and educational goals. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 227: Warming up better (with Johnny Parkes)

When it comes to player development, it can be surprisingly hard for a large federation to make an impact at the individual player level. At the USTA, Johnny Parkes has been trying to identify where they can make most impact with young players. Their conclusion: the warm up. As physical literacy declines in young athletes, a good warm up can help ensure players are prepared for the ever-increasing physical demands of the international game. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss some of the strategies they are using to develop players. Read more

Daily observation

I got this from Jimmy Radcliffe at University of Oregon. Every session during warmup it is imperative to observe and evaluate the following:

  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Stability
  • Mobility

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Sports Science Monthly – January 2020

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month we start off by what exactly mental toughness is. We also summarize topics like the limited science of elite sprinting, connecting sprint speed to endurance performance, the load of warming up, periodizing skill acquisition, and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 171: ID and development (with Johnny Parkes)

You can’t talk about talent identification without talent development. And you can’t talk about technical development without physical development. Johnny Parkes is the senior manager of player ID and development at the US Tennis Association. In this role he’s sought to apply his philosophy: coaches need to incorporate, not separate. Integrate ID and development, and integrate technical and physical training. He joins this week’s GAINcast to discuss how one national organization is trying to reshape traditional development models and approach the local problem of player development. 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

December 2018 in review: Warming up

The warm up is over so quick, we hardly give it much thought. We often just fall into our routines and move on to the next part of training. To try and break up those routines, our site them in December focused on finding new ideas and reminding coaches of old ideas. We pulled together four new articles, plus a new video, new podcast, and member hangout on the topic. Read more