THE SHAPE of THINGS, and GOODBYE to GERARD

THE SHAPE of THINGS, and GOODBYE to GERARD

Recently, the word ‘shape’ has crept into the everyday language of coach-coach and coach-athlete interactions. It has done so in such a way that people outside of sport might be confused as to the meaning.  Yet, on public television, a commentator was using the term ‘shape’ repeatedly in reference to athlete movements during a world championship event. Clearly, this was not ‘shape’ as it used to be used. Previously ‘shape’ was used in reference to fitness, as in ‘she appears to be in good shape’.

Read More

Scrambled Advantages

Scrambled Advantages

Within all sports that contain stop-start, quick direction changes and zero-to-max demands is the skill of being able to scramble. While the origins of the word scramble relate to jumbles and stumbles, the use of the word has also come to mean being able move with immediate action and avoiding trouble (as with jets and quarterbacks).

Read More

…OF WHIPS AND CHAINS (AND FEET)

…OF WHIPS AND CHAINS (AND FEET)

Observations from my youth… in our neighbourhood there was a public pool that was elbow to elbow on hot summer days. I don’t know where the skill originated but many of us learned to expertly fold long beach towels into tapered whips that could be used to snap at others’ exposed parts. Anyone caught making such a weapon was expelled from the pool as these were obviously dangerous and could be injurious (something our young minds didn’t consider)...

Read More

Stairs Sprints/Stadium Sprints and Other Animals

Stairs Sprints/Stadium Sprints and Other Animals

Some time ago I was coaching jumpers in a shared facility that was also being used by a group of adult rugby players. At the time they were doing some kind of speed-agility circuit work that went from exercise to exercise with little rest. Two of the elements caught my attention: stair sprints and running quickly on the spot...

Read More

The Incline Sprint Drill

The Incline Sprint Drill

If you take a look at the illustration you can see a common exercise used as part of sprint development, particularly in relation to the drive phase after the start. It belongs in a family of related incline exercises such as hill sprints, stairs, sled pulling and pushing, scrambles and short blast exercises using blocking dummies etc...

Read More