MY JOURNEY BACK TO SQUATS

MY JOURNEY BACK TO SQUATS

“We have met the enemy, and he is us!”                   [Walt Kelly – cartoonist]*

In my athletic/sporting history I’ve not been very fond of Squats as an exercise…with or without a bar on my shoulders. I did find a certain fondness for overloaded partial Squats that enabled me to avoid Full or Power Squats. My tactics for avoidance came about because I couldn’t do them. Others around me were racking up weights and getting into positions that made me quiver. For me, as soon as I approached 90deg I hit a balance point, my legs locked and any further attempt resulted in painful knee and ankle contortions. With Partial Squats (and what we termed ‘High Jump Squats’) I felt I could shoulder as much weight as was available in our gym.

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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’.

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The Joys of Distraction

The Joys of Distraction

Every year I am approached by parents (and team manager on a membership drive) shuttling a young teenager towards the jumps areas. Their mission is to give their son or daughter a few tips prior to the school competitive season. The usual banter recounts how they seemed to do well at the school event and are now heading for a regional meet; can I help? I ask when the big event is… ‘This Friday’ is a typical response.

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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).

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…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)...

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Dynamic Posture and Mini Hurdles

Dynamic Posture and Mini Hurdles

There was a time when I thought I might explore hurdling as an event. I was young and there was no coaching so I dragged hurdles up into school hallways after students had vanished and tried to figure out what to do. I eventually managed to get a copy of the ‘Hurdlers Bible’ by Wilbur Ross and that gave me the one-step and half-hurdle drills.

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The Probability Of Success

The Probability Of Success

The workshop was over, the goodbyes and handshakes finished, and participants were beginning to scatter to the winds. There had been many other groups sharing the facility and I always find it interesting that I don’t really see them when I’m concentrating on a presentation. As I shouldered my equipment and walked away from the jumps area I noticed a small group of teenage athletes, sprinters perhaps, lining up to do what appeared to be hurdle drills...

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Bench Steps or Step Ups

Bench Steps or Step Ups

f you give the illustration a quick glance you will see a common training exercise used for fitness and sport. Bench Steps, with or without a load or offset is not a core TAKEOFF exercise but does have high value for mobility and motor patterning. The illustration is taken from an actual situation where the athlete (a runner) was instructed to do 3 sets of 8 reps with each leg....

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