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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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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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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Finding the Medicine in Med-Balls

Finding the Medicine in Med-Balls

My first sighting of a medicine ball was in a school gym littered with different equipment: it was a 4kg leather stitched ball filled with t-shirt rag. Bigger than a basketball it sat in the corner inviting curious young boys (girls weren’t allowed into the gym in those days) to investigate. It was a ball, and so the first thing young boys typically do with a ball is throw it. Typically at one another....

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What You See Is - Frog Leaps

What You See Is - Frog Leaps

I call them frog leaps because its seems better than referring to them as consecutive bilateral jumps… besides, athletes and coaches alike will remember catchy names more easily. In the illustration, adapted from a video, you can readily identify the movement: one used around the world in games, sports and conditioning. From a standing start the young athlete has to generate horizontal momentum and keep leaping for a pre-scripted distance. It is an extremely valuable movement skill that is adaptable and has dozens of variations.

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Bounding is not Running

Bounding is not Running

If you take an online peek at what some people identify as ‘Bounding’ within sport and exercise training you will see many many variations of movements. Most are not bounds. They may fall into a ‘stride’ category in that there is an alternating right-left landing pattern, although curiously some pictured examples are not even in the stride category.

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What You See Is: Endurance Running Takeoffs-Before, During and After

What You See Is: Endurance Running Takeoffs-Before, During and After

The runner used for the illustrations has about four years of track and cross country experience and trains about 3 times per week with a group. On other days she may go out for longer runs with a friend. She has dreams of becoming a good middle distance runner and works hard for improvements. She has had no injuries to speak of, although shin splints and hip flexor pains are common. Her feet ache all night after track workouts.

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FROM DUCKLINGS TO THE BEAUTY OF SWANS

FROM DUCKLINGS TO THE BEAUTY OF SWANS

The classic tale of growth from an awkward duckling that doesn’t fit and is thus ridiculed and ostracised only to mature into a graceful swan is a well-known theme that is shared within many cultures. Within Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale of verbal and physical abuse is a storyline that is slightly different from other classic tales that involve tasks or proof of fidelity....

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