My Coaching Eye

My Coaching Eye

At a workshop one of the pre-scripted aims was to enhance the ‘coaching eye’ of the participants…a statement made without clarifying what the coaching eye was or did. There was a brief time where I had a chance to speak to a good sized group and I presented them with a challenge: using your coaching eye how might you help this athlete (demonstrator they had all watched) achieve the raw speed required for higher performance levels…what things might you focus on?

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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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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...

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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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PLYOMETRIC TRAINING: DEVELOPMENTAL or INCREMENTAL?

PLYOMETRIC TRAINING: DEVELOPMENTAL or INCREMENTAL?

The world of strength and conditioning has within it the curious world of plyometrics. The word itself has the power to elicit comment, opinion, argument and dismissal. The research on the subject is fraught with misinterpretation and confusing results. Starting as an experimental approach to investigating how tendons work to help us move plyometric jumps and leaps quickly became part of training programmes for elite athletes requiring explosive ground reactions. After that the water became muddied.

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