Putting the art of coaching in practice

Earlier in the year Lee Eldridge asked me to write down four simple coaching points to help advise young coaches. Eldridge, a English performance coach based in Geneva, put my input together with coaches like Nick Winkelman, Dan Baker, and more into a piece on the art of coaching for UKSCA members. You can check out my responses below. Read more

Thoughts from Litvinov and McMahon on accelerating the hammer

Biomechanists can break down how the hammer is accelerated, but one thing they can’t do is determine what is going on in an athlete’s mind to perform the actions they see. What does the athlete think about? How do they try an initiate the movement? This is an area that intrigues me and I’ve been chatting with elite hammer throwers recently to find out their approach. There is no one right answer here, but hearing different viewpoints gives you more tools you can use as a coach. Read more

3 Reasons the Hammer Throw is Unique

We all know that hammer throwers are a bit different, but the event itself also stands out among track and field disciplines in several manners that you might not realize. First off it requires a unique combination of physical characteristics such as speed, strength, power, coordination, and agility. However more importantly the way the sport is set up makes it different. These differences can also have an large impact on how you approach training and technique. Below are three ways the hammer throw really stands out and some initial thoughts on how that could affect training. Read more

An Introduction to Hammerobics

When you read Frans Bosch’s critique of traditional strength training, two main elements stand out: traditional lifting lacks transfer as it is based on different coordination, and traditional lifting lacks the variation inherent in sport. In his book Bosch outlines a different approach to strength training and while we can argue about his approach it is hard to deny the issues he is working to solve. As a hammer thrower, I am constantly thinking about how our event can address these issues, a topic Bondarchuk has spent his life working on. In this month’s Strength and Conditioning Journal, Olympic champion Koji Murofushi, University of Georgia coach Don Babbitt, and Ken Ohta describe their framework for addressing the problem. They call it hammerobics. Read more

Sharpen Your Knives

In my presentation at GAIN 2017 last week, I went on a tangent to talk about cutlery. Like most people, I’m attracted to sharp and shiny things, but the reason I brought up knives is that the provide a great analogy for exercise selection. Read more

Balance and the Barbell Strategy

Earlier this week I wrote about the new book from Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg and focused on one topic: balance. As Stuart McMillan pointed out on twitter, the word balance can be misleading as it doesn’t always capture the undulating-dynamic nature of anything. It’s true. When you think of balance, you think of something that doesn’t move or you think of taking the middle of the road approach. But balance can come in many forms. Thinking of the middle of the road ignores the dynamic nature of balance; all we get from the middle of the road approach is often just an artificial sense of balance. Read more

Final Agenda Set for London

There are just 10 days left until our next seminar. On May 20, John Kiely and I will be presenting on periodisation and planning in London. Today we have released the final agenda for the day-long event, describing in detail each of the eight topics we will cover. It is not too late to sign up. More details and registration information are available here. Read more

Training, Fast and Slow

Earlier this month I wrote about how the universality of fartleks. The concept comes from the world or running, but I outlined how one could implement such speed play in throwing. This isn’t just a concept that sounds fun and cool; it also has some science to back it up and can be applied in preparation for any number of sports. Read more

What is Robust Running?

Robustness is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, but few people take a step back to look at what the term actually means. Robustness is more than just having the strength to endure more pressure; it is about being able to endure different pressures. Or, to quote the experts, the ability of a system to tolerate perturbations. We are happy to announce that our latest eCourse in the HMMR Media Classroom focuses on the topic. In it, John Pryor provides a practical guide to develop robust running skills. Read more

Another Training Talk with John Kiely

Next month I will be hosting a seminar in London with John Kiely on periodization and planning. The key theme underlying the seminar is that current periodization models are based on outdated or nonexistant science. The scientific understanding of stress and adaptation, for example, have changed a lot the past century, but periodization has not changed with them. In our seminar we will discuss this new understanding, what it means to coaches, and how it affects the planning process with examples of effective solutions. Read more