arsenewenger

Words of Wisdom, Volume 8

Our jobs would be a lot easier if we could just copy and paste training programs for our athletes. But that is rarely what works to produce results, as Nick and I discussed on the HMMR Media Podcast last month. It also is boring; a robot can copy and paste results after all. What makes coaching so fun and interesting is that it is challenging. In this Words of Wisdom I bring together some quotes I have come across recently that demonstrate the importance of finding your own unique solution as a coach, and a unique solution for your athletes. Read more

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 14:  Nicola Vizzoni of Italy competes in the Men's Hammer qualification during day three of the 22nd European Athletics Championships at Stadium Letzigrund on August 14, 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Why 3 Turns are Harder Than 4

On this week’s podcast I mentioned some of the stories Nicola Vizzoni told about his competitive experiences at our recent Swiss Hammer training camp. Over dinner one night our discussion moved towards hammer throw technique and Vizzoni slowly laid out the case for why the three turn throw is harder than the four turn throw. By the time I finished dessert he had opened my eyes to the complexity of the seemingly simple technique. Read more

sherlock_holmes

The Detective Coach

We have mentioned Stuart McMillan’s coaches guide to strength development. It is an ongoing series on strength development that is a must read for all coaches. Along the way he has had some great contributions from Matt Jordan, who also recently joined us on the HMMR Podcast. And for the seventh part in the series he asked me to contribute to give an example of smart data collection in practice. Read more

DANVILLE, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Professor Atul Gawande, M.D. delivers speech during Geisinger Health System 
A Century of Transformation and Innovation Symposium at Pine Barn Inn on September 25, 2015 in Danville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Geisinger Health System)

The Coach’s Coach

When I was in Minnesota last month I had a chance to share a beer with former Pan American Games hammer throw champ Jim Driscoll for a great discussion on training and coaching philosophies. At one point the conversation turned to how we can improve our coaching and he mentioned that he recently invited an experienced coaching colleague come and watch him coach. His colleague sat quietly on the side throughout the sessions. After his athletes had left the sat down to discuss what his colleague had observed and where he could improve his coaching and communication. It was a simple and effective idea, but it was the first coach I have ever heard to have implemented this approach. Read more

stopwatch

Bridging the Gap in Data Collection

There has been an explosion of data in sport over the past few years, but if you look at it the data centers on two areas: what happens on the field and what happens in the weight room. These are areas where data has always been readily available, and new technologies often focus on acquiring even more detailed and tangential data in these areas. What is ignored in this whole process is the huge gap between the field and the weight room. Historically not much data has been available in that gap, but if data collection is about finding data that we can use to improve training, then why are we ignoring a crucial element of training like specific strength training? Read more

munger

Words of Wisdom, Volume 7

Rather than talking about training methods or training plans, this roundup brings together some great articles and quotes on equally important topics that build the foundation of a coach’s approach: the importance of multidisciplinary learning and other soft skills that go into coaching. Take a read below. Read more

LONDON - JANUARY 02:  James Wade of England prepares to throw a dart during his Quarter Final match against Paul                  Nicholson of Australia  during the 2009 Ladbrokes.com PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on January 2, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Strength vs. Skill

Any talk about implementing a specific strength training plan brings up the inevitable discussion of disrupting the athlete’s rhythm. In the throwing events we will often throw hammers that are heavier or lighter than normal in order to improve specific strength. There is no doubt this improves strength, but you also cannot deny that it changes the movement’s rhythmic structure. For this reason some coaches only throw the competition implement. No matter your conclusion, the important part is the analysis: as a coach you need look at whether the training will help your for the sport and the athlete. Where it might be a good idea to do certain types of special strength training in one sport, it could be inadvisable in another. And while one athlete can handle a certain loads of special strength work, another might break down. Throughout this all the overarching factor to consider is where the sport falls on the skill-strength continuum. Read more

specific_strength

Specific About Strength

At the start of the month I published an article in Athletics Weekly about specific strength. In it I give a brief introduction to exercise classification, specific strength, and some tips on implementing it to your event. Tom Crick also helped provide some great graphics to illustrate a few examples.

The article is adapted from my book The Ball and Chain where I cover this and other topics in more detail in Part IV: Training for the hammer throw. If you like it and want to learn more, pick up a copy of the full text. We also have some additional resources on this topic available for HMMR Media members, including Nick Garcia’s article on exercise classification for throwers and a post I wrote about specific strength in theory and practice. But this article isn’t just about the hammer or about throwing; it takes a look at a general idea that can be applied to any sport or event. Read more

For Bondarchuk, everything is simple.

Turn The Right

Last week I reviewed Bondarchuk’s latest book on long-term development. By my count Bondarchuk has now published 8 books in English as well as 6 limited release booklets. He has written about topics from transfer of training to strength training to long term development. He also just released the final volume of his periodization series. But there is one topic that has been missing so far from his bibliography: throwing. Read more