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Understanding Culture in Athletics

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Every so often Vern Gambetta, a mentor, colleague, as well as contributor here on HMMR Media, comes to Oregon on business. We always find time to grab a cup of coffee and chat – for hours and hours. What I enjoy most about Vern is he’s honest, transparent, curious, and humble. He has more questions than answers, but much of what he does know, I do not. I always leave our coffee talks having learned and questioned more about the art of coaching than from any conference, clinic, or continuing education course. When he was in town recently our discussion centered around culture in athletics. The good. The bad. And the ugly. Read more

Father teaching daughter to ride bicycle in park

Learning to Ride a Bike

Early in the summer of 2015, my 4-year-old son decided that he was brave enough to take the training wheels off of his bike. I proceeded to do so immediately, before he changed his mind. At the start of our journey, I used to the same old techniques that we’ve all seen to get going. I started by pushing him down the sidewalk. Then I let him attempt to start the bike’s motion on his own. After too many attempts and being analytical (as normal), I noticed several things: Read more

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Training Talk with Pat Connolly (Part 2)

Pat Connolly has been at the top of the sport both as an athlete and as the coach of top sprinters like Evelyn Ashford and Allyson Felix. On Wednesday I posted the first part of my interview with her, where we discussed her general philosophy, the importance of repetition, and specific training methods. In this part she continues to discuss mental training, the differences in coaching men and women. We finished by getting her thoughts on doping. Having been involved in the sport since steroids were first introduced, Pat was one of the first vocal anti-doping advocates, having even testified in front of Congress to lobby for support. But the sport has evolved and so have her thoughts on the issue, which she describes below. Read more

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Episode 33: Technology in Training

If you ask people what has changed the most in training over the last decade or two, the first answer will most often be something related to technology. Technology has become a huge part of our lives and, as a result, a growing part of training. From gadgets to apps, they can add value in many ways. But they can also be a distraction. On this week’s episode we talk about how we use technology to help our training and ways we also ensure it does not hurt our training. Read more

BEIJING - AUGUST 15:  Craig Pickering of Great Britain competes in the Men's 100m Heats at the National Stadium on Day 7 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 15, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Black Box Thinking (Or Why We Shouldn’t Fear Mistakes)

For those of you who have followed my career, you might know that I am responsible for one very large mistake. I was responsible for my country, the reigning Olympic Champions, to be disqualified in the 4x100m relay at the 2008 Olympics. I, personally, made a mistake which most likely cost myself and my team mates an Olympic medal. I’ve written about this elsewhere, so I won’t belabour the point too much, but following this mistake I had two options: Read more

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Why I Am Retiring From Coaching In 5 Years

An undeniable law of existence is that there is an expiration date to everything. You see this wisdom express in every text of spirituality across the globe. In Judeo-Christian traditions this truth is succinctly discussed in the the Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 3 which is commonly known as the “A Time For Everything” chapter. This truth is a focus in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Native American traditions as well as numerous others. Many philosophers, scientists, and artist know this as well. The inescapable intelligence of term limits is a deep enteral wisdom. Why then it is common practice to coach with an open ended timeline? Read more

The Brooks Beasts Track Club. Photo by Brooks Running.

Building a Team

Growing up just outside of Chicago in the 90’s meant professional “sports” and “team” were synonymous. We had the Bulls, Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks. The Bulls had one of, if not the, most iconic athlete of a generation in Michael Jordan. But what cemented Jordan as the greatest of all-time was not only the individual accolades, it was the six team championships he helped the Chicago Bulls win. Read more