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I've been lucky enough to have many great mentors including Olympic champions Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk (above) and Harold Connolly.

HMMR Podcast Episode 52: Finding a Mentor

The most effective coaches development tool is finding a good mentor. Both Nick and I have had their careers shaped by some of the world’s best mentors. On this episode they share their experiences finding and working with mentors, discuss what makes a good mentor, and provide advice on how to seek out and work with mentors on your own. Read more

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3 Things I Learned From John Kiely

I’ve given many seminars over the past few years, but last weekend’s event was perhaps the most unique event I have been involved in. It might have actually been the first periodization seminar ever that spent all of 10 minutes discussing the actual periods. Instead we took a step back to look at the complexity of the problems we are trying to address with periodization, strategies and processes to deal with the complexities, and then surveyed a variety strategies in action. My portions focused on some many of the best practices we can learn from some of the master coaches I have worked with and had the chance to interview for HMMR Media. My co-host John Kiely focused his time on the complexities and what we can learn from science about the problem and potential solutions. He covered many topics like mental biases and how to deal with them, gaining power through simplicity in training, and optimizing organizational processes. I could write several posts with what I learned on Saturday, but decided to focus on three big picture take-aways I learned from Kiely over the weekend. Read more

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Influences – Father Alexander Manville, O.F.M.

Father Alexander was one of the biggest influences in my life. I received word last week that Father Alexander passed away. He was a Franciscan priest who was the principle of Bishop Garcia Diego High School when I attended, but more importantly to my intellectual, personal and spiritual development he was an English teacher. Father Alexander AKA Big A was a towering presence. He was a tall man; bald headed; his height accentuated by the brown Franciscan robes. I must admit that as a 13-year old ninth grader I was thoroughly intimidated by him. If I saw him coming I tried to go the other way. As I observed him and his interactions with students during my freshman and sophomore year and his talks at school assemblies I realized that he had much more to offer than just being an authority figure. Read more

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Episode 49: To Drill or Not To Drill

As Nick wrote in a post last week, he is all for drills. I am more of a skeptic in the drill department, having seen so many worthless drills over my career. But as usual, there are some common points we can agree on and in this episode we discuss drills and try to find the proper place for them in training. Read more

Some of John Godina's drills at his throwing camp.

The Case for Drills

As a young inexperienced coach it was my goal, like most all coaches, to be the best I possibly could be. The way I figured I was going to do this was by first distinguishing who had the best program and then seeking out the coach of this program. This quest actually began when I started my junior college throwing career. At this time there was no question that coach Art Venegas and the UCLA Bruins were at the top. I distinctly remember going to my first major track meet, the Pac 10 Conference Championships hosted by Stanford University, to watch the Bruins live in action. I could not wait to see them throw and oddly enough my seats were right in front of Coach Venegas. I listened to every word and every cue he gave his throwers. Although, I was relatively inexperienced, especially having zero knowledge about the rotation, I noticed right away that the Bruins had distinct characteristics in their technique. Little did I know that in the future I would be competing against the Bruins while attending college at Cal State Northridge. Read more

Vern Gambetta

What Matters

Just coach! Be the best coach you can be – no excuses! Coaching is special treat it as such. Coach the athletes you have and work to make them better. Approach coaching with passion and instill that passion in your athletes. Read more

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Learning – Continuous Personal & Professional Development

Not long ago someone asked me what I do to for professional development and to keep learning. I thought I would share what I do, that is not to suggest that is the way to do it rather to share a process that has worked for me over the years. Even though I call it a process for someone like me who is full of questions and inherently curious it is more semi-organized chaos. Read more

performance influences

GAINcast Episode 9: Performance Influences (with Gary Winckler)

Gary Winckler is one of the top sprint and hurdle coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. On this episode of the GAINcast Winckler explains the performance influences that led to his success as a coach. Read more

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Episode 45: Foreign Athletes in the NCAA

On last week’s episode we teased this week’s topic by asking our guest Dave Wollman about his views on foreign athletes competing in the NCAA system. With immigration being a hot topic in this US presidential campaign season, we thought we would take a look at foreign athletes and how they should fit into the American collegiate system. Read more

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Words of Wisdom, Vol. 10

We might think of coaching as being about training methods, science, and physiology. But don’t forget that more than anything coaching is about communication. We are teachers: it does not matter how much you know if you are unable to convey it to your athletes. With that in mind, I assembled a few quotes I’ve jotted down on my notebook on the theme of language and communication. Read more