Posts

3 Keys to Winning Forever

Pete Carroll is a divisive figure. He stands there on the sidelines with a cheek of chewing gum, dad shoes, and a big smile on his face. Fans find his happy-go-lucky persona either endearing or grating. But no matter what camp you are in, you cannot deny the sustained success he has had at both the collegiate and professional level. As head coach at the University of Southern California he rebuilt a winning tradition, leading the team to two national championships and a record seven straight BCS bowl games. Since 2010 he has been with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks where they have now won three NFC West Championships in four years, been to two Super Bowls, and won one. Read more

Keep It Messy

Back in 2008, I injured my hamstring really badly. Most hamstring injuries are within the biceps femoris, which is the outer of the three muslces, and tend to occur around the musculotendinous junction; mine was much different – I injured my semi-tendinosis at the insertion. This is quite a complex injury, because the insertion of the semi-tendinosis is also very close to the insertion of a number of different structures, including sartorius and gracilus, in a structure known as the pes anserinus, as well as a bursa. It was an incredibly painful injury, and I was unable to run for nine weeks, which meant I missed all of my sprint training in February and March, as well as a bit of April. I was managing the injury fairly aggressively and progressing nicely, and opened up my competitive season at the start of June in Turin. Here, I was involved in a very tight finish, which caused me to re-injure my hamstring. Obviously, this was bad news; 2008 was Olympic year, and I had 4 weeks until the National Trials where I had to qualify for the team. Read more

GAINcast Episode 45: Perform (with Randy Ballard)

Helping athletes perform their best is about more than strength and conditioning, sports medicine, physiotherapy, or any individual component. It is about brining all the fields together. Randy Ballard, the University of Illinois Associate Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine, joins this week’s podcast to discuss I-PERFORM, the unified approach to student-athlete health, well-being and performance he has implemented in Champaign. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 75: Science and Nutrition (with Craig Pickering)

The nutrition world is so filled with gurus and pseudo science that it can be difficult to separate the truth from fiction. Olympian and HMMR Media sports science correspondent Craig Pickering joins this week’s episode to give us an update on the latest research and insights from the world of nutrition and what that means to us as athletes. Read more

The Fallacy of the Strength Reserve

There is an ongoing debate about when maximum strength training reaches a point of diminishing returns. Increasing maximum strength has benefits for athletes in nearly every sport. If an athlete increases their bench press from 200 to 300 pounds their shot put results will undoubtedly improve as a result. But will the same thing happen for an athlete that improves their bench from 400 to 450 pounds? Ask a dozen coaches and you might get a dozen different answsers. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 71: Looking in the Mirror

With school back in session and fall training starting up, it is the perfect time for Nick and I to take a look at the past year and see what we did wrong and what we need to differently going forward. Self-reflection is a critical part of becoming a better coach, and on this episode we both highlight three things will be changing up for next season. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 70: Records and Rio (with Kibwé Johnson and Benn Harradine)

Elite throwers Benn Harradine and Kibwé Johnson join the podcast for an end of season chat on a variety of topics. We discuss their impressions of Rio, preparing for the biggest stage, and how to deal with unexpected situations at major championships. In addition, we debate whether the men’s world records will fall and, if so, what it will take for someone to reach them. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 66: Down Under (with Dale Stevenson)

Former Australian international shot putter Dale Stevenson has switched sides to help the Kiwis as New Zealand’s High Performance Throws Co-ordinator. In this role he is also the coach of Tom Walsh, who won world indoor gold, the Diamond League title, and Olympic bronze this year. He sits down with us this week to share what he has learned in this new role, including his views on talent, technique, and training methods. Read more

The Pressure Principle

Many years ago, in 2003, I raced at the World Youth Championships in Canada. Just sixteen years old, and having only been doing athletics for two and a half years, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Going into those championships, I wasn’t really a medal hopeful; I had, at best, an outside chance. I had run 10.54 earlier that year, but then suffered a bad hamstring injury, and missed a number of races in the run up the championships. I can’t remember exactly where I was ranked going in, but on the end-of-year rankings I was equal 14th in the World (alongside Daniel Bailey), a good way back from the World Leader, Oluwole Ogunde from Nigeria, who had run 10.38 that season. As I didn’t know what to expect, I was quite nervous before my heat, which led to me running a personal best of 10.53, and feeling pretty comfortable. I was the fastest qualifier was the semi-final, which was to take place the next day. Read more

Confirmation Bias in Coaching

You’re a rational human being aren’t you? You evaluate the evidence, and then make a decision based on the strength on that evidence. You have an open mind. Except you’re human, and that means that you’re perhaps not as rational as you might think. You see, there’s something called confirmation bias. This is where we tend to search for information that supports our preconceptions. If we come across new information, we tend to interpret it in such a way that it will confirm our previously held beliefs. This is one of many biases that together it impossible humans from being rational in our day to day lives. Read more