Situational Practice

This weekend, I witnessed via my television screen one of the biggest blunders in college football. The situation of course was the fumbled snap, the re-fumbled recovery of that snap, and the subsequent recovery of that fumble for a last second touchdown. Michigan State wins and beats Michigan in their big in-state rivalry, and one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the football. The person who fumbled that snap has a name, and his name is Blake O’Neill. After October 17, 2015, every Michigan football fan will know his name. @blakewoneill on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets went crazy! The comparison of this young man’s blunder and Ray Finkle, the fictional character from the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective movie, are alive. I don’t know a lot about Blake O’Neill, but the little that I do know, and the bit of science has grown to help us understand performance, should tell us all he alone is not the only one to blame. Given his lack of situational experience any one of us could do the same thing, and the coaches had the primary responsibility to give him more situational practice. Read more


Episode 20: Admitting Mistakes

Take a look at politics, business, and sport and you will consistently see leaders unable to admit their mistakes. When the USATF was in the wrong in the whole Nick Symmonds affair they wouldn’t admit they made the slightest error even though they later reversed their position on their athlete’s agreement and athlete revenue sharing, Symmonds’ two main points of contention. Those in power often think that admitting a mistake shows weakness, but in reality not admitting mistakes puts you in the weakest position you could be in. Why is it then that it is so hard for us to admit mistakes? Read more


Ask Martin Vol. 30: Throwing Tactics

Do you have a question for me? “Ask Martin” questions are chosen from inquiries submitted by members. So join now and you’ll also get access to a wealth of other training information.

Question: I’m doing my PE A-level coursework at the moment and I have to come up with three good and bad tactical strategies. If you can help me it would be appreciated. -Jake Read more


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

Staff Sgt. Robert George, a military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, marches his unit following the issuance of uniforms and gear.  Recruits are molded into warrior Airmen through a recently expanded Air Force Basic Military Training program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

Episode 14: Mental Toughness (with Kibwé Johnson)

Football season is starting and that means coaches around the country are working hard to toughen up their athletes. By giving them grueling workouts in the summer sun the idea is that they will grow mentally strong. Unfortunately it isn’t that easy. On this week’s podcast Olympic finalist and fellow HMMR Media author Kibwé Johnson joins us to discuss the topic of mental toughness. Read more


Lessons Learned From Beijing: Don’t Foul Your First Throw

The world championships came to a close on Sunday and the throwing events could not have ended on a higher note. Sitting in bronze medal position, women’s javelin thrower Kathrina Molitor was given the last throw in the Olympic Stadium. All of the fans were on their feet as Lu Huihui was in the lead and about to get China their second gold of the championships. Then Molitor let out a monster throw. After the measurement it turned out to be a personal best, world lead, and a gold medal performance. This was just the final highlight of the meet; the entire nine days of action was fun to watch, with historic and thrilling performances across the board. But now that the dust is settled we can sift through competition to find some lessons learned. Read more


Episode 6: The Pep Talk Without the Talk

Everyone has that one athlete. They turn out for the team with a ton of talent but are constantly late, miss practice, or are just plain not focused. What can we do for them? On this week’s episode of the podcast Nick and I draw from our experience and discuss some ideas on how to get your athletes motivated to train with actions rather than words.

You can’t make an athlete want it, but you can show them what is worth wanting.

Read more


5 Things to Remember as the Outdoor Season Begins

The outdoor season is upon us. High Schools and colleges have started their first outdoor competitions. Even the Europeans, who start their season later, have completed their first round of meets with Pawel Fajdek emerging as the first 80-meter hammer thrower of the season last weekend. This is the time of the year that marks the transition to the final phase of the season. This phase may last just six more weeks for some athletes, but it is the most important of the year. Below is a list of five things throwers in any event should keep in mind as they start out down the home stretch. Read more

Back in my better looking days with a beard, Brian Richotte beat me for both the Pac 10 and NCAA Regional titles.

The Podium Set

Mr. Kuehl, my high school basketball coach used to tell us that we do the whole the whole practice to get the last the last two minutes because that was where the games would be decided. He emphasized that it was the last two minutes that we worked for, that is when we were tired and we had to execute. Read more


The 5 Secrets Of Strength

A few nights ago, I was sitting at the table having dinner with my son Omo and wife Megan. I swear my son is getting smarter by the minute, and every moment he is learning more how to play the system. Like any 4 year old, he wants to eat his treats (dessert, junk food, etc.), but we always try and make him eat his healthy foods first. With his brain power at full tilt, he is always attempting to devise a way to get what he wants, by smooth talking and looking cute. Ladies beware of this guy in the future! Read more