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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

Good/Better/Best – Your Choice

Over the years I am convinced that athletes make clear choices about their level of achievement, it has nothing to do talent or ability (Some of the most talented athletes I have been around have chosen not be the best). It clearly comes to attitude and desire to be the best. Here are the three levels of achievement from my experience: Read more

Nature? Nurture? We Are Asking the Wrong Question

Are athletes born or are they made? This is the crux of the nature vs. nurture question that has been debated to death by the athletics community. The debate never moves forwards since, like so many things in life nowadays, everyone takes a position at the extreme when the best answer lies in the middle. Read more

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