Posts

The role of sprint training for endurance athletes

Over the past few years speed development sessions have gained traction amongst endurance coaches. Successful endurance coaches of all levels—from high school to post-collegiate– are adding true speed development sessions to their year-round training regimen. I’ve had the opportunity to coach and consult with several top distance coaches, allowing me to see how speed development sessions can be incorporated into various systems and philosophies throughout the year. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 153: Sprinting myths (with Brian FitzGerald)

When it comes to high school sprinting, few can match the credentials of Brian FitzGerald. The 2016 USA Today national track coach of the year has led athletes to California state titles in each of the past four decades, including athletes named Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News. When coaching beginners it is important to know the basics. It is also important to know the myths that people wrongly pass off as the basics. On this episode FitzGerald dispels some of those myths and explains his five-step approach to teaching sprint mechanics. Read more

The seduction of drills

Ask yourself we do we spend so much time teaching and perfecting drills? Wouldn’t the time be better spent coaching skills? No doubt drills are seductive, some even look like the skill, we can repeat them until they are flawless and then what? 95% of drills have no transfer to skill so what is the attraction. Read more

GAINcast Episode 86: Forget Technique (with Jerry Clayton)

Few track and field coaches have put together as diverse a resume as Jerry Clayton. The University of Michigan head coach has coached 16 NCAA champions across nearly every field event, including a world champion in the high jump and multiple Olympians in the throws. The key to Clayton’s success is to focus less on the minutia of technique and more on getting athletes to feel the movement. On this episode of the podcast Clayton walks us through his approach to develop technique and strength. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 98: Chalk Up (with Reese Hoffa)

Olympic medalist and two-time world champion Reese Hoffa recently retired as perhaps the top shot putter of this century. His longevity and consistency helped him set a record with 138 competitions ever over 21 meters. Since retiring, he has focussed on building up his own throws academy. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss what helped give him such a long and successful career. In addition, we discuss transitioning to youth coaching, how to individualize technique, building athlete ownership and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 55: Technical Models

Technical models are often what we turn to when we develop an athlete’s technique. How do we develop models? And how do we adapt them to the athlete? On this week’s episode Vern looks at how technical models fit into training and what steps coaches need to take to get the most out of them. Read more

From Discus Drills To Discus Performance

Imitations have always been a huge part of my technical development. Hours and hours of work in front of a mirror, before every single throws session and in between lifting sets. But when I was a developing junior I did do some imitations but never really in a structured manner. It’s dangerous to drill movements repetitively without purpose or meticulous attention to detail. Especially as a junior, where we need to create the foundations for career-long development and prevent having to “undo” bad habits. Read more

GAINcast Episode 47: The Art of Coaching (with Harry Marra)

Recently Ashton Eaton announced his retirement. During his career he took the decathlon to new levels and it was coach Harry Marra who helped guide him there. In order to break down 10 complex events, Marra has become a master of communication and the art of coaching. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss the art of coaching, the decathlon, and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 39: Teaching Speed

Knowing about speed is one thing, but teaching it is something else. This is where the art of coaching comes into play. On this week’s episode Vern walks us through what he would do on the first day of speed training with a new group of athletes. It’s a great look into the mind of a coach to see how they put together their session and why. 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