The Toolbox Method

Some time ago I attended a UKSCA pre-conference seminar/workshop on strength and conditioning for youth athletes. There were numerous speakers including Joel Brannigan – then Head of Strength & Conditioning at Northumbria University. His lecture gave an overview of his role and responsibilities as a University level S&C coach in the UK. At the time I was working at the Leaf Elite Athlete Academy in Bournemouth. The athletes I was working with were younger, but ultimately should have been aiming to compete at university level in the future.

At the conclusion of the lecture there was some time for questions. So I asked something along the lines of “As a university S&C coach, what would you like the athletes coming to you to be competent at?”. His response was that they should be able to run, jump and possess the basic fundamental skills of training.
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LTAD – BS or Brilliance? (Part 2)

In my previous post LTAD – BS or Brilliance (Part 1) I discussed the initial forays made into LTAD by Istvan Balyi and his creation of the LTAD model. I also discussed some of the criticisms of his model, with the conclusion that there was some significant space for improvement.
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LTAD – BS or Brilliant? (Part 1)

“Long Term Athlete Development” or LTAD is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in sport today. If you hang around any grassroots club long enough you’ll find some fancy chart on a wall with lots of nice colours and specific age brackets detailing how to turn your uncoordinated kid into the next (…insert famous athlete here). In fact, LTAD is now so widely accepted that you’re bound to see some variation of it in the policies of just about every sport governing body. Some examples include the Irish Rugby UnionThe FA, even in the ASA.
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Youth Strength Training – January Book Review

I’ve decided to start reviewing a book each month on a variety of topics from basic training principles, methodology, psychology and general youth-sport related topics.

The reasons for these reviews are two fold:

  1. It forces me to think about my own development and ensure I read a book each month
  2. It may be useful to readers to assist in deciding what book is worth buying and suggesting any future resources

So without further delays, here is the initial instalment for January:

 


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Back to the drawing board

Last night I had my first session providing strength and conditioning sessions working at a basketball club. I remember when having the initial discussions with the club, they asked “What is the ideal group size for you?”. I didn’t really give this much concern as in the past this hasn’t really been an option to choose what size group I would like, I was just given a group of athletes (be it 1 or 15) and that was it.
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Broken collarbones and the man-child

It was a crisp Sunday morning in Perth, Western Australia. I was still pretty drowsy from an early start to get to my football match on time. I was playing centre back. I remember everyone taking about how the other team had a “man-child” playing. This guy was an early-starter… I was about to find out just how much of a man-child he was.
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The 10,000 hour rule – fact or fiction?

If you’re involved in sport at any level (particularly grassroots) then you’ve probably come across the 10,000 hour rule, developed by Anders Ericsson. In simplest form, this “rule” suggests that it takes 10 years or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to achieve “mastery”. Since this suggestion has become widely publicised, it has become the foundation of the talent development models of many sporting National Governing Bodies.

However there are a few things we should consider before accepting this idea blindly:

  • What exactly is the 10,000 hour rule?
  • How does this apply in the real world?
  • How can I use this in my role?

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