Coaching Matters: Around the web January 2016


Welcome to the January 2016 edition of Coaching Matters, a round up of the articles I have found interesting in the 2 months relating to coaching, sport science, physical preparation and skill acquisition. 

My thoughts this month have been centred on filtering the huge amount of information available to us all as coaches these days – you only need to look at this blog to see how many articles, videos and seminars are posted on the internet. It was sparked by a CPD session where the tutor from a sporting National Governing Body talked about the impact that the differences between our Left Brain and Right Brain have on our coaching practice.

This surprised me as the notion that different halves of the human brain govern different skills and personality traits has strongly been shown to be a myth (see here and here) yet this idea is now firmly planted in the minds of the attendees who were mainly volunteer, grass roots coaches. A few I spoke to took it as fact purely because it had come from a NGB tutor.

This reminded me of something my Dad used to say to me when I was lying through my teeth to him that I hadn’t broken something or generally been up to no good. ABC son, ABC.

Assume nothing

Believe no-one

Check everything

My Dad was a Policeman and still lives by this rule to great effect – I got away with absolutely nothing as a kid and still don’t as an adult!  Don’t believe everything you are told, check the facts, go to the sources, be thorough or be prepared to be taken for a ride.

There has been a huge growth in online communities through social media such as Facebook and Twitter where coaches can share ideas and practices but if the information being passed around is of poor quality with no-one filtering or fact checking they could be doing more harm than good. One good group on Facebook that is worth joining is the Coaching Science group run by Dr Dick Bailey and others.

This brings me to the Thomas Jefferson quote above which I found thought provoking. False ideas can lead coaches on a wild goose chase but on the flip side John Kiely in his excellent podcast with Rob Pacey (see Top 12 below for the link) talks about the importance of a coach or athlete’s belief in a programme and that a poor plan violently executed will beat a brilliant plan weakly implemented. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

One thing I would like to see is more work to bring Academic work from the laboratories and libraries to the practitioners from elite to grass roots coaches.  I’d like to see more blogs by the Researchers themselves that allow a more informal (readable!) voice with context and examples of how their research could be implemented in day to day sessions. Yann Le Meur’s infographics and Dr Graham Close’s video animation are excellent examples of this and I hope more Academics and Researchers follow suit.

Anyway the whole point of this blog is sharing and interaction so if you have written or know of similar content that would be good for future posts then please let me know via Twitter @SiNainby.

Don’t forget to check out the Coaching Matters Live Round Up Tool, all the previous Coaching Matters blogs, my Notes From blogs of various lectures/CPD I have attended and various random thoughts on coaching.

I was grateful (and a bit surprised!) to be interviewed by John Leonzo for his excellent blog. If for some strange reason you want to know what I think in more detail about coaching then have a look at the video below – well listen anyway I definitely have a face for radio… John also took some good notes so check his post too. I’d certainly recommend you check out his interviews with Brian McCormick and Mark Upton.

Top 12

General Sports/Coaching

Skill Acquisition/Dynamic Systems

Physical Preparation

Sport Science




Simon Nainby is an Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach and Tutor, Sports Massage Therapist, RFU Level II coach and an Assistant Athletics Coach. He has worked for a number of professional and semi-professional teams and he currently acts as a coaching consultant through Underground Athletics to a wide range of athletes from rugby players to Olympic Lifters. He provides physical preparation training and support in order to maximise sports performance. This consists of strength, speed and power training combined with recovery support to create a periodised programme which is essential for athletes to perform to their potential.

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