Welcome to the March 2014 edition of Coaching Matters, the articles I have been reading in the month.
The message that has been coming across loud and clear this month is the importance of culture in the sporting environment. Systems, protocols, tactics, exercises & technologies employed by successful teams are many & varied. The commonalities are few & a strong team culture that is athlete centred & led has been cropping up again & again.
It is becoming commonplace in sporting environments for slogans & ethics to be put up on the walls or on T-Shirts & I recently heard two good stories of how these can be ineffective as well as effective.
In the first story a sports team was in a meeting to develop the values they wanted to live by in the upcoming season. One player suggested “Honesty” to which the facilitator asked him to stand up and tell the group which person he liked most in the team & why then which person he disliked the most & why. Unsurprisingly the player was unwilling to do this. How then could “Honesty” be one of their values? It would have been a word on the wall at the training ground that just became wallpaper with no purpose as even the proposer wasn’t prepared to act it out.
In the second story the team already had Honesty set as a value but the manager felt they were not true to it. At the team meeting to announce the squad for an upcoming game he simply told them they had to pick the team themselves. He left the room and returned after 10 minutes to find they had been unwilling to perform the task. He impressed upon them that as Honesty was one of their values they should be able to select a team amongst themselves with good reasons. After they were left a second time they were able to select the team & it was exactly as he would have picked it himself. From this they developed behaviours that supported players who had not been selected & enhanced the team culture in ways the coach had never contemplated.
In my latest blog, Notes From Pete McKnight: Strength & Conditioning for the French Alpine Ski Team, I noted how the physical preparation aspects were very similar to many other sports but the culture surrounding the team was vastly different & had some unique aspects. Mladen Jovanovic has delved into this in some depth in a great blog post that highlights the issues from a physical preparation perspective – “Sport Specific or Culture Specific?”
As a side note there is a growing movement towards “Physical Preparation” as a more all encompassing title as opposed to “Strength & Conditioning” which only covers two aspects of a wide role yet reading Mladen’s post it is clear that this too is limited in its scope. Anyone who works with athletes has to be able to impact the psychological & sociological aspects too so maybe S&C coaches should become Athlete Preparation coaches in order to acknowledge this holistic view?
As usual I have linked to all the articles, videos & media below that I have found of interest in the past month so dive in & have a look around.
Disclaimer – this is purely a list of the articles I have read in the month and their inclusion is in no way an endorsement. Remember, 88.6% of what you read on the internet is made up so Assume Nothing, Believe No-one, Check Everything………
- Sharing International Rugby Perspectives – Sir Ian McGeechan, Stuart Lancaster, Gareth Davies & John Bentley
- 5 great TED talks for athletes
- Wanted: mentors, not coaches
- Footblogball interview with Lynn Kidman
- Anarchism and Creativity: first break the rules
- Dynamic Systems Theory – Thelen & Smith
- Ireland Rugby Player Welfare Monitoring
- The 4 steps to develop a strong team culture
- The daily routine of geniuses
- The marvels of elite sports: How to get there?
- Brian O’Driscoll reflects on his career
- Andreas Behm – 5 tips for aspiring young coaches
- A Blueprint for Creating a Culture of High Performance
- The Oracle of Ice Hockey – How a 70-year-old Finnish goalie coach is transforming a global sport
- The Ian Roberts interview made me feel embarrassed and ashamed about my prehistoric views, says Matthew Johns
- Finding your passion: What do you want your legacy to be?
- Toni Minichiello: Talking it out
- Empathy and the Suffering of Learning
- Why did Anthony Gatto, the greatest juggler alive back away from his art to open a construction business?
- Twitter – the best coaching course you never heard of?
- Don’t Help Your Kids With Their Homework
- Roger Schank: Only two things wrong with education: 1) What we teach; 2) How we teach
- Flipped classroom model improves graduate student performance in cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal physiology
- Does Synergy Really Mean Anything?
- The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work (And Why You Should Use It Too)
- Anton Oliver: Taking a career twist
- A day at St George’s Park: Management hopefuls gain thorough grounding
- A brief description of Complex Adaptive Systems and Complexity Theory by Peter Fryer
- Thesis Review: “A Week in the Cantera of FC Barcelona” by Milena Bertolini
- A constraints-led approach to talent development in cricket
- Top hand dominance and thumbs
- A constraints-led approach to skill enhancement in tennis
- Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail
- Principles of Motor Learning in Ecological Dynamics A comment on Functions of Learning and the Acquisition of Motor Skills
- Evidence for biomechanics and motor learning research improving golf performance
- Comment on “Use of deterministic models in sports & exercise biomechanics research” by Chow and Knudson
- Dave Snowden – Practice without sound theory will not scale
- Why playscapes are better than playgrounds
- Interview with Professor Keith Davids
- Six strategies for improving learning in sport
- Developing Practice that is Representative of Performance
- Representative Testing?
- Ricky Ponting MasterClass
- Can positivity make you a better runner?
- Online talks related to complex systems
Physical (Athlete?!) Preparation
- Documentary on Powerlifter Carl Yngvar Christensen
- Reductionism vs Holism – Old Bull Fitness
- S&C Roundtable – Nick Winkelman, Charlie Weingroff & Patrick Ward
- Training in the heat
- Periodization and Programming for Strength Power Sports
- Team Atherton Malaga Training Camp for Downhill Mountain Biking
- Reflections on a year at the World Athletics Center – Dr Nick Porterfield
- Advanced Plank Training
- Speed-Strength Development for Sports: What is Specific, what is General & What Works
- An Introduction to Work Without the Football (Aussie Rules)
- Managing the health of the elite athlete: a new integrated performance health management & coaching model
- Profiles in speed A closer examination of the first word in the Olympic motto — “Faster, Higher, Stronger”
- Gabriel Naspinski interviews Buddy “Coach X” Morris
- Mladen Jovanovic – Random Thoughts
- What We’re Seeing, What We’re Missing – Physio Skeptic
- The Secret Physio – Players always ruin the best laid plans
- Rugby Strength Coach Interview with Jay DeMayo
- Rugby Strength Coach – How to improve aerobic fitness
- The Speed Ladder Fallacy
- Interview with James Smith, “The Thinker”
- Jakabol – Nest of Giants – Iceland’s Strongmen
- Can positivity make you a better runner?
- Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell Shares Tips For Success
- Q&A: Notre Dame S&C Matt Howley
- Three Phases of Muscle Injury & APPLIED Healing
- Why MLB hitters can’t hit a softball pitcher & the science behind reaction time
- The perils of data-driven cricket
- How six men plotted to rebuild injury prone paceman James Pattinson
- The Silent Evidence
- Monitoring Professional Ice Hockey – Five Steps for a Winning Advantage
- My fear in using HRV
- Retraction Watch – Nobel Prize winner calls peer review “very distorted,” “completely corrupt,” and “simply a regression to the mean”
- ‘One of the Greatest Discoveries in the History of Science’ Hasn’t Been Peer-Reviewed—Does It Matter?
- The BASES Expert Statement on the Psychological Preparation for Football Penalty Shootouts
- Why monitoring players in training is proving so useful for Middlesborough FC
- Spotting neuro-fiction: A guide to dissecting overblown neuroscience headlines
- How light affects our brain’s performance: Photic memory for executive brain responses
- Interventions To Prevent Sports Related Injuries: A Systematic Review & Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials
- Can humour make students love statistics?
- Taking Technology in stride
- Moneyball…. but with Money
- Dank has crossed codes with variety of sports science secrets
- High Performance Managers…are they the real deal?
- Why ice delays recovery
- Should I ice an ankle sprain?
- Book Review: Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option
- Rise of sport science cannot hold back sands of time for footballers
- The Science of Older and Wiser
- Performance Engineering: A Legal Approach for the Elite Athlete