Category Archives: Strength & Conditioning

The simple thing about Crossfit

For most S&C coaches, Crossfit is a taboo subject. It’s about time we got over that. When it exploded in popularity 6 or 7 years ago, most of us were horrified by the number of “Crossfit fail” compilations that appeared all over the internet. Now it’s had time to establish itself as a dominant force within the fitness industry, it would be nice to think that a few things have changed. As I’m currently touring Crossfit gyms round the world (#crossfitworldtour if you didn’t know already), I hope I can provide a little unbiased perspective.

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Filed under Performance, Strength & Conditioning, Training

Are you happy?

If you’re a happy human, great! Keep smiling and share your happiness with the world.

If you’re not, it’s ok.  In my experience there are a lot of unhappy people out there.  A lot of people fighting their battles in silence, trying to deal with shitty circumstances, emotional trauma and what life’s thrown at them.  A lot of people who don’t feel fulfilled in life and a lot of people who are just drifting along, existing without really living.

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Filed under Lift The Soul, Motivation, Strength & Conditioning

I’ll always be a failure and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is a short article as much about my experience as it is mindset. I am extremely proud of how far the Andorran Alpine Ski Team has progressed over the last 2 and a half years. Leaps and bounds in all areas including ski performance, physical capacity, training mentality, nutrition, discipline and more, but I’ll openly admit that I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way and we still have a long way to go. After all, they aren’t world champions YET.

Enabling athletes to be better at doing what they do best is why I’m in this and learning from failures, however big or small is a huge part of that process.

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Filed under Development, Motivation, Strength & Conditioning

Agility training for Alpine Skiers (and all sports!) involves “Reactive Work”

If you’re not familiar with the sport of Alpine Skiing, it is essentially a race down a snowy mountain with continuous changes of direction around poles and on skis of course.  From technical to speed disciplines (SL, GS, SG & DH), gates get further apart, skis get longer and speeds get much faster.  In my opinion, this makes it an agility-based sport.  As recent definitions of agility seem to include the “response to an external stimulus” aspect alongside the “whole body change of direction” I’d understand if you were to argue against me.  (Again if you’re not familiar with the sport, athletes do inspect the course before the race so they have the opportunity to memorise and visualize each turn, thus you’d think most movements are preplanned.)  However as athletes speed toward each gate, I’d argue they are still adjusting to what’s in front of them, it’s unlikely that every turn will be perfect, snow moves, you can lose balance for a split second or make a mistake and thus reaction speed is also a huge key to their change of direction ability when competing or even training for that matter.

marc oliveras slalom

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Filed under Development, Performance, Strength & Conditioning, The Internship

Episode 12: Rhys Ingram

rhysRhys Ingram is an S&C coach for the EIS working with GB Taekwondo on how the sport has evolved since London 2012, what it takes to win, interpreting subjective opinions from technical coaches and what they’ve been up to in preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio this year.

This episode marks a slight change to the format of the show as I’m very happy to welcome Rob Anderson of Fortius Training into the mix!  Rob will be providing segments on relevant resources, cpd & jobs as well as some interviews in the future as we strive to deliver more regular content.  I’m also pleased to say that when I started the podcast back in October 2015, I set myself a target of 1 per month and this episode means I’ve beaten that goal for the first year.  Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

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Filed under Strength & Conditioning, The World-Class Coaching Podcast

What some Universities don’t tell you: An open letter to all Sports Science/S&C students, especially those considering it

Working in elite sport or any sport for that matter is an extremely rewarding career.  I consider myself very fortunate to have the position and experience I hold and consciously appreciate it every single day.  I’m all about pursuing your passion and doing what you love in life.  I understand why it appears so attractive to young individuals/aspiring coaches.  I would like to offer some simple advice and an honest perspective.

caution-sign

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Filed under Development, Strength & Conditioning, The Internship

Episode 11: James Baker

James BakerIn this Episode I interviewed James Baker on the back of the awesome Child to Champion conference to share his work with teenage athletes at St Peter’s High School. James gives loads of great insight into their programme especially around common problems with school age pupils and maximizing athlete engagement. (APOLOGIES for the poor sound quality in the 2nd part of the interview, had a bit of wifi trouble.) Then this month I review James Kerr’s Legacy and round up loads of jobs and online resources that are available at the moment.

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Filed under Strength & Conditioning, The World-Class Coaching Podcast

Adaptability part 2: The Athlete (and a few coaching principles to live by)

In the last post (part 1), I tried to highlight the importance of being adaptable as an S&C coach by illustrating some examples and exercises based on my experiences.  Mostly this was focussed around adapting to technical coaches.  In this post I’m going to focus on the athlete and try to illustrate that whilst theoretical case studies are great at university, in the real world nothing ever goes perfectly to plan and physical development is a messy non linear process.

nothing goes to plan

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Filed under Development, Strength & Conditioning, The Internship

Episode 10: Simon Brundish

Simon BrundishAs well as having 20 years of S&C and PT experience with general to elite populations, Simon Brundish is now leading a physical literacy initiative in UK primary schools. He is doing some incredible work that is definitely worth sharing! We talk physical literacy for youngsters and all about his incredible model for development based on superhero characters. I’ve been lucky enough to participate in one of Simon’s practicals and I swear you’ll struggle to think of a better or more fun way to coach movement to kids. Then this month I reviewed Simon Sinek’s Start with Why and as always round up a few CPD and job opportunities.

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Filed under Strength & Conditioning, The World-Class Coaching Podcast

Episode 9: Rob Walsh

Rob WalshRob Walsh is Head of Physical Preparation for the Netherlands Ski & Snowboard Federation. This role encompasses working with all snowsport athletes, both adaptive and non-adaptive alike. Rob largely discusses how he’s built a programme that caters for everyone and give some specific examples of how where he believes he can have the greatest impact when working with adaptive skiers. I review Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and round up all latest CPD and job opportunities. Enjoy

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Filed under Strength & Conditioning, The World-Class Coaching Podcast