Tag Archives: S&C

Getting The Best Out of People

I believe my skills lie in getting the best out of people on a daily basis. To me, that’s what performance coaching is all about and these are 6 key principles I try to stick by.

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Filed under Development, Lift The Soul, Motivation

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

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

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.

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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

The hardest part of the job! Part 1

Forget getting your athletes fit, strong and robust; that’s the easy part!!

Being an S&C coach in high performance sport is more complicated than just coaching movement and getting guys strong.  In fact it’s a tactical operation whereby you have to manage a number of difficult situations, influence strong-minded coaches and continually educate & inspire those around you.  That’s why I write this blog, to give aspiring coaches a real insight into what the job involves to support the foundational knowledge you learn in University.

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So what’s the hardest part of the job?  Well in my opinion it’s working effectively with your technical coaches to implement a successful performance programme and create the optimal environment.  Ok so that’s the long-winded way to say it’s the technical coaches!  Throughout this article I’ll discuss some of the challenging situations you’ll inevitably face and some principals that I try to stick to whilst working as part of an interdisciplinary team.  By the way, this is the first part of 2 articles.  Some time ago towards the end of an interview it was my turn to ask the questions.  The first question I asked to the previous coach was “what’s the hardest part of this role?”  When his eyes shot across the table towards the head coach, he didn’t need to say much more!  Knowing that this is a shared feeling amongst many S&C coaches, this post is in fact a general answer.  We all have our own challenges and I will specifically address the hardest part of my job in the next post.

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Filed under Development, Strength & Conditioning

Coaching Cues – A deeper look at communication skills.

This post has taken me long enough to write so I hope you find it interesting. The inspiration came from some feedback I recently received from some experienced coaches whom I really respect and work for a certain organisation in the UK.  I’m happy to say that my coaching was very well received.  One of the subjects that arose from it was how I used different cues with different athletes and the way this changed throughout the session as I “sussed out” what each athlete responded best to.

coach cue blog

Coaching is an art, but as Daniel Coyle refers to talent “Greatness isn’t born. It’s Grown”.  Communication in all forms is an area that I’ve focused on a great deal within my own learning and I believe some things now come quite naturally to me through the number of hours I’ve clocked up coaching various populations.  As you get to know you’re athletes better, you should be able to figure out what works with each one and the more time you spend coaching different athletes will improve the speed at which you can do this.  Thus this ties in closely with a couple of previous posts I’ve written on the importance of experience and even the benefits of personal training for aspiring S&C coaches.  Those 10,000 hours apply to coaching as well as sports mastery you know.  That being said, it helps to have an informed thought process in all areas of coaching, so I hope this article will at least get you thinking about the way you cue various exercises.  I aim to especially highlight the importance of knowing your athletes and understanding how we process information.

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Filed under Development, Strength & Conditioning

5 Essential Books that aren’t on your University reading list:

If you’re going to be successful in life then you need to be committed to CPD, continued PERSONAL development.  Yes I intended to say personal instead of professional.  I believe you make your own luck in this world; if you’re committed to being the best person you can be, you will reap the rewards.  I have previously talked about the importance of gaining experience in developing as a coach coupled with the knowledge to support your practice here.  However they are not the only skills you need to be successful.  You must set goals, be efficient with your time, be great at making friends and understand how people work as human beings as well as the impacts your actions have on others.  This article contains a list of 5 books that I believe are essential reading material not only for S&C coaches, but for anyone who wants to be successful.  I know there are many more significant books out there and indeed in my own library, these are just the ones, which I feel hold the most value.

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A redirection on getting a job in high performance sport

I’m happy to admit that I don’t know everything and there are plenty of coaches in the world who know more than me.  This week I am redirecting you to two very good articles from guys who have worked their way to the top of the industry.  Combined, they’ve interviewed and hired a huge number of coaches so you can safely assume they know what they’re talking about.  If you’re keeping an eye out on sites such as UK Sport at the moment, you should start to notice some good opportunities come up around this time of year.  Most sport clubs/organisations will already be starting to plan for next season.

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Filed under Development, Strength & Conditioning

Awesome Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

A couple of weeks ago I finally mastered protein cookies and its about time I posted the recipe for you to give them a try.
Let me start by telling you that the main reason I’ve had problems with these in the past is because when using whey protein, it tends to bake in the oven and form more of a cake like texture.  Therefore I’ve found it much better to use a mixture of whey and casein proteins as well as making sure that the cookies are only in the oven for 6-7 minutes.  I used what I have but please let me know how they turn out if you’re using a different brand or type of protein.  I was also finding them to be a bit dry until I added the magic ingredient (orange zest) and now I think they’re pretty much spot on!

So here’s my delicious “Orange & Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Protein Cookies“!

protein cookies

Orange & Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/4 cup truvia (stevia/natural sweetener)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)
  • 1/2 cup Reflex Instant Whey Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Reflex Micellar Casein Chocolate
  • 100g 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate

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Filed under Nutrition