The ‘Olympic Special’ with Paul Westwood and Joel Filliol of JFT Racing Triathlon team! Huge privilege to chat to Joel and Paul ahead of the Rio Games about whether simplicity can be applied effective to elite triathlon.
- Fergus Connolly coaching series: Part I Great coaches | Part II Training | Part III Injuries
- Carl Valle: Kinetics Manual
- An introduction to Scaffolded Social Learning
- Seth Godin: Stop Stealing Dreams (What is School for?)
- John Stoszkowski: Bringing learning in from the cold
- Stuart Armstrong: Why coaches like drills and how they are killing creativity
- Stuart McMillan: Introducing a New Element to Coaching: Power … a guest-post by Joe Mills & Jim Denison
- A closed loop – The DNA helix gave 20th-century biology its symbol. But the more we learn, the more life circles back to an older image
- Roald Bahr: Why screening tests to predict injury do not work—and probably never will…: a critical review
- Hmmr Media: Sports Science Monthly – April 2016
Simon's Top 10 for February 2016:
- The Case for Teaching Ignorance
- Mark Upton: The Learning Landscape
- Faction Elite: Why High Performance Cultures Lead to Low Success
- The Great British Medalists Project: A Review of Current Knowledge on the Development of the World’s Best Sporting Talent
- The Research Pirates of the Dark Web
- John Kiely: Traditionalist or innovator: When you find yourself on the side of the majority… What do you do?
- John Kiely: A New Understanding of Stress and the Implications for Our Cultural Training Paradigm
- 9 Common Thinking Biases
- Glossary of Biomechanical Terms, Concepts, and Units
- The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene
The presentations from the ITU Science and Triathlon Conference are now available free to view including my talk on Simon Whitfield's career:
"Canadian Simon Whitfield had an extra-ordinary career, spanning four Olympiads from Sydney 2000 where he was triathlon’s inaugural Gold Medalist, to 11th in Athens and then back to the podium with the Silver medal in Beijing 2008, and finally to London 2012. This presentation will examine the consistency of Whitfield’s career from his junior performances to his two Olympic Medals, spanning 8 years between them. With contributions from Whitfield himself, direct observation from Filliol as his personal coach from 2005-2008, and with contributions from coaches and training partners throughout Whitfield’s career, factors which contributed to these performances will be explored including training and preparation trends, health and injury patterns, environmental factors, lifestyle and supporting factors, as well as psychological factors."
Watch the other talks from the conference here on Daily Motion
Triathlon Physiotherapist Paul Westwood shares his current thoughts are on the development of a model of best practice when it comes to Team & Athlete health:
- Don't pander to athletes pain/issues explain and reassure instead. Therefore possible mal adaptive behaviour is not rewarded and reinforced.
- Similarly limit the use of adjuncts / passive intervention (tape, ice, acupuncture, electro) anything that promotes the belief that 'this is something serious / more of a problem than it actually is'.
- Avoid the nocebo effect; athletes must believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with their bodies / ability.
- Therefore athletes become less sensitive / more resilient / more capable. This is spread throughout the team with athletes learning 'healthy pain behaviour' rather than mal adaptive behaviour.
- Once this culture is engendered an issue or expression of pain from an athlete can be taken more seriously as a sign of overloading / injury.
- By keeping the coaching / support staff to the limit of necessity and limiting the amount of 'shareholders' in the team allows this culture to be sustained.
- Progressive load management and therefore injury / over load prevention can be achieved from the coaching/support staff through consistent training and the layering effect of training over days, weeks, months, years. Athlete monitoring should be done on a daily basis regarding mood, behaviour, performance etc. "
Check out this interview I did with Jason Bailey of Nature Gym:
NG: With 2016 being an Olympic year, there is no doubt a lot of pressure on the athletes to perform or to simply qualify. How much pressure do the coaches feel, particularly private coaches such as yourself?
JF: I don’t look at the Olympic year differently than other years.
Every year is important to avoid making errors, every year is important for athletes to improve and make progress, every year we have big goals to work towards. It’s not productive to focus on the Olympic games as the only goal, or to judge your career by only these standards. Building to an Olympic Games is a nice goal to be motivated by, and there is a process to arrive at the start line ready to perform, but it’s not really different than other opportunities to perform despite the importance some people place on the event. For our athletes we have multiple performance objectives every year, and the World Series and Grand Final are always one for the top level, and developing athletes have many different outlets to prepare towards.
Simon's Top 12 for January 2016:
Plus an excellent take on "ABC" for coaches:
Jason Hettler of Hettler Performance has written a nice blog on the art and science of coaching, a topic that always creates debate and discussion on Art vs Science, when of course coaching is a continual process of testing and evaluating hypotheses, so it's not either or by any means.
The following quote nicely sums up my view on art and science in coaching:
Dr. Marco Cardinale has an interesting blog on the intersection of coaching and sport science, based on his experiences first as coach, then as a sports scientist. Here are some highlights:
Read the linked PDF paper: "On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit"
This is adapted from an analysis of British Swimming post 2012 from a senior US coach who compiled the following top ten recommendations from leading peers. It's not exhaustive but is applicable to all Olympic sports:
1. Abandon early selections for all but confirmed medal contenders.
2. Race in tough international competitions far more often. (French Grand Prix, German Bundesliga)
3. Hire a Head Coach from your country. Make your own people responsible for performance.
4. Feed an 'us against the world' culture.
5. Get the CEO and HPD out of the way, so the best coaches can be themselves and work in a way they have demonstrated gets results.
6. Facing the worlds best should be your only focus.
7. Hold fewer national team camps and make them more specific in a competitive environment.
8. Focus on the athletes who succeed.
9. Put your athletes in situations where they are not well paid, not well housed, not comfortable. Those will fire in their belly will rise. Same with coaches.
10. Reward top performance, not effort, at the end of the journey. Some will fail. Tough.