The first week back on camp at Playitas on Fuerteventura has started. As the December camp also held at Playitas started the official 2019 season training, we are now settling into this second block of work, which forms the basis for the specific work to lead into the first races of the season. How well we manage this period really forms the foundation for a successful season.
“There are two ways to achieve extraordinary outcomes:
1) Be lucky.
2) Be obsessed.
Most people need some combination of both.
However, only one of those factors is within your control. Work hard, stay focused, and let the chips fall where they may.” - @james_clear
Big moments in 2018 (L-R):
1- WTS overall podium sweep - an unforgettable achievement by @jakebirtwhistle @mariomola and @vincentluistri Getting the little things right often enough, over a long enough period, with so many factors at play from March to September. Super proud of the way the everyone worked together through the year even with each other among their biggest competition.
2- Gold Coast podium shot, adding @kzaferes6 to the shot plus the core support team of Pepe and @drew.box who worked behind the scenes to support the process.
3- Montreal WTS Mario with a huge run to take the W, brilliant.
4- Back in Mallorca again at the @viva training for the final races of the season, from superleague, to the final world cups of the year with Vince @martenvanriel @deliostateff and @alessandrofabian working together.
5- Flagstaff Arizona, coming back to the base we used prior to Beijing 2008 and supported by @hypo2sport It was great to be back on the track.
6- Going into the Grand Final with both #1 from the crew, there is nothing like that experience going into big races where the margin of success is so small, and knowing the number of things that have to go right to deliver the biggest performances. It never gets easier, and the level of internal and external expectations has to be learned and managed in order to consistently be among the worlds best. It’s something you have to experience to know what it means and how to best manage all the factors.
7- Jersey @superleaguetriathlon , coming off the back of big performances like Gold Coast can be really challenging due to the extra amount of energy ‘defending’ performances requires, but Katie and Vince were superb and delivered over the challenging format.
8- Back in Flagstaff Arizona - with @jellegeens and Vince supported by Drew, hitting a classic session of mile reps in the build up to the Grand Final.
9- Les Angles France - back at one of our favourite training locations, doing a ‘dam’ session. With the track in Font Romeu closed this year, we did all the sessions on the dam instead and got some dead turn running practise.
Overall it was a huge year of performances with 18 WTS podiums, 2 CWG medals, and World Relay Championships medalists. More than the performances, I’m grateful for the experiences with the crew, going through the trial of miles and miles of trials with committed people, who find joy in the everyday process and who lift each other up makes it all worth it.
On top of my work with the crew, my work with the Federazione Italiana Triathlon has taken big strides and finding the pathway forward in a new environment, and opening new athletes to the #jftcrew process has been both challenging and rewarding. Driving culture change is never easy, however from struggle comes reward and those who take the opportunity to struggle and grow will move towards finding out what is possible, without limitations.
Thanks to all for sharing in the process and I look forward to continuing to seeing what 2019 brings and keep on trying to be better everyday, week and month through the year.
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: