Latest Blog Entry
68 Lessons from the garage of pain
I have been reviewing things I have learnt working with athletes and coaches over the last 12 months. In no particular order and with some brevity:
- You can learn to be more creative.
- Challenging assumptions helps you look at things differently.
- Framing and reframing problems is a useful tool.
- Connecting and combining ideas leads to different avenues of thought.
- Thoracic spine (T-spine) mobilisers are useful for most athletes.
- The 3 common postures: upright, flexion, supine (Do less of these).
- The 3 uncommon postures; inverted, extended, brachiated (Do more of these).
- Psychopaths exist in the workplace.
- My chimp gets riled unless I feed him a biscuit.
- Chimp to chimp talks rarely work.
- A knee injury is a brain injury (get the brain working too).
- Work capacity can be developed with aerobic activities that are non specific.
- Work production is best developed through specific, quality work.
- If you stick someone in a cubicle and say “get creative from 9-5” expect mediocrity.
- I doubt if I can do too many pull ups in a week.
- Preparation, adaptation, application and regeneration are the 4 cornerstones of training.
- Dynamic correspondence is just specificity of transfer.
- Thomas Cureton is the Godfather of P.E. read more of his books.
- My box splits will improve through more goblet squats.
- Walking 10,000 steps a day is an essential health goal but I only walk about 6-7000 a day.
- Vitamin D supplementation is essential for children in the UK.
- A patella fracture is not an excuse to stop training: you can be running 10 weeks afterwards.
- Paleo books are based on dodgy research and anecdotes.
- Podium results are achieved in the heats.
- The people who want to sit on committees are exactly the type of people who should be prevented from sitting on them.
- Props can learn to run fast if coached well.
- Cricket coaches like gimmicks and fads, but struggle to recognise a good body weight squat, let alone coach it!
- Movement efficiency = Hip projection.
- “Transform” players rather than “Change” players.
- Get better at warm ups, they set the tone for the rest of the session.
- Progression, Variety, Precision: that leads to good things happening.
- Calisthenics is dereived from the Greek Words “Calos” and “Stenos” meaning beautiful strength.
- Female athletes: every day is leg day.
- Exercise is something you do, movement is something you feel.
- Moving more makes you want to move more.
- Moving less makes you want to move less.
- Teach people to move well and they will want to move more.
- Front squats followed by behind the head pressing helps the T-spine.
- No one is an expert in every field: find help.
- Life is not fair: move on and deal with it.
- If you can’t slow it down, don’t speed it up.
- Increasing bandwidth helps players develop long term.
- Players have to earn the right to bench press.
- 3 ways to measure physical fitness: Structure, function and motion.
- The Gorilla can’t eat all of the food: sport is not the answer to everything, physical activity must be promoted.
- “What are you getting ready for?”: pe classes can lead to demonstrations.
- Running is a skill, it needs to be taught as such.
- Running is a co-ordination activity; teaching subsets of running helps the overall skill.
- See 1, Do 1, Teach 1: a good mantra for working with children.
- Never jump off something that you can’t actually jump onto.
- Sprinting could be about movement stability.
- Posture, balance, stability and mobility= foundations of excellent movement.
- Fighting nature is futile. Eat more food in the winter, train outside in the sunshine, train inside in the dark.
- Quality of food and sleep should be treated like medicine.
- The better the athlete trains at the end of my session, the less they have learnt.
- Good movement is not repeating the same movement over and over again.
- Exercises that have no intention will result in limited adaptation in co- ordination.
- You can change the environment, the task or the organism to create success.
- Reaction to light stimuli has zero transfer to 3 dimensional objects.
- There are lots of good coaches doing great work out there in difficult circumstances.
- Stimulate, adapt, stabilise, actualise: allow time for stabilisation before you build on that fitness component.
- Stress is cumulative, periodise your training around stressful life events.
- Training 2 blind players together is like herding bees.
- If you are going into battle, it’s a good idea to take an ex Regimental Sergeant Major with you.
- There are many solutions to the same problem, but integrity should never, ever be compromised.
- Using images and diagrams in coaching has helped me communicate more widely.
- Working with blind players has helped me focus on the quality and specificity of verbal messages.
- Regeneration of mind, body and soul is essential for coaches and athletes alike.
Life’s tough; it’s a hell of a lot tougher if you’re stupid. Keep learning.
If you want to gain the benefit of these lessons, then I am recruiting people to the Excelsior Athletic Development Club now. All levels welcome, you just have to want to improve.
I first worked with James in Devon Golf’s High Performance Group when I was 16. His attitude and enthusiasm towards training was the main reason I approached him whilst I was studying in the U.S.A to train with him again. He makes our sessions tough but enjoyable. He […]
19 Aug 2017
Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course – Kensington, London. 19-20 August 2017. Venue: Westway Sport & Fitness Centre, 1 Crowthorne Rd, London W10 6RP Asessment Day – Sunday 1 October 2017. Cost: £280 including materials and access to online resources. To book send a deposit of £100 here. The deposit is non refundable. Once the full balance has been paid and […]