Follow us on


07976 306 494

Main Menu

Latest Blog Entry

IFAC Reflections Part 2
January 22, 2019
A review of Jerome Simian’s workshops on physical preparation for sport. I had to choose between different “strands” of coaching topics at the IFAC conference in Loughborough. A difficult choice, not wanting to miss out on some excellent speakers. I chose to attend Simian’s because of a quote I heard on the HMMR podcast: “I […]

User login

Lost password?

Are you a Dot Collector or a Dot Connector?

Connect Dots, Don’t just collect them

Dot collectorThis came up time and again over the weekend as aspiring coaches sat their Level 2 S&C exam on Saturday and when we ran a 3 hour intensive workshop on Athletic Development on Sunday.

Anyone can go to a workshop, read a book or watch a YouTube video and get a drill or exercise.

A good coach knows how to assess whether this fits into their System of training, and if so how and when to use it.

This is the difference between just collecting dots and knowing how to connect them.

(Thanks to Seth Godin for analogy)

Lessons learnt in the last year

Sunday saw our first Excelsior intensive workshop for coaches who have attended our Level 1 or Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Courses.

I introduced an overview of Athletic Development and what I have learnt over the last year, especially lessons learnt from GAINV

This included looking at:

This was not a comprehensive review, but more of a stimulus to spark off ideas and thoughts for the coaches.

Agility Principles and Progressions

Having given an overview, I then extrapolated agility and looked at it in much more detail. I explained the three stages:

  1. Fundamentals
  2. Motor pattern development
  3. Autonomics

Each stage has various aspects that need to be included, but none can be addressed if the previous stage is not firm or entrenched.

I spent some time looking at each stage and giving the underlying reasons why each is important and the components of each.

By having a systematic approach to agility the coach can then select the right exercise or drill for the athlete/ team at each stage. Rather than doing STUFF.

We then spent over an hour going through this in practice. I emphasised the need to Coach each aspect, each drill and each player.

A lot of the time I just watch people going through the motions and not trying to get better.

It was good to see the Coaches grasping the concepts and connecting the dots, learning what to look for and how all the activities were inter related.

Community of Practice

We then wrapped up by discussing how we were going to implement and develop the Excelsior community of practice. 

A community of practice is just a way of sharing ideas informally, it is free and is a recognised form of learning. A lot of best practices come from informal conversations or “coffee break coaching“.

It was great to see the coaches sharing ideas and information at the end of the day. If anything, it is soemtimes just to know that the problems you have aren’t unique!

Any coach who has completed a level 1 or level 2 course gets free access to specific resources here. We are expanding this into idea sharing and problem solving by using the Google+ community and the workshops to really help each other develop and improve.

Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Client Testimonials

Louise Helyer – Modern Pentathlete, Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist Epee
I have been working with James since September 2009, with a history of becoming injured in winter months our main goal was to over come this and help my core/hip area to become more stable thus enabling me to run at my full potential. Not only have I made it through the winter months without gaining the usual knee injuries I have also improved my performance to currently become one of the top ranked athletes.

Upcoming Courses

Athletic Development Coach – WILLAND
20 Feb 2019

Athletic Development Coach Venue: WILLAND Date: Wednesday 20th February. Time 0900-1630. Booking deadline Friday 8 February Is the ‘Athletic Development Coach’ course for me? This particular course is for our junior members to attend. If you are interested in attending please contact Carly. What will I learn? Course Goals and Objectives Candidates will be expected […]