Stuff You Need to Read!

Stuff You Need to Read!

There are obviously some super busy bloggers right now as I’ve seen some great stuff popping up on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s a few I’ve picked out:

A Coaches’ Guide to Strength Development – www.mcmillanspeed.com

speed training

McMillanSpeed.com

Stu McMillan’s Blog is an awesome resource to check out for some great information relating to training for strength, power and speed. He recently posted a 5 part series on strength development and it’s something you’ve got to read packed full of quality info, check it out below:

McMillanSpeed.com – A Coaches’ Guide to Strength Development Part 1

McMillanSpeed.com – A Coaches’ Guide to Strength Development Part 2

McMillanSpeed.com – A Coaches’ Guide to Strength Development Part 3

McMillanSpeed.com – A Coaches’ Guide to Strength Development Part 4

McMillanSpeed.com – A Coaches’ Guide to Strength Development Part 5

 

6 Reasons Why All Athletes Should SPRINT

A nice article by Mike Young summarising the benefits of sprinting for all athletes – check it out: Mike Young’s – 6 Reasons Why All Athletes Should Sprint

 

CHAOS Training Revisited – www.nickgrantham.com

Nick recently posted up a link to previous blog of his own and a nice journal article looking at agility training for more experienced athletes making use of the CHAOS style of training! Well worth a read – CHAOS Training Revisited

Enjoy!

The Impact of S&C In Schools – An Athlete Case Study

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The Impact of S&C In Schools – An Athlete Case Study


There is no doubt in my mind that all schools should be working towards implementing a long term athlete development pathway. In schools, we have the more time than anyone to be able to positively impact up on young athletes.

We are at a point in time where the physical capabilities of young people are much lower than they used to be in a large number of cases.

Whilst many are actively playing in sport and developing sport specific skills, most are not being exposed to high quality movement training that enables them to develop a high level of athleticism to support their technical tactical development.

The Elite Performance Pathway

We have just completed the second academic year where we have delivered an in-curriculum Strength & Conditioning programme at Key Stage 4 (14-16 years old – Year 10 & Year 11).

Athletes on the programme receive 5 hours support across a two week timetable and are exposed to high quality training. We have developed a curriculum / pathway that covers movement preparation, strength training, jump/plyometric training, linear acceleration and top end speed, change of direction speed, agility and energy system development. In addition, they have completed psychological preparation workshops.

What the time in the school timetable provides is an incredible level of consistency, they have to turn up like they do to English & Maths. So what we’ve got is consistency beyond which I’ve ever been able to achieve with young athletes before.

When working as an external coach in schools previously, attendance at after school sessions was always variable due to other commitments in the evening, issues with travel getting to & from the sessions and clashes with sport specific training/fixtures.

The Impact

So people can understand the positive impact this type of programme can have I have included a real athlete profile of one of our 15 year old Rugby Players from this academic year.

Pre-training (Sept 2014)

Weight 64.1kg
10m Sprint – 1.96sec
Squat 10RM – 30kg
Bench 10RM – 30kg

Squat Jump* 35.8cm
Countermovement Jump* 47cm
Depth Jump (12″)* 39.4cm

*March 2015 measured with a Jump Mat

Post-training (July 2015)

Weight 64.5kg
10m Sprint – 1.81sec (-0.14sec)
Squat 10RM – 90kg (+60kg)
Bench 10RM – 65kg (+35kg)

Squat Jump 47cm (+11cm)
Counter Movement Jump 51.3cm (+4.3cm)
Depth Jump (12″) 46.7cm (+7.3cm)

There is still a long way to go with this athlete but what we have managed to put in place over the last 10 months is a foundation of strength to build up on over the next couple of years he is with us on the programme.

Another exciting development is that we are moving towards having a similar amount of time in the timetable at Key Stage 3 from September. We have been worked with an 11-14 year olds already but with much less time and consistency due to it being an extra-curricular session but we are really excited to see what the next academic year brings.

You can check out a more detailed insight to our school based LTAD system here with the full article featured in the UKSCA’s Professional Strength and Conditioning Journal.

Interested in joining other coaches to discuss LTAD? Check out the upcoming conference Child To Champion where a wide range of practitioners are coming together to present from different stages of the developmental continuum.

Mike Young Speed & Power Video

Mike Young Speed & Power Development Video

Back at the end of May we were fortunate enough to have Mike Young join us to deliver a two day workshop – An Integrated Approach to Speed & Power Development at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.

We were joined by coaches from some of the leading sports organisations across the British Isles including Scottish Rugby Union, England Rugby, Wales Rugby Union, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Exeter Chiefs and the English Cricket Board.

Across the two days Mike shared an incredible amount of information and provided real insight into how he develops speed and power with his athletes both in team sports and for his track athletes.

This included five different lectures and a series of field based sessions on the Saturday looking more specifically at Speed & Agility development followed by the Sunday where the focus shifted to Building A Bigger Engine for Speed & Power in the weight room.

There were lots of take home messages but here are three of my favourite points I took away:

1) Do the basics really well

What came across really clearly from Mike was that great coaches go about doing the basics extremely well, consistently over a long period of time. They also understanding what it takes to make athletes faster, and then specifically what the athletes’ need at a given point in time to help them get there.

When your athletes stop making progress from the basics, that is the time to ‘fire the gun’ and break out the more advanced training stimuli to get the extra speed and power your athletes require.

2) The Importance of Eccentric Strength & Power

Certainly one of the major eye opening areas for me was the importance of eccentric strength and power to creating super fast & agile athletes. I spent a lot of time chatting to Mike about this area over the four days he was with us and he had lots of creative methods of enhancing eccentric strength & power such as stiffness landings & jumps, release RDLs and rhythm squats. But he also introduced us to the Exxentric kBox3 which has made creating an eccentric overload a whole lot simpler and safer than traditional eccentric training methods using a barbell. Along with the kMeter to measure eccentric and concentric peak power, this bit of kit has added a completely new dimension to our training system from both a training and monitoring perspective. A big thanks to Mike for hauling it over from the states and introducing us to it!

3) Change of Direction in 4 Dimensions

When training to improve change of direction and agility for team sports, such as Rugby, Football and Basketball, as well as considering the usual forward, backward and lateral movement requirements we need to think about movement combinations that incorporate jumps.

For example, a defender in football jumps to head the ball away and then lands and has to close down a space/player or a basketball player jumps, blocks a shot, lands and then needs to accelerate to collect the ball down the court.

It seemed so obvious when Mike said it first, but it was an element that was missing from my sessions!

Check out the video for some more great info from Mike, we are working on the full video series being released soon!