This week on myTwitter

Thursday May 19, 11

Connections in swimming

Sunday April 10, 11

Every now and again a new idea, or in this case a comparative coaching idea from another sport, yields a reward.

In today’s swim session I tried to import a coaching concept from kayak that I learned about a few years back (ok maybe a decade ago from Dr. Imre Kemecsey) and reapplied Saturday on my coaching session with Vancouver Ocean Sports.  The recycled idea is that of power circles.

The power circle concept is “relatively simple”, as a coach you associate a progression of technical elements with (or through) the relevant joints and muscles AND mental pathways needed to effect that element.  Power circles are an excellent visual mapping tool for sports with complex technical elements executed through multi-segmental movement acting in three or more rotational planes (i.e. canoe-kayak, swimming, xc skiing, gymnastics, dance, etc.).

There are innumerable power circles linking all the physical and technical elements together.  The resulting mental map of a sport’s power circles creates a very robust and flexible web of connections.

The application of this coaching technique is tricky as you have to understand the causal pathways required to effect the technique in question.  Most importantly, you have to know where a movement originates and where that movement ends.  Furthermore, as a coach you can’t rely on  visual demonstration any longer.  You have to develop clear verbal descriptions and engage your athletes in ongoing discussions as they learn the required connections.



stock training programs

Tuesday September 14, 10

After a few years humming and hawing about generic training programs, I am going to draft some for the more popular events in the sports I love to work with.

Historically, I have not been a big believer in generic plans.

However, I am a big believer in high quality coaching being available to those interested in it.   With more and more participants in triathlon, running, cycling and paddle sports, there seem to be more and more poor quality training programs available than good quality ones.  Anyone can hang out their shingle as a coach it seems, but very few have any skills that would allow their true coaching peers to recognize them as such- experience, track record, certification by a national sport coaching association,…

I have often heard said that it takes very little time to wreck an athlete through overtraining and poor guidance, but  a very long time to build long term success.  Any promises to build success in a very short time are more than likely just plain old BS.

So, I’ll see if I can draft up some plans that I would be proud to present as stand alone guidance.  Plans I am thinking of are;

  • a program that sychs with the Triathlon BC series
  • an Ironman Canada program
  • a program that targets a few Half Ironman programs in BC / generic Half Ironman plan
  • a cycling plan for events such as the Vancouver GranFondo
  • possibly a paddling program for Around Bowen Island or similar events

Where I see existing plans failing is in the lack of long term planning for the participants.  The biggest oversight is the failure to align the program with the stage of sport participation the participant is at (i.e. learning to train, training to train, training to compete, active for life, etc.).

In many sports, these stages are applied only to younger athletes in the Canada Games, National Team, etc. streams.  Adult participants and those not fortunate enough to be in the above programs are all placed in the same active for life stage, ignoring any individual goals or competitive ambitions or even a desire to train professionally.  With many adults in endurance sport being professionals themselves, exposure to professional training and training programs is a natural fit.

Keep checking back for updates on this project!