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Showing posts from May, 2012

Building Blocks and Jigsaw Puzzles

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I love analogies.  They are very useful as a tool to help athletes understand a concept that might be foreign.  Recently I described a particular movement to an athlete as: "its like you are reaching as high as you possibly can to get something off the top shelf of a cupboard".  He immediately responded: "I never have to reach to get to the top shelf."  (Analogies aren't always perfect.)

There are thousands of analogies to coaching and team building.  Three of my favourite are that building a great team is like Lego, its like a Jigsaw Puzzle, its like building blocks.

All have positives and negaties, but Lego is my favourite.
Jigsaw Puzzle You need to start with a solid framework (border) and a vision for how it will look when you are finished.  All the pieces are there and have their own unique place to go, it just needs to be put together.  It requires consistency and trial and error, but eventually you know that if you stick with it, it will be completed…

Development by Design

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According to all Coach Education literature, planning is important (which is true of course).  A key part of planning is periodisation, that is, planning when you are going to train for certain aspects of performance. This can be physiological aspects, but also technical aspects, competitive aspects, you can even periodise when and how you use performance analysis (which is a post in itself).  While all good literature and lecturers suggest that periodisation needs to be flexible, the reality is that, if there is a competition at a certain point, the opportunity to be flexible is limited because there are things that need to be achieved by that point in time.

I constantly find myself hearing about 'Programs' which develop athletes.  Really good athletes involved in organised sports will be attached to many 'programs', sometimes in multiple sports at the same time.  This is fantastic.  And problematic.  There is the State program, the Club program, the School program t…