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Showing posts from August, 2016

Its Not Complicated, Its Just Really Hard

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I was once in a big review meeting after the Olympic Games. There were 20 or 30 people, most of whom were at the Games, and they (we) were reviewing what happened with a view to improving things for the next Games. I’ll never forget the 20+ minute discussion on Powerade. It was a discussion on whether to have powdered Powerade or liquid Powerade, and people were passionately discussing the positives and negatives which were brought to light at the recent competition. Now, the people involved in the conversation were very smart people who were serious in their desire to work out the best solution, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there weren’t more important things to be spending 20 minutes evaluating.

As the knowledge of sport and its peripherals increases its possible to add more and more layers of complexity on something that might be simple, just hard to do. What’s the PERFECT diet, the BEST recovery, the PERFECT schedule for meals, the BEST travel routine? What’s the BEST physiq…

On Sports Esoteria

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I put off writing this blog for a long time, but eventually the relentless encouragement of Keith Lyons wore me down. So, during a storm delay at a beach volleyball event in 2012, I wrote my first couple of posts. Having just re-read my first post, I'm lucky almost no one ever read it otherwise I surely would have been told to stop immediately.

I recently got told that my blog was sometimes a bit too esoteric, by someone who likes esoteric things. After that I wrote two pretty straight-forward posts which were far and away the most read of anything I'd written. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but its nice to know people read what I write from time to time.

So anyway, I've now reached 50,000 hits. I'm sure this is trivial for many people, but it sounds like a lot to me. Thanks to anyone who has read the posts. Thanks particularly to anyone who has commented, either on the blog or directly.

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Effective Communication for Coaches

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I recently attended a great presentation by a skill acquisition specialist focussing on effective communication for coaches.

The great part of it was that all the presented did is present research findings. It wasn't his opinion, it was information based on research.

The research findings (and I'll paraphrase) were:

Guided Discovery has a Moderate rate of change, but changes are permanent and resistant to pressure. Direct Instruction has has a Fast rate of change but are impermanent and not resistant to pressureSo.....allow the athletes to make errors and work things out for themselvesOf three different methods of feedback (Corrective only, Positive only, Positive then Corrective) the least effective is Corrective only. Yep - just saying nice things is more effective than just giving corrective feedback. The most effective is Positive then CorrectiveSo.....if nothing else, say something positive firstAdapted Practice (open training drills) doesn't show improvements as quic…

10 Things That Require Zero Talent (but aren't easy)

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I've seen this list a few times over the last month of so and it always makes me think.

Firstly, don't get me wrong, I'm comfortable with the list. The way talent is generally defined (which is really a description of someone's Sport Specific Physical Aptitude), the list makes sense. Specifically, the point is that there is no relationship between the aptitude to successfully perform the skills of a sport, and the attributes listed.

 I'd like to make another list of things that require little effort for some people:
Being able to jump higher than your most of your peersBeing able to run faster than most of your peersBeing able to lift more than most of your peersBeing able to perform complicated technical skills better than most of your peersBeing able to physically exert yourself longer than most of your peers before fatiguingok - I'm not going to do 10, I think you get the idea So - now lets make a distinction between things that require 'talent' and …

Beach Volleyball Athlete Profile - Rio 2016

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I somehow found this article today, talking about the increasing height of beach volleyball players. What struck me is that it was written 9 years ago, but sounds like it could have been written for the upcoming Olympics. Which got me thinking - we always hear about how tall athletes are, and tall players are always targeted for development opportunities, but are athletes really getting taller? The following data comes from the NBCOlympics.com site. I don't know about its accuracy, other than to say that if they aren't accurate, then it is more likely they are over-estimated than under-estimated.




WomenMenAverage (cm)179.8195.0Maximum (cm)195.6210.8Minimum (cm)162.6177.8Median (cm)180.3195.6
Other interesting facts: Women30 female athletes under 6 foot11 athletes in the Top 10 teams under 6 foot2 athletes in the Top 3 teams under 5 foot 10Men23 athletes under 6 foot 5 inches7 athletes in the Top 10 teams under 6 foot 52 athletes in the Top 3 teams 6 foot 1
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