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December 15, 2019

In 1971-72, Peter Snell attended the legendary Loughborough Colleges Physical Education Department as a Scholarship student from New Zealand. He joined our teaching group made up of 20 to 21 year-olds and embarked on a year of study as a precursor to what became a dist...

October 19, 2019

It’s axiomatic that coaching is an art and a science. Many presentations have been given and papers written under the title “the art and science of coaching”. Little attention has been paid, however, to what that might mean when describing ‘good practice.

Put simply, th...

May 13, 2019

A coaching colleague recently shared some thoughts about coaching philosophy. He was exploring some ideas he’d often used sourced from a famous tennis coach. The ideas were centred on getting the best out of the athlete as early as possible and avoiding ‘wasted time’....

April 11, 2019

I ended my last post signalling the next topic of assessing skill performance. To reiterate an earlier point, even professional scouts and coaches have a patchy record in assessing skills. Character? Maybe: we’ll come back to that. But let’s look in a longer than usual...

March 20, 2019

Selecting your junior team by a skills assessment. A friend was struggling with his innate reluctance to agree with a coaching colleague that some of the school teams could be selected off the back of a skills assessment – a battery of tests. He asked me what I thought...

March 1, 2019

North Harbour Rugby’s decision over the last few days to scrap its junior representative programmes below the age of 17 has, unsurprisingly, attracted a lot of largely uninformed criticism. So, let’s look at what we know about junior sport – not what we think we know,...

January 28, 2019

Now the Australian Open is over I thought I’d make some coaching observations about player behaviour and ask questions about what coaches were doing.

First, contrast the classy post-match interviews of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Osaka with the ill-tempered and classless...

January 9, 2019

As I’ve suggested in previous posts, it’s essential that the ethics and morals of ‘good clean sport’ are taught, learned and practice. And no better place exists than in the training session. Being a “good sport’’, is no longer simply a trite English public school imag...

December 30, 2018

My last post addressed the essence of corruption as a matter of morality. This second post in the series on corruption focuses on how to rethink the topic in your coaching practice. Codes of practice founded on a rules-based approach has merit. But to be fair, the WADA...

December 21, 2018

Yesterday, Russian President, Vladimir Putin acknowledged that Russian sport was affected by widespread doping, but that the Russian state had nothing to do with it. Not a surprising statement on its face. Even less surprising when we hear that the World Anti-Doping Ag...

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