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October 14, 2017

Why do we coach? Events in sport today present us with a teachable moment.


At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, 200m Gold medallist, Tommie Smith and Bronze medallist, John Carlos, raised black-gloved fists on the medal dais in support of the civil rights struggle in America....

October 14, 2017

"Concentrate!" "You have to get your head in the game!" and other unhelpful phrases. These vague instructions rarely work unless the athlete has a strategy and the skills to do that.  'Concentrate' is a suitcase term - lots of different meanings for different athletes....

October 14, 2017

Of course, not a lot of the standard sayings we have as coaches are original. Often we appropriate the clever words of others and use them to inspire, cajole or critique our athletes. One of the best known in that category is "winning isn't everything, it's the only th...

October 14, 2017

A couple of pointers:


👉Many coaches stand at the oddest angles to watch the athletes train. In competition, you mostly don't get much choice, but on the training floor, you are in charge. Pick a position where you have the best line of sight on the performance path. F...

October 14, 2017

The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said that "Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful." Great words from a legend of coaching - and not just basketball coaching. Few, if any coaches, have bestrode...

October 14, 2017

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has responsibility for the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). New Zealand’s own Drug Free Sport New Zealand is a government agency with responsibility (in law) for implementing the Code. If you’ve never seen the Sports Anti-Doping Ac...

October 14, 2017

One of the early messages I heard from those trying to understand the Russian system of long-term athlete development was the suggestion it takes 18 years to develop and Olympic champion. Some in the West inferred that meant hot-housing talent. My sense of it was a lit...

October 14, 2017

Earlier in September 2017, along with China, Turkey and others, Russia was suspended from international weightlifting for one year. The International Weightlifting Federation handed down this punishment to those countries each producing three or more Anti-Doping Rule V...

October 14, 2017

I was asked recently if I could summarise the basics of coaching. My first responses were, how long have you got to hear the summary and also who is asking the question? For example, if a general practitioner were to ask a surgeon colleague about the basics of neurosur...

October 14, 2017

At a recent weightlifting session, I pointed out to one lifter that the clean and jerk component of a competition “sorted the wheat from the chaff”. Blank look! Yet again it reminded me of how we older (mature) coaches will use phrases from our own upbringing to descri...

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Coaching for results

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