Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Finals are just around the corner so any edge you can get you should take so here's some quick game day nutrition idea's from Nate Winkler:

- Each muscle contraction requires an exchange of sodium, potassium and calcium ad if there is  shortage of one of them then contraction efficiency diminishes resulting and fatigue and cramps

- Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption

- Calcium sources include sesame seeds, almonds, herbs, green leafy veg and whey protein

- For morning games, dinner the night before should consist of water, 100 - 150g protein, a dark green veg and a large carbohydrate serve

- In the morning have protein/fats only and optional caffeine but make sure you've experimented with caffeine prior as gameday

- For afternoon games do the same but carb sources should be more starch bsed

- If the game starts at 2pm or thereabouts then have some whey protein at about 11am with some peanut butter and banana

Too much carbs before sport causes an activation of the autonomic nervous system and also spikes insulin the way a full meal would

- For evening games have protein, fat and veg in the morning and again have the whey protein, peanut butter and banana meal at 11am but add 1 cup of raw oats

- Then have a medium carb serve with first lunch and avoid starches from there out focusing on fruit carbs up until game time

- Caffeine can then be had 30 - 45mins before your warm up

Sunday, August 12, 2018


Flow has recently being getting a lot of attention lately, well through the channels that I do my research in anyway.

Flow refers to subconsciously being "on" where everything goes perfect for you with little effort.

I'm sure most of us have experienced it within games at some point where you "have it on a string" or "have a purple patch."

Whatever you label it it's actually called flow.

It's pretty much what Jack Riewoltd was in this past Saturday kicking 10.6.

It's till unclear how to definitely put this into practice (it's highly specific to each person) but here's some tips from powerlifter Ben Pollack who runs through this sequence before a personal best attempt to prepare himself as best he can to complete it.

#1 - For 2 – 3mins sit/lie quietly taking deep breathes consisting of 5 second inhalation where your focus in on oxygen entering the body followed by a 5 second exhalation, focusing on the sense of calm building in your body for 5 full breathes

#2 - Become aware of your physical senses (taste, smell, feel) and how your feet feel against the floor (hopefully light)

#3 - Recall a time when you were completely in the zone and you were at your best and try to remember how you felt at that time, filling your body with that sensation starting at a spot just above your head and working down through your head, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, legs and feet. Then draw the sensation back up in the reverse order

#4 - Take 1 last breathe in/out and open your eyes

You could use this prior to the game and then at quarter, half and three quarter time breaks and you could easily put a quicker version of this together in your goal kicking routine.

I'll endeavor to post a more comprehensive blog on this in the near future. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


North Melbourne forward Jarrad Waite is no stranger to injury.

If he ever got a solid run at it, in his heyday he could have been a top 10 player in the entire AFL but unfortunately luck has not been on his side.

He might have kicked a kitten 1 day I'm not sure.

Anyway he was being interviews on Triple M the other week and went into some pretty cool details about his injury.

Injury - Soleus muscle which lies just beneath the Gastrocnemius muscle (calf) and anytime it's a deep muscle, it seems a lot harder to rehab then the outer lying muscles.

Injury Time - he's already been out for 6 - 8 weeks with this injury

Soleus - it actually works a harder when you jog compared to when you run as the calf is involved in a lot of the toe off action which is as prevalent in jogging compared to running and sprinting.

GPS Information #1 - the 17 - 18km/hr mark, or at 4.7 - 5 meters per second, is when the soleus is at it's highest risk of reinjury as it's the upper end of the speed bracket for soleus work but it's not quire where the gastroc kicks in enough to support it. Because of this he worked up to doing sets of 120m @ 14kms/hr or 3.88 meters per second.

GPS Information #2 - To avoid the soleus critical point of 17 - 18kms/hr as mentioned above, the next step during his rehab was to increase his speed all the way up to 22kms/hr, or 6.1 meters per second, a decent jump in workload in one go.

GPS Information #3 - 22kms/hr was where he was up to when the interview was done about 2 weeks ago but the next critical point was when you hit 25kms/hr, or 6.94 meters per second, then your hamstrings start to kick in and you want to avoid overworking them too early and too much for fear of trying to fix problem, but end up making 2.

Some pretty cool stats there!

Sunday, August 5, 2018


NOTE - For some reason I failed to note who I got this from in my files so poor form there. 

- The dynamical systems learning theory refers to the interaction between the task, the environment and your body, to execute a motor skill

- The manipulation of any of those elements will affect how the skill is performed, such as holding a ball when running vs when you're not (task), terrain which can alter stiffness (environment) and  fatigue/mobility/injury status can affect mechanics of running/jumping etc (body)

- Hard skill vs soft skill is attractors vs fluctuators

- Hard skill/attractors are the elements that never change no matter what such as triple extension in 1 leg, triple flexion in the other leg and propulsion, which occurs in every skill you need for your sport

- When you kick, the plant leg contacts isometrically to stabilise, the swing leg flexes at the hip and your aim is to kick a goal

- Soft skill/flucuators are those elements of the movement which can change from repetition to repetition according to changes in the aforementioned factors (task, environment, body)

- When the wet and muddy weather changes how forcefully we can push into the ground when sprinting, the slippery ground will also influence how defenders move, the change of direction angle, kicking distance, wind strength etc

- For each movement you teach, identify the hard and soft skills of it

- Devise manipulations of the task through environment or the athlete’s body, to force them into correct execution of the hard skill

- Repeat the skill performed at a high level

- Repeat the skill again at a high level but this time consider how the task through environment or body, can be manipulated to learn a soft skill, looking to force a change in the execution of the skill in a manner relevant to the sport/position/technique

- For sprinting the hard skills are stance leg, triple flexion of swing leg and maintaining erect posture throughout and keep displacement of the body in a forward  direction with each step

- To cement the hard skill you can manipulate the task environment with wickets and then by tasking the athlete with not kicking or stepping on the micro hurdle, where you can prevent pushing out the back during hip extension of the stance phase and thus over striding during initial contact

- Added load like a plate or a barbell and tasking the athlete with keeping the objects overhead during a running task forces the athlete to contract isometrically, promoting erect posture etc

- Once the hard skill is cemented then you can further manipulate the task and/or environment to expose the athlete to changing learning environments and develop the soft skill which might entail running on different surfaces or you might include carrying a ball or an unstable load like a water ball to make stability unpredictable.

Thursday, August 2, 2018


There's been a fair bit of buzz around neurotyping lately and with good reason.

We train because we want to get better.

This means that there needs to be literal transfer of how and what we train, into competition performance.

This means that training needs to specific to what type of athlete we are to get as much transfer as possible.

This is where neurotyping comes in.

I probably have 5+ pages of neurotyping stuff in my files but I'll keep this extremely brief to just get you thinking about it.

- Determine your neurotransmitter type and train in accordance with it

- Dopamine types are relate to energy, getting things done, are intensity hounds, need to watch how often they train

- Acetylcholine types are related to creativity, will respond better to more variations in training load, will also do better with more discovery based training

- Gaba types are related to consistency and loyalty, can sustain greater training loads for extended periods of time

- Serotonin types are your chillaxing types who love to just sit back and enjoy doing nothing

- You can determine your neurotransmitter type by taking the Braverman Test.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Just yesterday I read an article that appeared on the Track Football Consortium website from track coach Tony Holler where he wrote about his liaisons with another track/running coach John O'Malley.

After numerous sit downs with him he put a bunch of specific questions to him on his coaching philosophy and here are what I chose as the best bits.

If you're a serious coach then you should be able to take PLENTY out of this and at the very least it will get you thinking.

- Athletes trust coaches and coaches trust athletes meaning that instead of people trusting the process 76ers style, people really trust people

- How to Cook v What's the can make a cheap piece of meat taste like a thousand dollars but you can also make an expensive piece of meat taste like garbage if you cook it wrong so learn how to "slow cook" your athletes so they'll be in the correct state at the right time to absorb the stimulus you want to give them and actually gain benefit from it. Running players into the ground the day after the game for "punishment" will do a hellava lot more worse then good in the short and long term.

- Never be afraid to do the things that you're afraid to do

- He gets bored if there isn't a threat of failure...learn to embrace potential failure

If you are a fan of the NBA then you'll be aware of Brad Stevens, the Boston Celtics coach, who he sent time with in his college days and he made these points about that experience:

- Your team will reflect your emotional discipline or lack of it

- Set standards/pillars before the season starts and when things get messy, go back to them

- Pillars are more important than goals as they lead to goals

- Get the right people on the bus and drop the wrong one's off

- Focus on relationships

- Pressure filled moments/weeks need to met with normalcy, again referring to your pillars, and make sure to have fun and enjoy the moment

 - Control the controllables better than anyone else and don't worry about the uncontrollables

- If you remember the racehorse movie Seabiscuit with Toby Maguire, then he thought that he had the perfect team with an owner who was idealistic/optimistic, picked his team and believed in them greatly + a trainer who had a ridiculous eye for detail and then a horse that had been beaten down but through nurturing he was able to fall in love with running again and loved to compete

- Look at sessions in time, not distance, as the time it takes  to perform a task will determine your athletes perceived effort better then anything

- Never be too far away from competition readiness

- Neurons fire or they don't and if they haven't had the recovery to fire again then you're wasting your time which is why max speed training needs full rest

- College coaches need dialogue with high school coaches of in-coming athletes (hint to coaches starting at new teams next year)

- Don't ever let getting strong or getting fit get in the way of getting fast

-  Max speed sprinting ability improves performance at every distance

- Speed reserve can be translated to any event

- If you stay between the lines then there's a traffic jam in front of you and it's far too crowded so even though it may be safer, you won't really get anywhere

Sunday, July 29, 2018


We've all got that teammate who is over eager in the warm doing bumps and giving corkies to half the team before the siren's even gone.

We've all got that teammate who seems to have not actually woken up from bed even though he managed to drive 30mins to the ground without incident.

Arousal can be a powerful tool if you know ho to harness and modify it correctly but I'll just list a few dot points about it right now and will possibly do something bigger on it very soon.

Arousal is:

- Your state of readiness

- Refers to your physical, emotional and mental state

- Is a measure of your internal energy level (think butterflies)

- It also includes your psychological (anger, confidence, fear, butterflies) and physiological (pulse, breathing, core temperature) elements.

- Each of us has an optimal arousal level

- We also have personal optimal arousal levels for various tasks

- New and difficult tasks usually go with low arousal as you're probably taking more output, thinking more and taking longer to make decisions

- Well-learned and easy tasks usually go with high arousal

- Most tasks are in the medium range

- You need to develop routines for decreasing, increasing and maintaining arousal to avoid burn out