Performance development is not just for “performance” athletes – podcast with Mark Bennett & Stuart Armstrong

Fascinating podcast from Stuart Armstrong with Mark Bennett MBE, founder of PDS (Performance Development Systems) .

Lots of take-aways for coaches from this, and their earlier podcast, not least the definition of “performance” as a behaviour or “state of being”, rather than a standard. For a coach working mostly with “participation” or “community” players, that means I could help them to develop appropriate performance behaviours to carry them onwards through their future careers, sporting or otherwise.

Continue reading Performance development is not just for “performance” athletes – podcast with Mark Bennett & Stuart Armstrong

Coachability – is it a thing?

Should we seek, or create, cricketers who are “coachable”? Can we even agree what we mean by “coachable”?

I came across a fascinating article quoting  Brittney Reese, multiple World and Olympic Champion in the long jump, on the process of becoming a champion.

A story from the 2013 World Championships was especially interesting.  Reese, at that time the reigning World Champion, had only just managed to qualify for the final.

“…my coach told me to ‘stop acting like a girl, and just jump’.

That night I went back, looked at the film and tried to figure out where I was going wrong.”

This was presented as evidence of Reese’s “coachability”, but I’m not sure this really demonstrates “coachability”, not as I understand the term, at least. Continue reading Coachability – is it a thing?

Feel the Force – creating power for cricket, with Mark Sheppard and @HECCSport

I attended a fascinating “power” workshop with Mark Sheppard of Active Intelligence Ltd, hosted by Luke Humphrey at HECCSport.

The event was described as “a workshop for coaches who want to understand and teach how to increase power for all levels and age groups”, and I certainly came away with a lot to think about…not to mention aches and pains from muscles that only rarely get called on when I am coaching!

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Feel the Force workshop – Mark Sheppard @HECCSport
Mark has a background in martial arts, and a lot of the ideas behind his very practical demonstrations come from this field – next time you see a batter throwing punches at a coach with boxing mitts, check out the batter’s feet and hips.

If he is really generating force, expect to see feet firmly planted, knees flexed to lower the batter’s centre of gravity, and transfer of weight into the punch.

Otherwise, what you will probably notice is that the mitts are being slapped, not thumped.

I shall certainly be using the demonstrations of the stable base position for power hitting and throwing in one-to-ones and group sessions with older players.

Perhaps not for all – I can’t see the Little Legends (3-4 years old) performing the “squat-shift”, just yet – but we can still make sure they are learning good movements patterns from an early age, so there is less need to un-learn bad habits later in life.

Continue reading Feel the Force – creating power for cricket, with Mark Sheppard and @HECCSport