Doping: what do we know? What can coaches do?

Does cricket have a problem doping?  Specifically, with the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)?  I would have said not, until I read this article from Andy Bull, in the Guardian from November 2017.  And then, last week, another piece on doping in cricket, this time from Tim Wigmore in the Daily Telegraph (subscription item).

So it was quite timely that I attended the inaugural lecture of Professor James Skinner, recently appointed as the Director of the Institute for Sport Business at Loughborough University London.

Professor Skinner and his colleagues have carried out a number of  research projects investigating perceptions of and attitudes towards doping in sport – public, athletes & coaches, dopers, young athletes.

And he has come to the conclusion that knowing why athletes dope is at least as important as knowing how when trying to devise appropriate counter-measures.

Continue reading Doping: what do we know? What can coaches do?

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?

How to Introduce Javelin to Young Athletes – from Coaching Young Athletes

If this works for teaching javelin (and I’m sure it does), perhaps there is something here for bowling?

I often see young cricketers struggle with “bowling from base” – they miss the all-important rotation from a basically side-on base to front-on release when there is no inherent forward motion – and the step-by-step approach might help to get them through this.

I’ll have to try this out – perhaps starting from “withdraw & throw”…with a straight arm, of course!

Coaching Young Athletes

Coach Young Athletes to Throw a Javelin in 6 Simple Steps

The following sequence can be used to introduce the javelin to beginners using either modified javelins (e.g. Turbojavs) or the real implement. I have used these teaching steps with class-sized groups of up to thirty children within a thirty minute session and with smaller groups and individuals.

Group Organization & Supervision

When teaching a throwing skill to large groups, ensuring the best use of the limited time available is vital. Maximizing activity time and organizing smooth transitions between activities is important if a throwing session with large numbers is to be productive. To ensure the athletes receive the maximum number of attempts, I aim to provide as many implements as possible. Therefore with a group of thirty participants, if I have fifteen implements, I will arrange it so that the athletes work in pairs, with fifteen of the group…

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