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What’s all this Leadership by Empowerment stuff about?
What’s all this Leadership by Empowerment stuff about?

Leadership groups, leadership teams, player leadership teams, team councils………

What’s going on here? Players making decisions? Players leading? Players taking ownership of their training and playing programs?

  • What’s all this empowerment stuff about?
  • What does engagement mean? Is someone getting married?
  • And what the hell is a leadership group?

I thought coaches coached, managers managed, fans cheered, doctors doctored and players played.

All of sudden every AFL, rugby, football, cricket, netball and rugby league team has embraced a player empowerment leadership model. Five years ago, most of us couldn’t even spell it.

Let’s have closer look at what’s going on.

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Coach = Athlete = Coach
Coach = Athlete = Coach

Apply the same standards and expectations to yourself as you expect from your athletes.

Apply the same standards and expectations to yourself as you expect from your athletes.

One more time, just in case you didn’t get it.

Apply the same standards and expectations to yourself as you expect from your athletes.

Think about it. How can you coach at your best and provide quality coaching services to talented athletes when your own standards and what you expect of yourself is LESS than what you expect of your athletes?

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The Fourth Element – Athlete Engagement!
The Fourth Element – Athlete Engagement!

 

Training Load Lecture Number 1 of every coaching course in the world starts with the 3 standard variables in load management and exercise physiology:

  1. Volume – How much to do
  2. Intensity – How hard to do it
  3. Frequency – How often to do it.

But, once you have coached for a few years and actually worked with athletes, the fourth and perhaps the most important variable of all becomes apparent as the critical determinant of exercise and training:

4. Athlete engagement – How completely the athlete is engaged in doing the activity.

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Recruiting a Successful High Performance Team in High Performance Sport
Recruiting a Successful High Performance Team in High Performance Sport

 

Gone are the days of the “Guru” sports coaches: the “Super Coach” of the past has lost his powers to the kryptonite of modern sport – i.e. the increased complexity and sophistication of high performance sports environments.

Sure, the great names of coaching have all been “one man bands” – strong, decisive, authoritarian, personal leadership focused head coaches who controlled every aspect of the team’s performance.

However, high performance sport has developed at an incredible rate over the past twenty years and the knowledge and skills required to win a high performance sporting competition are greater than any one person can bring to the table.

Think of the advances in performance science, sports science, sports medicine, analysis, IT, nutrition, psychology and technology since the 1980s.

How can we expect that any one person can be the expert in all performance areas plus coach the team, deal with the media, work with Club Board and Executive, recruit new players, talk to sponsors, meet the fans etc etc etc?

So – the Coaching Team and High Performance Team concepts are born.

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Sports Science: Observations of Philosophies in Sports Science and Sports Medicine in High Performance Sport
Sports Science: Observations of Philosophies in Sports Science and Sports Medicine in High Performance Sport

Sports Science has to Change

Over the past 20 years I have had the fortunate experience of working with some of the leading sporting nations in their quest for elite sporting excellence.

I write this article as a plea to all sports scientists, regardless of discipline, to evaluate what they are doing and think about being more innovative and creative in their methods and practices.

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Bye Bye Bompa, Bompa Bye Bye….the death of periodisation.
Bye Bye Bompa, Bompa Bye Bye….the death of periodisation.

First let me say I have total, 100% complete admiration and respect for Bompa himself – a true pioneer of the sports coaching and the sports performance industry. This article is in no way a criticism of him personally but rather a proclamation that Periodization as a concept is now officially dead and buried.

Periodization – that is, the traditional sports training planning model involving long blocks (cycles or phases) of training which emphasise specific aspects of training is 20 years past the use by date and it’s time we all moved on to something more relevant and more effective for the training and preparation of athletes in this century.

The popular version of periodisation was developed in the Eastern block, 40 years ago, for senior athletes: another time, another system, another world – and totally inappropriate for today’s athletes.

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English Premier League (EPL): Doomed to Fail.
English Premier League (EPL): Doomed to Fail.

The E.P.L – the English Premier League, is arguably the most exciting professional football competition in the world. It is also the most at risk. The history of professional sport has taught us one thing above all….long term, sustainable success is nearly impossible to achieve. And, the teams and competitions which are most at risk are those who have not learnt from the mistakes of the past. This post discusses the dangers in store for the EPL and suggests some ideas on how the EPL can choose to survive and thrive or die.

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10000 Hours to Make a Sporting Champion?
10000 Hours to Make a Sporting Champion?

10000 hours to create a world class athlete. I don’t think so. Being the best is not about what you do…it’s how you do it. It’s understanding the difference between “content” and “intent” and that the attitude of an athlete to the way they train, prepare, compete and recover is what really makes a difference. This article and podcast challenges the 10000 hours concept and suggests that quality coaching and athlete engagement is what matters. Don’t count the training time….make the training time count.

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Motivation and Coaching – A Misunderstood Mental Matter.
Motivation and Coaching – A Misunderstood Mental Matter.

 

Motivation is something many coaches talk about.

Some read about it and try to learn the secrets of motivation in a bid to help their athletes achieve the impossible.

Others spend money on motivational speakers to try and motivate their athletes through a passionate team talk or an explosive, emotional pre-performance presentation.

Others attend courses, go to workshops and enrol in mental skills programs to learn the mysteries of motivation.

Coaches….don’t waste your time and money.

No one can motivate anyone to do anything.

You need to understand Motivation and Coaching.

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