All posts filed under: Coaching & PE

News, updates and products relating to Coaching and Physical Education.

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Small-group training: A sample program for fitness professionals

The pandemic has meant many of us have been working out alone in the comfort and safety of our own homes. When restrictions begin to ease will we run back to our old fitness classes, or will we be seeking smaller group sessions? Working out in a smaller group may allow some to feel more comfortable following the pandemic restrictions and may help create more of a community team spirit amongst participants. In this post, adapted from Keli Roberts’ A Professional’s Guide to Small-Group Personal Training, we take a look at a sample partner programme for you to implement in your small-group training. Why partner or team training? One of the main advantages of partner and team training in a small-group setting is that it provides an excellent opportunity to build community and accountability in a more social environment. Participants develop bonds and become accountable to each other as well as to the group as a whole. This helps build consistency in attendance and makes it easier for trainers to retain clients. It can also …

How to choose the right strength training exercises for athletes

As a coach choosing the right strength training exercises for athletes can be a daunting task with so many options out there: free weights, exercise machines, isometrics, uphill ambulation with an additional load, drop jumps, self-resistance exercises, and so on. In this post, adapted from Science and Practice of Strength Training, we explore the various classes of exercises used for strength enhancement for both beginning and qualified athletes. Classification First, let’s start by exploring the different classes of strength training exercises. Exercises used for strength training are typically classified according to the change in muscle length. They may be static, or isometric, which literally means “constant length,” or dynamic, a category further divided into exercises with concentric, eccentric, or reversible muscle action. Dynamic exercises are also sometimes labeled isotonic (from iso, meaning “constant,” and tonic, meaning “tension”). The underlying assumption is that the muscle produces an unvarying amount of tension while shortening as it overcomes a constant resistance. This is not the case for intact muscles. If external resistance (weight lifted) is constant, the tension exerted by a muscle varies during shortening because of …

What is the coaching communication loop and how can you use it?

As a coach, how we communicate with our athletes is key. What we say, how we say it and when we say it can all influence a player’s performance. In this post we explore the coaching communication loop, examining what a coach should say before, during and after an athlete moves, adapted from Nick Winkelman’s The Language of Coaching. Coaching Communication Loop While the beginning and end of each training session allows for preplanned messaging, the middle requires an adaptable yet repeatable pattern of communication that can be molded to the learning needs of the athlete. To achieve this balance of structure and flexibility, it is important that coaches have a communication model that can circle the movement, providing guidance on what to say before, possibly during, and after an athlete moves. Recognising the necessity and utility of such a model, Nick Winkelman conceptualized the coaching communication loop in The Language of Coaching, which simply calls attention to the five most important coaching moments surrounding each rep or set of a movement. These five moments, represented …

Grassroots football: Insights from a volunteer football coach

Pictured above Volunteer Coach Tony Page with the Beckwithshaw Saints Junior Boys Football Club. In this post we speak to Tony Page, Volunteer Football Coach for Beckwithshaw Saints Junior Football Club. For the past 3 years Tony has coached the under 13 boys team, which Human Kinetics now proudly sponsor.  We wanted to catch up with Tony to find out more about his experiences and insights as a volunteer football coach.  How did you get into coaching? My son, Oli, began playing for Beckwithshaw Saints. At training most parents stood politely in the parent zone. However I couldn’t stand still and used to prowl around the pitches intent on learning and inwardly critiquing what was going on!  It was clear there was an unofficial A team and a B team. Oli was in the B team due to his late start into football and this team received much less attention from the pre-existing coaches. I took a keen interest from the side-lines, and whilst I didn’t for one minute assume I could do better, I …

How to achieve attention and focus in dance via online channels

In this post author of Attention and Focus in Dance, Clare Guss-West, writes about how to achieve attention and focus in dance when teaching or learning dance via online platforms. Many dancers and teachers are facing the prospect of further restrictive measures and moving into 2021 continuing to dance and learn through virtual means. In 2020 we all demonstrated tremendous adaptability and creativity, quickly developing new technological and presentational skills in order to adapt to the circumstances. For some dancing publics even, advantages were experienced as dance became more accessible and more dance-per-week than ever became possible. Let’s not fool ourselves however, dancing with a screen is a great resource to have in extremis, however in terms of our ability to attend to the learning material – it’s a very different experience. As dancers first and foremost we need to be patient with ourselves and try to understand the attentional frustrations that we are experiencing. Dancing with a screen is the equivalent of suffering sudden ‘sensorial impairment’ overnight. Live in the dance studio, we learn by taking …

Attention and Focus in Dance: Interactive session

Clare Guss-West, author of Attention and Focus in Dance, recently led an interactive session at the virtual Dance Health Finland conference. Take a look at the session below (available until 31st May). The simple exercise examples Clare offers in this workshop are focused to help participants observe and compare what they think or feel during the internal and external cues. Clare encourages observations about the energy and effort required, asks questions to guide reflection about the differences experienced, and teaches for understanding about what is happening in the dance practice for the dancer. The session concludes with Johanna Osmala, president of Dance Health Finland, asking Clare a few questions to gain further insight into her work. Adapted from: Attention and Focus in Dance Clare Guss-West Buy the book

Injury prevention methods every footballer should know

Photo by Pixabay (Pexels) Injury is something which can fill players and coaches with a feeling of dread, potentially hindering performance for both the individual and the team.  Preparing the body through conditioning, strength training, and developing power, speed and agility are all key factors in preventing injury in football, ensuring the body is primed and ready for the demands of the sport. However, preventing injury isn’t simply about physical fitness. In fact preventing injury starts before even stepping into the training session. In this post we explore the key aspects of daily training and match routines to help lower the risk of injury taken from Complete Conditioning for Soccer.  Sleep It’s probably not news to you that getting enough quality sleep is important. It’s vital for our overall health, but also for injury prevention too.  When preparing for a match sleep should be taken into consideration. Pre-match day training should help players return to their baseline levels, to perform close to their optimal standards. This includes the management and care of all fatigue and damage the body …