Articles

March 11, 2018

III. Effective Practice

“From the ten coaches I had when I was a youth player, one made me a better player, three didn't do any harm, and if I'd listened to the six others I would have never Become a Professional Footballer"

Marco Van Basten

Do players progress despite of, or because of their development programmes? Is it survival of the fittest or evolution of the most resilient? These questions probe the efficacy of many youth development programmes that are outcome driven and judge the basis of...

March 11, 2018

I. Introduction

This article aims to bring to the forefront the obligations of the coach in youth player development, and in doing so, challenge current status quo. For the purposes of this article the term “coach” shall not be restrictive to the technical or head coach. Rather, the reader is encouraged to interpret the term more widely to those significant others operating within positions of influence and who have the opportunity to positively influence holistic behaviour change. The overarchin...

March 11, 2018

IV. Professional Development

“10 years of coaching without reflection is like one year repeated ten times”

Gilbert and Trudel (2006)

Expanding beyond the S&C field, the specificity trap can also be interpreted within the much coveted domain of experience. Drawing upon an analogy, during World War One, mules were called upon to transport heavy military equipment and supplies. One particular mule accompanied the soldier on the battlefield for every mission. By the end of the war, the soldier went on...

March 11, 2018

II. Training

“Sport specific drills or sport specific qualities?”

Many coaches will fall into the ‘trap’ of taking a primary skill from their sport and overloading it in the hope of an enhanced carry-over effect when the skill is performed under normal conditions. An example of applying such overload would be a boxing coach instructing his athlete to spar with dumbbells based on the assumption that once the method of overload is removed, the athlete’s skill (e.g. jab) will be more powerful than be...

March 11, 2018

I. Introduction

The principle of specificity relates to improvements or adaptations that are a direct product of the demands encountered during training activities (1). Within the field of strength and conditioning (S&C), a point of confusion often stems from a lack of distinguishing between skills (technique, coordination, rhythm) and capacities (force production, aerobic capacity, tissue quantity e.g. tendon stiffness, muscle cross-sectional area) in regards to the investment of training time (...

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