Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Wisdom from John Kessel's Blog:

Tryouts and Our Deepest Fear

For those who favor brevity these 2 things really stuck out to me:

from Mia Hamm:
"Do you remember why you play or has it been too long? Do you play because you've worked so hard to get where you are or is it because you love to be part of a team? Is it because you love the anxiety before the game? Is it because you don't want to let anyone down or because you don't want to let yourself down? Somewhere behind the athlete you've become, the hours of practice, the coaches who pushed you, the teammates who believe in you, and the fans who cheer for you is the little girl who took that first perfect shot. The little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back, PLAY FOR HER."

from Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Steven Plisk is a Genius

Read if you value a structure beyond "keep it simple"

I get questions that refer to a specific coaching situation or what an athlete has in mind for their training. When asked, my response is "If you had to do it that way this is what I would do but if you ask me how I would do it I will tell you a different story." When has excellence been formed on the foundation of compromise?

A common trend in coaching is for coaches who have a specific population in mind generalizing advice to all populations and environments. If all I did was train a collegiate volleyball team my advice would probably center on that environment. But since I get to train athletes at many different levels of development, and since I also recruit athletes to participate in my ELITE long-term athlete development program, and since I am seeking to truly help develop a process that will develop elite volleyball players and athletes I will continue to discuss the optimization of the physical preparation process.

That is all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Is strength enough?

The Plan (It is elegant in its simplicity):

The Actual Process (Note the drastic change in form):

The Complete View:

Is it fairly easy to see how small errors in the development of motor skill can drastically affect our total accuracy and by extension our development of a "complete" athlete (with respect to the targeted motor qualities)?

To many coaches the "strong" athlete is key but how much is being left on the table? How does strength help them express other qualities? When does an athlete have enough strength and when should more time be focused on other motor qualities (perhaps the ones we are sucking at apparently in the example above)?

Strength and speed in combination is typically oversimplified as the term power (I am guilty of this as well) but what happens when transfer to sport tells us that the speed side of the equation is more significant and we are off target and underdeveloped there?

The goal of training should have integrity to it and strength training plays a big part in this but if we allow for proximity bias to occur the strength coach will always lean towards strength!

We should be clear to athletes that development is a comprehensive process and excellence and expertise in one motor skill does not guarantee expertise in the others.

LT266 Meet Results:

Execution on my snatch attempts was poor and is an extension of my training to date. I'm still working very hard on my 2nd pull and being more patient to the end. Staying over the bar longer is key but I am learning how to squeeze, or "tuck", the bar in towards my hips so the bar doesn't sneak away from me and go on its own ride. Keeping my knuckles over the bar and setting my hips more slowly will also definitely help me execute more effectively in the future. Now a blending/layering of technical work in combination with "gettin' after it" more for further improvements.

Clean and Jerk:
My psychological/physiological arousal level is definitely more accurate on my clean and jerk attempts. The bending of my knees/hips before I drop into position to initiate the clean helps me to set my hips/ankles (making sure I feel my foot/ankle engaging with the floor). I realize for many this may be overkill but for me I feel much better in my set position if I set my foot diligently. Overall I kept the bar in close and pulled hard and long with my feet glued to the platform until the last possible millisecond. Patient in my recovery on 125k but more aggressive with 130 and 135k (by necessity). Jerks were solid but still need more strength from my trunk and hips to support stronger drive and recovery. Overall, my kung fu was strong on clean and jerk.

I also had a better focus on my visual targeting/accuracy for the clean and jerk. A lack of platform experience (this being only my 2nd competition) had me a little confused on where I should be focusing and how to reduce distractions (environmentally and internally).

Also snatched 110k in training 10 days after...

It was killer!