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About The Author

Dr. Fergus Connolly is the Director of Performance and Director of Operations at University of Michigan Football and the author of Game Changer. He has worked with teams in the NFL, NBA, Premier League soccer, the Welsh national rugby team and British and American Special Forces.

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Recent Posts



Let’s Get (Beyond the) Physical: Simultaneously Develop Athletes’ Technical, Tactical, and Psychological Traits

By Fergus Connolly | Mon, Jun 25

Professional sports leagues across the globe look at youth talent in many different ways. Sometimes development programs appear very sophisticated and detailed, while in other cases they seem a lot simpler. At rugby and soccer clubs around the world, kids start in under-7, under-9, or under-11 junior teams and either rise through the ranks in the academy system or get snapped up at increasingly young ages by larger clubs offering the promise of a professional career.

In these sports, physical qualities are important. But in successful countries they’re always secondary to the technical and tactical adeptness youth coaches and scouts look for. They’re typically assessing young talent in the most real-world scenario in sports: the game itself.

So, to a large degree, what they’re seeing is what they’re getting, with technical, tactical, physical, and psychological elements being simultaneously expressed through skills on the pitch as players on both teams try to stick to their coaches’ game plans while dealing with the inevitable randomness and chaos of the game as it arises in a dynamic, ever-evolving system.

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Game Day Slump: What To Do When Performance Tanks

By Fergus Connolly | Mon, Oct 2

One tendency in athletics today is to assume every mistake is the short coming of physical qualities. 

When coaches review film and look at a game situation where a player failed to execute, they often attempt to find a perceived shortcoming that can be “fixed” with more strength, speed, or power work. 

As the saying goes, "if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail."

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