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About The Author

Phil is an Emmy-nominated writer who frequently contributes to The Inertia, SUP the Mag and Canoe & Kayak. He is the co-author, with Dr. Kelly Starrett, of the forthcoming books Flight Plan and Waterman 2.0, and is also collaborating on Game Changer with University of Michigan football performance director Dr. Fergus Connolly and Bridging the Gap with Sue Falsone, the first female athletic head trainer in Major League sports. His other books include Whistle Stop, which Larry King said, “I can’t put down,” and Our Supreme Task, which The Times Literary Supplement called “Illuminating.”

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Recent Posts



The New Rules of Sleep for Athletes

By Phil White | Mon, Sep 24

For the longest time, coaches have only considered the need for their athletes to get adequate rest from the perspective of “recovery.” While you must pair this with training stimuli to get adaptation, it’s far from the only reason to prioritize sufficient slumber.

Sleep is also imperative if your clients or athletes are going to commit what they’re learning to long-term memory.

A study conducted by Matthew Walker and referenced in his excellent book Why We Sleep compared undergrads who prepared for a test over several evenings and went to bed at a reasonable time versus those who pulled a pre-exam all-nighter. The results showed that “there was a 40 percent deficit in the ability of the sleep-deprived group to cram new facts into the brain (i.e. to make new memories).”

Most of the studies on this topic have been done with classroom students, but the gym is an equally rich learning environment (and perhaps more so, particularly for kinesthetic learners). Every time an athlete does something physical, it’s an expression of skill, and each skill has an intensely cognitive component.

Simply learning a new motor pattern or honing an existing one in the gym or on the practice field is only half the job when it comes to skill acquisition and progression. For it to take, getting enough premium quality shut-eye is imperative.

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5 Reasons Why Your Gym Should Outsource Its Programming to a Pro

By Phil White | Mon, Mar 12

When you tell people you own a gym, they probably respond with some iteration of, “Wow! What a great job. I bet you get to work out all day and take all the vacations you want.”

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Olympic Weightlifting Wisdom: Two Veteran Coaches Share Their Best Advice

By Phil White | Mon, Jan 22

As we're rolling into a new year, it can be tempting to jump on the latest training bandwagon and buy into the narrative that coaches need to keep their athletes engaged by constantly changing things up.

While there’s nothing wrong with some variety to keep things interesting and overcome plateaus, change for its own sake is directionless and most of the latest gimmicks are nothing more than flashes in the pan that will be out of fashion by this time in 2019, if not before.

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