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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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Pre-Season Camps Are a Go. Here’s How to Get Your Athletes Through...Injury-Free

By Tim DiFrancesco | Wed, Aug 29

‘Tis the season once again. The pre-season that is!

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7 Mental Keys for Unlocking Your Athlete's Potential

By Micah Kurtz | Mon, Aug 20

Doubt is the cancer that kills dreams and prevents individuals from pursuing and achieving their ambitious goals.

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Youth Coaching: Kids Haven't Changed; Adults Have

By Angelo James | Mon, Jul 2

People are blaming kids for the way kids are these days, but kids are kids. They only know what they have been taught. Kids are like mirrors – they reflect the world they are placed in.

Charlie Applestein, author of There Is No Such Thing as a Bad Kid, says “Life isn’t what you see, it is what you perceive.” If you perceive kids as entitled, lazy, disrespectful, and unappreciative, that is all you will ever see.

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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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Building Motivation: Give Up Control, Get Better Results

By Adam Dawdy | Tue, May 29

You can lead a horse to water, but he might kill you if you try to make him drink.

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A Call for Change: Addressing 9 Common Myths in Strength and Conditioning for Sports Coaches & Parents

By Ryan Leibreich | Mon, May 14

To start things off on the right foot, some common ground coaches and parents can all share is that we want the same thing: for each athlete to become the best they can be. Period.

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Is Early Sport Specialization As Bad As You Think?

By Mike Robertson | Mon, Nov 13

One of the most heated talking points in our industry today is that of early sport specialization, or ESS. It seems like nowadays everyone and their mother wants to jump on the bandwagon and talk about how ESS is ruining our kids.

And you know what – they’re not totally wrong.

But here’s the thing – I don’t think they’re totally right either.

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Dealing with Today’s Athletes: A Coach’s Perspective

By Dr. Chris Holder | Mon, Feb 20

When TrainHeroic tasked me with writing about today's athletes, I thought to myself, “Oh, this one will be easy… I’ll just slam Millennials and write a diatribe on how kids these days suck.”

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