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  1. 1 point
    "How do you describe things that don't randomly happen? If they don't randomly happen, you have to have some kind of quantitative framework for explaining what happened"- Physicist Leonard Susskind Attention: every coach, of every sport, in every country, on every level, on planet earth... As I've described, and continue to, the quantitative nature of every facet of sport extends beyond motion. Difficult though it is, so many facets of psychology, sensory processing, and cognition (the underlying frameworks of tactical execution) are routinely quantified in the laboratory. Shelving this, however, there's utterly no controversy surrounding the quantifiable modes of measuring motion. Sport, in the language of motion, then becomes quantities of force, mass, and acceleration- the components of Sir Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion; from which, so many derivations may be made to answer questions of different quantities (i.e. momentum, power, work, velocity, impulse, impact, linear, angular...). And no human motion that occurs in sport is random. Every sport technical execution is the action of a decision. Football Passing Heading Throwing In Shooting Tackling Rugby Passing Kicking Tackling Scrummaging Rucking Mauling American Football Passing Catching Tackling Blocking Pulling Punting Kicking Basketball Shooting Passing Rebounding Boxing Out Blocking Posting Cricket Batting Bowling Fielding Catching Throwing Wrestling Front Headlocks Whizzers Ankle Picks Double Legs Single Legs Gator Rolls Counters MMA Punches Kicks Elbows Knees Takedowns Wrestling Grappling Submissions Escapes Scrambles Counters Every sport technical motion, the physical actions that clearly and unmistakably distinguish Association football from American Football from Water Polo, are the actions that result from decisions. And every single human action (motion) is both a product of intention/reaction (not random) and quantifiable. YET... To what extent is the preparation for competition quantified? Show me what 12 weeks of competition calendar practice looks like. Show me the detail of your strategy and tactical preparation. Show me the series, sets, repetitions, intensities, durations, frequencies, quantities of work and rest of every facet of tactical preparation. What does it look like? Do these questions look like ones you'd dish off to your fitness coach? If so, that's because quantitative knowledge in sport has mistakenly been relegated to specialists apart from sport coaches. You think it's the language of sport science, or fitness to discuss such matters. AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM The most quantified nature of team/combat sport coaching isn't occurring in the most important aspects of coaching (tactical/technical preparation). It's occurring in weight rooms, sprinting , jumping...but not in tactical/technical preparation. One hears words such as sets, repetitions, intensities, and durations and one thinks, aha, strength and conditioning (a literal conundrum) When in fact, not only is S&C redundant (because conditioning is an action verb equal to preparation, of which strength is a component), it shouldn't even exist. Does the cook require a food preparation specialist who gets the ingredients ready for cooking, or does the cook prepare AND cook the food? Is Lionel Messi (football) , or Tom Brady (NFL) , or Stephen Curry (NBA), or Israel Folau (Rugby), or Kyle Snyder (Wrestling), or Khabib Nurmogomedov (UFC), or James Anderson (Cricket) superior, relative, to their national and international competitors because of their bench press, or squat, or 60m sprint, or vertical jump...? The answer is a resounding, definitive, irrefutable NO. The superiority of every single exceptional team and combat sport athlete lies in their tactical/technical execution which are products of psychology, sensory processing, cognition, and physical motion. Do gross physical qualities matter? Of course. Are the gross physical qualities, alone, the difference maker in team/combat sport competition- NO Even regarding the physical qualities you must recognize the spectrum on which they are plotted. Messi's remarkable control of the ball in time and space is, in part, a manifestation of physical work, however, it is the nuance/subtlety of physical action (guided by the motor cortex) that results in the fine motor coordination required to dribble and manipulate the ball so precisely. This is NOT a factor of how much he can squat, or what type of leg exercises he does in the weight room. What about Steph Curry's extraordinary 3 point shooting skill/consistency, or Khabib Nurmogomedov's unparalleled ground control, or Tom Brady's speed of release and accuracy in throwing the American football, or Israel Folau's phase play capabilities, or the dynamics of James Anderson's bowling, or even Kyle Snyder's ability to defeat significantly larger opponents in the US collegiate system? Are these superb athlete's skills explainable solely by way of weights lifted, how much, what type, how often? The answer is unmistakably NO. Even in the case of sport tactical/technical actions that are largely constituted by high force, such as facets of wrestling, Rugby, or American Football...it is a question of how the force is applied. This explains why Kyle Snyder, impressive though he is in the weight room, would humiliate any world class 100kg powerlifter or weightlifter in wrestling who, likewise, would humiliate Kyle in a contest of solely lifting barbells. When we speak of quantities such as force, acceleration, velocity, angular momentum, alactic power, aerobic capacity...the thinking of sport coaches must not become cognitively closed and divert this to the talk of fitness. When I strip away your jargon, and you can no longer refer to it as batting practice, shooting drills, wrestling drills, tackling drills, 4 v 4, or 6 v 6, you must then use the languages of motion and energy. This is why I describe the future of sport coaching in terms of sport preparatory engineering, in which tactical/technical preparation becomes substantially more quantified in terms of series, sets, repetitions, durations, intensities, and frequencies in order to unify what has been historically, and remains, fragmented. When dealing with things more quantitatively we then possess the ability to engineer with greater reliability and consistency of outcome. This is explains why you, at this very moment, if you're sitting, have not once thought about the structural integrity of the chair you're sitting in or whether the ceiling might collapse on your head. The codes that had to be met in order to bring to market your furniture or private or commercial construction are such that reliability is built in to the process. Otherwise, if furniture and roofs were routinely collapsing, furniture manufactures and builders would be out of business. What about sports? Do Messi, Brady, Curry, Anderson, Nurmogomedov, Snyder, or Folau have the ability to still perform exceptionally in contests even if the content and structure of the preceding week of practice is remarkably non-quantitative and poorly structured and sequenced relative to the type of objective analysis I describe in "The Governing Dynamics of Coaching"...? ABSOLUTELY The reason why is because the human body is an adaptive organism. It heals, it corrects, it overcomes shoddy instruction. UNLIKE furniture, building materials, or the food you eat. If you, or the person cooking your food, overcooks the protein only marginally, it's IMMEDIATELY recognizable. The beef, fish, chicken does not self-correct, it does not recover, it cannot overcome being overcooked. It's just irreversibly overcooked and whoever overcooked is immediately exposed. What about if you overcook your football players, basketball players, rugby players, wrestlers, or fighters? Is it as immediately recognizable as the steak, fish, or chicken that chews like rubber? Can your team or athletes still win? Are you as quickly exposed as the person who overcooked your filet mignon? We know the objectively truthful answer is that as a coach, you can do a poor job coaching and 'overcook' your athletes, and they can still win. FUTURE So what happens when you take the sort of approach to coaching tactical and technical preparation as the engineers took in putting the plans together to build the stadiums that your athletes compete in? What would sport (tactical/technical) practice look like? I wrote "The Governing Dynamics of Coaching" to answer this question. I explain how do to it.
  2. 1 point
    It is critical to discuss the mistake of expanding upon the volume of specialists in an organization if there is no unification between them. In the absence of an individual who, like a general contractor, possesses the applied understanding of all specialty domains and is, thus, qualified to orchestrate them, no amount of specialists is likely to make the organization any better. In theory… We may discuss the supposed understanding that the Manager, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches, Physiotherapists, Player Development, Psychiatrist, Psychologist…are supposed to have. This is only in theory, however. If…we grant that each one of them is actually operating at the forefront of their respective specialties, and that is a massive assumption, we must still determine how well each one integrates with the other, such that the whole of the organization is, in fact, greater than the sum of its parts. As it regards the any efforts to expand upon the organization’s performance through the lens of psychology, as soon as we distinguish between what the organization requires from the standpoint of brain and behavior, we must then recognize that no amount of psychological understanding directed towards sport is better than the degree to which this individual, or individuals, work seamlessly in the organization, and NOT only amongst themselves, but with the rest of the organization’s staff, coaches, and players. The psychologist who possesses a PhD or PsyD, is a Doctor of Philosophy (in Psychology) or Doctor of Psychology, respectively. PhD curricula in psychology are more research and experimental based; whereas the training of PsyD’s are more based in clinical/professional practice. Psychologists are NOT medical doctors and, unlike Psychiatrists, focus on the psychological, vs the biological, reference frames related to cognitive, emotional, social, behavioral research and/or clinical psychotherapeutic interventions to assist in the mental well-being of someone in terms of reconciling past traumas and diagnosing and resolving any number of psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression. Unlike Psychiatrists, however, psychologists are not licensed to prescribe medication. The sport psychologist, who also possesses a PhD or PsyD is a psychologist who directs their study and practice towards dealing with the brain and behavior in the context of sport preparation and competition. Not all sport psychologists possess a PhD or PsyD (which is an important distinction because anyone with an undergraduate degree can go through a 12month on-line course and get a masters in sport psychology. Meanwhile, any psychologist has gone through an undergrad then a doctoral program to earn a PhD or PsyD. To conflate a sport psychology credential with a PhD or PsyD, who focuses on the sport application, is to conflate a CPR certification with a MD). What is critical to understand for the organization is how the sophisticated understanding of psychological preparation interfaces with tactical execution and this is something that psychologists, and even sport psychologists, are not necessarily trained for. What the organization requires is that every coach integrate the requisite knowledge of psychology into tactical/technical preparation, because any psychological limitations from the players or coaches will never be as adequately addressed in the office of the psychologist as it will when its addressed during coaching and practice. While there is no such thing as toughness or mental toughness, there is: • Purposefulness • Discipline • Initiative and self-sufficiency • Self-control • Confidence • Resolve • Perseverance • Courage • Decisiveness • Competitiveness • Concentration/focus • Anxiety control • Composure • Self-awareness • Positive thinking • Team cohesion • Thought control • Self-regulation • Aggression And more… Each of which mandates, not only the explanatory knowledge of its significance but, how to integrate its development into coaching and player tactical execution. Particularly as it regards players, the psychological preparation must be synthesized into off-season sport practices, training camps, and seasonal practices. After consulting with each coach and player and identifying the specific type of psychological skills each individual is lacking, there will be specific practice drill variations suggested that will distinguish both the tactical/technical AND specific psychological skill from another psychological skill. We cannot use ‘tough’ in thinking or speaking because it’s as ambiguous as scrapping all tactical schemes/concepts, and all their complexity, and replacing all of them with the single word- tactical. Imagine replacing all American Football, Rugby League, Basketball, Football, Ice Hockey, Wrestling, MMA…tactical terminologies, and all derivations, with the single word “tactical”. To reduce tactical complexity, which varies between team and combat sports, with one single instruction “tactical” would be laughable to any modern-day tactical coach. In this same way, mental toughness must be as laughable to any person because of how differentiated the previously mentioned components of psychological skills are from one another. As laughable and nondescript as it would be for the American Football or Rugby or Basketball Coach to blame themselves or their athletes for not being tactical enough, somehow, these same coaches operate under the misconception that their teams or athletes aren’t tough enough… Too often, teams and athletes undergo physically grueling training, sometimes with military units, in an effort to become more ‘tough’. Little do the coaches of these athletes realize is the nuance and distinction of the many psychological skills they misconceive as toughness. Some athletes are strong with resolve, perseverance, and aggression yet lack self-regulation; while others are strong in self-regulation yet lack in resolve, perseverance, and aggression. Due to the lack of sufficient psychological knowledge in coaching we then see, year after year, entire teams being subjected to the same grueling activity in pre-season training that, say, demands perseverance. The coaches and athletes think that toughness is being developed, meanwhile this is the functional equivalent of suggesting chemotherapy for anyone who doesn’t feel well. Meanwhile medical doctors are up in arms trying to explain the myriad of conditions that result in a person not feeling well and how chemotherapy is only appropriate for one of them, and if you use chemotherapy for any other reason you are subjecting the person to a remarkable level of misery and physiological trauma that is utterly misdirected and unnecessary. Coaches with sufficient psychological knowledge recognize the subtleties surrounding psychological skill development and how this process must be highly individualized for each athlete whilst closely satisfying tactical/technical developments, and not diverting from them with the sports analog of chemotherapy. Thus, any organization that requires, or benefits from, a licensed psychologist on staff must fill an even more important role. The organization requires an individual to integrate psychological understanding directly into sport practice. This will not be achieved by a psychologist or sport psychologist. It can only come from an individual who has as deep and wide and understanding of sport structure as they do the requisite domains of cultural establishment, talent ID and selection, leadership, the tactics and techniques of the sport in question, psychology, the theory of knowledge, learning science, language, communication, motion, energy, medical science and rehabilitation, and critical problem solving, that directly implicate winning more competitions. What this describes is the analog of a general contractor for sport. One who has an applied understanding of every contractor. This is the theoretical/strategic role that I describe in my explanation of a Competition Strategist, and the jargon of global load manager in my book “The Governing Dynamics of Coaching” and it is this sort of professional who is required to ultimately unite the differences between managers, coaches, doctors, scientists, analysts, researchers, and trainers so that the entire collective of them works seamlessly together in order that no untapped potential exists in the organization, and more competitions are won this year and beyond. Email James@globalsportconcepts.net for information on psychological preparation from a top down perspective of tactical/technical development
  3. 1 point
    Coaches of sport Competition Strategic planning is fundamental towards attaining the highest possible results, however, it has yet to uniformly exist amidst professional and higher level sport. What it defines is the synchronized planning of all sport practice, specialized, general, and rehabilitative preparation by one individual or individuals working in collaboration. I refer to this planning as sport preparatory engineering; however, that is only jargon. What matters most is what it solves; which is the dysfunctional system of sport in which independent planning occurs by sport coaches, coaches of specialized and general training, and rehabilitation- in which the outcome of this disjointed an incongruent multi-way planning results in compounded structural and neuromuscular load impact. Sport coaches constructing practices independently of specialized/generalized coaches constructing workloads independently of physios/rehabilitation specialists constructing return to competition workloads independently of sport coaches...and around the merry go round it goes...is the primary reason for: 1: the lack of maximized tactical and technical athlete development 2: the amount of injuries that occur in practice and competition The communication between these departments is no more helpful than building contractors communicating between each other void of a common blueprint. The common blueprint in sport is the result of the jargon "sport preparatory engineering" which is the work of the jargon "competition strategist". Watch this video demonstrating the result of competition strategic planning utilized during the NFL preseason in which all tactical/technical, specialized, general, and rehabilitative work was engineered in a single blueprint.
  4. 1 point
    Coaches, let's say you construct and coach practices based upon an understanding of how best to improve competition results. The question, however, is what is your understanding; and more importantly, what is your epistemology? Epistemology is the theory of knowledge and it is central towards your perception, in general, of the world and reality. It underpins what you see from your athletes and how you make sense of what you see. No matter how talented and hard working your athletes are, It is insufficient to conceptualize coaching based solely upon a knowledge of the laws/rules of the sport, the varied tactical approaches to out execute the competition, and a surface level appreciation/understanding of culture, psychology, and technical development. It is critical that you take seriously your epistemology and whether or not it would serve you, your organization, your athletes, your family... to modify or change it. Clearly, you must first identify what it is. Are you an Empiricist, who equates knowledge with experience? Are you an Idealist, who thinks knowledge is innate? Are you a Constructivist, who thinks knowledge is a product of human constructions- distinct from unbiased discoveries of objective truth? Are you a Pragmatist, who selects a reference for determining what is true based upon its practical applicability in the world? Are you a Fallibilist, who refutes the idea that one can have a good reason for a belief? Are you a Critical Rationalist, who thinks all knowledge is conjectural and can only be created through conjecture and refutation? These are only some examples of philosophies/epistemologies and how integral their significance is with respect to how you perceive and think about the world, and more specifically, sport, your staff, your coaches, your athletes, your families...and how to improve the results of competition, cultural establishment, tactical understanding and execution, technical skill, psychological preparation, well-being, professional competency, and life outside and beyond sport. The discussion of subject matter such as this often renders the question- can you recommend any books that address this subject matter as it regards sport and coaching? The Governing Dynamics of Coaching
  5. 1 point
    Criticism to test the open mindedness of sport professionals. Though not for an inflammatory purpose. To the contrary, to inspire evolution; as criticism lies at the bedrock of knowledge creation. The foundations of sport coaching reside in parochialism, nepotism, gerontocracy, dogmatism, traditionalism, and received wisdom. The entire lot of which are the bulwarks of progress. Strip away the technological advances that are ubiquitous in sport analytics, diagnostics, and measurement...focus only on coaching methods, practice, and drills, and one is hard pressed to note remarkable change in comparing what is done today, in sport practices, to what was done 50 years ago. In order for sport coaching and practice to experience the same type of exponential advance as is seen in Silicon Valley it must assimilate comparable cultures that are rooted in criticism, best ideas win, collaboration, innovation, and perhaps above all...a self-driven initiative of all coaches, no matter your tenure, to remain students of learning throughout the entirety of your career. Instead, however, and particularly once coaches reach the professional level, an unspoken dysfunctional culture exists in which dedicated learning nearly comes to a halt. Coaching conferences amount to the professional level coaches, if you even go, socializing in the common areas as 'one wouldn't dare admit he has much to learn by openly demonstrating his continuing education'. Lest when the time comes that the athletes/team aren't winning, and the draconian finger begins to point looking for a scapegoat, it lands on the coach whose open efforts to learn more suggest to the 'authority' that this open admission that there's more to learn is somehow related to the deficiency associated, via confirmation bias, to the lack of competitive success. The problem must be solved by correcting for the errors that exist at the very top of an organization; at the highest executive level in which the owners, CEOs, presidents, and managers must be educated to the magnitude of knowledge that goes unknown, yet underpins the fabric of every perception, every thought, every decision, and every action of administrators, staff, coaches, and athletes down to the level of tactical execution. At present, the perception of what is relevant in coaching is tantamount to the visible portion of an iceberg. This visible portion is only 10% of the iceberg's total mass. The remaining 90% exists unseen, beneath the surface of the water. Yet this 90% constitutes the overwhelming majority of the iceberg. Just the same, the 90% unknown in coaching represents the solutions to every problem that is not yet even recognized by coaches as existing, yet the existence of these problems explains the lack of achieving what is achievable in addition to every hope or expectation that is not realized. The talent and abilities of professional athletes represent one of the most potent compensators for vulnerabilities at the level of coaching and management. This dynamic allows for large scale errors to continue to go unnoticed, and even masquerade as coaching excellence, because a talented athlete that works hard can win, IN SPITE OF incompetent coaching. I thought very hard about this for over ten years, and my solution was to write a book that would serve as the catalyst for causing the largest scale paradigm shift in the history of sport coaching. Click to purchase: The Governing Dynamics of Coaching
  6. 1 point
    Sport coaches, in principle, all horizons function the same. Meaning, they represent the boundary separating the seen and unseen; and the closer one attempts to get to them, the farther they move away. What is critical to recognize, however, is that amidst one's attempt to approach them, no matter never reaching them, one continues to cover more ground. This is progress. Now, consider the knowledge horizon of sport. How would you characterize it? What does it mean to be as knowledgeable as possible as a sport coach along with possessing the ability to practically apply the knowledge in any set of conditions? How many subject matter domains do you think constitute this set of knowledge for optimizing sport coaching? What do you think you, your athletes, your team, your staff, your organization... would be able to achieve if every member of your organization was unified in their objective to work towards this horizon and educated on the process? I thought very carefully about this for well over a decade and concluded that objective sport coaching knowledge is governed by what I refer to as "The Governing Dynamics of Coaching": - Culture - Psychology - Analysis - Intellect - Tactics - Technique - Sensorimotor - Bioenergetics - Biodynamics - Biomotor - Physiotherapy The key, however, is that these mustn't be segregated in their understanding and application- which is exactly what does occur, and has occurred, in sport. In my argument, what everyone must understand, at the level of a successful thesis argument defense, is that the unified understanding of these subject matter domains is what constitutes an acceptable baseline competency for coaching in general- and scales up from there. "The Governing Dynamics of Coaching" represents an encyclopedic reference with the potential to redefine global coaching education and qualification. email james@globalsportconcepts.net for consulting information The Governing Dynamics of Coaching
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