Player Development in the Old Days

Posted by Tim Nash on Mar 21, 2019 11:45:46 AM

One of the things about sports that interest me the most is how players develop. There is, of course, a wide variety of ways development occurs, and players take different paths at different ages. There isn’t, and never has been, a blanket approach to the way kids improve in athletics.

I spend a lot of time thinking about development and trying to make it happen with the players I coach. But I am far from an expert in the field. I am, however, fully versed and have expert-level knowledge in one area of player development. And that is how kids developed back in the Good Old Days.

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Topics: training, Youth Sports, Athlete Development

Reaction Time is Trained by Experiences

Posted by Tim Nash on Feb 7, 2019 8:47:35 AM

So I have this great book that I pull out every once in a while. It’s called Sports Illustrated; Fifty Years of Great Writing.

I picked it up the other day and opened it o an old article about Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher and world-famous malaprop philosopher. Famous quotes attributed to Berra are somewhere between idiotic and genius. “No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded” … “Be careful if you don’t know where your going. You might not get there,” and “The Future ain’t what it used to be.”

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Topics: training, Athlete Development, Coaching

Time for Improvement

Posted by Tim Nash on Sep 5, 2018 9:49:20 AM

For a lot of teams, the season is just getting underway. You’ve probably played a game or two, maybe more, and your performance falls into one of three categories.

  • You were good, but there’s room for improvement.
  • You were okay and need to improve in several areas.
  • You were horrible and need to get better fast.
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Topics: training, Athlete Development, Coaching

The 4-Minute Mile and Player Development

Posted by Tim Nash on Jan 31, 2018 9:39:18 AM


In the 1990s, Lauren Gregg, the long-time assistant coach for the United States Women’s National Team, related a story about how the national team often used the example of the four-minute mile as motivation.

In the track and field world, the four-minute mile was a barrier every elite distance runner eyed as a measure of greatness. At the time, some scientists believed the human body was not capable of running one mile in less than four minutes. The goal, was silly, they said. The feat was unattainable.

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Topics: training, Athlete Development, Coaching, Goal Setting

Coaching Through A Growth Spurt

Posted by Tim Nash on Dec 12, 2017 11:15:00 AM

One of your players all of a sudden appears uncoordinated, slower than normal, off-balance and struggles to perform skills you thought were mastered long ago.

It takes no time at all to accurately diagnose the problem – Growth Spurt.

When trying to identify the reason a young player is struggling, this is by far the easiest. There’s no need to list the physical changes needed to identify a player going through a growth spurt. It’s safe to say you’ll know it when you see it.

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Topics: training, Athletic Performance, Athlete Development, Mobile Coaching, Coaching

Data Tracking: Not Just For Coaches

Posted by Tim Nash on Aug 24, 2017 8:39:17 AM

The latest consensus in the debate about kids playing multiple sports seems to be trending toward it being a good idea.

It’s quite common to see young athletes – especially at the middle and high school ages – playing more than one sport in the same season. They play a school sport after school and rush to their club practice at night.

We are not going to add to the debate here and contribute our opinions on whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. Instead, we want to talk about the inevitable consequences – issues arising from overuse.

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Topics: Fitness, training, RPE, Strength Training, Athletic Performance, Sports Performance, Elite Sports Teams, Athlete Development, Soccer, Mobile Coaching, Data Science

Implementing RPE for Peak Performance

Posted by DRIVN on May 9, 2017 9:50:55 AM

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.” 
- Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, 11-time NBA Champion

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Topics: Fitness, training, RPE, Strength Training, Athletic Performance

Redefining Impossible

Posted by Tim Nash on Apr 13, 2017 11:24:57 AM

When it comes to improvement, there are barriers that have to be overcome. The barrier is built by both your inadequate level of confidence and the external information you’ve acquired over time that has sapped your enthusiasm to do something special.

“Can’t be done,” you’ve heard. “You’re just not capable,” people tell you. “A waste of time trying,” you tell yourself. “That’s not possible,” you’re told.

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Topics: training

How Objective Data Changed UNC Women’s Soccer Player-Coach Dynamic

Posted by Tim Nash on Mar 28, 2017 10:51:16 AM

Data-driven athlete development

There are 28 different categories for which a women’s soccer player at the University of North Carolina receives a score – every day, in practice and in games.

It’s part of an effort by head coach Anson Dorrance to develop what he has labeled a “competitive cauldron,” a developmental environment which encourages – even demands – competition between teammates.

“The main thrust of the competitive cauldron is to drive competition in practice,” says Dorrance, who has led the Tar Heels to 21 NCAA Championships and was the architect of the U.S. Women’s National team program. “If everyone knows that every part of practice is recorded, we are going to get a greater focus and a more competitive spirit to try to win at every aspect of practice.

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Topics: training, Athletic Performance, Team Communication

No Training Out-Performs a Bad Diet

Posted by Dave Spina on May 31, 2016 11:00:00 AM

When I was 20 I was coming off a tough high ankle sprain. It was relatively a new injury and many coaches thought it wasn’t as bad as it was because it wasn’t “broken”... it might have been even worse to be honest. I had spent the last 3 years training at BC (Boston College), thought I had a great grasp on diet and training, but in all honesty I was 20… soooooo arrogant and naive to say the least. I had a coach on my team (Ron Rolston) approach me and say, “To fix your ankle, jump start your senior year, and get a leg up on your professional career I really think you need to go train and workout with Charles Poliquin. He is currently in your home state (Arizona) and knows things about diet and training that are very revolutionary.” At this point I was ready to do anything to get back to the successes I was having the prior seasons. 

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Topics: Fitness, nutrition, training