Coaching, jumps, sprints & more
Everything about jumping and sprinting and how to improve your performance
We all keep saying it but these are difficult times. The lock-down will test the will-power and dedication of all athletes and coaches.
Keeping going and in my case setting workouts and replying to athletes through social media is crucial. I'll say though that it just isn't the same as doing so in-person. But hang-on you may say, don't you sort of coach through your YouTube channel? Well, yes I do - this was great, is great in its own right as an addition to my face to face coaching, but on-line only is not the same as getting to the coal face and actually coaching.
Nevertheless it's the only way that we can coach at present during COVID. As I may have mentioned in another post I have set up a wattsapp group - it contains all the athletes (young and not so young) who I have coached over the years (I'm hoping some will make a come-back accordingly!). I post workouts 6 times a week to the group. These are very much pick 'n' mix due to the facilities and home kit that each athlete may have where they live. However, I do try to make the workouts relatively generic so that most can do all of them. Generic they may be but also specific. We can train for most of the elements of the long, triple and sprints in "lock-down". Potentially the only non-inclusion being full on technique work - and even then you can do take-off drills for the long and triple and sprints on roads and hills.
I therefore expect the athletes I coach to be only a few percentiles off being near performance ready when they return to the track when and if lock-down ceases. (Hopefully, there will be some slight relaxing of the restrictions in the near future which will allow at least small group, spatially distanced coaching.).
WHAT HAVE I LEARNT DURING LOCK-DOWN?
Personally don't put too much pressure on yourself. As a coach you are looked at as a leader - but you need to be led sometimes and also supported. Accept that somedays you'll not be "on it" as much as others. Your motivation will return - you wouldn't be coaching otherwise.
DEVELOP OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR COACHING OFFER AND YOUR KNOWLEDGE
I'm trying to keep my social media going and am working on new ideas and developments - of which in another post. Another Jumper digital magazine may be in the offing
Reading coaching books and watching videos is something that we will have more time for.
I've recently attended two webinars organised by England Athletics. More on these in another post.
ATHLETES WILL TRAIN
I've had to tell some of mine to ease back a bit as they have more time to train and therefore think that more is better. It can be but not all the time and especially with young and developing athletes.
Lock-down has forced me to think of other ways to resistance train (difficult if you don't have weights). I produced a video for on this subject recently - see below.
I've used the more-me time to train and do more of the workouts that I set for the group. It's always useful to know what workouts actually feel like.
Yes, keep busy but find the time to switch-off and do something different - or nothing. I went for a long walk the other day (6 miles) to a local place I'd always wanted to explore. the sun was out it was peaceful and I returned positive.
I hope that you fellow athletes and coaches are making the most of this period and not just surviving it. It will come to an end and hopefully as individuals we'll be stronger, more learned, but more importantly better people.
LOOKING FOR PLYO BOXES, MED BALLS, HARNESSES, SLEDS, SHOTS, JAVELINS AND ALL OTHER TRACK & FIELD EQUIPMENT THEN CHECK OUT NEUFF ATHLETIC.
Nelio Moura is one of the world’s top jumps coaches - his position as such was cemented into place at the 2008 Olympics when he coached both long jump event winners – Maurren Higa Maggi (Brazil) and Irving Saladino (Panama)
JS: How did you get started in coaching?
Nelio Moura: I was pretty young, 19 years old … I had just finished college (physical education) and my former coach told me about a job opportunity four hours by bus from my home in São Paulo … I didn’t think twice. Every Friday night I would take the bus, coach a young group of athletes Saturday and Sunday, leave a programme for the week and come back home. That routine repeated for one year, until other opportunities appeared in Sao Paulo.
JS: Were you an athlete yourself?
NM: Yes, I used to be a triple jumper… not very good though! I was an age group national team member, but as an adult I realised my progress would not be enough to reach elite level. So, I decided to study and invest in a coaching career very early.
JS: Have you always coached the jumping events?
NM: As a former jumper myself, my main interest has always been in the jumping events. However, at the beginning, I used to coach everything, from sprints to race-walking. As I matured as a coach, I was able to focus on a smaller number of events. Nowadays, I work mainly with horizontal jumpers and a few sprinters and hurdlers.
JS: Where are you based? What’s athletics like as a sport in Brazil?
NM: My base is in São Paulo. I work at Ibirapuera track which belongs to São Paulo state government and for a private club, E.C. Pinheiros.
Athletics is not so popular in Brazil, and lately we are facing a lot of institutional problems, at both the state and national federation level. We are seeing traditional sponsors leaving the sport and it has been very difficult to replace them. Government support also reduced drastically since the Rio Olympic Games.
JS: Brazil has had many talented jumpers - is there any specific reason for this?
NM: It is difficult to say. Tradition, for sure, but there’s not really a “school” of horizontal jumps. Probably the likes of Adhemar Ferreira da Silva, Nelson Prudencio, João Carlos de Oliveira and more recently, Maurren Maggi, make Brazilians believe they can be good jumpers…
I'VE BEEN TRIALLING AN EMS DEVICE AND LOOKING INTO THE VALUE OF THIS MEANS OF TRAINING AS A WAY TO BOOST SPEED AND POWER. CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH INDICATES EMS COULD BE A REALLY USEFUL WAY TO IMPROVE ATHLETE
As I indicate I have been looking into how EMS works and my interest has been really piqued. I have discovered research that shows how it really can boost performance. Plus, in using the NuroKor MiTouch device I have become aware first-hand of the potential of EMS and bioelectrical technology.
This is part of an article that I wrote on the history, use and application of EMS. In future I will post the rest of it. Reference is made to Charlie Francis - one of the first coaches to document the use of EMS in the training of elite athletes. In his book The Charlie Francis Training System you'll find an in-depth article on EMS usag and his protocols which still stand scrutiny today. If you want to get a copy and I recommend that you do then see link below and right.
Contemporary EMS research indicates tremendous potential
Research reviews are always good places to start when it comes to looking at the efficacy of a claim. This is because they pool previous research studies against pre-determined criteria in an attempt to discover an outcome – that’s to say in the case of this article, whether EMS can assist sports performance.
Researchers in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research carried out such a review in 2012. The researchers identified the type of EMS used and the most relevant parameters for improvement for high performance sport, such as speed strength, power and jumping and sprinting ability. They also identified three types of users – non-athletic populations, trained subjects and crucially elite performers (they placed a specific focus on the elite).
This scientific analysis revealed that EMS is effective for developing physical performance. The team noted:
“After a stimulation period of 3-6 weeks, significant gains (p < 0.05) were shown in maximal strength (isometric Force max +58.8%; dynamic Fmax +79.5%), speed strength (eccentric isokinetic Mmax +37.1%; concentric isokinetic Mmax + 41.3%; rate of force development + 74%; force impulse + 29%; vmax + 19%), and power (+67%).”
And in terms of specific sports improvement:
Vertical jump height increased by +25% (squat jump +21.4%, countermovement jump +19.2%, drop jump +12%).
Sprint speed by as much as -4.8% in trained and elite athletes.
The team concluded: “The EMS offers a promising alternative to traditional strength training for enhancing the strength parameters and motor abilities described above. Because of the clear-cut advantages in time management, especially when whole-body EMS is used, we can expect this method to see increasing use in high-performance sports.”
Well, we all know what I'm talking about ... the world has been shut down by the virus and we all seem to be playing a role in one of those Hollywood disaster blockbuster movies - which scientists will come up with the antidote? Hopefully many as the world's best try to pull something together.
For us track athletes and coaches this is a difficult time (and of course it is for everyone else). We would be gearing up for the season now and hopes would be high about what was going to happen on the track and at the pit, in my case over the next few spring and summer months. Now, we are on a more or less 'lock-down' basis.
I continue to coach by remote means - using wattsapp for me seems to do the job. I'm encouraging athletes and parents where relevant to post and to not only share the workouts and how they're doing them which I post, but also fun snippets - everyone needs to smile at times like this..
I've been coming up with some specific workouts that can be done at home or in confined spaces. The silver lining to all of this I guess is the fact that in the process I'm getting fitter (and hopefully too will many tens of thousands also).
I've just ticked over with my fitness in recent years and not really extended myself - well, I'm no spring chicken either. However, now with no athletes on hand to call on for demos, I guess I'm still lucky enough to be able to do the exercises myself, After all this is over - who knows - I may even enter a masters competition. If I can keep it up I'll definitely be fitter.
Staying in shape and maintaining fitness should be the goals for athletes
Staying in shape and maintaining fitness should be the goals for athletes ... it's likely a long-haul before a return to competition, so take the foot off a bit and train to maintain and also for the enjoyment of being fit. With the warmer months just around the corner, what better way to get out of doors with our daily 'pass', to do some exercises and enjoy nature and indeed life.
This seismic event has put many other things into perspective and I'm sure there will be many bucket-lists being created now. For athletes that bucket-list should include embracing and enjoying once again the ability to compete and to train socially and really appreciate the freedom of being able to run, jump and throw.
BELOW is a real-time workout which you can follow along to, There are three circuits and it should take you about 20-25min, including warm-up and cool-down. It's a specific, well, relatively specific one in regard to what you can do indoors, which will help maintain speed, power and some elements of technique.