Home Posts tagged "Nick Winkelman"

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Enhancing Coach-Athlete Communication with Nick Winkelman

We're excited to welcome Nick Winkelman, Head of Athletic Performance & Science for Irish Rugby, to this week's podcast. Nick is extremely well versed in motor learning and how to best get through to athletes, and you'll see why in this interview. It's timely, as his new book, The Language of Coaching, was just released.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • Where Nick’s original interest in improving the way coaches coach movement began
  • What observations Nick made while watching his athletes compete on NFL Combine Day – and how they transformed his perspective on coaching
  • What the lowest hanging fruit is in terms of how coaches can improve their communication with athletes
  • Why coaches need to add a column for cues in their program and how coaches plan their language to maximize their influence on athletes
  • How motivation influences motor learning and how language can be leveraged to create engagement, investment, and motivation
  • What simple tactics coaches can employ to increase buy-in and give individuals an active role in their training experience
  • Why coaches need to focus their time and attention on coaching the athlete and not the program
  • How understanding purpose – specifically more purposeful coaching – transformed Nick’s coaching philosophy, strategy, and interventions
  • Why Nick has learned to watch more reps and talk less, and how coaches can create a safe environment for athletes to explore movement and “fail forward”
  • How each word spoken and action communicated to an athlete either builds or erodes the coach-athlete relationship and how professionals can avoid the detriments of overcoaching
  • When the right time to communicate with an athlete is and how Nick models the timing of his coaching communication
  • What the difference is between short loop and long loop coaching communication
  • How understanding the coaching communication loop can give us a better understanding of how to teach, challenge, and progress athletes
  • What research states about the impact of cue frequency and cue type on performance and long-term athletic development
  • What simple, actionable strategies coaches can use to help concepts stick with athletes, such as recalling clients’ names and celebrating small wins
  • How coaches can use analogy, an athlete’s language, and emotional hashtags in the learning process to enhance memory
  • How emotions influence our memory and how coaches can tap into emotion to allow their interactions with athletes to be memorable
  • How analogy can be specifically leveraged to tie previous learned knowledge into the learning of new abilities
  • Why internal cueing isn’t inherently bad and where external and internal cueing fit into an athlete’s learning
  • You can follow Nick on Twitter at @NickWinkelman - and be sure to check out his awesome new book, The Language of Coaching.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 7/3/19

I hope you're having a great holiday week. I'm long overdue with a list of recommended reading, so I've luckily got some good stuff stockpiled.

Keeping the Fun in Children's Sports - This was a great piece in the New York Times that summarizes some new findings from an American Academy of Pediatrics report on organized sports.

Why We Sleep - Brandon Marcello recommended this book when he came on the podcast (listen to his interview here), and it hasn't disappointed. I'd highly recommend it.

The Language of Coaching - Nick Winkelman put up his slides from this year's Perform Better presentations, and he's got some great information on optimizing coaching cues.

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*Exhale fully to get more out of your anti-extension core exercises and shoulder flexion mobility drills.* 👇 One of the central points of the @posturalrestoration philosophy is that folks who live in a gross extension pattern (forward head posture, excessive lordosis, anterior pelvic tilt, plantarflexed ankles, etc.) live in a constant state of inhalation. In other words, they have absolutely no idea how to get air out. When you exhale, your ribs should come down, so the best time to challenge this function is when the arms are flexed overhead, as folks with an anterior-weight-bearing tendency often "flare" the ribs up during this overhead reach. It's challenging enough for folks with these heavily ingrained habits to get their arms overhead in a neutral spine position, but ask them to exhale in this position and you'll make folks feel inadequate really fast. Here's a good progression you can use, from mobility drills to stability ones. Exhale fully at the position in each drill when the arms are overhead (lats are on the biggest stretch): Bench T-Spine Mobs -> Dead Bugs -> Back to Wall Shoulder Flexion -> Tall Kneeling TRX Fallouts . . . #cspfamily #mobility

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/7/17

I hope you all had a great weekend. I just got back in the wee hours of Monday morning after teaching a shoulder course in Atlanta, so the new content at EricCressey.com will come in a day or two.

In the meantime, here's some recommended reading for the week:

The Power of Moments - If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a fan of Chip and Dan Heath's writing. This book is no exception, and for any of the fitness entrepreneurs (or any entrepreneurs) out there, I'd call it a must-read.

What Really Constitutes Functional Balance Training? - I had a discussion with another coach the other day about how to approach balance training in athletes, and it reminded me of this old blog of mine. 

Skill Acquisition Considerations for Athletes - These are lecture notes from a recent presentation Nick Winkelman delivered, and they're absolutely outstanding. I'd call this a must-read for any coach.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 8/21/17

I finished up my NYC seminar yesterday and am sticking around to spend a day in the city with my wife today, but I prepared a recommended reading list for you to enjoy in the meantime. Check it out:

Attentional Focus and Cuing - Nick Winkelman wrote this great article for Club Connect's online magazine. If you're looking for a good introduction to internal vs. external focus cues, this is a good place to start.


Source: ClubConnect.com

20 Tips for Young Coaches - Mike Robertson crushed it with this new podcast with tips for aspiring coaches.

The Ideal Business Show with Eric Cressey - Speaking of podcasts, this interview I did for Pat Rigsby a year ago, and I still think it's one of the best ones with which I've been involved.

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Strength and Conditioning: What I Learned in 2013

This is the eighth time I’ve recapped some of the bigger discoveries of the previous year in an article.   As I look back on the previous seven years of content, I notice a number of key observations that have immeasurably improved the way that I coach and program for athletes.  To that end, I hope that the 2013 recap offers some solid pearls of wisdom you can apply right away.

1. Frequent soft tissue work throughout the day works best.

We might not know exactly why soft tissue approaches – everything from foam rolling, to massage, to instrument-assisted modalities – work, but we do know that they help people feel and move better.  With that in mind, we’re always searching for ways to help people get faster results with less discomfort.

Earlier this year, Chris Howard, the massage therapist at Cressey Performance, was flipping back through an old massage therapy textbook and found a little pearl: a suggestion that shorter, frequent exposures to soft tissue work throughout the day is likely more effective than one longer session.  And, it certainly makes sense; our bodies “learn” and adapt better with frequent exposures. 

Candidly, it always drives me bonkers when I see someone foam roll for 30 minutes at the start of the session.  You aren’t going to magically fix everything in one session; you have to be patient and persistent.  In fact, Thomas Myers (an authority on fascia and bodywork), has commented that prominent changes may take 18-24 months to set in. 

Nowadays, when we have an athlete who is particularly balled up in one area, we heavily emphasize repeated exposures.  We recommend that they split massage therapy sessions up into shorter appointments throughout the week.  And, we’ll have them hop on the foam roller 5-6 times per day for 30-60s, as opposed to just grinding away at the same spot in one lengthy session.  It’s not convenient, but the results are definitely noticeably better.

2. Understanding an individual’s movement learning style can improve your coaching effectiveness instantly.

I’ve always divided folks I coach into three categories, according to their dominant learning styles: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory.

Visual learners can watch an exercise be performed, and then go right to it.

Auditory learners can simply hear a cue, and then go to town.

Kinesthetic learners need to actually be put in a position to appreciate what it feels like, and then they can rock and roll.

ECCishek

While most individuals are a combination of all three categories, one invariably predominates in every single case I’ve ever encountered.  With this in mind, determining an individual’s learning style during my assessment is something I started to do in 2013.  If you can streamline the cues you give, athletes will pick movements up faster, and you’ll be able to get in more quality work from the session.

I should also note that no one of these three categories is “superior;” they’re just different.  I’ve had professional athletes from all three categories.

3. External focus cues rock.

Building on the coaching cues theme, the best presentation I saw this year was Nick Winkelman’s Perform Better talk on external focus cues.

As a brief background, an internal focus cue would be one that made you think about how your body is moving.  Examples would be “extend your hips” or “tuck your elbows.”

Conversely, an external focus cue would have you focus on something in your surrounding environment. Examples would be “rip the bar apart” or “drive your heels through the floor.”  The bar and the floor are points of external focus.

Most coaches use a combination of the two – but with a greater emphasis on internal focus cues.  As Nick demonstrated with an extensive review of the literature, we out to reverse this trend, as external focus cues almost universally lead to improved performance and technique when compared to internal focus cues.

With this research in mind, evaluate the cues you give yourself before each lift.  When you deadlift, are you telling yourself to “keep the chest up” or are you reminding yourself to “show the logo on your shirt to the guy in front of you?”  Sometimes, relating things just a little bit differently can yield dramatic changes.

4. You should learn as much about recovery as you do about training at an early age.

Every decade in life seems to come with new “scare tactics” to make you think that your body is going to fall apart when you hit 30, 40, 50, 60, etc.  I turned 32 in 2013, so I’ve now had almost three years to stew over this.  Recovery just isn’t the same as you age, not matter how great you are with diet, sleep, and monitoring training volume, as degenerative changes kick in faster.  I can tell you this and I’m only at the start of the gradual downslope!

I’ve heard that, on average, strength peaks at age 29.  Obviously, this can change dramatically based on training experience.  However, in my line of work – professional baseball – the “prime” for players is widely regarded as ages 26-31.  Effectively, this constitutes just before the peak, the peak itself, and then just after the peak.  The higher the peak, the longer a playing career a player has.  This is one reason it’s so important to establish a strong physical foundation with athletes early in their career; it’s what will likely sustain their skillsets for longer.

It is equally important, however, to learn about what recovery strategies work well for you at an early age.  In fact, I’d say that not paying more attention to recovery in my younger years was one of the biggest mistakes I made.  It would have not only made my progress faster, but just as importantly, it would have prevented accumulated wear and tear for down the road (i.e., now).

Everyone responds differently to various recovery protocols.  I have guys who love ice baths, and others who absolutely hate icing.  I’ve seen players thrive with compression approaches, and others who saw no change. 

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Some high-level athletes can do great with seven hours of sleep, and others need 9-10 each night. Recovery is a 100% individual thing – and it’s constantly changing as you age and encounter new training challenges.

For that reason, don’t just get excited about the latest, greatest training program on the market.  Rather, try to get just as excited about finding a way that you can bounce back effectively between sessions.  It might be nutrition, supplementation, manual therapy, movement schemes, or initiatives like ice or compression.  The sooner you learn it, the better off you’ll be when you start hearing more and more of the “scare tactics” about age.

Conclusion

These four items were just the tip of the iceberg, as the strength and conditioning field is incredibly dynamic and new information emerges on a daily basis. Luckily, it's easy to stay up to speed on the latest cutting-edge information.  If you're looking for an affordable online resource to help you in this regard, check out Elite Training Mentorship.

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