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10,000 Hours? Deliberate Practice Expert Challenges Our Assumptions

deep_practice_brooke_macanamara_10,000_hours_rule_1Does practice really make perfect? Skill acquisition

How much of athletic performance is actually down to thousands of hours of so-called deliberate practice? Maybe not as much as you think…

This week we go in depth on the topic with the lead author of a newly published research paper that many in the world of high performance are scratching their heads about.

Brooke Macnamara was recently awarded her PhD by Princeton University and is now on the faculty of Case Western University. She and colleagues David Hambrick and Frederick Oswald are the authors of Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education and Professions: A Meta Analysis.

Findings: Early specialization does not usually lead to high-level performance.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientists, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching adviser and leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

Mentions: 10,000 Hours Rule, Skill acquisition, Deliberate Practice, Anders Ericsson, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell, The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle, The Sports Gene, David Epstein

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Sports Psychologist Jim Afremow Defines the Gold Medal Mindset

Winning mentality, focus, resilience, mental toughness
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Coaching is a lot about instilling the right mentality in your athletes. This week’s guest is a specialist in developing the “gold-medal mindset.”

Sports psychologist Jim Afremow is a mental game coach, has a PhD in sports psychology, and is the author of the recent book, The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive.  Jim has worked with athletes from the NBA, Major League Baseball, and the NFL, as well as further afield, including Olympic teams from India and Greece.

Sports_Psychologist_Champion's_Mind_Winning_MentalityjpgSports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientists, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching adviser and leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

Some highlights:

“The best athletes dwell on success not failure; that sets them up for even greater success.”

“You can be a perfectionist in training; in performance, free yourself and let the talent out.”

“Successful athletes have to be a bit (constructively) obsessive.”

Mental toughness, focus, resilience, winning mentality, sports psychologist

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USC Track & Field Director Smith Gilbert on Principle-Driven Leadership

caryl1DeeDee Trotter coach, sprint coach

It’s a pleasure to welcome a true pioneer to Sports Coach Radio this week. Caryl Smith Gilbert is one of the very few women in the world to lead a major sports program for both men and women.

She’s director of track and field at the perennial powerhouse University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, as well as having coached at the London Olympics. One of her charges – multiple medalist DeeDee Trotter, is now an assistant coach at USC.

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Before joining the Trojans in 2013, Coach Smith Gilbert was six-time Conference USA Coach of the Year at the University of Central Florida. Prior to that, she held senior coaching positions at Tennessee, Alabama and Penn State.

Coach Smith Gilbert hails from the great state of Colorado, where she was two-time state champion in the 200-meter dash and long jump and a three-time champion in the 100-meter dash.  She went on to become a three-time All-American at UCLA.

Track & Field Coach, Sprint Coach, DeeDee Trotter coach

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Talent Code & Deep Practice Specialist Daniel Coyle

Daniel_Coyle_Talent_Code_1This week we’ve got one of our very favorites back for a second visit  Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, co-author of The Secret Race and several other excellent books about the sporting life.

The previous interview with Daniel was released on April 19th, 2013 and it’s still available for download on the website and on Apple iTunes.

This time around we talk deeply about, what else? Deep practice! Plus we explore some soccer and cycling themes and get a bit of a preview of the book Daniel is currently working on, which will be of huge interest to sports coaches and administrators.
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Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientists, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching adviser and leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

Topics covered in this interview: Skill acquisition, deep practice, real coaching versus pseudo coaching, mastery, the 10,000 Hours Rule, nature versus nurture, genetic inheritance, team work and optimizing team performance: The Talent Code.

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CrossFit & Strength Coach Kelly Starrett on Mastering Mobility

strength_coach_kelly_starrett_1Who wouldn’t want to become a supple leopard? Kelly Starrett explains how in this week’s episode.

Kelly has a doctorate in physical therapy, is the co-founder of San Francisco CrossFit and has an extensive background in elite slalom canoeing.
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He’s widely known in the CrossFit world as a mobility maven, having created an innovative blend of manual physical therapy and strength training. He works with a wide range of top performers, from Olympic gold medal winning rowers, to extreme skiers, X-games competitors and ballet dancers.

Sports Coach Radio is a weekly series of interviews with world-class coaches, sports scientists and sports thinkers. It’s hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching adviser and leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter – the handle is @sportscoachtalk and to support the show, please write a short review on the Apple iTunes page.

CrossFit coach and strength & conditioning expert Kelly Starrett, of CrossFit San Francisco

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Swimming Coach Paul Newsome: Freestyle Mastery in Pool & Open Water

Triathlon Swimming and Open Water

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Just in time for the summer splashing season in the northern hemisphere, week we have swimming and triathlon coach Paul Newsome. I’m very excited about this interview because it’s the first time we get to talk about sharks on the show.
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Based in Perth, Australia, Paul is the director of Swim Smooth, a teaching and coaching academy strong on bio mechanics and the finer points of the freestyle stroke – from short course races up to ultra marathon type events, including Ironman triathlons. And Paul certainly practices what he preaches – he is the 2013 winner of the race around Manhattan Island – also known as New York City – a 28.5 mile feat that he accomplished in 7 hours and 14 minutes.

For our loyal listeners based in England, it’s worth pointing out the Paul grew up in Yorkshire and studied Sport Science at the University of Bath.

Swimming Coach Paul Newsome: Freestyle, Open Water, Triathlon

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Great teams often need an Affiliator

Great teams need a mix of personality styles – too many hard-driving “alpha” types can rock the boat off course.

That’s apparent from The Last Amateurs, by Mark de Rond, a fascinating account of Cambridge University’s winning boat in the Oxford-Cambridge Race of 2007.

The CxC Consutling Balanced Leadership Model highlights four broad personality styles: Activator, Affiliator, Analyser and Conceptualiser.

Most successful leaders tend to have two, and sometime as many as three of the styles on display. A rare few, who we refer to as “Fully Balanced,” have ready access to all four styles and are able to combine them and switch in and out of one or another as the situation requires.

Read More

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S&C Coach Andrea Hudy on Building Power With Agility, Speed & Resilience

Strength & Conditioning, Power & Agility

S&C Coach Andrea Hudy_2Andrea Hudy is one of the most innovate and successful strength and conditioning coaches in big-league NCAA sports.

Andrea has been at the University of Kansas since 2004, where she is Assistant Athletics Director for Sport Performance, with responsibilities for most of their sports teams and in particular the powerhouse men’s basketball squad. She has worked with 25 student-athletes who have gone on to play in the NBA.
S&C Coach Andrea Hudy_1
Before Kansas, Andrea was part of eight national championship teams at the University of Connecticut. She has a masters in sports bio-mechanics and a background as a top-level volleyball player while at the University of Maryland.

Andrea is the presenter of the DVDs: Speed, Agility and Quickness for Female Athletes, as well as Strength Training for Female Athletes, both available on Amazon.com

S&C Coach (Strength & Conditioning Coach) Andrea Hudy of the University of Kansas, including the Men’s Basketball Team, on Building Power with Agility, Speed and Resilience, brought in by Head Coach Bill Self in 2008.

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Triathlon Coach Ironmate Mark Kleanthous Talks Mental Toughness

Controlling Your Mind for Endurance Sports
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Triathlon Coach and extreme ultra madman Mark Kleanthous is back on the show, having recently survived the six-day Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert and before that Ironman Lake Tahoe, in freezing temperatures.
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We’re going to talk about those gruelling exploits and rather fittingly, his new book: Triathlon. The Mental Battle — How to be a Better Athlete by Taking Control of Your Mind.

Mark’s website is: www.ironmate.co.uk

Sports Coach Radio dot com is a weekly series of interviews with world-class coaches, sports scientists and sports thinkers. It’s hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching adviser and leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter – the handle is @sportscoachtalk and to support the show, please write a short review on the Apple iTunes page. Many thanks go out to our most recent reviewer: Chad Chainsaw Cheeney.

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Running Coach Jay Johnson: Building Faster, More Robust Runners

Warming up, flexibility and balance: Running coach Jay Johnson

jay_johnson_running_coach_1We’re branching out a little this week into the world of middle and long distance running.

Coach Jay Johnson talks with us about his fresh and innovative approach to training.  Among the elite runners he’s helped recently are Renee Metivier-Ballie, Brent Vaughn and Fernando Cabada. Jay also writes for Running Times magazine and contributes to Nike’s sport marketing running group.

Now an independent coach and director of Boulder Running Camps, Jay was formerly Head Coach of Track and Cross Country at Pratt Community College in Kansas and before that Recruiting Coordinator and Middle Distance coach at the University of Colorado. You can find a lot of useful information and frequent blog postings on his website www.coachjayjohnson.com.

Boulder, Colorado running coach Jay Johnson on building faster, more robust runners.

 

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Triathlon Guru Phil Maffetone on Holistic High Achievement

Ironman Mentor to Mark Allen & Others
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Well-known for working with multiple triathlon world champion Mark Allen, renaissance man Phil Maffetone has been just about everywhere and done just about everything.

To be concise, we’ll just focus on his sports resume. For his musical accomplishments and lots more check out www.philmaffetone.com
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In addition to mentoring Mark Allen through his key Ironman victories, Doctor Phil has also helped triathlete Angela Naeth and race car drivers Mario and Michael Andretti, among many others. His methods that focus on hear rate monitoring are still considered the gold standard by many in endurance sports.
phil_maffetone_endurance_bookDr. Phil has also authored and co-authored 16 books, including The Healthy Golfer and The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. And he’s an expert on a subject dear to my heart – barefoot running

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USA Swimming & Cal Bears Teri McKeever on Winning in the Water and Life

Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer
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Teri McKeever is one of the leading swimming coaches in the world and has been guiding some of the very top women in the sport

In addition to heading up the USA Women’s Team in London, which took home 15 medals, Coach McKeever also served as assistant coach in Beijing and Athens. She is currently head coach of the perennial powerhouse University of California at Berkeley, known as the Cal Bears, winning NCAA championships in 2009, 2011, and 2012.
Teri_McKeever_and_Missy-Franklin Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientists, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching psychologist. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page

 

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Winning Under Pressure: How to be a Clutch Performer With Paul Sullivan

Focus, mental toughness versus choking
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Why do some people excel under pressure while others fail?

Paul Sullivan has written an excellent book exploring this question, called Clutch.

We talk about the numerous case studies he’s looked at including the likes of Tiger Woods in golf, as well as examples from basketball, baseball and football.
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Paul is a columnist for the New York Times and a contributor to several other major publications. He’s also on a quest to become a better golfer while still being a decent husband and father.

Transferring what you can do in a relaxed atmosphere to a tenser one is not easy—or else everyone would be clutch.

Five Key Traits to be Clutch
1. Focus
2. Discipline
3. Adaptability
4. The ability to be present
5. The push and pull of fear and desire

People cannot succeed under pressure if they are thinking of anything other than what they are doing right now.

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Carl Lewis’s Coach Tom Tellez on Creating the Self-Empowered Athlete

Sprint & Long jump expert, discusses illegal drugs
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The master coach of one of the most successful athletes of the 20th Century. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. We’re honored to have Tom Tellez, the long-time coach of track and field legend Carl Lewis, join us for an in-depth conversation.
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Tom Tellez was head coach at the University of Houston for 22 seasons. In addition to working with Lewis, he also guided Joe DeLoach, Kirk Baptiste; Frank Rutherford, Leroy Burrell, Mike Marsh and Michele Finn-Burrell.

From 1984 to 1996, six of the seven U.S. sprinters who won Olympic Gold Medals were coached by Tellez, and seven of the USA’s 13 overall medals were claimed by his athletes.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientist, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching psychologist. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles ust about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

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Triathlon’s Brett Sutton: Innovative and Iconoclastic Rebel

Siri Lindley, Chrissie Wellington Ironman Coach

Brett Sutton is one of the most successful and provocative triathlon coaches of all time.

He’s particularly noted for having helped Siri Lindley, Loretta Harrop and Chrissie Wellington achieve multiple world championship, as well as working with the top males triathletes Greg Bennett and Ben Bright.
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For some he’s a living legend; for others a disrespectful irritant. You’ll get a good sense of his stimulating, iconoclastic character in this wide-ranging interview.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientist, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching psychologist. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles ust about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

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Justin Gatlin Coach Dennis Mitchell on the Art of Speed

Usain Bolt’s Biggest U.S. Rival
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Part Two of our in-depth interview with sprint specialist Dennis Mitchell.

Coach Mitchell, a multiple medallist at the Olympics and several World Championship, now leads Star Athletics, a club based near Orlando, Florida. In his group is the leading U.S. 100 meter runner of the moment Justin Gatlin, gold medallist in Athens and Bronze medallist in London. Both Coach Mitchell and Gatlin were suspended earlier in their careers. You’ll hear some interesting thoughts about illegal performance enhancing drugs in this conversation.

 

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The Sports Gene: An Innovative Take on Nature vs. Nurture

Genetic advantage, illegal drugs & messing around with mother nature
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Is world-class sports performance just a matter of thousands of hours of deep practice, or do you have to have the right genes? What’s the latest on the nature versus nurture debate?
the_sports_gene_boo_david_epsteinDavid Epstein has studied the issue intensely over several years and has produced the excellent book: The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. Join us a most incisive conversation.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, leaders and scientist, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching psychologist. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles ust about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.