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USA Cycling Endurance Track Coach Andy Sparks Leads a Renewal for Rio

Sarah Hammer’s coach; Endurance expert getting ready for a breakthrough in Rio

track-cycling-sarah-hammer-andy-sparks-coachCycling this week. Andy Sparks is back to update us on what has been an excellent season.

Since we last spoke, about two years ago, Andy has relocated to Colorado Springs and become USA Cycling’s Endurance Track Head Coach as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Para-Cycling Track Head Coach. He’s also personal coach (and husband) to seven-time World Champion Sarah Hammer, whose performances just keep going from strength to strength.
track-cycling-david-muntaner-andy-sparksSports Coach Radio.com is a weekly series interviews with world-class coaches, sports scientists and sports thinkers. It’s  hosted by me, Glenn Whitney. I’m an adviser to coaches and a leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter – the handle @sportscoachtalk. And how about writing a short review of the show – just a sentence or two — on the Apple iTunes page and we’ll thank you at the beginning of the next episode.

Sarah Hammer’s coach; Endurance expert getting ready for a breakthrough in Rio
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USA Cycling: Endurance Track Coach Andy Sparks Leads a Renewal for Rio
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S&C Strength and Power Coach Matt Jordan: Injury-Free Explosiveness

Torn ACLs, Alpine Skiing Expert

s&c coach matt jordan-1Strength and power coaching – always one of our most popular topics. This week we’ve got a world leader in the area, especially when it comes to winter sports.

Matt Jordan is head of Strength and Power Science at The Canadian Sport Institute.

Matt has been personal strength coach to more than 20 Olympic and world championship medallists, and has worked extensively in speed skating, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, hockey, football, volleyball and mixed martial arts.
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Matt is currently completing his doctorate in medical science at the University of Calgary, focusing on ACL injury/re-injury prevention in elite alpine ski racers.

Matt Jordan on “Relentless and Purposeful Preparation”

Athletes, coaches and supporting cast members centralize and prepare every single day as a collective to deliver performance on demand.

The support team brings expertise to help remove physical barriers for performance on demand.  The coaches bring technical expertise and sport know-how to ensure the athletes have the ability to perform on demand.  And the athletes engage these experts and engage in rigorous preparation to deliver performance on demand.

This needs to be executed from the smallest scale (i.e. the passing seconds) to the large scale (i.e. the passing years), and done so in a highly repetitious manner to establish the mental and physical skills to deliver performance on demand

Strength and Power Coaching

Furthermore there is a requirement of consistency in the actions of the system/sport to pursue excellence — not over the short-term but the long-term.  The minimum time period for the fruits of purposeful and deliberate preparation to show up as medals is a quadrennial, but more often than not it takes two quadrennials.  Throughout this time, it can feel as though the hard work is done in vain.  However, as with any partnership, it requires commitment to fight for the cause through the good times and the bad times.  The hard times must strengthen the resolve to the best in the world and not weaken it.

S&C Strength and Power Coach Matt Jordan: Injury-Free Explosiveness, Strength and Power Coaching

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Ironman Legend Mark Allen: Creating the Right Mindset Before the Big Race

ironman-triathlon-mark-allen-and-dave-scott-1989Triathlon Psychology and Mental Toughness

The Ironman World Championship. Every year it happens on the second Saturday in October in Kona, Hawaii.

It’s been exactly 25 years since the most dramatic race so far took place. A duel lasting 8 hours 9 minutes and fourteen seconds between Mark Allen and Dave Scott.

We’re honored to have that day’s victor with us on the show. That’s Mark Allen. He’s now a coach, a mentor and guide in the fields of triathlon, endurance sports in general and in the art of living. He’s also recently produced an inspiring book called The Art of Competition – a series of 90 quotations illustrated with stunning scenes of nature.
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Before we jump into the interview, it’s worth highlighting some of Mark’s many accomplishments: Winning the Ironman World Championships the six years in a row he competed; 10 victories in the ITU Olympic Distance World Championships. And how about this? He was named  “The Greatest Endurance Athlete Of All Time” in a worldwide poll conducted by ESPN in 2012.

Mark’s website is: www.markallencoaching.com” and the website for the book is: www.art-of-competiton.com

“Desire and letting go – Two paradoxically essential ingredient for victory.” – Mark Allen
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Excerpts from the interview and the July 2014 article in Outside Magazine:

…I had jealousy and self-pity when Dave Scott kept winning and I couldn’t. We all have to find a way to move beyond those things…
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…We were side by side for eight hours. It had never happened before, and it hasn’t happened since. It was a defining moment for me. I made the switch to finally having the race I wanted to have. It was the first time I really integrated the soul-body concept. I really embraced how the internal space dictates what is going on outside of you…

…Dave was surging at the half marathon point. I remember looking around at the black lava surrounding us, and thinking that it was the most amazing creation nature could make. It was like a cloud had lifted. I stopped thinking about everything and became a vehicle for performance to take place. I think almost all great athletic performances happen when you are in that space…

…I threw off my heart rate monitor. It would tell me if I was running out of gas, and I didn’t want to know that…

With (Thomas) Hellriegel (in 1995), I was racing a guy who’d passed me on the bike and I didn’t see again for hours. It was very hard mentally to keep going and say this is something that could turn around.

…There are a lot of guys with better numbers. But the numbers in the logbook don’t necessarily tell what you will do in competition. I discovered how to persevere in difficult moments. When you just want to quit, you have to surrender to the moment, and find a calm…

…I believe in getting fit in a way that is healthy instead of burning yourself out. I tell a lot of Ironman stories because it brings to life that even champions struggle…

Key topics: Volume versus quality; Should the top competitors resign themselves to an injury every 12-18 months? Is training more about recovery now; and injury repair? Ironman triathlon; Dave Scott, Mark Allen Ironman, triathlon, mental toughness, resilience, over-training, recovery

Outside Magazine interview:

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/the-fit-list/Inside-The-Mind-Of-An-Ironman.html

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Soccer Coaching: Bob Bradley’s Lessons From USA, Egypt and Beyond

Michael Bradley, World Cup soccer coaching
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This week we have one of the most experienced and resilient coaches in the world. Bob Bradley has led the U.S. National Men’s team, the Egyptian National Men’s team and is now with a top division club side in Norway.

He’s also a soccer dad extraordinaire – his son Michael is one of the leading American players and was a standout during this summer’s World Cup.

Bob has learned quite a few lessons along the way: from 2006 to 2011 where his U.S. team won 43 games, tied 12 and lost 25. Among the victories was a triumph in 2009 over Spain, the number one ranked country at the time.  2011 to 2013 was spent Egypt, compiling a record of 24 wins, 5 ties and 7 losses. Since earlier this year he’s been at the helm of Stabaek, a first division team based in suburban Oslo.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interviews 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.

Key topics: Bob Bradley; Soccer coaching, international football, World Cup, Team USA, Egyptian National Team, Bob and Michael Bradley, coaching in Europe, Norwegian football, learning lessons, resilience, career development.

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Marathon Coaching: Sub Two-Hour Times, Phil Maffetone Shows The Way

Endurance strength training & fueling
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Endurance expert and holistic health guru Dr Phil Maffetone joins us again to talk about his fascinating new book: 1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon Is Within Reach: Here’s How It Will Go Down, and What It Can Teach All Runners about Training and Racing. There is lots to learn in this interview for not just runners, but all endurance athletes and their coaches.

As you might already know Dr Phil mentored legendary triathlete Mark Allen through his key Ironman victories, as well working with triathlete Angela Naeth and race car drivers Mario and Michael Andretti, among many others.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interviews 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.

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Key topics:

Marathon coaching, marathon training, sub-two hour marathon, endurance, sports nutrition, strength training for endurance athletes, triathlon, fueling, hydration low-carb, bare-foot running, Frankfurt Marathon, Kenyan runners, Ethiopian runners, genetic differences, Nike Oregon Project, Mo Farah

 

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Youth Sports Expert Mark Hyman on the High Cost of Competition

Over-training, injuries, burn-out
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We’ve got a back-to-school special this week that should resonate with a lot of coaches and parents.
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Mark Hyman is the author of the books Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids and The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today’s Families.

Mark has been a journalist for over three decades and since 2013 is an assistant professor at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

He’s also a parent of two grown sons, and an endurance runner who has finished marathons in 19 states.
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Sports Coach Radio is hosted by Glenn Whitney, a mentor to coaches and a leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter – the handle is @sportscoachtalk. If you like the show, we’d be grateful if you would take a couple of minutes to write a short review on the Apple iTunes page.

Topics: Youth sports expert, injuries, over-training, burnout, the rising cost of youth sport and the toll on today’s families, America’s obsession with youth sports and how it harms our kids, Little League baseball, football, basketball, Tommy John Surgery, concussions

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Soccer Coaching: Strength & Conditioning Specialist Mike Young

soccer-coach-strength-coach-mike-youngStrength and conditioning is back in focus this week. Soccer and track specialist Mike Young works extensively with the Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer as well as running the Athletic Lab, a top-notch training facility based near Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Mike has a PhD in kinesiology with an emphasis in biomechanics. He’s worked across numerous American professional and Olympic sports, including with players in the NFL and in Major League Baseball.

Sports Coach Radio is hosted by Glenn Whitney, a mentor to coaches and a leadership consultant. Follow us on Twitter – the handle is @sportscoachtalk. If you like the show, we’d be grateful if you would take a couple of minutes to write a short review on the Apple iTunes page.

We’ve had some kind words posted recently by “Derek Healy,” someone using the handle “In Two Minds,” “Phil Andy,” and “JGonzo 723″ – Many thanks, guys!

Key topics:

Technique Under Fatigue, CrossFit – Pros and cons, High fat, low carb, Paleo diets, Differences in metabolic demands of American football players versus soccer players, Rest and recovery – new directions, Back squat for sprinting athletes – Risks and rewards, Goblet squats

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Marathon Coaching: The Man Behind Meb’s Boston Triumph, Bob Larsen

Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi

marathon-coach-meb-keflezighi_bob-larsenWe have the coach behind one of the most stunning marathon victories in recent years on the show this week. Meb Keflezighi’s longtime mentor Bob Larsen joins us again, to tell us all about how Meb triumphed in the 2014 Boston Marathon, on the eve of his 39th birthday, becoming the oldest winner of the race in the modern era.

Bob is a true master coach, a model of modesty and servant leadership, with a pedigree that goes across most track and field events, starting with UCLA in 1979. He was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame last year and in July was given the running’s prestigious Pathfinder Award.
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We last spoke with Bob in May 2013, and that interview is still available for download.

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.

Key topics: Marathon coaching, Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi, training older athletes, building strength, preventing over-training, prehabilitation, alternative endurance training methods

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Swimming Coach Chris Plumb of Carmel: Developing Dominance

Team values and personal principles

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Rounding up teenagers at 6:30 in the morning six days a week, 50 weeks a year and turning them into champions, over and over again. Sounds like hard work but also tremendously satisfying for swimming coach Chris Plumb. Chris has helped produce dozens of Olympic caliber athletes at the nationally ranked Carmel Swim Club in Carmel, Indiana. He’s been with the club for over a decade and became head coach in 2006.

Carmel has won the USA Swimming Gold Medal Club of Excellence in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is also head coach of the Carmel High School Swim Team, whose girls’ squad has won 28 consecutive state champions.

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.

Key topics: Team values, personal principles, sports-specific training, developing mental toughness

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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 coaching

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 coaching, sprint coaching, DeeDee Trotter coach, values and principles, coaching philosophy, gender issues in coaching, athlete-to-coach transition,

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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.

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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.