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Talent Code Skill Specialist & Cycling Author Daniel Coyle (Rebroadcast)

Lance Armstrong ex-teammate Tyler Hamilton (Rebroadcast)
daniel_coyle_portraitThis week we welcome one of the world’s leading experts on skill acquisition, perfecting technique and performing under pressure: Daniel Coyle.

Daniel is the author of The Talent Code, an absolutely indispensable book for coaches. He also knows quite a bit about the controversial world professional cycling, having written Lance Armstrong’s War, released in 2006 and The Secret Race, a brilliant expose about doping, co-written with Armstrong’s former teammate Tyler Hamilton, which was released last year. He also published the extremely practical Little Book of Talent, in 2012.
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Brain Training to Boost Endurance Performance With Samuele Marcora (Re-broadcast)

Mental Fatigue; Brain Endurance Training; Re-broadcast 
samuele-marcora-2Can brain training make substantial improvements in endurance performance? Is self-talk really effective? The results from preliminary research are highly encouraging. This week’s guest is the man leading the studies, Professor Samuele Marcora. He is director of research at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kent, in England.

Prepare for a little brain pain. In this episode we’re going to dive deep into Sam’s cutting edge work integrating exercise physiology with motivation psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This psychobiological approach has generated several innovative studies including the effects of mental fatigue on endurance performance and brain training for endurance athletes (Brain Endurance Training). Sam has also been a research consultant for MAPEI Sport Service in Italy where he contributed to highly cited research on soccer and mountain biking physiology.

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interviews with world-class sports leaders, coaches and sports scientists. It’s 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:Brain training to improve endurance performance; self-talk for athletes, mental fatigue, training to exhaustion, Central Governor Theory, Timothy Noakes, endurance training for cycling, cognitive stimulation


Tim Noakes: Sports Scientist Extraordinaire, Redefining the Limits of Human Performance (Re-broadcast)


From Ironman triathletes, marathon runners, Tour de France cyclists to rowing, rugby and football – Tim Noakes’ research shakes up the consensus and opens the path to new, higher performance horizons.

We cover dehydration and water intoxication, optimal training methods, and what coaches need to know about the connections between the brain and the body. There’s even some information about how to swim nearly naked at the North Pole. The show is hosted by sports psychologist Glenn Whitney.

“It would be easy to train athletes if they were just bodies without brains.” – Tim Noakes

Tim is the author of The Lore of Running, considered by many to be one of the definitive works on the subject, plus he has written and co-written about a dozen other books and over 100 scientific papers.

His latest book is called Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports. It’s an impressively comprehensive examination of the subject and one that is making many executives in the sports drink industry squirm.

Tim also practices what he preaches, having competed in over 70 endurance and ultra-endurance running races and he’s still highly active now that he’s passed his 60th birthday.

His ideas and research shake up the conventional wisdom and break open new, more creative and effective ways of thinking about human performance.

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Continuous Compassionate Criticism: The Essence of the Art of Coaching

When you make a mistake in typing or in spelling, it’s good that an icon doesn’t flash all over your screen with a green monster sticking it’s tongue out and screaming at you that you’re a total idiot. Those kinds of frequent attacks on your self-esteem are unlikely to motivate you to produce more and increase the quality of your work. It’s an overwhelming, debilitating form of feedback.


However the opposite of this is also a problem. Most people can merrily type away while their word processing program automatically fixes mistakes that the person never realizes he made. This is not blissful ignorance. This is the kind of cluelessness that leads to arrogance and complacency.

To stay on top of our game, and especially to get better at what we want to be excellent at – we need continuous compassionate criticism. It’s hard to find sources for that, but absolutely essential.

A key reason great athletes become great, stay great and get even better is that they have an insatiable appetite for improvement. They are highly receptive to feedback and being challenged. They believe in themselves and their pervasive superiority over their competitors but they are almost always open to improving and recognizing what they are doing now might not be optimal.

This is less true in the case of top-level executives. Most I have worked with and know about are hyper-sensitive about criticism. They are thin-skinned and they avoid it. That may be an important reason that the average time at the top for a chief executive in most developed countries is about 3.5 years. Eventually all those blind spots and delusions of superiority (and even infallibility) catch up with these arrogant executives and they are deposed.

The art of the coach is to deliver this continuous compassionate criticism in a highly individualized way; tailoring the feedback and leavening it with humor and warmth so that the athlete – and ideally the top business leader – can receive it willingly, hear it fully, internalisz it completely and put the improvement into action consistently.

Topics: The art of coaching, reslience, focus, discipline


Duke’s Coach P. Inspires Fierce Competitors in Basketball and Life; Re-broadcast

Choices, not chances; re-broadcast
coach_p_duke3This week we have one of the leading  women’s basketball coaches in NCAA. Not just a coach but a thought leader and an eloquent proponent of how sports can be a powerful force for social good.

Joanne P. McCallie, or Coach P. as she is widely known, has headed up the Duke University Blue Devils, in Durham, North Carolina since 2007, where she has an 82% win record. Prior to that she lead the women’s basketball program at Michigan State and before that the University of Maine.

This interview was carried out in August, 2013.

Coach P . has led teams into three National Championship game appearances in her career, and has been named conference coach of the year five times. This season, which starts in just a few weeks, looks like it might be truly epic.
coach_p_duke2She is the author of Choice Not Chance: Rules for Building a Fierce Competitor, an inspiring book that helps young athletes, their parents and their coaches focus on the key moments in life when success or failure are built.
Sports Coach Radio is hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching and leadership psychologist. You can follow us on Twitter, where we post useful articles and coaching tips 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.



Sports Scientist Ross Tucker on Sex, Drugs & Performance Enhancement

Doping, Sex Confusion and Cheating
Our favorite controversial, ueber incisive, sports scientist is back. Ross Tucker joins us from Capetown, South Africa, where he produces the wildly popular blog the Science of Sport

Ross loves to take on contentious topics: Illegal performance enhancing drugs, I.e. doping, sex anomalies in Olympic competition, genetic testing, the limits of human performance and more. You can find numerous fascinating articles on Ross’s website:
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Dweck on Coaching: Praise, Criticism & Shifting Mindsets (Re-broadcast)

Growth Mindset, coaching expectations & outcomes (re-broadcast)
carol_dweck1 Carol Dweck is one of the world’s most influential social psychologists. Her research is of vast importance to coaches and how they praise and criticize their athletes.

Carol is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and an expert on how a person’s thought patterns and belief – or mindset – affect their ability to learn and perform. This interview was recorded and first released in July 2013.

She is the author of numerous papers and books, and those most relevant to coaching include the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She also has a great website:
mindset2 book cover
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Soccer Coaching: Bob Bradley’s Lessons From USA, Egypt & Beyond (Re-broadcast)

Mental toughness & resilience for coaches

A rebroadcast from 2014, with the first-ever American to be appointed as head coach (manager) of a British Premier League team – Swansea.

Bob Bradley one of the most experienced and resilient coaches in the world. He has led the U.S. National Men’s team, the Egyptian National Men’s team, Stabaek, a top division club side in Norway and in 2016, Le Havre, the French Second Division squad.

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.
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Sports Psychology: Dr. Kristin Keim on Winning & Being Happy

Mindful peak performance, anxiety management
Sports Psychologist Kristin Keim is our guest this week. She works across all sports, with particular expertise in cycling, where she was once an elite rider. She also works extensively with athletes in triathlon, running, rowing, swimming and several other sports.

Dr. Keim has a PsyD in clinical psychology and an M.A. in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in California.

We discuss some deep topics in this wide-ranging interview but in a fun way, trust me. Subjects include Kristin’s experiences working closely with a medal-contending athlete in Rio 2016, as well as her clinical specialisms in anxiety, depression, easting disorders, obsessive-compulsive behavior and attention deficit-hyperactity, among the many issues that athletes, coaches and non-sporty people contend with.

Her website is:
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Running Coach & Chiropractic Richard Hansen On Healthy High Performance

running coach chiropractic richard hansenInjury prevention, over-training, recovery

A doctor of chiropractic and a passionate running coach – it makes for a really interesting conversation about everything from injury prevention, barefoot running to raw kale smoothies.

Richard Hansen is head of Roots Running, a Boulder, Colorado-based Olympic development group focused on distances from 1,500 meters to the marathon. Richard also leads a busy medical practice called High Altitude Spine & Sport, whose aim is to provide current, evidence-based treatment and education for athletes.

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Sports Psychology: Your Brain on Sports With Sam Sommers

sam sommer sports psychologyMental fitness; coach education

Do you ever wonder what your brain on sports looks like? Sam Sommers knows. He is the co-author of an excellent book by that title and a social psychologist at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

This is a fun but also useful interview with lots of practical ideas. Among numerous topics we cover: The Curse of the Expert: Why the best players make the worst coaches, and the frequent, often brutal turnover rates among head coaches at the top level professional sports.
sports psychology your brain on sports

Sports Coach Radio is hosted by Glenn Whitney, a sports and leadership psychologist. You can subscribe to us on Apple iTunes and follow us on Twitter with the handle: @sportscoachtalk. And if you have a moment, we’d very much appreciate it if you could leave a short review on the Apple iTunes site. Your review will help other people find out about the show.
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Rio Focus: USA Water Polo’s Adam Krikorian Seeks a Second Gold: Re-broadcast

Athlete-to-coach transition, John Wooden UCLA legacy; Re-broadcast


Adam Krikorian struck gold in his first Olympics as head coach – in London 2012 with the USA women’s water polo team. He began coaching the squad in 2009, in addition to having the same role at UCLA since 2000.






Adam is a former standout water polo player himself, with lots of fascinating things to say about making the transition from athlete to coach. You’ll hear about how the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden has been major source of inspiration. Like Wooden,

Adam is refreshingly modest and open, qualities that were dramatically apparent in the later stages of the Olympics, which you’ll also hear about when he discusses a key mistake he made and its aftermath.
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Rio Focus: Coaching Ashton Eaton For a Place In History (Re-broadcast)

ashton_eaton_brianne_harry_2Decathlon: Ashton Eaton, Brianne Theisen-Eaton (Re-broadcast)

For long-time followers of the podcast and or track and field, Harry Marra needs no introduction. He¹s graced us with his presence twice before. Back again after a triumphant season  guiding decathlete Ashton Eaton to World Championship Gold in Beijing and heptathlete Brianne Theisen Eaton to the silver in the same competition.

Coach Marra gives us some intimidate insights into this critical period leading up to the Olympics in Rio. Asthton, who holds the world record as well as having won Olympic Gold in  London, quite possibly deserves the title the greatest athlete of all time. Certainly his case will be strengthened if his tops the table in Brazil this summer. And if Brianne can break through and win gold, the three quite possibly will become the most successful training trio in history.

As you will hear in this interview, at 68 Coach Marra may or may not be on the verge of retirement but either way, this is yet another generous insight from him into the mind of a master coach.


Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, scientists and writers, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching and leadership advisor. 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: Decathlon, Ashton Eaton, periodization, Olympics, 400m, guarding against complacency, Rio 2016, focus, mental toughness, brain training, power vs. speed endurance, Harry Marra, Brianne Theisen-Eaton


Rio Focus: USA Sports Psychologist Peter Haberl On Mental Fitness (Re-broadcast)

Sports psychology, mental toughness, mindfulness (re-broadcast)

This week we’re joined by Peter Haberl a senior sports psychologist for the United States Olympic Committee. Peter has worked with some of the most successful teams in recent history including medal winning squads in Men’s and Women’s Water Polo, Women’s Indoor Volleyball and Track Cycling
Based at the USOC headquarters in Colorado Springs, Peter has a particular interest it what’s known as mindfulness based interventions and cognitive behavioral treatments, which you’ll hear a lot about in this interview. Peter grew up in Austria, played professional hockey in Europe for 10 years and represented his country in two world championships.

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Rio Focus: Sprint Star Dafne Schippers’ Coach Bart Bennema (Re-broadcast)

Sprinting, “The Female Usain Bolt” (Re-broadcast)
dafne_schipper_beijin_2015Bart Bennema is coaching one of the biggest breakthrough athletes of the year – in any sport! She’s 23 year-old Dutch woman Dafne Schippers, recently crowned 200 meter sprint champion in the 2015 Beijing Track & Field World Championships, as well as the silver medallist in the 100 meters.

Given her unusual height and power over both 100m and 200m, some experts are starting to call her the female Usain Bolt although her Netherlands training environment is the opposite of a Caribbean island.
A mere six months ago, Dafne was focused on the seven events of heptathlon, and not doing too badly. In fact she placed 3rd at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

Bart, a former national-class decathlete, has been coaching Dafne since she was a teenager. Bart, who is 38, also coaches Nadine Fisser, a Dutch heptathlete who strong in sprint hurdles.

As they pause before getting ready for Rio, this is a candid and wide-ranging interview covering one of the most exciting career phases that any athlete and coach pairing can experience. We talk about handling increasingly intense commercial demands of an athlete with global star appeal, accusations of doping, mood management and curbing the frenetic enthusiasm of athletes who have a tendency to over-train
Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, scientists and writers, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching and leadership advisor. 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: Sprinting, Athletics, Track & Field, 100m, 200m, Dafne Schippers, Usain Bolt, Shelly Ann Fraser Price, Bart Bennema, Netherlands, Beijing 2015, Michael Johnson, Allyson Felix, Dafne Schippers


Rio Ready: Endurance Track Coach Andy Sparks Leads a Renewal (Re-broadcast)

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

track-cycling-sarah-hammer-andy-sparks-coachUSA Cycling’s 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 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

USA Cycling: Endurance Track Coach Andy Sparks Leads a Renewal for Rio
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Rio Focus: USA Cycling Leader Jim Miller on Winning Gold Medals (Re-broadcast)

Renewing USA Cycling (Re-broadcast)
Jim_Miller_Kistin+ArmstrongUSA Cycling is in focus this time around. Jim Miller is USA Cycling’s Team Leader and Vice President of Athletics.

Jim coached Kristin Armstrong to gold medals in Beijing and in London, where she was almost 38 years old at the time; quite an achievement. By the way, Kristin is not related in any way to Lance Armstrong.

Jim has also been instrumental in developing two rising stars in men’s endurance cycling – Ben King, and Tejay van Garderen, who won the young rider title at the 2012 Tour de France – that’s the first time an American rider has won the coveted white jersey in 25 years.
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