Extreme Sports Performance | UKSCA Conference 2018 Review
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UKSCA Conference 2018 Review

Thoughts of the week

“UKSCA 2018 Conference Review”

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Presentation #1 | Duncan French | “Preparation strategies for world class MMA fighters” • Goal is to be able to sustain high intensity efforts for long periods of time • Balancing force velocity curve with energy system characteristics • Hard to periodise due to knowing when a fight will happen • Use short off camp / on camp training periods to maintain strength and fitness • Weight cutting can cause many different stresses to fighter leading up to and after a fight • Benchmarking physical attributes across weight classes is a powerful way of profiling • Eccentric loading quality is generally poor due to nature and actions of sport • Setting bioenergetic load strategies and utilising different methods of energy system development strategies to elicit gains • Adaption led programming • Athlete centred • Directed by limitations •

Presentation #2 | Clive Brewer | “Quality and quantity: Maximising athletic baseball performances for 162 games in 180 days” • Based around athletic development mixed with game readiness • Fundamentally high intensity explosive movements • Competitive schedule is biggest challenge • All team departments have to work together • Outcomes largely dependent on processes • Different types of players do different types of training at different times • sport science monitoring has to be specific and varied • Data is number formed not number driven • Monitoring is used to inform decisions • Treat pain • Correct dysfunction • Train deficiency • Load competency • Make player better every day •

Presentation #3 | Ben Jones | “Increasing the usefulness of research in practice” • Research is not as good as it could be • Teams usually loose to bad science • Balancing wants v needs and coulds v shoulds is key • Perfect = Practical + realistic • Knowledge generation has to compliment knowledge application • Confidence will encourage competence • Demonstrate value over cost • Be specific rather than generic • Obvious over complex • Centralising / sharing data for everyone to access is much more useful than keeping it secret • Find best way for individual or organisation to absorb and use information, not one way • Keep sports coaches involved throughout • Don’t rush but make it a fast process •

Breakout session #1 | John Mitchell | “Integrating olympic sports conditioning methodologies into an elite super rugby program ” • A weakness somewhere usually equals a loss somewhere • Strong cohorts of athletes are more successful • There is often a link between strength level of athlete and podium position in olympic sports • If tactics are changed the training volumes need to be adapted accordingly to accommodate • Use gymnastic movements as prehab exercises • Hip lock training helps improve accelerations on the field • 

Breakout session #2 | Hiroshi Hasegawa | “Measuring and monitoring lifting speed in resistance training and its application to velocity-based training (VBT)” • Having instant rep feedback during strength training enables athletes to lift with more intent • You can’t control what you can’t measure • Jump height, peak power and peak velocity useful monitoring variables • Verbal feedback to athletes from VBT devices help can improve bar speed in just one strength / power session • Training to failure is not always necessary depending out intended outcome • Average and peak velocities higher when using VBT over standard hypertrophy ranges with less fluctuations between reps in a set and lower overall total work done • More research is still needed to understand this area on deeper level • 

Presentation #4 | Brett Bartholomew  | “Periodisation for people: archetypes, influence strategies and bridging the gap with art of coaching” • More successful interventions happen because of more successful outcomes • Behaviours and traits can’t be understood in isolation • The environment and situational context have to be considered • Self awareness is critical • Poor communication can cause conflict • Influence can be looked upon as the essence of leadership • Discipline is one of the most important traits for an athlete to possess • As a coach you have to manage in multi-directions • Most effective approach is combining multiple tactics • Instead of pointing the finger, maybe look behind the thumb • It’s a matter of emotion and perception •

Presentation #5 | Darren Burgess | “Technology and performance – where are we now?” • Be lead my most important information • When monitoring wellness ensure data is utilised daily to maintain athlete buy in • Use what GPS data is useful, not all of it • Techniques to reduce heart rates prior to performances are useful skills to learn • Have selective recovery options • Choose different personalities to deliver different sessions based on desired outcome • Lots of value in managed high speed running sessions mid-week before weekend performances • Using both internal and external load monitoring highly recommend • De-stress players as much as possible • 

Presentation #6 | Darren Roberts | “Managing the unmanageable” • Have to speak the language of the athlete in front of you • Focus on can do’s not can’t do’s • Recreate their environment • Give athlete ownership of their own session • Use different approaches • Make it personal • Athlete first • Group dynamic important • Have autonomy • Promote self determination • Do the ordinary extraordinarily well •Always ask difficult questions • Learn, don’t copy • Find the gap • Have fun • Embrace the chaos • Change the game • 

Presentation #7 | Graeme Close | “Supplements and the athlete: what the S&C coach must know before even beginning to have this conversation” • Always choose a food first over a supplement • Know the difference between a food and a supplement • Educating athletes on anti-doping is essential at all levels • With supplements: 1) Assess the need 2) Asses the risk 3) Identify what product is suitable 4) Continually assess the benefits • Prioritise •

Breakout session #3 | Jeremy Kovacs | “Training rotational athletes” • Knowledge of specific sports movements mechanics essential • Optimal loading in extreme joint angle positions necessary in some sports • Optimisation of energy transfer key • Pressure mats useful to observe weight shifts • A rotational striking athletes window of visual ability linked to their lower body positioning • Using pauses during movement training reps useful in overloading sport specific positions • Use evidence to guide assessment • Focus on kinetic chain • Lower body first • Ankle and hip need greater focus during testing and assessment • Stability before strength • Test, train, treat, measure, repeat •

Breakout session #4 | Danny Holdcroft | “The evolving journey as and S&C coach into performance leadership”       • Understand what high performance is • Know the people around you • Know your role • Find your own way • Keep communication simple • Mind map for your own reference • Be honest • Evolve your working way • Don’t be afraid to try something • It’s a people business • Management is emotionally draining • Framework before structure •

Presentation #8 | Ian Jeffreys | “Agility” • Balance what we know with what we don’t know and vice versa • Think differently • Consider bias in all forms • Humans crave certainty • Information is useless without context which has to be the sport • Appeal to all sensory variables • Skill is best developed through high quality deliberate practice • Measure success of outcome rather than speed of movement • Optimal velocity is game speed • Be progressive • Frames of reference have to include components of performance • 

Exercise of the week

Dynamic | Strength | Olympic lift | Jerk | Split | Alternate leg | In front of neck | Weighted bar

Find out more about this program here

Recipe of the week

Lean organic pork & apple sausage’s, cauliflower & potato mash w. peas & onion gravy


  • Source the best quality lean organic sausages you can. Pierce with fork in centre of each & place in oven for 25-30mins at a medium-high heat.
  • Slice, cut & boil potatoes of choice in salted water until soft. Drain water then add a large table spoon of olive spread to the pan, along with some black peeper. Mash until mixed well.
  • Chop & boil some cauliflower until soft. Drain & add to potato pan. 
  • Mix potato & cauliflower together to make a combined mash.
  • Peel & roughly chop a red onion. Sweat in sauce pan with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar & a teaspoon of organic honey until soft. Add in some vegetable stock & gravy granules of choice. Constantly stir until mixture thickens, seasoning to flavour. We added in some chilli flakes for a spicy tang.
  • Boil frozen peas until soft then drain.
  • Leave potato & cauliflower mash, onion gravy & peas to rest. Take sausages out of the oven to check if cooked the whole way through.
  • Serve as in picture with potato on plate first, adding sausages & on top. Finally pour onion gravy over everything.

Find out more about our nutrition plans here

Training song of the week

Hands high – Crafty Cuts, Chali 2na

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