Learning to relax to improve sports performance

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, May/June 2016

Coaches constantly encourage athletes to relax (often by yelling, which seems contradictory), but rarely does a coach explain or demonstrate relaxation or a process to relax. Encouraging players to relax becomes a throw away; something that everyone says, and everyone assumes the other person understands, but which has virtually no practical meaning.  […]

Athletic Development Trumps Elite Selection

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, July/August 2016.

As Abby Wambach retired after her record-setting career with the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team, she criticized Jurgen Klinsmann for his strategy of recruiting dual-national citizens living and developing outside the United States. Whereas many viewed Wambach’s comments as xenophobic, and somewhat disingenuous as she never appeared to have a problem with her teammate Sydney Leroux who was raised in Canada, the comments struck me as less about xenophobia and more about the long-term development of soccer in the United States.  […]

Participation, development, and gold medals

I wrote about this article once already, but I continue to see members of the USOC retweet and praise the article. The article essentially argued that the U.S. is failing in the Olympics, on a per capita basis, because of a lack of sports science and top-down control. Now, it would make sense that sports scientists and administrators within the USOC would retweet and support this argument, as it lends more credibility to their position, which may increase funding for their salaries and projects.

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The United States and the Olympics

I am pretty sure that I have written this article somewhere roughly 3 years ago after attending a USOC-sponsored coaching conference and realizing that most of the people were sycophants and basically nuts. However, the issue continues to gain momentum, and because nobody wants to argue a realistic position, here we go: […]