Beazley British Fencing National Championships

High Performance Training is proud to have supported Truro Fencing Club at the Beazley British Fencing National Championships. All competitors had an enjoyable weekend with medals coming from James Honeybone (British Sabre Champion: Gold), Fraser Ward, Michael Clarke and Jon Salfield (British Teams Champions: Gold), the Female Epee team (Bronze Medal), Female Sabre Team (Bronze Medal) and Yvonne Chart (Foil Team: Bronze). Congratulations to all athletes.

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London 2012: Truro fencers dominate GB Olympic team

The London 2012 Olympic Games are only two weeks away and athletes are now tapering for performance. This is the most precise and important time of the four-year (/lifetime) preparation where every second counts. I have been very fortunate over the past couple of years to work in fencing with outstanding athletes and importantly, coaches. The hard-work of everyone has paid off with 3 of the fencers at Truro Fencing Club being selected to compete in the Individual events at the Olympics.  

James Honeybone commented: I know I can achieve a medal place otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I have beaten guys in the top 10 in the world this season, and know if I fence my best, there is no one I can’t beat.

You can watch the Olympic Sabre Fencing with James competing on 29th July and the Womens Sabre on the 1st August. It’s not about luck, it’s about preparation.

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Motivational Music in Sport

We all have that song that gives us a great feeling, motivates us to do well, energises us and fuels our performance. I have seen countless athletes switch from a situation of mental mutiny to complete control and focus in just a few seconds. This article will address the use of music as a motivational tool and clearly illustrate how to optimise the use of your iPod/MP3 player.

Just as motivation is the key to adhering to exercise, music is the key to maintaining motivation. Research at Brunel University (the leading university in motivational music) has shown that  Continue reading “Motivational Music in Sport”

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Hypokinetic Disease and the Exercise Professional

I was recently asked to consider how interventions could prevent hypokinetic disease. Hypokinetic diseases occur from a small amount of movement, perhaps due to injury or sedentary lifestyles. The consequences of hypokinetic diseases (or chronic illnesses) are obesity, osteoporosis, lower back pain, cardiac disease and cancer to name a few. In researching correlations surrounding hypokinetic disease, it was straightforward to find that Obesity was the primary cause of all forms of subsequent illness. In the UK, 1 in every 4 people is obese. Obesity alone costs the National Health Service £4.2 billion per year (2007), with estimated costs rising in 2015 to £6.2 billion.

Continue reading “Hypokinetic Disease and the Exercise Professional”

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The Catastrophe Theory: the reset switch

This article briefly looks into controlling arousal and anxiety to increase performance. I’m sure that if you have studied any sports science (or psychology) course you would have been introduced to the various theories of arousal’s relationship to performance. Arguably the most used theory is named “the catastrophe theory” (Hardy & Fazey, 1987).

Jean Van de Velde was on the 18th hole leading the field of golfers with a 6 shot deficit during the 1999 Open at Carnoustie. Continue reading “The Catastrophe Theory: the reset switch”

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Functional Training and the Football Free-Kick

This blog should be called “problem solving” as that’s really what functional training is. I pride myself on being a functional conditioning professional, but what does that really mean and who qualifies for this fictitious title? In short (before I get on my soap box and tell you who cannot), anyone with extensive hours with athletes in the field – applying function to the gym, qualifies AND anyone who has Continue reading “Functional Training and the Football Free-Kick”

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The Right First Impression in Sport (Part 1/2)

When we meet players for the first time, they form an impression of us dependant on (primarily) non verbal factors. The term “person perception” for the players’ assessment of the target (coach) they are interacting with. Impressions formulate the evolution of players’ expectations of the coach and can impact the players’ attention, memory, attributions and ultimately behaviour. It has been reported that “coaches’ expectations have the potential to play an important role in how athletes cognitively process their athletic achievement” (Wilson & Stephens, 2005). It is therefore fundamental that we ensure we give the right impression for our athletes. Continue reading “The Right First Impression in Sport (Part 1/2)”

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LTAD notes delivered at Loughborough University and Southern Region Coaching Conference

During the summer, I delivered a series of workshops and seminars on Long Term Athlete Development and I had much interest from delegates asking where they could find suggestions on individual training parameters dependant on maturation. As I said in the workshops – Peak Height Velocity (PHV) is the best correlation to windows of trainability and these notes (below) should be used as a guideline only. Continue reading “LTAD notes delivered at Loughborough University and Southern Region Coaching Conference”

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Overtraining and the use of Training Diaries

As performance coaches, it is our aim to ensure that the athletes we work with perform at their physical and mental peak during competitions.  It is important to overload our body to elicit physiological adaptations such as muscular efficiency, motor skill control, and increased fitness levels.  However, sufficient rest is also imperative. Continue reading “Overtraining and the use of Training Diaries”

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Magnetic Bracelets

The top players are wearing the magnetic bands due to claims of performance enhancement. There is no empirical research that suggests Trion-Z or PowerBalance bracelets have any significant improvement on any parameter of performance. Scientifically, magnets are used in such forms as FMRI, and electro-magnetic fields have been used to stimulate bone repair but this requires “higher intensities”. The head of cardiology at Cleveland Clinic Steven Nissen said, “the main reason for the popularity of the jewellery is the medical phenomenon known as the placebo effect.” Perhaps the placebo effect Continue reading “Magnetic Bracelets”

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