Entries by drcraigharrison

EP 114: Jamie Taylor on Giving and Receiving Feedback

Jamie Taylor of Giving and Receiving Feedback (Ep 114)



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Feedback is not just about what is said but what is heard.

In this conversation, Jamie Taylor (@JTGreyMattersUK) tells us more.

Jamie is a senior coach developer at Grey Matters, an evidence-based organisation that consults across a wide range of sports to raise their game. Prior to this role, Jamie coached at Leicester Tigers for 7 years, developed coaches at the English Institute of Sport and taught school children. 

Jamie holds a PhD in Coaching Science and professional qualifications in teaching, coaching and mentoring. His research interests are coaching, talent development and coach development and he shares his insights at conferences across the world.

In this conversation, Jamie and I discuss his latest research on feedback and how to use it to enhance the way your athletes learn. 

Please enjoy the show.

Kia ora!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps me keep producing the show. I also love hearing your feedback!

Sign up for Craig’s free weekly newsletter by scrolling down. It’s full of research-backed, practical ideas for helping youth athletes defend against injury, overtraining and burning out.

Follow Craig:

Instagram: instagram.com/drcraigharrison/
Facebook: facebook.com/drcraigharrison
Twitter: twitter.com/drcraigharrison

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favourite podcast platform.

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Influences on Feedback

Influences on Feedback

Written by Dr Craig Harrison

Navigating a rapid increase in sporting and life demands is a critical feature of a young athlete’s success. Receiving feedback from coaches, parents and supporters is a core way of doing this. The challenge is deciding who to listen to. As a young athlete progresses, the number of feedback sources increases. They’re subjected to a range of views and pressures all offering different guidance and advice. How can a young athlete make sense of it all? And what can we do to help?

Let’s start by understanding the elements of feedback a young athlete uses to assign value. There are many such elements but the 3 big ones are the perceived status of the person providing the feedback, how much the feedback provider is liked and trusted, and the athlete’s sensitivity to difference in the feedback.1

Let’s go a little deeper…

Perceived Status

How much control an athlete thinks you have over their sporting future determines how intently they’ll take notice. Do you have a strong history playing the game? Have you got a winning record? Do you coach the team an athlete is trying to get into? If you answered yes to any of these questions you’re more likely to be listened to! What’s also interesting is parents who fulfil a dual role as coach and parent at earlier stages of development are trusted more, especially if they play the game or did so previously.

A Close and Open Relationship

Athletes value feedback more when they like and trust you. While unsurprising, it’s worth thinking about this more deeply. Are you trustworthy? I’ve found a lot of success in my coaching and parenting by using these 4 principles of trust to guide my behaviours.

  1. Be compassionate – Do I listen? Do I show empathy? Do I recognise and celebrate others?
  2. Act with integrity – Am I honest? Do I keep my word? Do I have clear values that guide my decisions?
  3. Display consistency – Do I show up in a way that is predicable? Can I be counted on? Do I make fair and impartial decisions?
  4. Show competence – Do I know my job? Do I pursue mastery? Do I help others?

A Sensitivity to Difference

Rather than critically reflecting on what’s being said, young athletes typically base their decisions on how difference the feedback is from what they’ve previously heard. When your idea or suggestion doesn’t relate well to prior knowledge or understanding, it’s often rejected. This is important for two reasons; 1) an athlete’s past experiences heavily influences what feedback they value, and 2) when introducing new ideas, how you do it is critical!

So, a quick recap – young athletes typically judge the value of your feedback on the status they perceive you have, how much they like and trust you and how different your feedback is from what they already know and believe.

Be aware during coaching and parenting conversations, influences of feedback significantly impact whether or not your messages are valued and, therefore, how quickly your athletes learn and develop.

If you’d like to learn more about my public talks and workshops, including how to give great feedback, get in touch here.

I’ll see you next week,

Craig —

References

  1. Taylor, J., Collins, D., & Cruickshank, A. (2021). Too Many Cooks, Not Enough Gourmets: Examining Provision and Use of Feedback for the Developing Athlete, The Sport Psychologist (published online ahead of print 2021).



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Panning for the Year Ahead

Planning for the Year Ahead

Written by Dr Craig Harrison

As we approach the end of the summer holiday and our kids return to sport for another year, a lot of time and energy is about to go into planning. A recent conversation I had with one of my athletes focused on exactly that; he asked “what should I do and when should I do it to best prepare for the upcoming football season?”

To begin with, maybe a word of caution:

Awareness Drives Action

Imminent games, tournaments and competitions can lead to much training without a clear understanding of what actually determines performance. I don’t like this approach so much. A belief that “more is better” is fairly typical in the minds of coaches, parents and young athletes with big goals in sport. You will know you are doing it when just putting the work in becomes more important than what type of work is being done. Instead, help your athletes move towards a place of understanding. What actually influences performance? Getting clear on this first means the work being done will be much more likely to have the impact you are looking for.

So, now a way to better help your athletes.

Say Less, Notice More

To react by doing is human. To take away the pain, fix the problem, or make the road traveled by our kids less fraught with struggle. Yet when we do, we miss the chance to learn, and thus be of greater help and guidance. We respond based on what is true to us at the time, on what we think and have previously experienced. But it’s impossible to know it all. Expand what you know by taking the first moment just to observe. What do you notice? Why might you be seeing it? Then, rather than responding with an instruction, get curious. Read up. Ask for help. Listen carefully. Seek to understand what is truly responsible for the goals your athletes are wanting.

And now, perhaps a way to take action:

Ask Considerate Questions

There is a subtle aspect to learning often neglected. The learner’s perception of events (not yours) is what affects change. It’s easy to attribute a behaviour you see to a particular way of being. For instance, the mistakes made on court are the result of a lazy work ethic in practice. But judgements are often misguided, and thus dangerous. So the question is – how best to help? I like using a simple framework based on Bloom’s taxonomy for learning1.

  • Remembering – What took place during the game/competition? What surprised you about what happened?
  • Understanding – What was important about what you did/noticed today?
  • Applying – What could you do with what happened today?
  • Analysing – What did you do differently today? Did you see any patterns in what you did today?
  • Evaluating – How well did you do today? What did you learn about your strengths and areas where you can improve?
  • Creating – What could you do next? What specific steps can you take to overcome your challenges? What do you need help with?

This framework is a hierarchical order of cognitive skills that, when combined with ‘considerate’ questions from you, can help athletes make sense of their own experiences. It also helps you understand what your kids need to keep learning.

So happy New year… 2022 will be full of opportunities to help your athletes learn and develop. Curious, resourceful and resilient young people is something that the world needs more of right now than ever before.

I’ll see you next week,

Craig —

References

  1. Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., . . . & Wittrock, M. C. (2013). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives (abridged edition). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.



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EP 112: Professor Arne Güllich on Developing Talent, Learning & the Paradox of Competitive Sport

Professor Arne Güllich on Developing Talent, Learning & the Paradox of Competitive Sport (Ep 113)



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Professor Arne Güllich is a sports scientist and researcher at Technical University of Kaiserslautern, in Germany. He’s published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, including his latest paper “What Makes a Champion? Early Multidisciplinary Practice, Not Early Specialization, Predicts World-Class Performance”, and has coached across multiple levels in sport for number of years.

In this conversation, Arne and I discuss his latest research findings on talent development, coaching, how to develop motivated, self-determined young people, and much more.

Please enjoy the show.

Kia ora!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps me keep producing the show. I also love hearing your feedback!

Sign up for Craig’s free weekly newsletter by scrolling down. It’s full of research-backed, practical ideas for helping youth athletes defend against injury, overtraining and burning out.

Follow Craig:

Instagram: instagram.com/drcraigharrison/
Facebook: facebook.com/drcraigharrison
Twitter: twitter.com/drcraigharrison

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favourite podcast platform.

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A Guide to Fitness Training for Team Sport Athletes

A Guide to Fitness Training for Team Sport Athletes

Written by Dr Craig Harrison

Science shows that game-changing moments in team sport typically involve high-speed actions. It’s why fitter athletes, who are more capable of repeating these throughout an entire game, are more likely to have an impact. So regardless of how you like it, fitness training is something you just can’t avoid. 

 

But it’s also easy to get wrong, leaving you tired, overtrained and at a higher risk of getting an injury. So let’s take a dive into aerobic fitness training and discuss what to focus on to get it right.

Where Does Energy Comes From?

The ability to repeat high-speed efforts throughout a game requires a constant supply of energy to fuel muscle contraction. Muscle contraction is powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Like a bank that stores money, ATP stores energy so it can be used immediately to fuel exercise. The problem is, there’s only enough ATP to last for about 3 seconds of high-speed action. After that, you need to start making more.

The Creatine Phosphate Energy System

Muscle cells also contain a high-energy compound called creatine phosphate (CP), which is broken down to make more ATP quickly. This process happens very quickly and provides enough energy for about 8-10 seconds of high-speed actions.

The Glycolytic Energy System

Another way muscle cells make ATP is by breaking down glycogen, which is stored in the muscles from the carbohydrates we eat. This process generates energy slower than using CP but lasts longer (about 90 seconds).

Both the CP and glycolytic energy systems produce ATP relatively quickly to fuel high-speed actions in team sport. However, they are anaerobic energy systems (i.e., they don’t require oxygen) and produce byproducts in the muscles (e.g., lactic acid) that build up and cause fatigue (the burning feeling you get in your legs when you run up a steep hill quickly).

The Aerobic Energy System

A muscle cell can also generate ATP by breaking down glycogen with oxygen. When oxygen is present inside the cell, a process called aerobic respiration takes place, which can supply energy to the muscles for several hours. However, this system is slower to generate energy than the anaerobic systems described above.

Oxygen Delivery

When you breathe in, air travels down your windpipe (trachea) and into your lungs. The oxygen in the air then passes across a thin lining of air sacs in your lungs, called alveoli, into the bloodstream and is then transported around the body to the working muscles.

This process is critical because oxygen replenishes the ATP stores in your muscles after every high-speed action, refueling your anaerobic energy systems. What this means is that the fitter you are, the more high-speed actions you can repeat during a game or hard training session.

The hero of oxygen delivery is your heart. A bigger, more powerful heart can pump a greater amount of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles each time it beats. When the oxygen arrives at a muscle it is extracted from the bloodstream and used to generate ATP. The fitter you are, the more efficient this process happens, too.

Oh, oxygen also fuels the brain, which helps you maintain concentration when you get tired.

Building Your Aerobic Fitness

Optimising your aerobic fitness requires training your entire cardiovascular system. This includes your heart, lungs and blood vessels as well as the energy-generating capacities of your muscle cells. A great way to do this is by using a variety of training types.

Small-Sided Games

It’s likely that your coach includes small-sided games in your team training sessions. These are not only great for developing the technical and tactical skills of your sport, they also do a great job at improving your aerobic fitness.

 

In a study I conducted for my PhD1, we tested how well small-sided games work for training aerobic fitness in young team sport athletes. The results showed that 3 versus 3 games lasting up to 24 minutes, completed twice a week for 8 weeks, can significantly improve performance on an intermittent high-intensity running test. This is pretty cool considering you get to increase your fitness while also playing the game you love!

High-Intensity Interval Training

As the name suggests, high intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise interspersed by short periods of recovery. HIIT is a great way to develop aerobic fitness quickly. However, maintaining a high enough intensity throughout each work period is a challenge.

EXAMPLE INTERVAL WORKOUT

  • Warm-up: 5 min movement snacking + 5 min jog
  • Intervals: 4 min running @ max effort followed by 3 minutes of jogging – repeat x 3-4
  • Cool down: 10-15 min sport-specific skill work

Steady-State Training

Steady-state training, also known as tempo training, involves a continuous effort at a speed you can maintain for a moderate amount of time without slowing down. This type of training is a great way to get used to resisting the byproducts of anaerobic exercise that build up in your muscles and cause fatigue.

 

EXAMPLE STEADY-STATE WORKOUT

  • Warm-up: 5 min movement snacking + 5 min jog
  • Steady-state effort: 15-30 min of continuous running (or biking) @ the same pace
  • Cool down: 10-15 min sport-specific skill work

Low-Intensity Continuous Training

Low-intensity, continuous training is exactly as the name suggests – low-intensity and continuous. It’s important to include because of how it trains your muscle cells to better utilise oxygen to generate ATP.

 

The key, however, is not going too hard, as the session will quickly morph into a steady-state one. To get it right, consider low-intensity as a pace you can comfortably maintain a conversation at.

 

EXAMPLE LOW-INTENSITY WORKOUT

  • Warm-up: 5 min movement snacking
  • Steady-state effort: 20-60 min of continuous running (or biking) @ low-intensity
  • Cool down: 10-15 min sport-specific skill work
  •  

Give these aerobic fitness workouts a try and see if they work for you. If you’re looking for a ready-made plan, flick me a message and let’s chat.

If you liked this post, don’t forget to share so that others can find it, too.

References

  1. Harrison CB, Kinugasa T, Gill N, Kilding AE. (2015). Aerobic Fitness for Young Athletes: Combining Game-based and High-intensity Interval Training. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 36(11), 929-34. 



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To Defend Against Injury Follow These 3 Steps

To Defend Against Injury Follow These 3 Steps

Written by Dr Craig Harrison

At just 12 years of age, Connor’s week was full of football commitments. On the weekend, he played a game for school and two for his local club. During the week, he trained every day after school and got up early on a Monday and Wednesday to do extra skill sessions.

 

But life wasn’t just about football. Connor loved all sports and when time allowed for it in his busy schedule, he would take up any opportunity that he could. The thing was, because Connor was incredibly dedicated to his efforts, each new endeavour would add more time and energy to his workload. School swimming sports, for example, led to Connor’s selection in the interschool zone competition, and thus more training to prepare. 

The Adolescent Growth Spurt

During early adolescence, kids go through a period of accelerated growth. Stimulated by the onset of puberty, changes in the brain trigger the release of sex hormones in the body, which signals skeletal growth to take off.  On average, research shows that the adolescent growth spurt begins between 9 and 10 years of age for girls and 11 and 12 years for boys, and, during this time, it’s not unusual for a young athlete to grow up to 12 cm per year.

 

However, based on genetic, ethnicity and environmental differences, the initiation, duration and amount of growth vary considerably. For instance, a child who develops earlier on average than his peers (i.e., the early maturer), typically grows faster and over a shorter period of time. But not all kids grow the same. There can be up to a 5 year difference in when a child begins their growth spurt, which is why it’s normal for a team of 13 year-old athletes to be of completely different shapes and sizes.

A Storm of Growth

Connor was a little over 13 when a knee injury began disrupting his life. Worst during competition, intense pain just below his left kneecap forced him off the pitch, often before the whistle went for half time. Sometimes he wouldn’t even get past the warm up.

 

Connor was seeing a physio one a week for hands-on treatment and most evenings would spend time icing the pain and stretching out the muscles around his knee. But nothing really changed. The pain would return as soon as he did anything that required high-intensity running or quick, repetitive changes of direction.

 

The adolescence growth spurt is like a storm that hits with a series of powerful waves in an otherwise calm bay. Each wave builds momentum, peaks, and then loses energy over time. The biggest wave (i.e., the point at which a young athlete is growing the fastest) is called peak height velocity (PHV).

Bones are significantly more vulnerable during PHV. The elastic sections at the tip of the long bones in the body, called growth plates, are made up of soft cells, and allow the bones to lengthen during growth by rejuvenating over and over again. Once the body reaches maturity, these cells solidify into harder bone. Due to their ever-changing physical structure, growth plates are the weakest part of the bone during puberty and more easily damaged.

When growth plate injury does occur, it either happens acutely (sudden and severe in effect) or chronically (progressively worsens over time). Acute injuries occur for a numbers of reasons, including poor movement patterns, shortfalls in strength, or simply by accident. Chronic injuries, on the other hand, are mostly the result of repetitive loading to a part of the body that is not yet ready to handle it. If not managed correctly, growth pate injuries can adversely affect both development and future performance. At worst, they can negatively affect participation in sports and general well-being by causing long-term movement problems.

But it’s not just growth plate injuries causing concerns. Research conducted in New Zealand suggests that 60 percent of young athletes between the ages of 11 and 14 years suffer a sports-related injury each year. What’s more frightening is that 63 percent of all injuries in females and 42 percent in males are not accounted for in the statistics.

Predicting the Growth Storm

Growth charts have been used for years to track a newborn’s development. The information gathered about height and weight gives a parent a good idea of what to expect and if any intervention is required. Likewise, using methods discovered in recent research, predicting the point at which a young athlete enters and exists their growth spurt, as well as the duration of their most intense growth period (i.e., PHV), is possible. Once armed with this information, you can take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of an athlete getting injury and increase their performance outcomes.

The Development of Body Control

In the grasslands of the Serengeti, only the strong survive. When a giraffe is born, their skeletal system is highly developed and ready to go. It’s the result of a 15-month pregnancy during which energy is concentrated on the muscles. Then, straight after birth, the main goal of the infant is to get up and moving quickly to avoid being dinner a for lion or a pack of hungry hyenas. This rapid mastery of movement is fascinating to watch. It’s full of movement exploration, awkward falls and what appears on the surface to be a bunch of uncoordinated trial and error.

Adults typically find balance during movement using small, frequent adjustments in movement. However, when observing a child perform this task they typically use more wide-ranging, slower movements. This is because balance develops from larger, random sway motions during childhood to smoother, more controlled sway motions in adulthood. Just for fun, stop reading this now and go and stand on a straight line with the heel of your front foot and the second toe of your back foot touching. Close your eyes. How is your balance?

 

During the adolescent growth spurt, the length of a young athlete’s arms and legs relative to their trunk increases, which actually regresses the development of body control. This is known as adolescent awkwardness, or what some refer to as the baby giraffe effect. You may have seen it before? And just like a baby giraffe learning to walk, during adolescent awkwardness a young athlete needs to adjust to their changing body dimensions. The best way to do this is by (re)discovering movement. 

The Importance of Movement Skill Training

Willem Teunissen, the former youth movement scientist at Ajax Football Club, introduced a maturity-matched “movement programme” specifically designed to help players transition through the adolescent growth spurt more safely and effectively. The programme included reductions in overall training load as well as fewer activities that demanded high amounts of rapid stopping (decelerating the body quickly puts significant stress on the body). It also placed more emphasis on activities that develop movement, strength and fitness.

Movement skill training is important for two reasons. First, it exposes young athletes to greater movement diversity. Performing a wide variety of athletic skills has been shown to limit repetitive movements that often lead to overuse injuries. Second, it builds muscular strength, which is essential for controlling the body safely during high-paced movements and radically reduces the likelihood of sustaining an acute injury such as an ACL rupture – one of the key ligaments that help stabilise your knee.       

Adjusting Workload

Most sporting institutes, academies and representative programmes select during early adolescence. What this usually means for a young athlete is a significant increase in load right at the time of accelerated growth. To reduce injury risk, adjusting total workload is essential.2 Research shows that injuries are much more prevalent when the total amount of hours of sport each week exceeds an athlete’s age. The recommended weekly workload ceiling for Connor when he started getting knee pain was 13 hours. He was averaging 15.  

 

The other key load variable is an athlete’s training to competition ratio. Compared to training, competition is higher paced and demand more overall intensity, which if a young athlete is not properly conditioned for, can result in injury. Accordingly, too much competition can be harmful. 

 

To combat his chronic pain, Connor reduced his training to competition ratio from 2:1 to 3:1 and focused on the quality of his training rather than just playing more. This aligned with the latest scientific recommendations. 

Defending Against Injury

When excessive load is added on top of a rapidly growing skeletal, injuries often result. To defend against this, follow these 3 steps:

 

  1. Forecast the growth storm – when you know what’s coming you can do what is needed to properly prepare
  2. Include activities that increase athleticism – a stronger, more resilient body handles the physical demands of sport much better
  3. Adjust the workload during periods of fast growth – focus on quality of development activities, not just doing more

Injury rates are increasing. It’s time you took a different approach to development that looks after the health of your young athletes. You might even find that performance increases as a result. 

References

  1. Soliman, A., De Sanctis, V., Elalaily, R., & Bedair, S. (2014). Advances in pubertal growth and factors influencing it: Can we increase pubertal growth?. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism18 (Suppl 1), S53–S62
  2. Jayanthi N, Schley S, Cumming SP, Myer GD, Saffel H, Hartwig T, Gabbett TJ. (2021). Developmental training model for the sport specialized youth athlete: A dynamic strategy for individualizing load-response during maturation. Sports Health.



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EP 112: Kimberley Carducci

Kimberley Carducci on Athlete Identity, Depression & Navigating Sport Retirement (Ep 112)



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We all know the benefits of sporting success.

But what happens when it all goes wrong? 

Kimberly Carducci (@everythingathletesdotcom) grew up engrossed in sport and started breaking records in the pool as a 6-year-old. Winning felt good and Kim quickly wanted more of it.

As a D1 swimmer in the US, Kim was a 4-time State Champion, 4-time Scholastic All-American, 4-time All-State Selection and an 8-time All-American honoree.

But after retiring from the sport that she’d dedicated her life to, Kim had a moment of outrage on a tennis court that forced her to carefully reevaluate her life.

Kim’s new book, The I of the Tiger: Athlete Identity and Remedying Sport’s Greatest Conflicts, tells a tale of overcoming severe depression after leaving the sport that she loved. It also describes the journey Kim went on to heal and how she’s come to realise that what gets you success in sport can be harmful in normal life.

Now, Kim’s mission is to help other athletes to do the same.

This is Kim’s story.

Kia ora!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps me keep producing the show. I also love hearing your feedback!

Sign up for Craig’s free weekly newsletter by scrolling down. It’s full of research-backed, practical ideas for helping youth athletes defend against injury, overtraining and burning out.

Follow Craig:

Instagram: instagram.com/drcraigharrison/
Facebook: facebook.com/drcraigharrison
Twitter: twitter.com/drcraigharrison

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favourite podcast platform.

Help youth athletes THRIVE. Sign up for your weekly dose of inspiration and insight now!


EP 111: Kathryn Berkett – Raising Resilience

Kathryn Berkett - Raising Resilience (Ep 111)



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Kathryn Berkett – Raising Resilience

On the show today is neuroscience educator, Kathryn Berkett.

Kathryn delivers information about the brain to a variety of groups including teachers, parents, mental health professionals, corporates and, more recently, sports organisations.

Kathryn has her Masters in Educational Psychology, is a certified Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics practitioner and a TEDx presenter.

She also co-hosts the podcast “I’ve got questions” with Pio Terei about all things neuroscience.

This was a super cool discussion with lots of insight that I think you’re gonna love.

This is Kathryn’s story.

Kia ora!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps me keep producing the show. I also love hearing your feedback!

Sign up for Craig’s free weekly newsletter by scrolling down. It’s full of research-backed, practical ideas for helping youth athletes defend against injury, overtraining and burning out.

Follow Craig:

Instagram: instagram.com/drcraigharrison/
Facebook: facebook.com/drcraigharrison
Twitter: twitter.com/drcraigharrison

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favourite podcast platform.

Help youth athletes THRIVE. Sign up for your weekly dose of inspiration and insight now!


EP 110: Des Ryan – Strong Young Gunners

Des Ryan - Strong Young Gunners (EP 110)



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Des Ryan – Strong Young Gunners

Des is the Director of Coaching and Performance at Setanta College – a provider of online Strength & Conditioning and Athletic Development education.

Prior to this, Des spent 8 years at Arsenal Football where he led the Sports Medicine and Athletic Development department for the club’s Academy. 

Des cut his strength and conditioning teeth working with Irish rugby. 

In this conversation, Des shares all that he has come to understand about getting the best out of himself and the young people he works with. 

This is Des’s story. 

Kia ora!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps me keep producing the show. I also love hearing your feedback!

Sign up for Craig’s free weekly newsletter by scrolling down. It’s full of research-backed, practical ideas for creating environments that help youth athletes thrive! 

Follow Craig:

Instagram: instagram.com/drcraigharrison/
Facebook: facebook.com/drcraigharrison
Twitter: twitter.com/drcraigharriso

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favourite podcast platform.

Help youth athletes THRIVE. Sign up for your weekly dose of inspiration and insight now!


EP 109: Courtney McGregor – What Adversity Can Teach Us

Courtney McGregor - What Adversity Can Teach Us (EP 109)



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Courtney McGregor – What Adversity Can Teach Us

At 12:41 pm on Tuesday 22nd of February 2011, a major earthquake hit Christchurch killing 185 people.

Located 6.7 kilometres south-east of the city centre, the shake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, changing life as people knew it.

Artistic gymnast Courtney McGregor (@_courtneymcgregor_), was 12 at the time.

Courtney remembers the earthquake being a pivotal moment in her sporting journey. 

It shaped the way she approached her gymnastics. How she took on a challenge. And dealt with fear.

At just 17 years old, Courtney represented New Zealand at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

She was the youngest member of the New Zealand Olympic Team.

Courtney went on to an athletic scholarship at Boise State University in the US, where she studied mathematics and philosophy and in 2019 won the all-around competition in the Mountain West Conference.

When I spoke to her, Courtney was back home in Christchurch, not long retired, and in the process of applying for medical school. 

This is Courtney’s story. 

Kia ora!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps me keep producing the show. I also love hearing your feedback!

Sign up for Craig’s free weekly newsletter by scrolling down. It’s full of research-backed, practical ideas for creating environments that help youth athletes thrive! 

Follow Craig:

Instagram: instagram.com/drcraigharrison/
Facebook: facebook.com/drcraigharrison
Twitter: twitter.com/drcraigharriso

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favourite podcast platform.

Help youth athletes THRIVE. Sign up for your weekly dose of inspiration and insight now!