Frans Bosch: Fine-Tuning Motor Control

In the book, “High Performance Training for Sports”, renowned strength coach Frans Bosch outlines his methodology and philosophy, specifically for optimising running performance.

Bosch considers – though not in great depth – the motor control theory behind his coaching practices, to provide insight into why some exercises are effective at improving performance and others are not. Two control systems exist: one fast and unconsciously controlled, and one slow and consciously controlled. Many movements in sport are required to be performed so quickly and with little warning or notice that they can only be executed automatically, and without input from the working memory or executive parts of the brain. This is important when attempting to maximise transfer of training to an athlete’s sport.

 

Specificity and Transfer

Bosch outlines 5 criteria for specific transfer, whereby to enhance transfer and thus sports performance, there must be similarity in the following areas:

  1. Muscle action
  2. Limb motion
  3. Sensory information available
  4. Dominant energy system
  5. Movement result (there is better transfer when there is a clear difference between a successful and unsuccessful movement, e.g. clean > high pull in terms of transfer)

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Nick Cooper: Programming for Speed

Strength and conditioning coach for the English Institute of Sport and head of S&C for TASS Nick Cooper provides a succinct overview of the components needed to enhance an athlete’s speed. He covers general and specific preparatory exercises, the components of actual running training, a brief discussion of why weightlifting and plyometrics transfer to running speed, as well as a few extra tips such as markers to progress to running drills.

General and specific preparatory exercises are the two distinct categories of strength training for speed. General preparatory exercises are those that build an ability to tolerate the forces of running, but can also utilise movement patterns similar to running to benefit speed. They include olympic lifts and their variations, as well as dynamic lower body exercises such as jump squats and loaded single leg landings.

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