Jun 23

Call for Presentations–2017 Canadian Sport for Life Summit

The Sport for Life Society is calling on experts, researchers and practitioners from across the sport, recreation, health, education and public sectors to present their work at the 2017 Sport for Life Canadian Summit. By bringing these leaders together to share their innovations, Sport for Life aims to enhance the quality of sport and physical literacy in Canada. The Summit takes place January 24-26 in Gatineau, Quebec.
The 2017 Summit will focus on nurturing excellence. The term “excellence” can be described as achieving outstanding results, and it can be realized in any number of ways – through personal achievement, organizational or system effectiveness, or by changing the culture of an entire nation for the better. The concept of nurturing excellence suggests that an environment can be created in which excellence can flourish, both in quality and scale, through the intentional actions of an individual or group.
Fitting with this theme, the Summit will be broken into six streams: 
  • Excellence for All – will focus on initiatives that break down barriers to physical literacy development or to quality sport for underrepresented populations.
  • System Excellence – will discuss examples of cross-sectoral collaboration and system alignment from both a strategic and an activation perspective.
  • Excellence for Life – is intended to highlight how physical literacy and quality sport underpin health, happiness and success.
  • Technology Contributing for Excellence – will explore new technologies that change movement training and sport, as well as how we communicate.
  • Nurturing Excellence in Sport Development – will feature stories and methods of elevating quality within your organization, sector or jurisdiction.
  • Nurturing Excellence in High Performance Sport – will feature stories and methods of elevating quality within your organization, sector or jurisdiction.
  • As well, a number of presentations will be delivered in French. 
 If you have research, findings or best practices that speaks to any of these streams, submit an abstract to presentSubmissions will be accepted until July 15. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by mid-August. Registration opens September 1. For more information, visit www.sportforlife.ca/summit.
For more information, contact Michelle Smith: michelle@podiumconferences.com

Jun 20

Sport Technology Update: Realtime Feedback from Medball or Barbell

I first blogged about new RFID technology being implanted in a basketball back in 2012. I recently came across similar technology being implanted in a medicine ball or attached to a barbell. Thanks to Assess2Perform, coaches and athletes now can measure almost instantly such MOEs as:

  • Angle of release
  • Rotational power
  • Bar speed and distance moved

Thanks to Bluetooth technology, that data is transmitted to a smartphone app at the end of each rep.

This technology allows coaches and athletes to judge performance based upon standard MOEs instead of just relying on distance for med balls or weight for strength training.


Apr 16

National Coaching Conference 2016

If you are a coach at any level and looking for an opportunity to learn about innovative and cutting edge coaching methods, I highly recommend you consider attending the 2016 National Coaching Conference.

Organized by the US Coaching Coalition, which is comprised of USOC, NCAA, NFHS, NSCA and Shape America, the conference will be held on the west coast for the first time in 16 years.

Check out the conference online here.

Mar 05

Sports Technology–Wearable Technology

As many readers of this blog know, I have an affection for technology! Over the past few years, more and more technology is seeping into sports especially technology being integrated into clothing. Imbedded technology provides the opportunity to gather feedback on performance such as ground contact time, gait measurement, power exerted, and lactic threshold. A few examples of the latest wearable sports technology have come to my attention:


This technology is a wearable compression sleeve for your calf. BSXinsight measures the lactic or lactate threshold based upon the color of red blood cells by shining infrared light through the skin embedded in the sleeve. The data gathered is used to determine the muscle tissue’s oxygen saturation.

What’s lactate threshold? Lactate threshold is defined as the intensity of exercise at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood at a faster rate than it can be removed. This is problematic because as a result, unbuffered acid is added to the blood, a condition that makes you feel like you have to vomit and stop right away. See Active.com for more info on lactate threshold.

Before this type of technology was devised, blood testing during a controlled test was the means to gather this data on an athlete. Now for under $500, athletes can receive this feedback automatically. See BSX Athletics Website for more information. Velo Press also did a review of this technology. Check that out here.

Thanks to the Feb 29th edition of Sports Illustrated for bringing this technology to my attention.


If you are looking for ways to improve your running technique, Sensoria has developed a smart sock with embedded sensors (located on the forefoot and heel) measuring how much pressure is applied while running. That data, via Bluetooth link, provides info on cadence, time between strides, and footfall location.

Thanks to Competitor magazine for bringing this technology to my attention.





Feb 13

McFarlane’s Plan for Psychological Skills Training

Brent McFarlane, noted Canadian hurdle and sprint coach, wrote one of the best books on hurdling, The Science of Hurdling, which unfortunately is out of print.  The last time I read it I had to use the interlibrary loan system to find a copy.

But fortunately for us, Brent made a brief pitch in it for visualization, a mental skill easily used in sport, and other psychological skills needed by athletes on page 239 of his book.

Brent’s recommendation for a 12 week psychological skills training (PST) program is as follows:

  • Weeks 1-2:   Muscular relaxation
  • Weeks 3-4:   Mental relaxation
  • Week 5:        Supplementary training
  • Week 6:        Disssocciation & detachment training
  • Week 7:       Goal programming training
  • Week 8:       Ideo-motor training
  • Weeks 9-10: Problem solving
  • Week 11:     Assertive Training
  • Week 12:    Concentration Training

If developing a PST plan for your athletes is of interest to you, check out an earlier blog I wrote how pyschological skills training (PST) can be integrated into a planned performance plan.

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