Author Archives: Kirsty

Basketball Coaching: Out Now

Basketball is one of the most spectacular, dynamic and popular team sports on the planet, requiring a high level of fitness and skill. And success in basketball comes from a player’s ability to consistently execute the fundamental skills of the game and also from the coach’s ability to coach and incorporate these skills into their training programmes.

Baske9781472901880tball Coaching by Alexandru Radu is therefore a vital resource for current and aspiring coaches, covering the essential skills needed to successfully coach and develop players.

The book starts from the basics, providing guidance on skills and techniques training, tactical training and physical and psychological preparation for each individual position. It also covers elite level coaching skills, such as performance analysis and talent identification, which can be used at all levels of the game.

Illustrated throughout with diagrams to explain all drills and amazing photographs of basketball in action, it’s  the ideal tool for coaches wanting to develop a better understanding of this dynamic sport and how to coach it effectively.

To get your hands on a copy, click here.

The Other Giant Leap for Mankind

How Jonathan Edwards set a world record that’s still standing 20 years later

Ben Oakley
The Open University

In the late evening Scandinavian sun at the 1995 World Athletics Championship, Jonathan Edwards, a British triple jumper, was the tenth to jump out of of 12 finalists. He took a minute to collect himself, then sped down the runway to jump 18.16m, breaking his own world record by 18 centimetres.

Edwards wandered around in a contented daze, waiting for the distance to be displayed when he heard the crowd roar as they saw the scoreboard before he did. The jump was valid. Then, 25 minutes later Edwards went again; he looked incredibly relaxed before he sprinted for his second celebratory jump, whose rhythm and smoothness produced a further distance of 18.29m. The stadium exploded in a tumult of shared joy of witnessing something very special.

And very special it was – that record has stood for 20 years now. In a world where athletes constantly shave millimetres, seconds and nano-seconds off previous bests, that jump in 1995 is assuming the status of a mythical feat. The closest anyone else has got is 20cm away – Kenny Harrison (USA) at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. More recently, Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo’s steady annual improvements have seen him come within 21cm.

How did Edwards do it? He described it as a magic combination of timing and speed, power and touch. And studying his 2001 authorised biography, A Time to Jump, and his subsequent public comments can give us more insight.

Early years

A key ingredient in Edwards’s success was a genetic blueprint that meant he had raw speed on the track (according to his biography, his best 100m time is 10.48 sec). Speed as you approach take-off in triple and long jump is one of the key pre-requisites of success, since it translates into horizontal distance when jumping. But genetic potential is the relatively easy part; the rest is a blend of multiple factors.

Growing up in Ilfracoumbe, a modest town in Devon, South West England, helped. Where you grow up influences the likelihood of sporting success with small towns enabling a more supportive developmental climate. It’s often better to be a big fish in a small pond. West Buckland private school also allowed Edwards to thrive in a diverse range of sports including rugby, basketball, tennis, athletics, cricket and gym.

Participating in a rich mix of different sports in childhood is the optimal preparation for future success in most sports. Learning to move in varied ways is the best foundation, rather than specialising in one sport from an early age which might be called “extreme nurture”. Edwards eventually concentrated on jumping at the age of 21.

At school, his diminutive stature earned the nickname of “Titch” and a birthdate in May magnified his late physical development in comparison with others in his school year. A concerned PE teacher was frightened to select him for inter-school rugby fearing for his safety. Children born in May, June, July and August, the youngest in their school year, are less likely to get selected for squads in adolescence, but are more likely to achieve senior professional status: a reversal of the relative age effect. The additional challenge experienced by these initially disadvantaged younger athletes is thought to build resilience – a key component for success.

18 metre man.
John Giles/PA

Faith and training

To succeed, champions need to learn their craft. After graduating in Physics from Durham University, the 1988 Olympics was his first major event at the start of his elite development. Fortunately his body responded well to training and he mostly stayed injury-free, both of which are starting to be recognised as having genetic components.

An international athlete’s craft involves refining diet, responding to coaching analysis, conditioning in the gym and making wise travel arrangements. While in the arena, optimising the warm-up, saving energy for competition and coping with pressure all need to be incrementally developed through experience.

After six years of full-time training, aged 27, following disappointment at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, Edwards made the World Championships podium (bronze) having leapt 17.44 metres. Jumping a whole metre further seemed impossible at that time.

Athletes need to be fascinated with this process of improving. The paradox is that they need to be able to make sense of this seemingly selfish pursuit; a need to be content with the purpose of their lives. At times Edwards battled with realising his talent and fulfilling his strong Christian obligations which until 1993 meant he would not compete on Sundays. His evangelical faith helped make sense of optimising his jumping talent: it was in service to God. Many years later, in retirement and after losing his faith, he said that looking back “faith gave me more perspective on success or failure, it was my sport psychology in a way”.

A further ingredient of success is rest and recovery. Edwards was forced to recuperate after contracting Epsterin Barr virus in 1994; it meant he was revived as he eased his way back into training. It also gave him time to think deeply about his jumping technique including a new two-arm swing skywards.

The big jump

The final ingredient in the mix is supreme confidence. Edwards’s 1995 season started well. A national record in his first contest, he was on his way. Then in June he achieved the longest leap of all time, 18.43m in Lille. Unfortunately the jump was only a hair’s breath, 0.4m/sec, over the legal wind threshold. But he had re-defined the parameters of the sport.

He first broke the world record properly weeks later in Salamanca with 17.98m. Then came Gothenberg and his place in history. Watching the footage of his second, record-breaking jump, you can see that on the runway he is relishing the moment having just broken the world record again minutes previously. He knows he might do it again and is supremely confident and relaxed.

Later, he admitted that if he could combine the physicality of Gothenberg with the technical perfection of Lille he believed 18.60m was possible. He never achieved such a distance, but five years later he won gold in the 2000 Olympics, aged 34.

Jonathan Edwards’ path from a cherubic vicarage schoolboy to the 20th anniversary of his enduring triple jump world record reveals rich insights about the complex jigsaw of podium success.

Often discussions of elite athletics all too easily fall into a facile nature-nurture debate. Probing athlete’s biographies alongside research can reveal fascinating and varied routes to the top. And there are few higher (or further) athletic achievements than that great leap in 1995.

Ben Oakley is Head of Childhood, Youth and Sport at The Open University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Strength and Conditioning for Football

The new season kicked off last Saturday, but it’s strength and conditioning (S&C) in pre-season preparation and training that will keep the majority of players injury-free as they return to play. But the work doesn’t stop there. S&C is now an integral part of any professional footballer’s training schedule throughout the season. It helps make them more robust, more efficient and more explosive.

Strength and Conditioning for Football by Mark Jarvis is the ground-breaking text on S&C and its application in the professional game. Mark is Director of Performance Solutions at the English Institute of Sport and is an Elite S&C Coach, and has used his experiences of working with first team squads in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues to write the book.

This comprehensive manual covers all aspects that contribute to successful practice so that training and playing time lost to injury is reduced. Click here to browse inside.

‘An excellent book … from someone who obviously gets it in reference to real life S&C at an elite level in soccer’ – Simon Bitcon, Head of S&C at Manchester City FC

The bible for football S&C.

This book is a unique resource for existing and aspiring football S&C coaches as well as sports science graduates and any footballer serious about their sport. This pioneering text will help shape and define the role of the S&C coach within football to help players at all levels of the game. And to get your hands on it, all you have to do is click here.

The Pain Free Cyclist

Maybe you’ve been watching the Tour and feeling inspired to get out on your bike again after a crash? Or maybe you were in the Tour and had to abandon due to injury? (Fabian, Tony, Simon, et al. – we wish you speedy recoveries.)

Well, The Pain Free Cyclist: Conquer Injury and Find Cycling Nirvana is the book for you.

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If you’re going to buy one cycling book this summer…

Written by the awesome duo of Team Chiropractor and Nutritional Strategist for Team Cannondale-Garmin, Matt Rabin and Robert Hicks, Health and Fitness Deputy Editor of Cycling Weekly, this is the ultimate guide for all cyclists on all things cycling health-related. The book takes you through the most common cycling injuries, let you know what exactly they are, why you get them and what you can do to get rid of them and get you back on the bike pain free.

And if you don’t believe me, why not listen to the cycling legend that is Sir Bradley Wiggins:

If you do need to seek help, for me it’s about trusting that the person you are seeing can help you, going with this approach has always worked for me. I believe in this book, and you’ll find out the best ways to deal with injury and the bad pain you can have on your bike. By reading this book you will be able to short cut some of the information it has taken me years and a career as a pro-cyclist to find out. Feeling strong on the bike and riding pain-free regardless of your level, from amateur to pro, is what we’re all looking for. This book will help you to beat your injuries and prevent them returning, allowing you to slot back into riding your bike as the pain-free cyclist.
See you out on the road,
Brad

Save a 1/3 off Cycling Books

Save, save, save!

It may be the first rest day of the Tour, but there’s no time to waste – Grab yourself a bargain with our summer cycling offer!!

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Click on the picture above to see our fantastic offer.

British Sports Book Awards – shortlist announced

Bloomsbury are pleased to announce that they have four titles in the shortlist for the Cross British Sports Books Awards this year.

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Alone: Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones (Biography of the Year and Outstanding Sports Writing)

31-0 by James Montague (Football Book of the Year)

10 for 10: Hedley Verity and the Story of Cricket’s Greatest Bowling Feat by Chris Waters (Cricket Book of the Year)

Wisden on the Great War by A Renshaw (Cricket Book of the Year)

The Cross British Sports Book Awards takes place on 3rd June at Lords Cricket Ground and will be broadcast on SkySports.

Click here for more information: http://www.britishsportsbookawards.co.uk/2015/04/shortlists-announced-for-cross-british-sports-book-awards/

Nell McAndrew’s Guide to Running

Welcome to my guide to running. Whether you want to learn how to get started or – like me – you’re always looking for tips on how to get faster, I hope my book helps you achieve your goals.

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Running is my passion, it’s more than just a hobby. As a busy mum of two, it’s my stress relief and my favourite way to unwind. I’ve always loved the feeling exercise gives me. It makes me feel alive, energised and more confident. It also means I enjoy my food more and I don’t feel guilty about having treats like chocolate!

London Marathon 2012
London Marathon 2012

Exercise has become a way of life for me and I couldn’t live without it. Growing up in Leeds, Yorkshire, I was always sporty. At school I was on the netball team and tried karate for a while. I loved being active and trying new things but I was never particularly good at, or interested in, running at this time. Like many people, i think not being great at running whilst at school made me reluctant to try it when I was older. So instead throughout my twenties when I was working as a model, I kept fit at the gym and did workouts like those seen on my Peak Energy fitness DVDs. I would run on the treadmill or go for the odd run around the park, but it wasn’t until I signed up for the London Marathon in 2004 that I started to take running more seriously – and I haven’t looked back. It turns out I was much better at it than I thought! I was 30 then and ran my personal best (PB) time of 2 hours 54 minutes when I was 38. I achieved all my other PBs that year too (18 minutes 43 seconds for 5k, 29 minutes and 21 seconds for 5 miles, 36 minutes and 54 seconds for 10k and 1 hour and 21 minutes for the half marathon). So it just goes to show, it’s never too late to start or to improve. I’m now in my forties and I still believe I can run faster. I love the challenge of pushing myself to see what I can do.

Anyone who already has the running bug will know how fun and addictive it can be but it’s not always easy to get started, or to stay motivated. So I hope by sharing my passion for the sport, and what I’ve learnt along the way, can give you some support, encouragement and inspiration.

Running is fun and addictive!

Running is fun and addictive!

Since June 2012, I have enjoyed writing a monthly column for Women’s Running magazine outlining how I combine motherhood and training. I’ve always wanted to write a book and I’m delighted to finally put ‘pen to paper’ after joining forces with journalist Lucy Waterlow, a fellow running devotee. Lucy has interviewed me a number of times over the years and we bonded over our love of running and racing. This illustrates something else I love about the sport – no matter what your background or ability, you can always make friends through running. I love hearing about other people’s running experiences which is why I’ve included stories from Lucy and a number of runners in the book, alongside my own experiences and tips. I have been privileged to meet some of the best athletes, coaches, personal trainers and physiotherapists through keeping fit over the years and I have included some of their expertise here too. 

So what else can you expect from my guide to running? Well, in the first chapter, you’ll find advice on how you can get started and a 5k training plan for beginners. You don’t have to jump in the deep end and run a marathon straight away. There are plenty of 5k and 10k races on offer around the country every weekend so why not target one of those to get you going. The second chapter is all about how to add variety to your training to keep you interested, and how to get fitter and faster. There’s information on the variety of races you can do, and how to prepare for your perfect race and run a PB.

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I hope this book will encourage even more people to run regularly.

Dealing with an injury can sometimes be part of running so I’ve included a chapter with advice on how to avoid injury and how to deal with it should something happen. I love my food and aim to eat healthily as I’m aware how important nutrition is to running well. So information on the best foods to complement your training, along with an insight into my daily diet, is provided in the Food For Fuel chapter.  Then there’s a whole section Just For Women, covering topics such as dealing with your time of the month, how to keep running while pregnant (should you want to) and how to ease back into exercise safely after having a baby. Men are of course still welcome to read this section – it might help you understand what we’re going through!

Finally, if it’s the marathon you’re targeting, then chapter six is for you. There’s information on taking on the challenge of 26.2 miles, with race day tips and how I managed to achieve my aim of running a sub-three hour time. There’s also a number of inspirational stories from a variety of runners who explain what tackling the long distance meant for them. At the end of the book, you’ll find a pace chart and various training schedules for beginners to more experienced runners.
The running community is growing rapidly and I hope this book will encourage even more people to become part of it by running regularly. No matter what your age, background, gender or ability, running can be enjoyed by all.

Nell McAndrew

Bloomsbury Christmas Sale

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Wondering what to get your friends and family for Christmas? Who doesn’t love a gift of a book?!

Click on the picture above to discover a world of beautiful books. And if sports just your thing, click here to browse our sports pages.

But remember this offer is available for two weeks only.

The Cycle Show 2014

The inimitable Jens Voigt #shutuplegs

The inimitable Jens Voigt
#shutuplegs

We had a fantastic time at the Cycle Show 2014 at the NEC last month, even catching a glimpse of our favourite German pro-cyclist, the legendary Jens Voigt, fresh from setting the new Hour record. Here’s one of the less blurry snaps we got of him signing autographs on the Trek stand …

 Just a reminder to all those cyclists we met at the Cycle Show (or indeed any of you wonderful people who might stumble across this blog) that you can use the discount code on our website to get a whopping 30% discount off our cycling books.

And for those less Lycra-inclined, you can still use the code to buy all those Christmas presents for your cycling-crazy friends and family! 

All you need do is enter the discount code at the checkout when you’re buying your lovely cycling books: 

Discount code:  cycleshow14

Remember the offer ends at Christmas, so you better get clicking…

Here’s a few of our lovely cycling titles to inspire you:

9781408190302 9781408190470 97814729103569781472910547 (1)9781408189894

 

NEW IN: Sports Training Principles 6th Edition

The 6th edition of Sports Training Principles has arrived at Bloomsbury HQ and it looks fantastic. Thoroughly revised throughout, this comprehensive sports science textbook has been edited and authored by Dr Frank W. Dick OBE (President of the European Athletics Coaches Association) with contributions from:

  • Professor John Brewer (St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK)
  • Professor Timothy Noakes (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Dr Penny Werthner (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Vern Gambetta (Sports Training Systems, USA)
  • Dr Cliff Mallett and Dr David Jenkins (University of Queensland, Australia)
  • Dr Scott Drawer (RFU, UK)

This textbook comprehensively covers the core aspects of sports training and coaching which can be applied to all sports and disciplines. It is the ultimate reference tool for all coaches responsible for training athletes to fulfill their performance potential.

the book covers the key sports science topics: anatomy and physiology; biomechanics; psychology; nutrition; performance analysis; training; and coaching theory and practice.

The ideal introductory textbook for all sports science students

The ideal introductory textbook for all sports science students

If you’re a lecturer interested in using the book on your course, email your full course details (Course Name, Level, Module, Number of Students and Start Date) and your academic address (Name, Position, Department, Address) to inspectioncopies@bloomsbury.com and our team will get back to you.

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