Monday, April 23, 2007

I was invited to give a talk about my methods at South Bedfordshire Golf Club last week. I always find golfers are open to my techniques because they more than anyone how the smallest of adjustments can a huge difference to performance. I spoke for about an hour about habits and their influence on the game but how difficult it can be to change a habit if you are unaware of them.

Many golfers 'go wrong' long before they play their shot due to unconscious action that have become part of their preparations. These often include holding breath, tightening the shoulders and stiffening the legs. All of these are unnecessary and will impact negatively in the shot. When ever I do a talk I always include practicals for people to try to help prove my theories. These went down well and judging by the number of people who bought my book afterwards I think it was very well received.

If you would like to read more about habits and golf please click here.

Of if you would like me to come and give a talk and demonstration at your sports club please feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I use this phrase alot and you may have heard of it, it goes 'when the only tool you have is a hammer every problem resembles a nail!' I like that because its such an easy trap to fall into. Most people I see with poor posture in my Alexander Technique practice have been told by someone to strengthen their core to improve it. Its been repeated so often now that people begin to accept it as true.

Yet could anyone tell me how the 'core' muscles are supposed to effortlessly support the body above it? Our postural reflexes coordinate muscles to maintain position and balance. This is a sub-cortical process, that is, its done without conscious effort. How are we supposed to coordinate our muscles to maintain good posture - there is just too many variables. If someones posture is poor its a coordination problem and therefore you cannot 'do it' yourself. One of the best authority on spine health, Prof Stuart McGill, sees it as a matter of endurance amd stamina and NOT a strength issue.

If you 'try' to maintain your posture either by conscious will or by strengthening exercises you will use too much effort and the wrong muscles. Find out what you are doing to cause your poor posture and then just stop doing it! Yes, that doesnt sound easier than the actual process of overcoming the habits but it is possible.

You are welcome to download my free ebook on this hot issue - please see correcting posture for yours.



Monday, March 19, 2007

I was shocked to hear about the death of Pakistan cricket coach and ex-England player Bob Woolmer yesterday. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions when he was at Warwickshire County Cricket Club back in the late 1990s. He was a innovative coach and always looking for new ways to train and motivate his players. I was impressed how a world class cricketer and coach could still take the time to meet me and listen to my ideas when, at the time, I had no track record of working with professional sports people.

He will be greatly missed.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A story appeared in the British press this week with the title 'Is Pilates Bad For Your Back?' It's interesting that this should only appear now because Prof Stuart McGill (quoted in the article) first expressed his concern nearly two years ago. It seems now that more experts are starting to question the wide spread use of Pilates.

I have always had my doubts (see The Performance Paradox - FrontRunner Publications 2001) that Joseph Pilates ever intended his techniques to be applied by 'fitness instructors'. He initially devised his exercises for people with severe back problems and usually for those who couldn't walk.

The article focuses on the theory and also on how it is taught.

Click here to see the article.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Just had an interview with writer and book reviewer Norm Goldman, he was very complimentary toward my book.

To read the full review and interview click Zone Mind, Zone Body Review

Just had an email from a chap called Thomas Manfredi who runs a website called Fitness After 50

Just reading his profile is motivation for anyone to continue or start a physical activity. He has over 40 years of experience in fitness and has an impressive cv - he also looks great (he politely states he is a little over 55) and is living proof of what can be achieved with intelligent training.

Check out his site and see what you think.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

The sales of my book Zone Mind, Zone Body have started to pick up thanks to some articles in the press and good reviews. I have now added a free download preview of the book with the complete introduction plus extracts from each chapter - it can be downloaded from the link above.

I had some interesting conversations with trainers and sports people lately who like me are starting to question the wisdom behind all this 'core' stuff. The problem is that once something is repeated often enough with enough 'pseudo science' behind it to sound plausible everyone starts to believe it. Yes I know people say the feel stronger by developing their core but do we really need these muscles to be 'overworked'. Is it strength or tension they are feeling?

The arguement goes that we need a strong core for a stable body - but it doesnt make structural sense! For instance runners are led to believe they need a strong core to move their legs - yet where does the power come from? Answer - the ground. If you suspend a runner in mid air and ask them to move their legs as fast as possible it will be no where near the speed they can do 'on the ground'. This is because the speed comes from the recoil off the floor and it doesnt require great strength in the core to lift your leg. In fact, I think this could impede the recoil and return to the floor.

It just doesn't make sense to develop one part of the body in isolation when nature did a pretty good job at developing coordination reflexes for the whole body. If something isn't working right it's a coordination thing and not the preceived 'weak' muscle at the end of the chain. Remember muscles only do what you tell them to do and if there's a problem the answer is higher up the command chain.

Any comments/ views?



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Thursday, February 08, 2007

I had a fascinating meeting yesterday discussing methods in performance enhancement. Jessica Robbins is a performance coach using techniques such as NLP and hypnosis. We realised during our discussion how, with our different approaches, we were working towards the same goal. It's not about getting fitter, stronger or pushing yourself, it's about knowing yourself, your motivation, your needs and your body.

The two hours just flew by and we are planning to set up a course for sports coaches. I look forward to working with Jess in the future and hope to learn more about what motivates me and how I can better focus my skills in achieving my own goals.