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E48 | Chidi Enyia: Applying the Track and Field Model to Team Sports

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Chidi Enyia, Founder/Owner, Enyia Performance 

Private Coach/Consultant, ALTIS- Assistant Coach 

Chidi Enyia is in his 23rd year coaching and currently the Founder/Owner of Enyia Performance, LLC providing coaching and consulting services for athletes and organizations of all levels across a wide variety of sports. Before arriving in Phoenix, he spent 5 years (one as volunteer and 4 as Men’s & Women’s sprints, hurdles and relays coach) at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Prior to that he was the Boy’s & Girl’s sprints, relays and jumps coach at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, IL and the Founder/Head Coach for USATF/AAU-affiliated Flight Track Club coaching all sprints, hurdles, relays, horizontal jumps and mid distance events. Enyia obtained a BSc in General Art from Illinois State University and a MSEd in Kinesiology/Exercise Science with a research focus on Post-Activation Potentiation from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

Topics Covered:

  1. Chidi’s background in team sports and track and field as an athlete and coach
  2. Components of the track and field technical model, acceleration and max velocity
  3. Pattern recognition across sports, unifying factors/qualities/positions
  4. The continuum between acceleration and max velocity
  5. Does acceleration need to be coached differently for team sports athletes
  6. Max velocity work for team sports athletes, speed reserve, speed specificity
  7. The utility of running-based drills
  8. Accounting for change of direction work 
  9. “Conditioning” with a speed bias

Links of Interest:

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E46 | The Mechanical Continuum In Sport

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– ”All models are wrong but some are useful”, George Box
– ”All models are wrong but some are deadly”, Nassim Taleb

Caveat: I use “mechanics” and “movement” here interchangeably. While I appreciate that “movement” is more encompassing than “mechanics” because the former accounts for perceptual and neurophysiological inputs and outputs, “mechanics”, really positions, are less esoteric from a coaching standpoint. These positions reflect perceptual influences without having to employ something like an fMRI or PET scan. We coach with our eyes and positions or mechanics are easier to observe.

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The Mechanical Continuum In Sport

Download Episode File 

– ”All models are wrong but some are useful”, George Box
– ”All models are wrong but some are deadly”, Nassim Taleb

Caveat: I use “mechanics” and “movement” here interchangeably. While I appreciate that “movement” is more encompassing than “mechanics” because the former accounts for perceptual and neurophysiological inputs and outputs, “mechanics”, really positions, are less esoteric from a coaching standpoint. These positions reflect perceptual influences without having to employ something like an fMRI or PET scan. We coach with our eyes and positions or mechanics are easier to observe.

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Case Study: Hamstring Tendinopathy In Professional Distance Runner

Hamstring Tendinopathy Blog

There are too many abstract discussions in the performance space these days about how to train and rehabilitate athletes. These circular arguments usually yield nothing substantive or actionable because providers spend too much time defending their ideology and trying to articulate why they are in the right instead of just being transparent and “showing their portfolio”. As an example, investors should demand that financial advisers share their own portfolios instead of pontificating about macroeconomic theory. Words matter but what people do when they have skin in the game reveals more about them than their explanatory justifications for said actions. 

The point of these case studies is not to suggest that what we did in any of these situations is particularly good. If we’re being honest, we don’t always have robust outcome measures to suggest that what we do really “works”. More often than not, we default to the eye test. We coach and own our decisions. The intent here, therefore, is to be completely transparent about what we did when an athlete’s time, money, and readiness was at stake in hopes that other providers share their experiences and contribute to a more genuine collective conversation.

Background

Female professional distance runner (event withheld to protect identity) with left hamstring tendinopathy x 2 months that kept her from running more than 10 miles a week during that period. Athlete also works full time as a medical researcher and is currently applying to medical school. Athlete had substituted running volume with swimming and biking to avoid symptom provocation and maintain training load. Athlete reported for her initial evaluation with us in late March 2019 with the goal of competing at the USATF Championships in July. She had received treatment (mainly manual therapy) from other providers prior to her evaluation with us and reported transient relief but nothing that allowed her to increase her running volume to normal levels.   

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Tony Holler on the Resilient Performance Podcast

Tony Holler Resilient Performance Podcast




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Tony Holler has been a teacher for 38 years and presently teaches Honors Chemistry at Plainfield North High School in Plainfield, IL. He also has 38 years experience coaching football, basketball, and track. Tony is presently the Head Track Coach and Freshman Head Football Coach at Plainfield North. He is a member of the Illinois Track and Field Hall of Fame and coached multiple teams to state track championships. A coveted author and speaker, Tony is also co-director of the Track-Football Consortium.

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