Continuous professional development (CPD) has gained legs in the past few years. Oftentimes we may feel the need to do every course, webinar and attend every conference under the sun! While this may be a bit of an exaggeration it captures the feeling of multiple coaches (and athletes) I’ve chatted with.
Don’t get me wrong, CPD in the above sense can be great. I’ve attended my fair share of really influential webinars and talks that have influenced my coaching along with more formal avenues such as governing body accreditation and third level education all while engaging with mentors but over the past few years I’ve found that the main “bulk” of my learning has come from informal sources.
What are these informal sources? Well, for me they include books, podcasts, social media (for all it’s negatives), blogs and multiple other sources. I thought it would be a good idea to outline some of my favourite resources in one place for those interested!
Picking favourite books is a hard one, most of the things we read will have some form of impact on us. I’m a firm believer in reading both within and outside your specific domain. This ignites ideas and links with other topics which may help and add benefit to your coaching. Here’s a few books I really enjoyed over the last couple of years
Land of Second Chances – Tim Lewis
A story of coffee, cycling and Rwanda. The Inner Ring do a great job reviewing it here.
Faster – Michael Hutchinson
A desire to get faster and the science behind it. Another Inner Ring review here.
Conscious Coaching – Brett Bartholomew
Putting the technical understanding behind us – how do we really build trust, buy-in and communicate with the athletes we coach.
Range – David Epstein
Range discusses how hyper-specializing in certain domains may come at a detrimental cost to seeing the big picture. Epstein does an excellent job at conveying science into practical terms we all can understand. An excellent podcast on the background of the book can be heard here.
You Haven’t Taught Them Until They’ve Learned – John Wooden’s Teaching Principles and Practices
Wooden is hailed as the coach’s coach. This isn’t a book I’ve read cover to cover, more so, I flick through it, revisit chapters and always seem to be pulled in to new areas every time.
There’s probably a podcast on anything you could ever want with a simple Google search but some of my favourites include:
The above, while having their specialties, take a very wide-ranging approach to their explanations and understanding of topics. Topics include everything from coaching science, sport psychology, exercise physiology, nutrition and talent development – for the most part via interviews from industry leading professionals.
When used properly social media can offer massive gains to your knowledge and networking opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or engage with a discussion here and there! Branch out and find your own corner of the internet, a word of warning though, don’t surround yourself with people who affirm your beliefs get some contrary viewpoints in wherever possible.
One Twitter account I really enjoy is Stephen Seiler, along with his YouTube account (where he presents recent research findings) he offers real world insight into many challenges and issues endurance athletes face. There is also interesting debate under his tweets! Cycling Science is another great resource on Twitter for a lot of the latest cycling research.
Over on Instagram Brett Bartholomew is worth a follow along with Squat University for all thing’s strength and conditioning.
Otherwise, you can check out who we follow on Twitter at Premier Endurance here.
Training Peaks have a massive online resource of blogs on all sorts of topics so it can be a good place to start for overreaching areas and viewpoints.
Leading exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist Asker Jeukendrup also keeps a blog and much more content on his website mysportscience.com.
Brian Mac Sports Coach also keeps a massive online resource with a broad range of topics.
These are only a small handful of sources, if you’re looking for a specific area please drop us a message and we can point you in the right direction!
Other Notable Mentions
Yann Le Meur (YLM Sport Science) is worth a follow. Chances are if you’ve seen an info-graphic doing the rounds on social media it was most likely his! You can see an example below.
The online learning platform Coursera is another worthwhile website to look at. It offers a host of online courses from leading institutions for free or for a small fee.
I hope you enjoyed this small insight into some of the more informal learning sources that I engage with – I’ve left out countless more! I’d be interested to know what your go to resources are when it comes to coaching and endurance performance so let us know.