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Poached Eggs, Youth Training, Stretching

I’m going to throw down some random Wednesday morning-off-work thoughts. There’s no order or structure here, so if I ramble on longer on one than the other, it’s because I feel like it.

I mostly train young uns
Training large groups of girls is a little different to guys, but not much. I’ve trained small groups of females and individuals, but I started with my first large squad of girls (there are 30 of them, dual code Camogie and Football) last week and while there are some things I have to do slightly differently in terms of the physical aspects, it’s the group dynamics of the situation that have proven to be the most different. Girls just behave differently to guys in large groups when training. Not better or worse, just different. They are a little more serious and less prone to banter on the one hand, but also a little more delicate in terms of confidence on the other. That being said, this group have been brilliant so far and I’ve really been enjoying their company.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this in the blog but I mainly deal with underage teams. The average age of one of my Strength and Conditioning athletes is around 16. This was a conscious decision I made about 3 years ago when I started with a school. I don’t really regard this as a niche or as a “target market” to use industry terms, I just took a decision that I wanted to work with younger, developing athletes because I felt that this is what I enjoy more. That’s not to say I don’t also enjoy training adults, I just have a preference. It surprises me that so many people view this as a lesser form of coaching. I love it.

Poached Egg Advice
This morning I made perfect poached eggs for the 4th time in a row. I’ve been making poached eggs for about a decade, but the standard varies between perfect and soggy egg mess. Last week, I did what every man who cooks eventually does, I asked my Mammy. Her advice was to place the egg into about 2-3 inches of simmering water, not boiling. As soon as you do, get a spoon and slowly swirl the water around the egg until all of the white begins to congeal and cook. Some people use spirit vinegar in the water, but Mammy Oglesby says that’s not strictly necessary. Take them out when they’re done (runny or hard depending on your preference) and sit them on a sheet of kitchen roll to absorb the water, then dab the top. In my house between 2 adults and 2 children we go through about 30 eggs a week or more, mostly for breakfasts, so it’s nice to have some variation.

Why not just be nice?
From rudimentary cruising of the web this morning, it seems to me like a lot of people spend far too much time on either passive-aggressive or overt criticism of other methods, coaches, and trainers and not enough time on positive contributions. Some bad stuff needs to pointed out, no doubt, but why nitpick at everything you read? Not everything everybody writes on the web needs to be gone through with a fine tooth comb. You ain’t perfect, and neither is anyone else. If you spent as much time analysing your own weaknesses as those you perceive in others you might find room for self improvement.

One issue I see lately is a lack of attention to more traditional forms of stretching and flexibility work. Dynamic work is important for warming up and development of mobility but you still need to get down and dirty and do some moderately uncomfortable static stretching a couple of times per week. You don’t have to spend all day it it, and the old advice to do it in front of the TV is a useful one. It doesn’t take a lot of energy or concentration to do a little bit and it’s one of the more rewarding things to do with 30 minutes of your time.

Okay, real work is calling. Have a good day.

Oh, but before I go, I don’t usually shill anything on my blog but we’re doing a new beginner MMA course at my gym. Check out an article about it here and there’s a contact form at the bottom.


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