Tip of the Month – January 2020

Coach Monika Says…

“Spice Up” Your Exercise Program – Add and Vary Exercises

I learned over many years of coaching one needs to be very creative with exercise programs, inclusive Warm-up, Cool-down, and Conditioning. We designed the so-called ‘exercise complex’, comprising 25 exercises per set (standing to sitting, in essence, top to bottom of the body). It is based on the periodization of 4 Macro cycles per season. Exercises are then changed per cycle or modified based on need. All exercises are performed to music, selected by athletes to keep up the ‘beat’ and maintain their motivation.

We have accumulated a repertoire with more than 700 exercises without (‘free body’ exercises), and with apparatus use such as medicine balls, physio balls, ropes, gym benches, etc. I will be providing samples over several upcoming newsletters. We do have a PDF booklet for purchase (US$7) with selected exercises located on this Website titled “The Kalos Exercise Collection.”

Part I – Series #1 Developing Explosive Power

Want to improve the power & explosiveness of your athletes in just a few minutes of practice? Start implementing Plyometrics (more on this topic will be available in the upcoming January 2020 Newsletter).

1.  Spiderman Jump

Equipment: small exercise mats

Quick explosive jumping static and dynamic balance, leg and core strength, explosive power

Start position: assume medium squat position, feet parallel and slightly apart, center of gravity over feet, arms bent in front of body/at waist height, face forward, back aligned

Action: assume start position,swing arms upward for jump, jumping to full body extension, land in medium squat position, bending knees for safe landing, arms bent in front of body/at waist height, balance over feet, feet slightly apart, continuous jumping action, set number of repetitions

Variation: straddle legs in air, close legs for landing

2. Jumping Rows: Low Boxes or Medicine Balls

Equipment: select number of low boxes, medicine balls spaced equally apart in a row   

Continuous quick jumping series over low boxes or balls

Start Position: stand upright, feet parallel and slightly apart, face forward, arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, arms at sides by body, swing arms upward for jump, land in medium squat position, bend knees for safe landing, bent arm in front of body/at waist height, continuous jumping action, return to start, set number of repetitions

3. Jumping Rows: Low Boxes or Medicine Ball to Standing Long Jump

Equipment: select number of low boxes, medicine balls, 5×7 mat

Continuous quick jumping series over boxes or balls, followed with immediate long jump

Start Position: stand upright, feet parallel and slightly apart, face forward, arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, arms at sides by body, swing arms upward for jump, land in medium squat position, bend knees for safe landing, bent arm in front of body/at waist height, continuous jumping action followed by long jump, return to start, set number of repetitions

4. Frog Jump 
Schlots:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:2 LeapFrog.jpg

Equipment: long mat for number of athletes, plastic disk, frog image placed distance away (in front)

Quick ‘Frog’ Jump for height and flight 

Start Position: assume low crouch position at side of mat (athletes side by side),feet comfortably apart, arms slightly bent, hands flat on mat, fingers spread apart, looking at hands

Action: assume start position, on command, athletes jump, push from both feet and hands, jump upward and forward (height and flight for distance), land in crouch position, return to start, set number of repetitions

*We use flat plastic disks and frog toy images for motivation to increase jumping distance

5. Frog Jump – Handclap in Air

Equipment: long mat

Quick ‘Frog’ Jump with handclap in air

Start Position: assume low crouch position,feet slightly apart, arms bent at sides by body, hands flat on mat, face forward, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from both feet and hands, jump high upward and forward (more height and flight), clap hands in air, land in crouch position, continuous action to end of mat or set distance, return to start, set number of repetitions

6. Hoop Jump 

Equipment: long mat, select number of hoops, equally spaced apart, set distance

Quick and continuous jump series 

Start Position: assume low crouch position,feet slightly apart, arms bent at sides by body, face forward, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from both feet and hands, jump high upward and forward (more height and flight), land in crouch position inside hoop, immediate jump into next hoop, continuous action to end of mat or set distance, return to start, set number of repetitions

7. Vertical Jump 
Schlots:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:7a StVJump1.jpg

Equipment: mat alongside wall, target lines marked with tape on wall at various heights

Quick ‘Vertical Jump, extending arm to touch marked target line (height)

Start Position: stand upright sideways next to wall (right side), feet slightly apart, face forward (standing sideways), arms extended at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from both feet, 2-foot upward jump, using strong single R arm swing, touch target with R hand (closest to wall), land bending knees, continuous action set number of repetitions


  1. Repeat from L side of the wall, set number of repetitions
  2. Repeat, one-foot jump, R side, R foot, one-foot take-off, and jump set number of repetitions
  3.  Repeat, one-foot jump, L side, L foot, one-foot take-off, and jump, set number of repetitions
8. Jump from Kneeling – Medium Squat – Jump in Air 

Equipment: small exercise mat

Quick Jump to medium squat to Jump in air 

*Advanced level – avoid if weak knee condition

*Put padding under knees 

Start Position: assume upright kneeling position (or sit on heels),feet/heels together, face forward, arms at sides by body, back straight

Action: assume start position, push from knees, shins, and top of feet, to jump upward with strong arm swing, to medium squat position, immediate jump in air with arm swing to overhead, continuous action, set number of repetitions


Retrieved January 10, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Wilt

Schloder, M.E. (2020). Personal Resources: Personal training manual: Track and Field.

Want to Improve Power and Explosiveness of Your Athletes?

Start Implementing Plyometric Training


Plyometric training was the ‘cornerstone’ of Soviet athletic domination during the 1960s and 1970s

Frederick (Fred) Loren Wilt (December 14, 1920 – September 5, 1994) 

Fred Wilt was an American runner and FBI agent, competing in the 10,000m at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, finishing 11th and 21st, respectively. Wilt held eight AAU (Former Amateur Athletic Union) titles, the indoor mile in 1951 to cross-country in 1949 and 1952–1953. He won the James E. Sullivan Award as best American Amateur athlete in 1950 and was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1981.

He visited the Soviet Union to observe their training methods. In 1975, Wilt coined the term plyometrics while observing Soviet athletes warming up. After returning to the US, he began to implement the new training method. Subsequently, sports teams throughout the country and around the world started to incorporate plyometrics into their training programs.

His book “Run Run Run” was published in 1964 by US Track & Field News. It contained chapters by Wilt, notable coaches like New Zealand’s Arthur Lydiard, and Soviet gold medalist Vladimir Kuts; the book went through six printings over the next ten years. He reached out to Dr. Michael Yessis, who had previously introduced this concept to the United States through Russian translation of Verkhoshansky’s work. It inspired their later collaboration to get this information to U.S. coaches with “Soviet Theory, Technique and Training for Running and Hurdling.” After retirement from the FBI, he worked as head coach for the Cross-Country and Track and Field Women’s team at Purdue University. 

What are Plyometric Exercises?

Plyometric Training = Power

Athletes across all sports, regardless of age or gender, benefit from plyometric training. The best news: it only takes 5 minutes to add a ‘plyometric boost.’

Definition and Types 

Plyometric exercises are powerful, aerobic, quick, and explosive movements designed to increase speed, endurance, and strength. Plyometrics also known as ‘jump training or plyos’ as they require athletes to exert muscles to their maximum potential in short periods of time. The exercises are usually geared toward highly trained athletes or people in peak physical condition. However, they can be modified for younger athletes, and those wanting to improve their fitness. 

Two forms of plyometrics have evolved. In the original version, Russian scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky defined the training as ‘shock method.’ Athletes would drop down from a given height (box), and experience ‘shock’ upon landing. This, in turn, would produce a forced eccentric contraction, which was immediately switched to concentric contraction as the athlete jumped upward. The landing and take-off were executed in an extremely short period of time, ranging from 0.1-0.2 seconds. 

The second version, seen to a greater extent in the United States, involves any form of jump regardless of execution time. The term plyometrics has hence become popular with the increase of publications and books on the subject.

Leg Exercises:

There are numerous exercises to develop leg strength and explosive power. 


Squat Jumps

Stand upright, feet slightly wider than the hips, lower body to squat position, press up through the feet, engage abdominals, and jump explosively upward, lifting arms overhead for the jump, land, bending knees, lower back down to squat position, 2-3 sets, 10 repetitions

Reverse Lunge Knee-ups

Stand upright in standing lunge, L foot forward, place R hand on the floor next to the front foot and extend L arm straight back, explosively jump up to bring R knee up as high possible, lifting L arm and dropping R arm back and down, land, bending knees, move to starting lunge position, continue 30 seconds, repeat with opposite side/leg/ foot 

Box Jumps

Equipment: boxes, depending on level/skill of athletes (range: 12-36 inches high)

*Advanced athletes can perform the exercise with one-leg to increase intensity

Stand upright, lower to squat position, jump onto box with both feet, lift arms up to gain momentum for the jump, jump backward off box, gentle landing, bending knees, 2 to 3 sets, 8-12 repetitions

Stairway Hops

Start at the bottom of a staircase

Stand upright, hop up the stairs on R leg/foot, return, walking down, 6-8 repetitions, repeat opposite side/leg/foot

Tuck Jumps

This exercise improves agility, strength, and stability. It is useful for any activity that requires quick change of direction

Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, bend knees, jump upward as high as possible, bringing knees towards chest, 2-3 sets, 10-12 repetitions

Lateral Bounds

Start in a squat position, balancing on R leg/foot, explosively jump to L side as high and far as possible, land on L leg/foot in squat position, explosively jump to R side as high and far as possible, continuous, landing back and forth from starting position, 

3-5 sets, 5-10 repetitions


There are many benefits to performing plyometric exercises, especially since they require little to no equipment; they can be performed anytime and anywhere. In what’s known as the stretch-shortening cycle, concentric contractions (shortening the muscles) are followed by eccentric contractions (stretching the muscles). This provides excellent results in strengthening muscles while improving agility, stability, and balance. These combined benefits allow muscles to work more quickly and efficiently.

The biggest benefit is mostly neurological because the central nervous system becomes more explosive, and thus allows athletes to jump higher, leap further, sprint faster, or kicking harder. ​The focus of a plyometric exercise is on training the mind/body connection to activate more muscle fibers more quickly in order to increase efficiency and speed of muscle contractions. Plyometrics ‘tone’ the entire body, burn calories, rapidly stretch the muscles, and improve cardiovascular health. They also boost stamina and metabolism. In addition, the exercises rapidly stretch muscles, allowing athletes to move more efficiently. The result is increased power and athletic performance.

Classification of Plyometric Drills

Macintosh HD:Users:monikaschloder:Desktop:Plyo.jpg

Reference: Schloder, M. E. (2017). Lecture Series. Training principles for athletes. Calgary, AB.


  1. While the method is good for increasing force, caution has to be used since it can increase stress and injury. At the same time, performing these exercises correctly has been shown to help prevent injuries.
  2. Use caution when adding plyometric exercises if athletes are beginners or have an injury or chronic condition. It’s best if they already have an established workout routine, and are physically fit before beginning plyometric training. 
  3. Slowly add plyometric exercises to workout routines, starting with basic, lower-intensity moves before moving into more challenging movements.
  4. Gradually increase intensity, duration, and difficulty once the body is strong enough to handle the exercises. If plyometric training is too intense, try a different method of exercise. 
  5. Talk to a personal trainer, exercise physiologist, or exercise professional to learn more about this type of training. It may be beneficial to have at least a few one-on-one or group sessions to help get started.
  6. Touch base with an exercise professional at least once a month to make sure the program is on the ‘right track’, provide helpful feedback, and discuss new techniques. Proper form is essential in order to ensure safety.
  7. Talk to a medical expert before starting any new exercise program. This is especially important if a medical condition or injury exists, and/or medication is taken.

Safety Considerations

The exercises involve an increased risk of injury due to large force generated during training and performance, and should only be performed by well-conditioned individuals under supervision. 

Plyometric exercises have shown benefits for reducing lower extremity injuries in team sports while combined with other neuromuscular training (i.e. strength training, balance training, and stretching). 

Good levels of physical strength, flexibility, and proprioception should be achieved before beginning plyometric training. 

The specified minimum strength requirement varies depending on where the information is sourced and the intensity performed. Chu (1998) recommends that a participant is able to perform 50 repetitions of the squat exercise at 60% of his or her body weight before doing plyometrics (may be difficult for younger athletes!). Core (abdomen) strength is also important. 

Flexibility is required both for injury prevention and to enhance the effect of the stretch shortening cycle. In fact, some advanced training methods combine plyometrics and intensive stretching in order to both protect the joint and make it more receptive to the plyometric benefits. 

Proprioception is an important component of balance, coordination and agility, which is also required for safe performance of plyometric exercises. 

Further safety considerations include: 

Age: needs to be considered for both pre-pubescent and the elderly because of hormonal changes.

Technique: a participant must be instructed on proper technique before commencing any plyometric exercise. He/she should be well rested and free of injury in any of the limbs to be exercised.

‘Loaded’ Plyometrics

Plyometric exercises are sometimes performed with an additional load or added weight, held or worn. This may be a barbell, trap bar, dumbbells, or a weighted vest. (example: vertical jump holding a trap bar; jumping split squats holding dumbbells. In addition, a regular weight lifting exercise is sometimes given a plyometric component, such as the loaded jump squat. Jumping onto boxes or over hurdles holding weights is not recommended for safety reasons. The advantage of ‘loaded’ plyometric exercises is that they increase overall force with which the exercise is performed. This can enhance the positive effect of the exercise and further increase the athlete’s ability to apply explosive power. 


  1. Non-athletes can use plyometrics to promote general fitness, which is helpful to perform daily activities. It’s important that exercises are executed properly in order to gain benefits and prevent injury. 
  2. Using correct alignment and form helps prevent strain and injury. Athletes should perform the exercises when fresh and full of energy.
  3. Athletes should have strength, flexibility, and mobility, especially in the ankles, knees, and hips. 
  4. Core, lower back, and leg strength are equally important. 
  5. Many plyometric exercises are also full-body exercises. They help tone the body by engaging lots of different muscles. Connective tissue is strengthened and athletes can increase resiliency and elasticity.
  6. 10-minute Warm-up should be performed prior to plyometric exercises to loosen and warm up the body. Follow each session with the Cool-down. 
  7. Yoga may be the perfect complement to a plyometric workout since the activity benefits the connective tissue and joints.
  8. Before undertaking plyometric training, it is necessary to distinguish jumps that are commonly called ‘plyometric’ and true plyometric jumps as exemplified in the ‘depth jumps’ of the shock method (refer to Introduction and Chart).

The Bottom Line

  1. Plyometric exercises can help improve athletic performance in athletes and develop physical fitness in non-athletes. 
  2. Plyometrics increases speed, power, and quickness. 
  3. The exercises use force and require strength, mobility, and flexibility. requiring athletes or people to be relatively physically fit before beginning the training.
  4. Consider working with an exercise professional when starting out. This reduces the risk of injury and allows athletes to learn proper form and technique. 
  5. While ‘plyometric’ exercises can be challenging, athletes should enjoy the experience as well as the results.


Alot Health (2018). Pros of the Plyometrics Workout. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://health.alot.com/wellness/pros-of-the-plyometrics-workout–1050

Andrews, E. (2016). Explosive plyometric workout. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5869/explosive-plyometric-workout

Bartholomew, B. (2018). Beginners Guide to Plyometrics. Art of Manliness. Cardio, Health & Sport. Updated November 2, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/beginners-guide-to-plyometrics/

Davies G., Rieman, BL., & Manske, R. (2015). Current concepts of plyometric exercise. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Vol. 10(6), 760-786.

Chu, D. (1998). Jumping into plyometrics (2nd ed.), pp.1-4. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Gas, DV. (2017). Body-weight training: Ditch the dumbbells. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/body-weight-training-ditch-the-dumbbells/art-20304638

Google Books (n.d.), co-authored by Fred Wilt.

Hansen, D., & Kennelly, S. (2017). Equipment in Plyometric Anatomy. Leeds, UK. Human Kinetics and Amazon.com

Hansen, D., & Kennelly, S. (2017). Plyometric anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Healthline (2019, January 23). How to do different plyometric exercises. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/plyometric-exercises#leg-exercises

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) (2013). Developing power in everyday athletes with plyometrics. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://blog.nasm.org/fitness/developing-power-in-everyday-athletes-with-plyometrics/

Patterson, B. (2015). Verkhoshansky’s 5 Rules from ‘Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches.’ Elitefts. Retrieved, January 19, 2020, from https://www.elitefts.com/education/verkhoshanskys-5-rules-from-special-strength-training-manual-for-coaches/

Schloder, M.E. (2017). Lecture Series. Training principles for athletes. NCCP Module: Prevention and Recovery. Calgary, AB.

Thompson, B. (2010). Incorporating plyometrics to a gymnasts’ training program. usagym.org/docs/ Education/library/2010_aug_12.pdf

USA Track and Field (2018). Fred Wilt. Archived from the original, September 18, 2018.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/PAG_ExecutiveSummary.pdf

Verkhoshansky, Y., & Verkhoshansky, N. (2011). Specialized strength and conditioning, manual for coaches. Verkhoshansky SSTM. 

Yessis, M. (2013). Why is plyometrics so misunderstood and misapplied? Dr. Yessis SportLab. Building a better athlete. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://doctoryessis.com/2013/01/02/why-is-plyometrics-so-misunderstood-and-misapplied/

Yessis, M. (2009). Explosive plyometrics. Ultimate athlete concepts. Ultimate Athlete Concepts, Muskegan, MI and Amazon.com

Yessis, M. (2000). Explosive Running (1st edition). NY: McGraw-Hill.

Wilt, F. (1964). Run-Run-Run. Mountain View, CA: Track & Field News.

Wilt, F. (n.d.). USA Track & Field

Wilt, F. sports-reference.com

Wilt, F. trackfield.brinkster.net

Tip of the Month – December 2019

Coach Monika Says…

No Snooze, You Lose

Image result for asleep at desk images

Researchers keep reporting that more and more children, teens, and adults show signs of tiredness during their daily undertakings. Obviously, this also becomes an issue with many younger and older athletes, and those experiencing a sudden growth spurt. College and University students are likewise affected, especially in classes after lunch, leading to a lack of focus and concentration. In numerous cases, schools in the USA and Canada usually begin between 8:00-9:00 AM, and given this situation in Calgary, Alberta, many children have to take the school bus to be transported as early as 7:00 o’clock. This means ‘rise and shine’ around 5:30 AM! If bedtime and ‘tech gadget’ access are not strictly controlled by parents, children are just not getting enough sleep!

Here are tips from NeuroNation, Germany:

Week 1: Give High-Tech Gadget ‘A Break’ (especially at night)

The Journal of “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes” published a study, showing that people, who use smartphones after 9:00 PM were more tired the next day, and therefore less resilient and able to perform under pressure. Transfer these findings toward athletes’ training or having to achieve performance standards! Being on the phone late at night makes it more difficult to fall asleep, and impedes regeneration of the body, especially if calls or communication involves the job or business decisions … take note Coaches!

Week 2: Increase Daily Fluid Intake – Stay Hydrated

Tiredness and sleepiness can be ‘triggered’ by poor circulation or limited blood flow to the brain. When drinking less, the blood becomes more viscous (sticky), and less blood flows to the brain, resulting in tiredness. Determine the daily amount of fluid required by your body weight
(approximately 2 liters/8 cups). Have a bottle of mineral water at your office desk, and at your bedside.

Week 3: Adults – Avoid Alcohol late at Night

Most likely, children and teens are not part of this scenario but coaches and older athletes could be affected. Do you like a nightcap, beer or glass of wine, to help you relax? Some people report that alcohol makes them sleepy and it helps them to fall asleep more easily. However, researchers found that sleep quality suffers, resulting in either restlessness or wakening sporadically because adrenalin is produced. It is recommended to avoid consuming alcohol 3-4 hours prior in order to have optimal sleep quality.

Week 4: Stick to ‘Lean Cuisine’

The more fatty food is consumed, the more sleep disturbances can be experienced, according to the Journal of Sleep Medicine. In addition, not only sleep is affected but also tiredness during the day is attributed to the consumption of fatty food. In other words, not only our body shape but also our sleep is going to benefit from proper nutrition.

Keep the ‘Brain Fit’

We receive and absorb a lot of information during the day. In order to ‘survive’ the brain has to make imperative decisions on storing the information that is important and ignoring the lesser one. The more we take in, the more demanding and stressful it is for our brain… and exhaustion sets in. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, even a disorderly or messy desk (homework or studying) can produce fatigue and exhaustion! The best results have been attributed to engaging in ‘brain fitness’ exercises, and of course, having quality sleep. ‘Brain fitness’ strengthens especially work-related memory, which is responsible for sorting out the information base. The stronger and fitter the brain, the less the chance of fatigue and exhaustion.

Examples of Brain Fitness Exercises:

Test your recall: Make a list of things to do, or anything else that comes to mind, and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall.

Do math in your head: Figure out problems without the aid of pencil, paper, or computer; you can make this more difficult – and athletic – by walking at the same time.

Learn a foreign language: The listening and hearing involved stimulate the brain. What’s more, a rich vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive decline.

Create word pictures: Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try and think of any other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.

Draw a map from memory: After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area; repeat this exercise each time you visit a new location.

Challenge your taste buds: When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.

Refine your hand-eye abilities: Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc. Use your non-dominant hand for selected skills or writing

Try a new sport: Start doing an athletic exercise that utilizes both mind and body, such as yoga, golf, or tennis.

Start writing or type / to choose a block


NeuroNation, Germany: https://sp.neuronation.com/en/

Why Are Tweens Leaving Youth Sport – Part III

Make Sports More FUN – Use Various Learning Styles 

The importance of implementing various teaching/coaching styles (Spectrum of Styles) was discussed in the November Newsletter. In addition, coaches need to incorporate different learning styles for a more enjoyable learning atmosphere, to motivate athletes, and foremost make learning more FUN (Lack of Fun is the main reason for sports dropout, October News). 

Why are learning styles important? Because most people have a preferred way to learn. Some learn best by listening; some have to observe every step, while others have to do it to learn it. The fact is that individuals need all three modalities to truly commit information to memory: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

Most common learning styles

How many of you are truly aware of the learning style spectrum, and how many of you are actually applying that knowledge on a daily basis? As stated in the earlier discussion, the attentiveness to teaching styles in order to keep athletes’ attention is vital along with consideration for individual learning styles, which makes teaching/coaching much more complex. It is easier to group younger athletes 6-10 years old under one style umbrella whereas teens and older athletes can establish their learning preference through available testing tools.

Pedagogy Experts have established the following Learning Styles: 

Visual Learners: … Athletes learn through seeing  

This group functions well by seeing, observing and watching demonstrations; often have a vivid imagination, need something to watch, and like visual stimuli such as pictures, slides, posters, charts and graphs, and skill demonstration.

Visual learners need to see the teacher’s/coach’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content or meaning; they tend to be close up in order to avoid visual obstructions (example in swimming, coach should bend down at pool site when talking to swimmers instead of standing high on deck); they may use mental pictures, and learn best from visual displays, including illustrations, diagrams, overheads or transparencies, videos, DVDs, flipcharts, and handouts [notes], computers. 

Print Learning: Athletes learn through printed or written words  

This group prefer charts, whiteboards, handouts, notes or articles to enhance the learning 

Auditory Learners:Athletes learn through listening

This group does well with brief instructions; they are usually excellent listeners, and can learn concepts by listening to tapes; they can reproduce symbols, letters or words by hearing them; they can repeat or fulfill verbal instructions relatively easily. Auditory learners operate best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking it through (with others or by talking to themselves), and listening to others; they interpret underlying meanings of speech through listening to the tone of voice, pitch, speed, and other nuances.

Tactile or Kinesthetic Learners:Athletes learn through moving, doing, and touching (Refers to whole-body movement), and feeling 

This group works best with direct involvement in tasks; often fidget or find a reason to move; often find success in physical response activities; use movement to help concentrate; usually poor listeners, and not particularly attentive to visual or auditory presentations. 

Tactile or Kinesthetic learners are successful through the hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them; they may find it difficult to remain still for long periods of time and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration (an important consideration when providing drill instructions). I use a variety of techniques to manipulate athletes in the learning of various skills no matter the sport (example: spotting a gymnastics skill, using body manipulation in the water with younger swimmers when teaching the backstroke body position and rotation, butterfly head and arm position, body movement and kick action, sprint action in athletics like arm movement, hurdle leg position, and fencing lunge, etc.).

‘Feeling of something or about something’ is important to some athletes. They associate that ‘special feeling’ with the quality of their movement skills. I asked an 8-year old swimmer ‘what she likes about the water.’ Her answer: it feels like velvet on my skin and I feel good when I move in the water! Interesting, swim coaches often tend to use the slogan ‘feel the water.’ Great! How do you teach that concept? And there is feeling the water with the hands and the feet!

Interactive learning: … Athletes learn through verbalization  

This group prefers to discuss tasks with others, enjoy question and answer sessions; they like to use other people as a ‘sounding board,’ and find small group discussions stimulating; these activities can be used effectively when teaching new concepts or principles. Teachers/coaches should use discovery/problem-solving methods and/or involve athletes in creating drills or other activities.

Haptic learning: … Athletes learn through the sense of touch or grasp 

This group likes a ‘hands-on approach’ to learning, like to do artwork or doodle on notebooks, and succeed with tasks requiring skill manipulation.

Olfactory learning: … Some Athletes are affected by the sense of smell or taste

While others find that smell adds to learning; they are able to identify smells; can associate a particular smell with specific past memories (may not apply directly but may trigger unpleasant memories from a previous competition, or swim meet: such as an athlete having experienced anxiety and stress resulting in an upset stomach and vomiting).


We discussed the current crisis in children and youth sport in the last three newsletters and the urgency to address the demand on these young athletes by overzealous coaches and ambitious parents at the expense of the #1 reason cited by athletes: Having FUN. Coaches also need to increase their knowledge about the use of multiple teaching/coaching styles and the application of multi-modal learning styles in order to provide a more learning-style centered and motivational training environment.


Schloder, M.E. (2005). Lecture Series. KNES 468. Teaching physical education in secondary schools. Teacher Preparation. Calgary, AB, Canada. University of Calgary. Faculty of Kinesiology.

Schloder, M.E. (2006). Lecture Series. Sociology of Sport: Children and parents in sport. Calgary, AB, Canada. University of Calgary. 

Schloder, M.E. (2011). Fly Away. The butterfly stroke in swimming. Progressive. Sequential. Creative. Experiential. DVD.

Zentner, C., & Mann, M. (Ed.). Shifting perspectives: Transition from coach-centered to athletes challenges faced by a coach and athlete. The Journal of Athlete Centered Coaching, 1(2). October 1. October 1. Denton, TX: Summit Edu Publishing.


Thank You for Your Interest, Support, and Readership in 2019

Wishing you a healthy and successful 2020!

Tip of the Month – November 2019

Coach Monika Says…

Assessing Bad Posture to Avoid Lower Back Pain

Bad posture and lower back pain were discussed in the October Newsletter. Here is the follow-up so you can check and/or assess your athletes’ core and back strength. Coaches can also incorporate these into Warm-up, Cool-down exercises, and/or Conditioning program. They should definitely do so if athletes are showing signs of ‘poor posture’ and/or complain about lower back problems.

Test Your Athletes and Yourself 

Equipment: Mat or Floor

1. Back to Wall Exercise     

Source: The Kalos Exercise Collection; Developing physical literacy for children and youth through FUN, fitness, and fundamentals; Ballet for Athletes: Modified exercises for cross-training

Specific Exercise Focus:

  • Body and head awareness (body position and movement, positional alignment, body incline in supine, head centered, arm extension on floor, legs bent, feet flat and forward) 
  • Balance and control (weight distribution, head, shoulders, back, extended arms)

Start Position: Assume upright standing position against the wall, feet slightly apart, heels against the baseboard, back and head against the wall, face forward, arms extended at sides by body

Action: Assume Start position, tighten the core, bend knees so thighs are at a 90-degree angle, partner checks for ‘hallow’ of the back against the wall [space between back and wall – measuring stick between back and wall – stick hand between space]

If ‘hallow’ exists – push back and head  ‘flush’ against the wall, hold 8 counts, 15 repetitions, and relax

Finish: Stand upright, arms relaxed at sides by the body, and relax 

2. Horizontal Plank

*Testing core strength


Specific Exercise Focus:

  • Strength (body position and movement, spine/core, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles, feet, prolonged held position)
  • Flexibility, suppleness (body position and movement, trunk, hips, pelvis, groin, front of thighs, lower part of legs, feet)

Start Position: Assume prone position on the floor (face down), legs extended, feet together on toes, head aligned with back and looking at floor, bent forearms, hands/palms flat on the floor, fingers forward, back aligned

Action: Assume Start position, tighten the core, pushing with hands against floor, elevate body to horizontal position above floor, shoulder to heel alignment, head centered, maintain positional alignment, hold 8 counts, lower body to floor, 8 repetitions, and relax 

Finish: Prone position, legs extended, feet together, arms extended out in front of body on floor, and relax 

Note: Exercises can be used as part of Warm-up, Cool-down and/or Conditioning program


Das Neue (2019, #38, September 14). Unser Rücken geht zum TÜF (our back goes to TÜF*], p. 50. Hamburg, Germany: Bauer Vertriebs KG. Das Neue. 

Schloder, M.E. (2018). The Kalos Exercise Collection. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

Schloder, M.E. (2017). Developing physical literacy through FUN, fitness, and fundamentals. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

Schloder, M.E. (2016). Ballet for athletes: Modified exercises for cross-training. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

*TÜF is the German TÜVs = Technischer Überwachungsverein [Technical Inspection Association] are German businesses that provide inspection and product certification services

Why Us ?

Shape Young Athletes
By Having FUN!


Physical Literacy For Children And Youth
Through Fun, Fitness And Fundamentals

Available NOW! – Instant Download or 2-Disk Set

Watch the preview video below!

You will be astonished over the athletic accomplishments of these young athletes’ strength, flexibility, balance, etc.

Click here to purchase your copy today!

 Dr. Monika Schloder Welcomes You To The Home of CoachingBest

Your one-stop for Coaching Tips, Training, and Information for the Athletic Coach

Years of teaching and coaching experience in several sports have provided me with the ability to understand the physical, mental, and emotional requirements for developing beginner to elite level athlete in several sports. The ‘knack’ to analyze sport movement, in essence, detect errors and then develop creative corrections and drills to improve, maximize, and optimize performance – no matter the sport – is one of my greatest assets.

Dr. Monika Scloder, Summer Swim Camp- Turku, Finland

Professional Activities:

  • DVD Production: Swimming; Developing Physical Literacy; Athletic Training
  • Learning Facilitator, Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), having educated nationally and internationally over 26,000 coaches to date
  • Certified Alberta NCCP Coach Developer (2016)
  • Speaker at International Congresses, Coaching Symposiums, and World Clinics
  • Master Coach in Residence, 1991-2004, for the Los Angeles based 84 Legacy of the Games (former Amateur Athletic Foundation or AAF), program developer for Inner City Minority Youth Education and Leadership
  • Author: Coaching Manuals in Swimming and Soccer
  • Co-author “Coaching Athletes: A Foundation for Success”


  • Alberta 2008 Coach of the Year
  • Recipient of 14 International Teaching and Coaching Awards
  • 3M Teaching Fellowship Award for Outstanding Teaching at Canadian Universities
  • Recipient of numerous Teaching Excellence Awards, University of Calgary

At CoachingBest.com we offer sport consulting and coaching education to organizations worldwide with an emphasis on current issues, physical literacy, athlete development, performance analysis, and improvement

Visit our Website CoachingBest.com for ‘Tips of the Week’ and sign up for the free Monthly Newsletter

Dr. Schloder has developed a series of Training DVD’s to help Coaches and Athletes
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ASCA Workshop Conference and Presentation

Happenings from November

With Coach Rebecca Atchley – Dr. Schloder was an External Committee Member for Rebeca’s Masters Project Dr. Schloder’s Workshop Presentation

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Conference Photos

Happenings from September

Latest Happenings!!

 Dr. Monika Schloder at the ASCA World Clinic for Swimming, Jacksonville, Florida, Sept 8, 2014 Presenting at the 4-hour Work shop “Dry-land School for Age Group Swimmers” Coaches participate in her workshops… they don’t just sit!

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Back Arch Demo

Coach Schloder in Istanbul, Turkey Swim Camp , June 9-15

Underneath the swimmer to demonstrate the back arch position after the Back Crawl start. Not too many coaches can do this perfectly!

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Developing Physical Literacy

This highly acclaimed presentation was given by Dr. Schloder at the Canadian Sport for Life Summit (CS4L), which will be available as a movie version. Watch for the up-coming DVD: ‘Physical Activities for Children and Youth. Fundamental Movement Skills in the Pursuit of Excellence and Well-being.’

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  1. Augusto Acosta

    I love your work!

  2. Kim Cox

    Super new front page on your website, very informative.

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Tip of the Month – January 2020

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Want to Improve Power and Explosiveness of Your Athletes?

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