Here’s the questions, we have all this knowledge, and books, and articles, and seminars, but it’s only theory, it’s only theory. How can you apply this to this individual athlete? It’s a big question always. There are a lot of interesting things, but tonight when you’re out on the track or out on the field, what to do? Armed with that knowledge how do you apply it? It’s very different.

Henk’s first of many presentations at The Seminar was Helping the Best to Get Better in 2013. Henk starts out sharing with us how he got into athletics, what brought him to coaching, and how he got paired up with Nelly. Finding Nelly brought him to the realization that the idea of survival of the fittest won’t work in Holland due to their limited population. Henk’s introduction leads him into discussing some general thoughts on training from a philosophical sense and the colleagues of his who have impacted his philosophy as a coach.

This breakdown the influencers in Henk’s training philosophy brings him into the coaching research he did with his athletes. He broke down and researched the biomechanics of their movements (he did quite a bit of this work focusing on the start) and what he saw in this work. He touches upon the physiology of his athlete’s, how he looked at his athletes, what he found to be important, and how training and training implications impacted that. This leads him to the impact of the brain, how he monitoring the CNS/brain stared with archers and leading into special ops personnel, and how to train the brain and why it is essential. The brain ties right into his discussion of science vs art when it comes to training. This discussion includes why the same program leads to different adaptations in different people, placebo effect, and how mind set has a massive impact on results. He then dives into stress, and how it is the “great equalizer” in training and competition. Stress has a huge impact on performance, and “peaking” and Henk touches upon how he’s see this impact performance in his athletes throughout the years. Henk finishes off his presentation by going over the most important lessons he has learned in his time working with athletes.

This talk is full of research that backed what he did and looked at and looked for in training, along with fantastic real-world examples of what he did and saw with a world record setting sprinter in an exceptionally simple breakdown with great analogies to make sure that each point gets across to each coach in attendance.


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