Football's Acceleration & Top Speed SecretsCategoriesCoaches High Performance PLP Podcast

#246 – Speed Demons: Unleashing Football’s Acceleration & Top Speed Secrets

Introducing “Football’s Acceleration & Top Speed Secrets”! Gerard takes you on a thrilling journey into the world of football speed training, offering practical insights and strategies that can be applied by players, coaches, and enthusiasts alike. As an accomplished coach and educator, Gerard draws from his extensive experience working with athletes at all levels, providing you with proven techniques and training methods to enhance your game. Uncover the hidden secrets of accelerating like a pro and reaching top speeds on the field with this invaluable resource. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, “Football’s Acceleration & Top Speed Secrets” is your key to unlocking your full potential on the pitch.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Key components for acceleration in team sport athletes
  • Training methods and drills he uses to improve top speed, allowing players to reach their maximum velocity on the field
  • Common misconceptions in acceleration training
  • What does a top-speed training session look like
  • Exercises for improving acceleration and power

People mentioned:

  • JB Morin
  • Dan Pfaff
  • Jonas Twiah Dodoo
  • Stu Mcmillan
  • Dan Moore
  • Ken Clarke

Unlocking Acceleration and Top Speed in Team Sport Athletes: Insights from Gerard O’Donnell


Acceleration and top speed are crucial elements in team sports, enabling athletes to gain an edge over their opponents. To delve deeper into this topic, we turn to Gerard O’Donnell, the Coach Education Manager at Athletics Ireland. With his expertise in athlete development, O’Donnell sheds light on key components and training strategies for unlocking acceleration and top speed in team sport athletes. In this blog post, we will explore O’Donnell’s insights and recommendations, providing valuable information for coaches, trainers, and athletes seeking to enhance their performance on the field.

The Skill of Acceleration

When it comes to acceleration, O’Donnell emphasizes that it is not merely a physical attribute but a skill that can be honed. Rather than pushing athletes to exhaustion, he focuses on teaching proper technique and body positioning. O’Donnell stresses the importance of maintaining a straight line from the ankle through the hip to the shoulder, which optimizes force generation and minimizes energy leakage. By helping athletes develop a solid foundation of posture and body awareness, he sets the stage for effective acceleration.

Debunking Misconceptions

O’Donnell addresses common misconceptions surrounding acceleration and top-speed development. One such misconception is the belief that high volume is necessary for improvement. Instead, O’Donnell suggests breaking down the skill into its components and gradually increasing intensity. He advocates for targeted drills that focus on specific aspects, such as posture, effective ground interaction, and foot placement. By emphasizing quality over quantity, athletes can make significant strides in their acceleration capabilities.

Building Acceleration and Top-Speed Training Programs

O’Donnell provides insights into structuring training programs to enhance acceleration and top speed in team sport athletes. He recommends starting with a concentrated focus on acceleration, allowing athletes to develop proper technique and movement patterns. O’Donnell suggests dedicating a few weeks to solidifying acceleration before gradually introducing top-speed training.

During acceleration sessions, O’Donnell advises coaches to allocate sufficient time for warm-up, skill breakdown, and drilling. Adequate rest periods are crucial to ensure athletes can perform at their best and optimize learning. As athletes become more comfortable with acceleration, O’Donnell incorporates elements of top-speed training, focusing on refining technique and increasing intensity.

O’Donnell emphasizes the importance of strength and power training for acceleration and top-speed development. General strength exercises, such as hip-dominant lifts, contribute to overall body robustness and stability. He also recommends including power exercises like Olympic lifts, resisted jumps, plyometrics, and medicine ball work to enhance explosive power and transfer it to on-field performance.

Practical Application and Case Studies

To further illustrate his approach, O’Donnell shares practical examples and case studies. He discusses specific drills and exercises designed to improve acceleration and top speed, including variations of resisted sprints, agility ladder drills, and change of direction exercises. O’Donnell emphasizes the importance of consistent practice and technique refinement to ensure athletes maximize their potential in team sports.


Gerard O’Donnell’s insights provide valuable guidance for coaches, trainers, and athletes aiming to unlock acceleration and top speed in team sport athletes. By recognizing acceleration as a skill and focusing on proper technique, athletes can achieve optimal performance on the field. Breaking down the skill into its components and gradually increasing intensity allows for targeted training and improvements in efficiency.

O’Donnell’s emphasis on strength and power training underscores the importance of developing a robust body capable of withstanding the demands of acceleration and top speed.

By incorporating a variety of exercises, coaches can enhance explosive power and contribute to athletes’ overall performance.

Incorporating O’Donnell’s recommendations and tailoring them to individual athletes and team sports can lead to notable improvements in acceleration and top speed, ultimately enhancing team performance and success.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Private Sector Career SuccessCategoriesCoaches High Performance PLP Podcast

#244 – How to create a successful career in the private sector

Unleashing the Power of Positive Thinking for Personal Growth


In our fast-paced world, personal growth is a priority. Among various strategies, positive thinking stands out as a powerful tool. It shapes reality, transforms lives, and impacts personal growth. In this post, we explore its benefits, practical tips, and strategies to cultivate positive thinking habits. Empower yourself to thrive and achieve your full potential, unlocking private sector career success threefold, while also fostering a positive work environment that further enhances private sector career success.

Highlights from the episode:

  • How RealFitt built their client base
  • What social media platform to start marketing your brand
  • How Ben manages his content ideas and how underrated reposting content is
  • How to create engaging content and standout
  • Things he wished he knew when starting a business

People mentioned:

  • Mike Boyle
  • Eric Cressey
  • Christian Woodford
  • Joe Defranco
  • Lachlan Wilmot

Understanding Positive Thinking

  • Defining positive thinking: Exploring the meaning and essence of positive thinking and how it differs from negative thinking.
  • The science behind positive thinking: Highlighting the psychological and physiological benefits of positive thinking, including improved mental health, reduced stress levels, enhanced resilience, and better overall well-being.
  • The power of thoughts: Explaining how our thoughts influence our emotions, actions, and outcomes, emphasizing the importance of cultivating positive thought patterns.

The Benefits of Positive Thinking for Personal Growth

  • Increased self-confidence: How positive thinking helps build self-belief, overcome self-doubt, and develop a growth mindset.
  • Goal attainment and motivation: Discuss how a positive mindset fuels motivation, persistence, and goal achievement by fostering optimism and a solution-oriented approach.
  • Improved relationships: Exploring how positive thinking enhances interpersonal connections, empathy, and communication, leading to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
  • Resilience in the face of adversity: Illustrating how positive thinking strengthens resilience, allowing individuals to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures, and embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.
  • Enhanced creativity and problem-solving: Highlighting the link between positive thinking and increased creativity, innovative thinking, and effective problem-solving skills.

Cultivating Positive Thinking Habits

  • Mindfulness and self-awareness: Exploring the role of mindfulness in cultivating positive thinking by bringing awareness to our thoughts and emotions.
  • Challenging negative beliefs: Providing strategies to identify and challenge negative beliefs and replace them with positive and empowering ones.
  • Gratitude practice: Discussing the transformative power of gratitude and suggesting practical exercises to cultivate a grateful mindset.
  • Affirmations and positive self-talk: Introducing the use of affirmations and positive self-talk as tools to rewire our subconscious mind and reinforce positive thinking habits.
  • Surrounding yourself with positivity: Exploring the impact of our environment on our mindset and suggesting ways to create a positive support system and eliminate negativity from our surroundings.


Amidst a world frequently burdened by negativity and obstacles, adopting the power of positive thinking becomes imperative for personal growth. Firstly, a positive mindset possesses the potential to revolutionize our thoughts, emotions, actions, and ultimately, our lives. Furthermore, the advantages of positive thinking are extensive, encompassing heightened self-confidence, motivation, strengthened relationships, and resilience. To foster positive thinking, consistent practice is essential. By mindfully employing techniques such as gratitude and affirmations, coupled with self-awareness, we can gradually shift our mindset towards positivity. Consequently, we unlock our true potential, surmount obstacles, and embark on a rewarding journey of personal development. Importantly, positive thinking doesn’t imply denying challenges; rather, it involves facing them with optimism and a firm belief in our capacity to learn and grow. In conclusion, let positivity be the guiding beacon in your pursuit of personal growth and a life brimming with happiness and accomplishment.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Football player developmentCategoriesCoaches High Performance PLP Podcast

#242 – Multi-faceted approach to performance and player development in football

Unveiling the Unique Performance Approach of Feyenoord Rotterdam


“Feyenoord Rotterdam, one of the most esteemed football clubs in the world, has built a reputation for its unique approach to football player development and player performance. In this blog post, we will delve into the key aspects that make Feyenoord stand out among its peers in the realm of football player development. From their multi-faceted strategies to their emphasis on team culture and cutting-edge analysis techniques, Feyenoord’s commitment to excellence in nurturing and honing talent is truly remarkable.

One time, the club’s dedication to individual player growth and overall team success set them apart from others in the industry. Their holistic and forward-thinking approach ensures the development of not only skilled players but also well-rounded individuals.

Another crucial factor that contributes to Feyenoord’s success in player development is its strong focus on youth academies. Through these academies, the club identifies and nurtures young talents, providing them with the necessary resources, coaching, and support to flourish in their football careers. This emphasis on youth development has consistently produced a stream of talented players, making Feyenoord a force to be reckoned with in the world of football player development.”

Highlights from the episode:

  • Feyenoord Rotterdam’s multi-faceted approach to performance
  • How a breakfast club accelerates a successful player development
  • Benefits of coordinated-based movement training
  • How he uses movement analysis and aerobic capacity to measure movement efficiency
  • The software he uses for movement analysis

People mentioned:

  • John Pryor
  • Bec Pryor
  • Frans Bosch
  • Eddie Jones
  • Ruben Peeters

A Multi-Faceted Approach to Performance

At Feyenoord, performance is not limited to just one aspect of the game. Instead, it encompasses a comprehensive set of pillars, including movement literacy and quality, lifestyle, periodization and planning, and DNA. By addressing each of these pillars, the club ensures a holistic development process for its players.

Movement Literacy and Quality

Feyenoord places great importance on players’ movement skills and quality. They recognize that mastering fundamental movements and techniques is crucial for optimal performance. By focusing on movement literacy, players are equipped with a solid foundation, allowing them to excel in various game situations. Moreover, the emphasis on movement quality ensures that players perform actions efficiently and with precision.


Understanding that performance is not solely determined by training sessions and matches, Feyenoord pays close attention to players’ lifestyles. This pillar encompasses a wide range of factors, such as nutrition, sleep, recovery, and overall well-being. By promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle, the club maximizes players’ potential both on and off the field.

Periodization and Planning

Effective periodization and planning are crucial for long-term player development. Feyenoord employs meticulous planning to ensure that players reach their peak performance during key moments of the season. By strategically managing training loads, recovery periods, and match schedules, the club optimizes performance and reduces the risk of injuries.


Every club has its own identity and style of play, and Feyenoord is no exception. The club’s DNA represents its core principles, values, and playing philosophy. By instilling a strong sense of identity, Feyenoord fosters a cohesive and harmonious team dynamic, which ultimately translates into improved performance on the field.

The Power of Team Environment and Culture

Feyenoord understands the significance of a positive and supportive team environment. While it is not mandatory for success, it serves as a catalyst for growth and development. One notable example is the implementation of a “breakfast club” inspired by the documentary “The Last Dance” featuring basketball legend Michael Jordan. This early morning training program, initially designed for players who needed extra attention, not only improved their physical fitness but also created a strong sense of camaraderie within the group.

Coordinated-Based Movement Training

Feyenoord incorporates coordinated-based movement training influenced by the work of Frans Bosch, a renowned movement specialist. This approach focuses on improving players’ coordination, body awareness, and movement efficiency. Unlike traditional training methods, the emphasis is not on physical exhaustion but on the refinement of movement patterns. Although it may take several weeks to see tangible results, the long-term benefits in terms of enhanced sharpness and performance are remarkable.

Balancing Efficiency of Movement and Traditional Conditioning

When it comes to player development, Feyenoord recognizes the need for a case-by-case approach. For players with deeply ingrained movement habits, a more extended period may be required to achieve significant changes. In such cases, traditional strength and conditioning methods may be preferred. On the other hand, for younger players or those with limited training history, coordinated-based movement training can bring about noticeable improvements within a shorter timeframe. The club values a flexible and adaptable approach tailored to individual needs.

Cutting-Edge Movement Analysis Techniques

Feyenoord utilizes modern technology and movement analysis to enhance player performance. By recording training sessions and matches, the club’s performance analysts provide valuable feedback and insights. The use of smartphones and video conferencing platforms like Zoom allows for real-time remote analysis, ensuring that no detail goes unnoticed. This analysis helps identify areas of improvement and fine-tune players’ techniques, ultimately leading to enhanced on-field performance.


Feyenoord Rotterdam’s commitment to a multi-faceted approach, team culture, coordinated-based movement training, and cutting-edge analysis techniques has set them apart in the world of football. By prioritizing players’ movement literacy, quality, and lifestyle, and adhering to a well-structured plan, the club consistently nurtures talented athletes who excel both individually and collectively. As Feyenoord continues to pave the way for player development and performance enhancement, their methodologies serve as a source of inspiration for clubs worldwide.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify