Creative Coaching Practices to Enhance Athletic Performance

by Brian Gearity, PhD, ATC, CSCS,*D, FNSCA and Clayton Kuklick, MA, PhD
July 2019
Vol 6, Issue 1


This NSCA Coach article describes how to manipulate movements, lifts, and rest periods in a way that controls time, space, and flow efficiently to creatively enhance athletic performance.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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1. Barker-Ruchti, N, and Tinning, R. Foucault in leotards: Corporeal discipline in women’s artistic gymnastics. Sociology of Sport Journal 27: 229-250, 2010.

2. Bartlett, R, Wheat, J, and Robins, M. Is movement variability important for sports biomechanists? Sports Biomechanics 6(2): 224-243, 2007.

3. Bosch, F. Strength training and coordination: An integrative approach. Rotterdam, Netherlands: 2010 Uitgevers; 2015.

4. Denison, J. Planning, practice and performance: The discursive formation of coaches’ knowledge. Sport, Education and Society 15: 461-478, 2010.

5. Denison, J. Social theory for coaches: A Foucauldian reading of one athlete’s poor performance. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching 2: 369-383, 2007.

6. Foucault, M. The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York, NY: Vintage; 1972.

7. Foucault, M. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York, NY: Random House; 1977.

8. Gearity, BT, and Mills, JP. Discipline and punish in the weight room. Sports Coaching Review 1(2): 124-134, 2013.

9. Hammill, J, Palmer, C, and Emmerik, R. Coordinative variability and overuse injury. Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy and Technology 4(45): 1-9, 2012.

10. Johns, DP, and Johns, JS. Surveillence, subjectivism and technologies of power: An analysis of the discursive practice of high-performance sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 35(2): 219-234, 2000.

11. Kuklick, C, and Gearity, B. A Foucauldian Intervention Implemented for Strength and Conditioning Coaches. North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference, 2016.

12. Kuklick, C, and Gearity, B. Is athlete “buy-in” all that it is cracked up to be? An analysis of strength and condition coach talk discourse. NSCA Coach 5(1): 32-36, 2018.

13. Kuklick, C, and Gearity, B. New movement practices: A Foucauldian learning community to disrupt technologies of discipline. Sociology of Sport Journal: under review (in press).

14. Kuklick, C, and Gearity, B. Unintended consequences of too much discipline. An analysis of strength and condition coach talk discourse. NSCA Coach 5(3): 36-39, 2018.

15. Mann, JB, Thyfault, JP, and Ivey, PA. The effect of autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise vs. linear periodization on strength improvement in college athletes. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24(7): 1718-1723, 2010.

16. Markula, P, and Pringle, R. Knowledge and truth: Discursive Construction of the fit and healthy body. In: Markula, P, and Pringle, T. (Eds.), Foucault, Sport, and Exercise: Power, Knowledge and Transforming the Self. New York, NY: Routledge; 2006.

17. Morris, CW. The effect of fluid periodization on athletic performance outcomes in American football players (Doctoral dissertation, University of Kentucky). Theses and Dissertations— Kinesiology and Health Promotion: 24, 2015. Retrieved from

18. Naimo, M, Zourdos, M, Wilson, J, Kim, J, Ward, E, Eccles, D, and Panton, L. Contextual interference effects on the acquisition of skill and strength of the bench press. Human Movement Science 3(32): 472-484, 2013.

19. Rhea, MR, Ball, SD, Phillips, WT, and Burkett, LN. A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity for strength. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 16(2): 250-255, 2002.

20. Schmidt, R, and Lee, T. Motor Learning and Performance: From Principles to Application (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2014.

21. Shea, C, Kohl, R, and Indermill, C. Contextual interference: Contributions of practice. Acta Psychologica 73(2): 145-157, 1990.

22. Sheppard, J, and Triplett, T. Program Design for Resistance Training. In: Haff, G, and Triplett, T. (Eds.), Essentials of Strength and Conditioning. (4th ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 439-469, 2016.

About the author

Brian T. Gearity, PhD, ATC, CSCS, RSCC*D

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Brian Gearity is Director and Professor of the Master of Arts inSport Coaching Program and the Graduate Certificate in Strengthand Conditioning and Fi ...

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About the author

Clayton Kuklick, PhD, MA, CSCS

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Clayton Kuklick is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Master ofArts in Sport Coaching Program at the University of Denver, CO,where he teaches a va ...

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