So sorry mates! I haven’t been posting many blogs lately. I’ve had a very hectic month. In the past several weeks I:

1. Gave 6 different presentations; 3 during the week of the SPRINZ Conference here in Auckland, 2 at the Get NZ Active Conference also in Auckland, and 1 at the FMA Conference in Coffs Harbour, Australia. The FMA Conference last weekend was amazing; it’s always a pleasure spending time with my friends Mark Buckley and Rachel Guy, and I met a bunch of new friends including the beautiful Ximena Gonzales and a very intelligent guy by the name of Paul Taylor who gave one of the best presentations I’ve ever heard. If you live in Australia then next year you must attend the FMA second annual conference. It’s a bit depressing when you return from a weekend conference, having been surrounded by like-minded people for several days straight, eating at buffets, socializing, etc., and then having to return to regular life.

As you can see I had a ton of fun at the FMA conference! My incredibly bright buddy Mark Buckley started up FMA. I highly recommend his courses to trainers and physios.

2. Had my computer completely crash and have been relying on hotel computers, friend’s computers, and my school computer. I’m coming home to Arizona on the 13th and am stalling so I can purchase a new computer when I’m in the states. I don’t know how we got anything done pre-internet days!

3. Completed my D9. This is a presentation that has the doctoral student delivering a summary that describes your thesis proposal to the AUT sports science staff, including the purpose/rationale, literature review, and methods of your proposed experiments. It’s quite intimidating as we have Will Hopkins here who is considered by many to be the smartest statistician sports science has ever seen (click HERE to see Will’s website), as well as Patria Hume who is a brilliant biomechanist, not to mention several top sports scientists including John Cronin, Matt Brughelli and Mike McGuigan. It was hilarious (well not so funny when you’re the presenter) when Will Hopkins hammered me on my proposed number of subjects for a particular study. I tried to defend myself by saying that there are plenty of similar articles in the literature that have equal or less subjects and he shouted out, “I don’t give a damn what else is out there in the literature, it’s crap! You either do it right or you don’t do it at all.” Needless to say, I’m very happy to have this part of my PhD completed.

TNation Article

I’ll be back to blogging regularly very soon but in the meantime, check out this TNation article I recently wrote:

The Contreras Files Volume I

I’ll try to bust one of these out each month. I hope you’re all having a great weekend! – BC


  • Teresa M says:

    Glad to hear your proposal defense is done. Hopkins is right about the literature . What kind of project are you doing (looks like an experimental study)? Luckily, I had a stats center to help me figure out the “power analysis” of minimum number of respondents to my survey (128). And luckily, I got 171 of 321 distributed to respond. I had based my distribution on my pilot test, hoping for 200. But you do the best you can and what you get is what you get.

    • Bret says:

      This is why it’s great to have various experts working together. The practicioner will always struggle to obtain large enough sample sizes to satisfy the statisticians as often it’s not realistic (for example 20 world-class sprinters won’t happen), and if you work with real athletes it’s tough to get a coach on board to participate in a training study as he’s interested in winning games not experimenting with his players. So I agree with what you said, you do the best you can and what you get is what you get.

  • Will says:

    You didn’t pull off the use of “mates” at the start at all!! Haha!

    • Bret says:

      Will – it’s funny some American folks out here start sounding like Kiwis in terms of accent and word usage. Others like me can’t even imitate their accent if we try. However I’m starting to say a couple of Kiwi words – mates, heaps, rubbish, etc. are fun to use.

  • Scott says:

    Hey Brett……I think you forgot to mention your north american translator. I’ve got Mark staying with me and we can’t let him get a big head that he got mentioned but not me. Congrats on finishing up your D9!

    • Bret says:

      Good call Scott. My North American translator was invaluable, and Mark’s head has definitely grown too big for his body 🙂 Great meeting you and hope to stay in touch. – BC

  • Brian Sinner says:

    So jealous you get to work with Hopkins. His website is probably the most useful sports science site I have ever seen. Love his conference reviews and aggressive attitude towards the statistics status quo.

    • Bret says:

      He’s an intriguing man for sure. So brilliant that he probably finds commoners like me to be a nuissance! I get the biggest kick out of hearing Hopkins stories as there are plenty of them to go around. And his site is indeed legendary.

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