Archive for “Ask Brian Grasso” Category

Olympic Lifts and Young Athletes?

Young Athletes

 

Young Athletes Performing Olympic Lifts?

 

Yes or No?

 

Teach them so you can use them in programming?

 

Recognize space, time and technique limitations so teach ‘3-joint-explosition’ in a different way?

 

Lots of opinions regarding Young Athletes

 

… And I want to hear yours.

 

Leave your thoughts below:

 

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Youth Fitness Specialist: How Do I Train Junior Golfers?

Youth Fitness Specialist

Good Afternoon Brian,

 

I am a PGA golf professional and do a lot of teaching, including junior clinics. I am looking to include physical fitness into my junior golf program and get away from having the kids just hitting golf balls for the hour lesson. What information do you have to offer that might specifically address what programs to design for different age groups and child development stages in general?

 

I look forward to hearing from you

 

Thanks,

Joe, PGA

 

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How Much Should I Charge For Speed Training?

Speed Training Business Tips

Hi Brian,

 

Erik here. I am currently waiting my approval on the level 1 IYCA Speed cert. Long story short. I am in a new area and have begun to approach facilities, coaches, organizations to be the go to guy for speed training.

 

I have a meeting set up with a baseball center and they want me to put together a proposal for them immediately.

 

So my question is, in an area that is very wealthy what would be the best way to go about pricing this?

 

Per month, in blocks eg, 12, 24, 50 sessions, and basic idea of what to charge?

 

I know loaded questions, but I figured I would ask.

 

Keep up the awesome work.

 

Yours in speed,

Erik

 

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How Do I Get "In" With High School Coaches?

Hi Brian,

 

I am trying to do a speed camp in my area and here is the question: Who do I talk to? Athlete’s parent? High school coaches? A friend of mine said go to the high school coaches and talk to them.

 

I know I have to talk about what I do, but I need to be sure that I say it right and not get too complicated but make it simple and easy for them to understand. As you are aware many HS coaches do lot of training differently than what we do, so I just want to make it easy and quick to get the point!

 

Thanks Brian. Keep us motivated to become the best coach

– Ben from Alabama

 

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Is the IYCA Good for Parent Coaches?

Brian,

 

I have been searching for information about training kids for some time and, thankfully, I came across your group via StrengthCoach.com. I am not a trainer, but I coach a lot of team sports ages 5-11, coinciding with the ages of my own 4 kids.

 

I do find a lot of parental interest in training kids more effectively for general athleticism and fitness.  I have even thought of putting together some small classes, as I have a built-in clientele.  Would your Level 1 certification be enough for me to work with a few kids on a basic level.  Or, would I need more training or a general certification before starting with IYCA sponsored training.

 

I am very passionate about this topic, and I am thankful I have found someone who has blazed a trail in the direction I have been seeking.

 

Thank you,

Mike from Colorado

 

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Groundbreaking DVD vs. Youth Speed Certification

To Brian,

 

I have a question about the Youth Speed and Agility Cert. Before I start I just want to introduce myself- my name is Bill and I am a High School Physical Education Teacher and an NSCA Strength Coach. I train at a gym after school (ages 8- college level). I have been following the IYCA for about a year now and I’m very impressed with everything you’ve done. I’ve also just sent in my exam for YFS1.

 

Brian I am torn between getting Lee Taft’s Ground Breaking 2 DVD and the IYCA Youth Speed and Agility Specialist Certification. I’m not sure which one will best suit what I do. I really want to learn everything I possible can about speed and agility training. I also run camps in my community and need good advice on how to market my camp which I know your DVD offers. So really my question is will the Youth Speed and Agility cert give me all the information that Lee offers in his Ground Breaking 2 DVD. Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

 

Thank You,
Bill

 

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Running a Youth Fitness Program

Hi Brian –

 

My name is Brett and I’m a PTA, ATC, CSCS.  I recently purchased the Youth Fitness Specialist – Level 1 and currently going over it.  I work in a busy outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinic and we will be moving to bigger space in June.  aprrox 10,000 square feet.  We are looking to develop a youth fitness program at our clinic and I had a few questions to see if you could help out.

 

1.  Do you have different levels within each age range? For example, do you stay with the same program with a 8 year old who is way ahead of the other 8 year olds or do you have to create another level for those kids that are mastering the activities?  Or does that age range always stay together regardless of skill mastery?  What do you use for a objective measurement to progress these kids to the next level?

 

2.  Do you have a business model on how much to charge for group sessions, i.e., do you charge more for  older kids vs the younger ones?  Do you give discounts if they pay up front for multiple training sessions?  Anything that you have will help in this area.

 

3.  Marketing strategies?  Talking to schools, parents or flyers?

 

4.  Would you have any interest in doing a seminar in California after our new clinic is set up in June?  If so, what  would we need to do to make this happen?

 

Thanks for you help

Brett

 

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Is YFS1 Good For Overweight Youth?

Hey Brian,

My question is your certification is it more for training young athletes or can it also be used to help with Overweight/obese kids, or teens? I am currently a personal trainer and I really want to specialize in overweight youth because I see so much of it everyday at my job. I hope you can answer my question. – Michael

 

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What Inspires You To Work With Young Athletes?

 

 

Young Athletes Give Back

The fact that you read my random thoughts every day means a great
deal to me.

 

No joke.

 

This has never been a "static" message medium for me.

 

I take great care in drafting the kind of information I think you need in
becoming the very best Youth Fitness Coach you can be.

 

And I don’t take the fact you read my daily ramblings for granted.

 

Over the past several days, I’ve recounted some memories I have from
the days when I spent all my waking hours in the trenches working with
kids.

 

Fond memories all.

 

And through them, you’ve gotten to learn a bit more about me.

 

But now I want something from you.

 

I want to know something that I know I have never asked before.

 

What inspires you to work with young athletes and youth fitness

participants?

 

Why is it so important to you?

 

How does it fulfill you?

 

I want to know.

 

Sincerely.

 

Leave your comments below…

Kids Coaching: Memories – Part 2

 

 

Kids Coaching is so Rewarding

Robert was a born leader.

 

Not the most gifted athlete in the world.

 

Not the strongest kid in the weight room.

 

And certainly not the fastest guy on the field.

 

But he was captain of the #2 ranked high school football team
in Illinois and a three year varsity starter for one reason….

 

He elevated the work ethic of his teammates.

 

And he did so without words.

 

Robert just flat-out worked hard.

 

Every play.

 

Every down.

 

Every moment in practice and games.

 

And when you’re around a guy like that, it’s hard not to look in the
mirror and want to work harder yourself.

 

I’ll go on record as saying that the two consecutive trips we made as
a team to the state quarterfinals were due in large part to Robert.

 

Four starting offensive players went on to Division One football
scholarships after there senior seasons.

 

Five more from the defensive side of the ball.

 

Truly, this team was talent personified.

 

But Robert, the undersized and under skilled offensive lineman was
the real cog and catalyst.

 

Now, you may be assuming that what I learned from him was something
to do within the realm of "leadership" or "work ethic".

 

But that’s not what Robert taught me.

 

What he did offer as a valuable lesson however, was the power of
knowing what NOT to say.

 

Team Captain.

 

Undeniable Leader.

 

"The Man" in the locker room and on the field.

 

And barely a word ever came out of him.

 

It’s the pat on the back he would give his running back for making a
great cut and springing a 40 yard run.

 

The look he would give another offensive lineman if he didn’t feel as
though their block was as aggressive or complete as it could have been
on the last play.

 

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Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part One

 

 

Kids Coaching teaches us

Blake came to me as a quiet, shy and terribly uncoordinated
8th grader.

 

13 years old and quite tall for his age, I knew the second I saw
him that I was going to like the kid.

 

He never said much and certainly had a great deal of difficulty
learning how to perform even the most basic of exercises, but
he was steadfast in his work ethic and always brought a good
energy to the training center.

 

I learned a lot over the years from kids coaching and from Blake.

 

Mostly, how to enjoy and appreciate the very small things in life.

 

His last training session with me was on a humid and sweaty
Chicago-style, August afternoon.

 

Walking into my facility, I noticed an unfamiliar bounce to his
stride and a larger than usual, ear-to-ear grin on his face.

 

"What’s goin’ on, my friend" I greeted him.

 

"Why such a perky smile?"

 

"Tomorrow, football tryouts start and I’m geared up!" he replied.

 

I tend to get tunnel vision as the summer months dwindle down.
I have dozens upon dozens of college athletes returning to play
fall sports and even more high school kids phasing up for
football and basketball.

 

"That’s right! What position you trying out for? You expecting
a ton of playing time, I assume?" I asked.

 

"Don’t care to be honest. Just looking forward to strapping on a
helmet and being part of a team"

 

His answer struck something in me that I didn’t quite understand at
the time, but would be overwhelmed with a few short months later.

 

Fast forward.

 

Late September, same year.

 

Blake was attending the same high school that I served as Head
Strength Coach at.

 

Great bunch of kids all around.

 

Dedicated, hard working and a Coaching Staff that truly valued the
kid inside the athlete.

 

And I’ll be honest…

 

I ADORED Friday nights.

 

I got to patrol the sidelines.

 

Home games especially.

 

There is just something magical about high school football in the cool
autumn air.

 

So there I was.

 

Patrolling as usual.

 

Laid back as I am in my daily life, I get ultra-serious and intense when
it comes to competition.

 

My own or my athletes.

 

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A Perfect Example of What’s Wrong in Youth Sports Training

 

 

Youth Sports Training Done REALLY wrong


How+to+Teach+Kids+to+Play+Golf — powered by LIVESTRONG.COM

Here’s what I wrote to Scott –

 

I often refer to this as "Ignorant Child Abuse". Most parents and Coaches like this don’t truly understand the complexity of what they’re doing wrong. I don’t mean to excuse them or vilify them at all, but it’s a lack of understanding regarding neurological, mental and emotional development that has gotten us to where we are in youth sports.

 

From an "X’s & O’s" perspective, the teaching this golf pro is trying to do is both a moot point and entirely destructive from a future developmental perspective. At Matthew’s age, the key ingredient in athletic development is free play. Experience by doing. Learning via attempting.

 

This trial and error process of experimental movement is critical in creating what I call "Athletic Intelligence." Not unlike school, when we over-quantify what it is we want kids to do, we don’t allow their CNS to establish a frame of reference regarding understanding the pathology of why something works the way it does. That’s why elementary school is informal from a strict studying perspective. Teachers provide lessons and framework, but then allow students to experiment with finding results. That process is imperative in building a level of cognitive functioning that allows for future, more complex areas of study to be understood.

 

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IYCA Brian in Toronto

IYCA is a family

It’s been a while since I trekked up to the Great White North and visited my
childhood friends and family.

 

Too long in fact.

 

It’s very easy to get sidetracked by the great standard excuse of "busy with
work"

 

Too easy in fact.

 

My family means the world to me and I admit to feeling overwhelmed at the
thought of seeing everyone again.

 

My oldest brother, Al, turned 50 earlier this year. Can’t wait to give him all
kinds of grief about that!

 

My other brother, Mike, is doing quite well, but given all the childhood
"beatings" he gave me, I intend to cook up something good to razz him
about as well!

 

My parents are both in great health and spirits.

 

My Irish Mom is feisty as ever and will most assuredly have a few choice
words for her baby boy considering he hasn’t been home for nearly two years.

 

My Dad, always the patriarch and calming influence over my family, is doing
absolutely great for a man of 80+ years and will almost certainly want to spend
some time with me showing me around his precious backyard garden.

 

Family is important.

 

But family comes in all shapes and sizes.

 

Truly and very sincerely, I consider my IYCA Family as an important an influence
in my life as I do my biological kin.

 

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The Myth of Youth Sports Specialization

 

 

Youth Sports Specialization

The IYCA Blog has been jumping of late with some great training-based conversation.

 

I wanted you to read an exchange I had with a reader named Keith.

 

It was in reference to my article on Early youth sports Specialization a few days ago.

 

Keith offered some great insight and thought. Here’s what he had to say –

 

"So, playing devil’s advocate once again, why is it that the world’s greatest swimmers have typically been identified when they were preteen, often then,setting world records and competing in world class events as mere teenagers, especially the ladies.

 

How many world and Olympic champion gymnasts and divers average 14 years of age. I wonder if plasticity really means that a child athlete can adapt to, cope with, respond to, recover from, progress with, focus on and develop with, all of the things in one particular sport, and become superior in that sport, without participating in other sports. Doing so like the 5 year old Italian child learns English perfectly by being immersed in that one thing.

 

I know I’m talking about world class athletes but they had to come from somewhere and mostly they were young athletes with a gift through which they were unilaterally developed within their one sport.

 

While I myself have participated in many sports and have coached many sports and I believe in multilateral exposure especially as a means of talent identification, I still need convincing that the multilateral approach is necessary or preferable to develop high level athletes in a given sport.

 

Still liked the article Brian. It keeps the wheels oiled in this old noggin. Keep them coming!"

 

Here was my response –

 

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The Biggest Problem in Youth Sports Training?

 

 

Youth Sports Training Mistakes

The most common problem facing Trainers & Coaches today with respect to developing young athletes over time is the ability to plan long-term. The personal training and coaching professions are most typically based on a session-to-session consideration – clients pay per session most often and Trainers create training programs one session at a time. The same is true for coaching sport – most Coaches script out one practice plan at a time, rather than create a relative flow for an entire month or even season.

 

Limited Plan… Limited Gain

 

The problem with this industry standard as it relates to youths and adolescents is that this type of shortsightedness serves to limit the potential gains made by a young athlete. It is not unlike running a business or corporation – when business owners take the time to organize their objectives and action steps for a given month or year, they almost always are successful at implementing the plan. Far too many business owners, Trainers and Coaches feel as though their actions during a sales drive, training session or practice is what will lead to positive change, when in fact it is the planning that occurs before these actions that accounts for the true gains

 

Become and Objective Monster

 

No one can learn how to create 6 or 12 month Youth Sports Training plans in a day.

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It takes time and diligent effort to acquire this skill, but your ability to get better over time will have a direct and positive impact on both your young athletes’ success rate as well as your businesses ability to attract new clients. Set an objective for yourself to create a system or plan that allows you to develop long-term and wide-focused agendas for your young athletes. Take several days or weeks if need be to create a system that is streamlined and easy to implement – although your are looking for a comprehensive system, the more basic you make it, the more easy it will be to adhere to.

 

Action Steps

 

Start simply. Take a piece of paper and write out where you want your young athletes to be in 4 weeks. Create headings and then just fill in each category. For instance, what skill sets are you working on now? To what degree of competency do you want an athlete or team to be able to demonstrate that skill set in 1 month’s time? This can also be applied to elite adolescent athletes. Are you working on squat or power clean totals right now? If so, where do you want these numbers to be in 4 weeks?

 

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Children’s Fitness: 3 Career Tips

 

 

Children’s fitness is what your missing

Without pulling punches or beating around the bush, I’m going to
give you a straight look at something today.

 

Why you need to become a Youth Fitness Specialist through
the IYCA.

 

Do yourself a favor and read this entire post – it’s short, succinct
and very much to the point.

 

But the impact it could have on your career is tremendous.

 

 

Reason # 1 – Belong to Something Bigger

 

As a Fitness Professional and Coach, your career is very much an
isolated one.

 

Yes you have your clients and certainly you have some colleagues,
but what kind of professional support and daily inspiration do you
have?

 

The hours can be very long and the pay often insignificant.

 

What keeps you going and motivated?

 

Taking on yet another client who wants to drop a ‘few pounds’ or
look ‘better in a bathing suit’ just can’t stimulate you forever.

 

That’s one of the primary reasons this industry has such a high
turn over rate – Fitness Professionals either burnout quickly or
end up losing motivation all together and opt of move on.

 

Imagine instead feeling like this everyday –

 

"I am honored to be a part of such an AWESOME organization!
To walk into the Summit and to be in the room with over 200 like
minded, passionate individuals who care about youth fitness is
beyond words. The IYCA is a global family and one I am proud to
be a part of. I cherish each and every family member that I met
and look forward to learning and sharing from all in our family"

 

** Written by IYCA Member Lisa Aguilera after attending our recent
International Summit.

 

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