Archive for “Ask The Experts” Category

Teaching Olympic Lifts To A Large Group

by Wil Fleming

If I presented most people with the following list, the likely response would be "Psssshhhht, impossible"

  • Actually finding a real live bigfoot.
  • Water skiing with no boat.
  • Climbing Mt. Everest with no ropes.
  • Developing a cold fusion machine.
  • Teaching Olympic lifts the right way to large groups of athletes.

Like the guys on Monster Hunters, the mythbusters, and Bear Grylls I beg to differ (at least on the last point). No, like a mad scientist hard at work on a world changing project, I am here to present to you how to approach teaching Olympic Lifts to large groups with no problems.

1) Have a way to determine if someone is ready.

Just putting any John or Jane Doe on the platform is a bad idea. Actually, it is worse than a bad idea, it’s a horrible idea. Aside from the technical know how that is required (which we will cover in a moment) there are so many physical requirements that putting a newbie on the platform without knowledge of their ability is absolute craziness.

To really teach large groups how to Olympic lift it is important to determine their readiness through your assessment process. The FMS gives us some important information about the movement patterns that new trainees posses but there are a couple OL specific ideas that are important to wrap your head around as well.

Expanding on the FMS and the deep squat test, I find that having an individual perform a full front squat with a barbell is perfect to determine their physical ability to achieve and maintain the racked position of the clean and its variations.

Standing tall have the potential Olympic lifter rack a barbell at the shoulder level with their upper arm parallel to the floor. This position itself requires great thoracic extension, and shoulder external rotation, and those that do not posses the right amount will find this position uncomfortable and difficult to achieve. Descending into the full squat position will give you back up data to support conclusions you make in the deep squat about thoracic extension, hip and ankle mobility.

With that information and the appropriate corrective exercises in place, 3 sets of movements should be practiced in a group setting to prepare individuals for the platform.

The hinge
The squat
Plyometrics

The hinge will form the basis for the starting position in terms of weight distribution, and foot placement, and the movement pattern will be used to accelerate the bar in the hang position, or above the knee in the traditional clean or snatch.

The squat will then form the basis of the receiving position, and the pattern of knees out will be mechanically identical to what happens at the catch. Have your group prepare by practicing both goblet squats, and overhead squats.

Finally, plyometrics are an important class of movements to prepare for Olympic lifting. The take off position teaches individuals how to produce force, while the landing position informs the group on how to receive the bar with proper patterns.

2) Have a ready made set of progressions.

Technical knowledge in the Olympic lifts is one of the biggest problems that most coaches see with implementing the movements in a large group setting.

While there is no doubt that technique makes the lifts successful or not, a simple set of progressions to take a newbie to a seasoned lifter is not a pipe dream.

The key in teaching Olympic lifts is to teach from a position that allows for early success, doesn’t require extreme mobility, and is easily relatable for most individuals. I am talking about using the "hang" start position for the Olympic lifts.

The hang start position for the clean and the snatch will be a much easier task for most clients than using the floor start position. The floor start, in the traditional power clean or power snatch, is one that requires mobility and technical knowledge that most do not posses early on.

Instead we use the following progressions of movements, each with their own individual teaching progression to use Olympic lifts effectively with new lifters.

Hang Clean –>Power Jerk–>Power Clean–>Split Jerk–>Hang Snatch–>Power Snatch–>Full Clean–>Full Snatch

Your clients can get great benefits of the Olympic lifts by just performing the first 2 movements. Progressing to the latter stages of these movements is not necessary unless you have great confidence in the abilities of the individuals you are coaching.

3) Know the corrections to make for common mistakes.

As technical lifts there are many things that can occur during the completion of the movements that can make the lift go wrong. If your qualification process and progressions are together there are not many mistakes that are outright dangerous, but rather are just impediments to maximizing the benefits of using the Olympic lifts.

Knowing common corrections to common mistakes will allow your clients to unlock the full potential of the Olympic lifts.

One common mistake that has an easy correction is jumping forward when receiving the bar. This is often a result of incomplete hip extension in the second (fast) pull above the knee. In turn the typical reason for this mistake is the athlete being too far forward over their toes in the pulling position.

When on the toes the individual is unable to get their hips to the bar and complete hip extension. This causes the individual to jump forward when receiving the bar.

While there are many other mistakes that can be made in the lifts, you can have confidence that qualifying the individuals before beginning lifting will remove much of the chance that the movements can be dangerous.

Conclusion

The Olympic lifts can hold a lot of benefit to your clients. Unlike many might suggest there is an easy and effective way to teach the lifts to large groups so that they all can become stronger and more powerful.

 

 

Youth Fitness Resources From The IYCA

 

Youth Fitness Resources

 

By Wil Fleming
 

I get a lot of questions regarding what IYCA product other coaches should buy. To my inbox, in person, and on facebook the question is always “I am thinking of buying Product X, and also product Y if you had to rank them what would it be?”
 

Continuing education is one of my favorite things to spend money on. I know that there is a big return coming on the money spent on products that help me improve as a coach. So in truth, any information gleaned from a text or DVD is valuable for me, but if I had to rank them here is how it goes.
 

Youth Fitness Specialist Level 1
 

This product really is what sets the IYCA apart. There is no more complete text about youth fitness and training athletes from ages 6-18. This text defined for me what youth athletes need when it comes to training. It underwent a recent update and has been improved even more from the original.
 

http://youth-fitness-specialist.com/
 

IYCA High School Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification
 

This was the first product I was ever involved in creating and is the most practical text I have ever read about training high school athletes. There are dozens of done-for-you high school training programs. If they don’t fit the bill for your training situation, there is a huge text book giving you the tools to replace movements with ideal choices. The fact that it was written by Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey, and Toby Brooks makes it even better. Normal texts talk a lot about theory but this one really does tell you how to apply theory to make great high school athletes.
 

http://iyca.org/highschool/
 

The IYCA Youth Speed and Agility Specialist
 

Written by Dave Jack, Latif Thomas, and Toby Brooks there is not a better text about speed and agility available anywhere. It is required reading for all interns with me, and for all the coaches that work in my facility. The section on lateral speed alone is worth the investment. That being said I have never read a more practical de-construction of the mechanics of acceleration and high speed running than what is provided in this text.
 

http://youthspeedspecialist.com/
 

IYCA Kettlebell/Olympic Lifts/Resistance Band Instructor Courses
 

I grouped these together because there is always a weak point in coaches arsenal that needs to be improved. The IYCA has provided 3 manuals that can help you eliminate those points to become a better coach. There are no better kettlebell instructors than Jason C. Brown and Pamela MacElree at teaching kettlebells in an easy to process way. When it comes to resistance band training, no one surpasses Dave Schmitz in his knowledge, I have seen him train elite football teams with only resistance bands, creating some of the fastest and most explosive athletes I have been around. The Olympic Lifts course is designed by me, and in my honest evaluation, it is the only product that comes from someone with an elite Olympic lifting background that uses the lifts primarily to train young athletes and not competitive Olympic lifters. Each of these products can help make you a better coach in a chosen weak point.
 

http://iyca.org/kettlebell/
 

http://iyca.org/olympic-lifts/
 

http://iyca.org/bands/
 

 

There are plenty of other awesome products from the IYCA. The Youth Fitness Specialist Level 2 and Level 3 products can only elevate your knowledge, and are the most thorough texts I have ever seen on a given subject matter.
 

 

Blueprint to Building Your Ideal Youth Fitness Business Video

 

Youth Fitness Business Building Success

 

Do you wake up each day excited to go to work?

 

I’m sure you are passionate about helping your clients or athletes achieve their goals but are you doing EXACTLY what you want to be doing?

 

Well, if your answer isn’t an enthusiastic YES, then I have something special for you.

 

IYCA Expert Dave Gleason did a presentation where he shares the exact plan he used to dump an unfulfilling career as an In Home Trainer to open his dream facility and build an ultra-successful business serving the hottest market in the industry: Youth Fitness & Sports Performance.

 

http://youth-fitness-specialist.com/

 

In this Free Video you will discover the secrets to never having to work with another single client you don’t love again while building the business or career of your dreams!

 

I wish most fitness pros would enjoy what they do half as much as Dave enjoys what he does… and in this video he’s going to share exactly how he turned his passion into a thriving youth fitness business.

 

Remember why you got into this industry and start loving your career again. Here is a blueprint to how Dave made that happen for him and how you can do it too.

 

Turn your fitness passion into profits starting with this video ->

 

http://youth-fitness-specialist.com/

 

Dedicated to Your Success,

 

Pat

 

P.S. – Check out Dave Gleason’s youth fitness business presentation where he shares his story on how he went from an In Home Trainer who didn’t really enjoy what he was doing to building one of the top youth fitness businesstraining facilities in the U.S. while loving every minute of it.

 

http://youth-fitness-specialist.com/

 

 

Becoming A Better Youth Fitness Coach

 

Youth Fitness Coaching Tips From Dave Jack

Youth fitness Coach IYCA

 

By Pat Rigsby

 

It gets tough to access the credibility of coaches in this internet age. Many people that call themselves ‘coaches’ who haven’t actually coached anyone and there are many giving fitness advice that really shouldn’t.

 

So who do you trust?

 

That’s where the IYCA is here to help.

 

We constantly research and make sure to listen to coaches that are in-the-trenches getting great results. We know there is a lot of noise out there on the internet, so when we actually find quality information from a top-notch coach, we like to pass that info on.

 

I wanted to share a video with you from one of the best youth fitness coaches I know – IYCA Expert Dave Jack.

 

If you’ve never seen Dave present – it’s one of the most inspiring things you’ll ever see. The best part is, he not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.

 

Here is the link to the video -> http://youth-fitness- specialist.com

 

I know it’s a bold statement, but this one presentation will make you a better youth fitness coach.

 

Dave’s passion is contagious and this video will help you continue your mission on changing your client’s lives.

 

So, forget all of the internet ‘guru’ hype out there of pseudo coaches trying to sell you the next SECRET and checkout this powerful (and free) video and discover what a real elite coach does to become an even better coach.

 

Get the video here –> http://youth-fitness-specialist.com

 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Pat

PS – If you want to raise your level of coaching, I highly recommend you check this free video out by IYCA Youth Fitness Expert Dave Jack – http://youth fitness-specialist.com
pecialist.com

The Truth About Youth Pitching Injuries and Young Athletes

 

Youth Pitching Injuries: The Real Reason Why There are so Many

Youth Pitching injuries in young athletes

 

By Mike Reinold

 

This article that you are about to read is really disappointing. Pitching injuries in young athletes continue to rise despite research and effort designed to reduce these injuries, this is a problem.

 

To quickly summarize what we have learned about youth pitching injuries, we know that approximately one third of youth baseball pitchers will experience shoulder or elbow pain during a season. We also know that youth pitching injuries increased sixfold in the early 2000?s with Dr. James Andrews at his center in Alabama. This number is probably even higher now.

 

After years of speculation regarding exactly why these injuries occur. There is only one factor that continuously correlates to these youth pitching injuries. I’ve discussed the Little League curveball debate in the past. It isn’t throwing a curveball, it isn’t pitching at an early age, and it isn’t long tossing.

 

The reason is simple:

 

Youth pitching injuries are due to overuse.

 

But I think we are being polite by saying “overuse.” I would imagine we can even say “abuse” or maybe even “neglect.” Let me explain why.

 

After years of research showing that high pitch counts, pitching too frequently, throwing for multiple teams, pitching in showcases, and pitching while fatigued are significant factors in the rise of your pitching injuries, Little League Baseball and USA Baseball did the right thing. They consulted with many experts in the field of throwing injuries, including James Andrews, Glenn Fleisig, and the experts at the American Sports Medicine Institute, to develop pitch count rules to protect our youth from this overuse. Kudos to them for stepping up and doing the right thing.

 

But here is the problem….

 

A recent study published in Sports Health surveyed 95 youth baseball coaches about their knowledge of the safety guidelines established by the USA Baseball Medical and Safety Advisory Committee. The results are disappointing to say the least.

 

:: Overall, coaches answered 43% of questions correctly

 

:: 27% of coaches admitted to not following the safety guidelines, however only 53% of coaches felt that other coaches in the league followed the safety guidelines

 

:: 19% of coaches reported pitching a player while having a sore or fatigued shoulder or elbow

 

I’m sorry to say this, but…

 

Not understanding the safety guidelines is irresponsible and intentionally not following them is abuse.

 

The cause of youth pitching injuries are definitely multifactoral, however, overuse has been shown to be the most influential. Sadly, overuse also seems to be the easiest to address.

 

So what can you do? It probably starts with education. Share this article to help spread that word that overuse needs to end and safety guidelines need to be followed.

 

You can go back and read my article on Little League pitch count rules. USA Baseball also has some guidelines. To summarize them, in addition to monitoring pitch counts, players should not pitch with pain, should limit their throws from other positions (especially catching), limit their participation in our leagues, limit their participation in showcases, and not progress to more demanding pitches until their bodies start to mature.

 

All coaches need to be aware of these recommendations. Injury prevention with young athletes begins with the understanding of how injuries occur and what the specific safety recommendations entail.

 

The next step is getting on a proper injury prevention program. I’ve discussed some of these topics in my article on preventing Little League youth pitching injuries and have shared with you my Little League injury prevention exercises that I prepared for MGH several years ago. I probably need to update these but it serves as a good basis to begin.

 

It really is a shame that all these youth pitching injuries are occurring, let’s do our best to spread this education and help reduce these Little League injuries in our young athletes as much as we can! Consideration Prior To Training With Olympic Lifts.

 

 

 

Youth Speed Training Mistakes

Youth Speed Training

Youth Speed Training Expert Opinions

Coach Robert Dos Remedios is considered one of the best Strength Coaches in College sports.

 

And he agrees.

 

So does Sue Falsone.

 

Sue is the former Head Physical Therapist for the Los Angeles Dodgers and current Director of Physical Therapy for the vaunted ‘Athletes Performance’ facility in Arizona.

 

The ability of an athlete to become ‘elite’, ‘professional’ or ‘world-class’ is based almost entirely on what kind of development happened when they were young.

 

Coach Dos explained to me how puzzled and frustrated his is year-in and year-out to have all-state high school athletes come in as freshmen to his program…

 

… Only to be lacking in the BASICS of speed, agility and strength.

 

As far as he’s concerned the ‘Mistakes’ we make at the youth level from a Speed & Agility Training perspective are:

 

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IYCA members updates

Here are your IYCA updates to www.IYCAMembers.com for the week of February 7, 2011:

 

(1) The Athletic Performance Matrix

 

Last week, I gave you an incredible look at Athletic Development from New Zealand through the sample programming of IYCA Member and world-class Coach, Gareth Ashton.

 

This week, I want you to see exactly how and why he sets up his Athletic Development program inside one of New Zealand’s most famed sporting schools:

 

Click Here to Access this Incredible Resource —> http://www.iycamembers.com/members/324.cfm

 

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Youth Fitness Training Tug-Of-War?

Youth Fitness Training Sample program from Dr. Kwame Brown

 

Skip Tag 10 minutes

Equipment

  • Cones (and line chalk if you have it) to mark off area
  • Colored pinnies (optional)

 

Instructions

  • Split into teams at opposite corners of the area
  • The first group is “it” (pick a color for them)
  • The second group is to be chased (wearing the other color)
  • Instruct the students that they must skip only
  • If anyone is tagged or caught running, they must do 5 lunges to get back in
  • The game round is over when everyone on Team 2 is tagged.  Roles are reversed

 

Tips

  • Call out “freeze” randomly to keep it unpredictable
  • Make sure that you instruct students on proper touching
  • If the students can’t touch lightly, give them something soft like a balled up t-shirt to tag with

 

Purpose

  • Agility
  • Teamwork
  • Acceleration

 

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Cross Fit Kids vs. IYCA

Kids Fitness Programming

by Dr. Kwame M. Brown

 

I had the pleasure today of observing an hour of a kids fitness’ program that, with a little work, could develop into a great program. 

 

The Kids Fitness Program

 

There were about 8 kids, aged about 6 – 11.  The program was written on a board ahead of time, and the instructors discussed it and made changes ahead of time.  They started out with some of the standard fare warm ups (jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks).  The kids then moved to an “animal” based relay around cones.  They moved like bears, crabs, bunnies, and frogs.  From here, there was a 10 minute section of skill development, with instruction on bodyweight squats and shoulder presses (using light plastic sticks).  This was followed by a game called Cross Fit baseball, which amounted to themed stations:  burpees, box jumps, squats, shoulder presses (the two instructed exercises).  The kids went through several rounds of reps according to age (to make it fun).  Then there was a game called Four Corners where one child was blindfolded, picked a number, and pointed to a corner.  In each corner there were stations denoting a particular exercise, and the kids basically did a musical chairs type thing to get to random stations.  They stopped when the one who was choosing pointed to a corner.   The exercise was performed for the number of reps chosen, and it would start over. 

 

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Training Young Athletes & Hmmmmm?

Training Young Athletes

by Toby J. Brooks, PhD, ATC, CSCS, YCS-2, PES
Director of Research & Education – IYCA
Owner – www.nitrohype.com

 

Two Youth Fitness Things That Make Me Go HMMMMMMM?

 

I’ll admit it. I am older than much of the IYCA “core” demographic. After attending last year’s First Annual International Summit in Louisville, I walked away feeling somewhat surprised that I was actually experienced enough (read: old enough) to be considered a veteran in the field. That said, I am old enough to remember when The Arsenio Hall Show was the late night show to watch. One of my favorite bits was his now infamous “Things that make you go ‘hmmmmm?’” To further demonstrate how “seasoned” I am, also remember when a song of the same name by C & C Music Factory was getting heavy airplay in the rotation at my local pop station. Since I always get a little nostalgic during the Christmas season, I thought it appropriate to “blow the dust off” Arsenio’s bit and give it a youth fitness slant. So, without further ado, I give you “Two Youth Fitness Things That Make Me Go ‘Hmmmmm’.”

 

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ACL Injuries and Young Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes Commn Injury

Sooner or later you’re going to get hurt. That’s what happens when athletes train hard and play intensely. But thanks to professionals like Erin Perry, young athletes are returning to action better and faster than ever before. Not to mention, her tips in this article will help you avoid injuries before they happen.

 

Erin is a sought-after athletic therapist in Toronto, Canada, specializing in pediatric elite athletes. She has worked with the women’s national soccer teams for 8 years, as well as the national gymnastics team, and regional teams including hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming, basketball, and volleyball to name a few. Erin also runs Developing Athletics Canada and the EOS Performance Institute.

 

Brian: Erin, can you tell us about the young athletes you typically work with and how you got into athletic therapy?

 

Erin Perry: As a young person, I was athletic, I enjoyed soccer, swimming, rowing, and skiing. I experienced some injuries, but it was the concussions that caused me to ‘hang ’em up’. I figured then and there that if I couldn’t be an athlete, that I would work hard to take care of other athletes in helping them realizing their dreams. Now I specialize in pediatric elite athletes both in clinic and field situations. Their development, training and treatment are my focus. So many injuries that I treat are preventable.

 

Brian: One of the most common injuries in female athletes is a torn ACL. What are your experiences in treating this injury and your thoughts on injury prevention?

 

EP: I am so happy that you asked. Most ACL injuries are what we call non-traumatic, which simply means that it is an injury that no contact was made in. For example, a soccer player running down the line with the ball, works to move the ball inside, and suddenly falls down while hearing a pop; an ACL tear. These are all preventable! The number one cause of these types of injuries is tight hamstrings. The three hamstrings should be stretched separately, and when tested in a straight leg raise, attention must be made that the findings are made with the pelvis remaining stationary. As soon as the pelvis rotates posteriorly, the test is negated. Most females have good straight leg raise range of motion, but have poor hamstring flexibility. The difference here is crucial. Normal is 80-90degrees. Please be tested, do the tests, and tell all of your friends and teammates, so that we decrease the incidence of ACLs! The other preventable cause is a muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings. I will say that this is crucial, that the three hamstrings need to be strengthened again individually. Closed kinetic chain strengthening should be done all of the time, unless it is a rehab program.

 

Brian: Is the ACL injury common among all sports?

 

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The Truth About Training High School Athletes

 

 

High School Athletes

 

 

If you want to see more on high school athletes don’t worry

 

P.S. – The complete IYCA International Summit DVD’s are coming soon…
VERY soon. The experience was incredible, the atmospehere electric and
the information unbelievable.

 

Your front row ticket to all of it is coming soon.

 

Watch for an email announcement over the next week or so…

 

Youth Sports Conditioning: Juan Carlos Santana Speaks…

 

Youth Sports Conditioning

Juan Carlos is the director and CEO of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton Florida. His training methodologies have been successfully applied to the full spectrum of the population; youth, geriatrics, rehabilitation and elite athletes. He has authored numerous articles, books and videos, on various topics involving optimum physical performance.

We wanted to hear from him and his thoughts on youth sports conditioning

 

IYCA: What’s your background in youth sports conditioning and athletics? Have you trained a lot of young athletes?

 

JC: I’ve been a competitive athlete for over 3 decades. I started with little league when I was 7 and I’ll compete in the USA Judo Nationals (Masters Division) at 43. I competed in all of the major combative sports -from boxing to judo.

 

We at the Institute of Human Performance train hundreds of young athletes ranging from middle school to college every very. We also train some of the top pros.

 

IYCA: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were ‘little adults’. What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?

 

JC: I have had to save more kids from overzealous coaches and parents than anything else. Coaches and parents often want to live vicariously through their children, pushing them into sports and intensity levels they don’t want or not ready for -that is ALWAYS sad and disastrous.

 

Kids learn by discovery – this means things have to be fun and not so organized. The intensity and volume a young body can take is certainly different than what a mature body can take. Therefore, we develop a love for movement and the sport -the "athlete" naturally follows that development. Parent and coaches often want to develop great players and a love for winning and forget about athleticism and the love for training. That is like putting the horse before the carriage.

 

IYCA: The age old debate is ‘How old should an athlete be before they begin lifting weights’. What’s your view on that controversial topic?

 

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"State of the Youth Fitness Industry" – A Must See…

 

I was honored to be asked to present at one of the most important and telling youth fitness events in recent memory.

 

And this was as exclusive an event as I have ever seen.

 

170+ INVITED guests representing the largest and most influential health clubs and fitness organizations in the world.

 

And I had a literal ‘birds eye view’ of the entire proceedings.

 

I was one of only fifteen of the most esteemed and highly decorated fitness professionals to give their thoughts as to where this industry is headed.

 

And I was absolutely blown away by what I heard.

 

Dumb founded really – because I realized that I was on the ‘right track’ in terms of the Youth Fitness industry’s future.

 

But are you?

 

If you plan to be involved in the fitness and sport training industry for any length of time then you need to hear what was said at this conference.

 

This video is a re-count of what I heard and saw.

 

The industry is changing and I wanted to give you a private heads up so you don’t get left behind.

 

 

Now if you are TRULY serious about your career and being on the forefront of where this industry is going then read this next portion very carefully…

 

I have created an action plan for you.

 

You just heard all the new revelations as to where the industry leaders feel they want to take us.

 

You can spend weeks or even months reacting to the information and trying to formulate a game plan…or you can just listen to me tell you EXACTLY what you need to do next.

 

The fastest growing industry in the entire world is set to go through an unprecedented revolution…

 

And this is your ‘ticket’ to make sure you stay ahead of the curve and on the cutting-edge of the market.

 

Leave your email and name for me in the box below and tomorrow I will email you a complete and utter road map for what you have to do next…