Strength Training Program Blueprint – Mark Naylor

Whether you are training with a full body, an upper/lower split, or a body part routine, daily strength training program design and order of exercise is vital for the overall strength development and safety. Each training day should start with a complete warm-up. Warm-up activities should consist of general activities to increase body temperature before moving to mobility and muscle activation work which addresses joints and muscles that will be worked on that particular day. The warm-up should end with specific movements that the athlete will see during the training day. The warm-up should be concise and not take up.. More »

Measuring Progression in Youth Performance – More Than Speed & Strength – Brett Klika

“You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure.” – Business Leader Peter Drucker As youth performance coaches, we work miles away from the cubicles and boardrooms of corporate America.  However, the importance of being able to measure our impact on the kids we work with is essential to our success. At the end of the day, parents and kids are making an investment of their most valued resources – time/money/energy – and they demand an ROI. Higher vertical jump scores, faster 40 times, increased/decreased bodyweight, and a host of other expectations follow a family’s decision to put their child in a.. More »

How to Write & Launch a Book or Product – The Principles of Athletic Strength & Conditioning Story

Many strength & conditioning and youth fitness professionals talk about writing a book or producing an information product.  Most feel that they have something inside them that will make a positive impact on the world, so there is an internal desire to share that knowledge.  The problem is that most people get stuck way before the book/product gets anywhere near completion. In this episode of The Impact Show, Jim Kielbaso discusses the process of creating and launching a book or product, and he goes into detail on how the most recent IYCA product was created. The new IYCA book Principles.. More »

Freddie Walker: Behind the Scenes – Pitt Strength & Conditioning

University of Pittsburgh assistant strength & conditioning coach Freddie Walker was a presenter at the 2017 IYCA Summit and is one of 17 authors in the new Principles of Athletic Strength & Conditioning book.  Coach Walker has been a college strength coach for several years, but he also has a background working with young athletes.  Freddie spent two years working in high schools and with athletes as young as eight years old.  In his current position, he has worked with multiple NFL draft picks and some of the finest athletes in the world.  All of this experience gives him a.. More »

How to Make a Difference

Aaron Byrd owns one of the most successful soccer training businesses in the country.  As a former college and professional soccer players, Aaron clearly has the skills necessary to help improve a soccer player’s abilities, but it’s not the soccer training that makes the biggest difference in people’s lives – it’s the lessons he teaches through his training programs. Aaron started his business by helping two kids of a friend who wanted to get better at soccer.  Two turned into four, four turned into eight, and before he knew it, Byrd had over 100 kids enrolled in camps and training.. More »

4 Simple Strategies to Increase the Value of Your Programs – Brett Klika

“Little Timmy loves working with you, but this guy comes to the park right next to our house.  He played some college baseball, so he knows strength and conditioning stuff.” As passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced youth performance coaches, we’ve all heard the old “right by our house” dodge.  Regardless of our resume of experience and parents’ quest for the best for their child, very few aspects of a program can beat convenience. Heck, the selection for my 3-year old daughter’s Saturday dance class was based on a Google map search of “Dance studios near 92131”.  I’m pretty sure her teacher.. More »

6 Steps to Selling Out Your Summer Program – Brett Klika

We introduced Brett Klika to the IYCA community at the last Summit, and he has been incredibly excited about your passion ever since.  He did a fantastic presentation on youth fitness at the Summit, but his hands-on session was even more incredible.  What we also quickly found out about Brett was that he also loves talking about business strategies, just like many others in the IYCA community.  He came to the Sports Performance Business Academy and added tons of value to everyone who attended.  His combination of coaching, making a difference and business strategies are what makes Brett such a.. More »

Early Sport Specialization Is Making Youth Less Athletic

Early sport specialization has become a hotly debated topic in many sports circles.  The youth sports scene has changed dramatically over the past two decades, and while a lot of improvements have been made, some changes have not been good for children. A recent study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, which included over 1,500 high school athletes, found that athletes who specialized in one sport were twice as likely to report a lower extremity injury as compared to those who played multiple sports. It was also found that 60% of athletes that specialized in one.. More »

Dave Gleason – How to Train Young Athletes

Dave Gleason is considered one of the top youth training coaches in America for good reason.  He’s awesome! Dave has been a huge part of the IYCA for years.  He has spoken at many events, helped write the LTAD Roadmap and Game Play Performance and has contributed videos and articles that have helped thousands of people create better programming for young athletes. In this short interview, Dave drops knowledge bombs about training young athletes.  You can tell how passionate he is about this, and he always gives the IYCA community something to think about.

Force Vectors & Speed Development – Kevin Hollabaugh

Learning about force vectors in speed development can change the way you instruct, cue and provide feedback to athletes training for speed.  I am a firm believer that a coach who is good at teaching speed and agility is good at understanding vectors of force and how they need to be used in order to gain efficiency in expressing movement language. A vector is a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another. In other words the direction in which you apply force into the ground directly correlates.. More »

Ron McKeefery – Making a Difference

Ron McKeefery has become one of the most influential men in the industry by simply being himself and caring about people.  He has been a strength coach at the highest levels of football – University of Tennessee and the Cincinnati Bengals – as well as programs that he had to help create a winning culture – University of South Florida and Eastern Michigan.  He has also helped more young strength coaches break into the field than just about anyone through an outstanding internship program he created over 10 years ago.  He wrote the book The CEO Strength Coach a couple.. More »

Mike Boyle – Coaching Kids

A while ago we had a great thread on the forum entitled Athlete Engagement and Behavior. Anthony had suggested that I expand my thoughts from the thread into an article. The thread began with this question: “Would really appreciate if anyone could share their experiences or direct me to some good resources regarding engaging young athletes (13-15 year old female athletes) in structured strength and conditioning sessions.” My response ( expanded on here) began with this: Training kids is a balancing act. Kids are kids. They should be having some fun training. However, at 13 -15 they should also be.. More »

Plyometrics: The Truth and How to Use Them – Joe Powell

One of the most misunderstood, and often misused, training methodologies in the strength and conditioning field today is plyometrics. Far too often exercises that simply involve jumping around in some odd manner are being labeled as a “plyo” drill. It seems the most common culprit is when a coach or trainer calls any type of jump in the presence of a box a plyometric exercise. It should be understood that many physiological principles are taking place when performing a true plyometric exercise. Plyometrics, by definition, are “an exercise that is a quick, powerful movement using a pre-stretch or countermovement, that.. More »

Acceleration Mechanics – Jim Kielbaso

Acceleration mechanics are incredibly important to address with athletes who need to improve their speed.  This is a “behind-the-scenes” video of Jim Kielbaso teaching acceleration mechanics to a group of athletes preparing for the NFL Combine. Jim has done other videos and written articles on acceleration mechanics, but rather than just talking about it, this video shows him actually teaching athletes so you get to see exactly how he explains things. Some of the main points covered in this video include what Jim calls the Power Position, stride length, body lean, knee drive, head position and an explanation about WHY.. More »

6 Speed & Agility Tips for Coaches – Jim Kielbaso

Coaches are constantly asking me for speed & agility tips to make their programs more effective. After talking with hundreds of coaches and looking at what is happening all over the country, I have come up with six keys to increasing the effectiveness of any speed & agility program.  Here are the 6 simple speed & agility tips: 1. Educate the athletes. If your athletes don’t have an understanding of why they are doing a drill, there is a good chance they are thinking of it as torture or punishment. It is up to you to explain the purpose of a.. More »

Conscious Coaching with Brett Bartholomew

Conscious Coaching: The Art & Science of Building Buy-In is the name of Brett Bartholomew’s new book, and it encapsulates years of coaching and research that has gotten Brett to this point in his coaching career. In Conscious Coaching, Brett breaks down coaching into easy-to-understand parts so that we, as coaches, can be sure to address each one.  His research and thought processes are incredibly thorough, but his style is to keep things practical and understandable.  Conscious Coaching is a perfect mix of that. He describes it best as “Developing a balance between the physical, psychological and cultural elements of sport is.. More »

Youth Development with Brett Klika- The Impact Show Ep. 34

Recently, we posted a couple of great articles on youth development from Brett Klika on the IYCA blog, and we’re excited to have an entire podcast with him on The Impact Show. Brett is a leading authority on youth development and how coaches can assist in this maturation process.  He worked for world-renowned trainer Todd Durkin for several years, heading up his youth development program.  Eventually, Brett co-created a program called SPIDERfit Kids that teaches coaches, trainers and educators the intricacies of helping young people become more physically literate. Brett breaks this process down into 9 distinct segments: Body Awareness: .. More »

Behind the Science: Improving Change of Direction Ability

Change of direction (COD) ability is a key component of agility. Biomechanics research can help us identify which factors lead to better change of direction performances. In a comparison of rugby athletes, starters were able to accomplish the same COD tasks in a shorter period of time. Importantly, it was the deceleration phase (the time before the knee starts extending) that was the main contributor to this difference. So deceleration ability (which is determined by eccentric strength) may be a key factor. In another comparison of athletes, stronger subjects were faster, displayed higher ground reaction forces, had a more horizontally-directed.. More »

Speed vs Conditioning – Quality vs Quantity

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with both parents and athletes about the difference between training for speed/power vs conditioning/fitness work.  These are two very different training methods that have very different goals and elicit very different results, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about this. Think of it as QUALITY vs. QUANTITY. I often hear parents & coaches wanting athletes to be constantly moving (QUANTITY) and feeling extremely tired from a workout.  Athletes who are used to practicing like this often feel like the quality of a training session is based on their level of exhaustion. While.. More »

The Maturation of Effective Coaching by Vince McConnell

What you need to understand about the maturation of effective coaching: The profession of coaching is a commitment to continued learning before it can progress into a lasting career of application. There is no universal “the” way, or “the best” way for a strength coach to do his/her job in regards to techniques, methods, or systems. “New information” does not have to be something you’ve never heard of to be innovative.    All information is useful whether you choose to apply it all or not. A career in coaching is about using a program to fit and develop athletes– rather.. More »