The title of this blog might be a little misleading. I am not going to talk about ground contacts, high impact training exercises, or anything related to movements or programming. I want to discuss the impact that we have on the youth that we work with and the effect it has on your business and, more importantly, their lives.
I always tell our staff that we have a profound impact on the perception of this entire field every time that we work with a client or athlete. This is something that I have used to make sure I give the best in every session for the past 6 years, and built a thriving business because of it!
Think about dentists, doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and any other service profession, if you know someone that has had a single bad experience they automatically have the perception that all others in the field must be the same. Do you ever want to be the cause for someone thinking that youth fitness and sports performance coaches are anything but exceptional people that have a high level of knowledge and skill?
I shudder at the thought of giving someone the perception that all coaches were terrible at their profession, didn’t care about the clients/athletes, and got people hurt.
For three years now, I’ve been honored to have a place on the
esteemed ‘Speakers Panel’ for Perform Better.
In my mind, one of the preeminent organizations in our youth fitness industry,
it has been a sincere pleasure to share the stage with such
industry icons as Juan Carlos Santana, Mike Boyle, Gray Cook,
Alwyn Cosgrove and Al Vermeil.
But something is very different about this years Perform Better
I’m still speaking at all the events.
Rhode Island this month.
Long Beach in July.
But this year, I’m traveling to each of those locations one day
early in order to present a private Level 1 Youth Fitness Specialist
certification to attendees.
Perform Better decided a few months ago that the IYCA and its
message to the youth fitness industry, is worth that much.
Chris Blake gives answer some common questions about flexibility training for young athletes
What is the difference between Flexibility and Mobility?
Flexibility can have two definitions:
1.) The ability of muscle to lengthen during passive movements.
2.) Range of motion about a joint and surrounding musculature during passive movements.
Mobility can also have two ways of being defined. The main definition is the state of being in motion. But this state of motion can be looked at within certain joints (subtalar mobility) or as a physical whole (moving from one position into the next during a run).
Are both important to young athletes or is one more important than the other?
This is a great question. Both are important for the older athlete (ages 14-18+) as athletes within this age group tend to show more restrictions with both flexibility and mobility, often times once you take care of the flexibility then you improve mobility. But with the younger athlete (ages 13 and under) I wouldn’t place much importance on either one unless there has been a certain injury that limits each.
Are there different kinds of Flexibility, or is ‘bending over to touch my toes and stretch my hammy’ what all young athletes should be doing?
There are seven different ways of going about flexibility:
Gray Cook is arguably the most well-known and respected man in the fitness industry today.
His ‘Functional Movement Screen’ has literally developed a cult following the world over.
He presents seminars throughout North America, Europe and beyond.
His FMS Certification is one of the most popular in existence.
He is sought after by every major fitness and sport organization as a consultant or keynote educator.
Gray Cook is the Brad Pitt of our industry.
And not too long from now, he and I will be creating something absolutely transforming.
Here’s the summary of what we talked about –
Screening young athletes to decide if further assessments are necessary is an important step in reducing the irrelevant nature of corrective exercise but also in determining injury potential properly and effectively.
Some coaches and trainers have very instinctive ‘eyes’ when it comes to seeing movement dysfunction, but many don’t. Creating a simple but effective screen allows every trainer or coach to ascertain movement irregularities and determine follow-up action.
Every IYCA Member must have access to this screen – it is the building block of the work we do with kids and young athletes.
Once you understand how to screen, you also must be able to assess and provide the right sort of exercise stimulus necessary to evoke change and help reduce the chance of injury if required.
Long story short…
Gray and I are about to create a young athletes specific screening process and subsequent Functional Movement Screen.
Not sure yet when the roll out will be, but I can tell you that all IYCA Members will have access.
I’ll keep you posted on everything as it develops.