Archive for “Absence” Tag

Pretend Play for Youth Fitness

 

 

Youth Fitness

This subject can actually get quite complex, because we are delving into the inner workings of the developing brain, with billions of neurons.  However, as much as we have to learn, we do know some things.  I will try to break down this subject of how pretend can be beneficial for development.

 

Everyone knows that kids pretend.  It’s often considered a frivolous, useless activity.  I find this a curious conclusion.  Why would kids all over the world, no matter the culture, engage in pretend play if it was so useless?  Why are our brains wired to do this if it is so devoid of value?

 

Have you ever considered the reasons why children engage in pretend play, or “pretense”?  Well, cognitive researchers have, and the findings are interesting:

 

1) Children pretend in order to learn the ability to represent a “strategy map” (if you will excuse my liberal use of that term).  Instead of being truly “in” the situation, they can learn to think many steps ahead.  It is basically like practice for the problem solving machinery in the brain. 

 

2) Pretense can develop these problem-solving skills in the absence of performance based stress.  Think about having consequences to your own safety and the expectations of adults always “weighing” on your decisions.  You are most likely going to always pick the “safest”, most familiar solution.  You are likely to not be very creative in this situation.  But in pretend play, you can be anyone and you can be anywhere! 

 

3) Pretense can even help kids develop empathy, by being able to picture themselves in someone else’s shoes. 

 

4) Pretending can deepen kinetic understanding (a term I will coin here).  Pretending, literally, to move with someone else’s patterns and rhythms can promote a much deeper feel for a movement, or what we might call “second nature”.   

 

(more…)

Kids Fitness Professionals: 3 Words to Change Your Life

 

 

Kids Fitness coaching principles

Here they are –

 

1) Integrity

 

Personal honor, consistence in applying your personal values

to every action.

 

Every young person I train is important.

 

They require and deserve attention and my very best.

 

In the highest value of integrity, I care deeply about every single

young athlete I have ever worked with and given them everything

I had in order to make them better.

 

I applied the same sense of integrity when creating the IYCA.

 

(more…)

120 Young Athletes… 45 Minutes

 

Young Athletes Can be Coached In Big Groups

Now this is the kind of situation that baffles many coaches and
trainers.
 

But for good reason.
 

What do you do when your job is to effectively train 120 young
athletes, are only given 45 minutes and have nothing but an open
gym space?

 

It’s actually quite simple.
 

Here’s the rundown step-by-step:
 

1. Assess Your Athletes
 

Your assessment is not based on any sort of biomotor testing or
functional movement. It can’t be.
 

I was given very little warning about this contract and simply
don’t have the time or ability to perform any type of real
evaluation.
 

The assessment I’m referring to is based on knowledge
gathering in order to ascertain the ‘likelihoods’ of the
situation.
 

What many of the ‘assessment crazy’ professionals in our industry
don’t seem to understand about working with young athletes
is that you can evaluate and program for what I call the
‘likely’s’
 

120 young football players aged 15 – 17. It is likely that:
 

 

a. They are used to pounding weight in the gym so don’t have
much in the way of solid form with respect to lift mechanics.
 

b. Due to growth and other extraneous factors, they are tight
through the hip complex and weak in the posterior chain.
 

c. They don’t typical work on mobility, active flexibility or
concentrated torso strength.
 

d. Their movement mechanics have probably never even been
addressed.
 

 

In the absence of being able to truly assess, my ability to
program for these kids is based on the ‘likely factors’ of what
I know to be true.
 

 

2. Space versus Time
 

My objective here is simple.
 

Create a program that focuses on the following system –
 

 

a. Teach Effectively
 

b. Monitor Adherence
 

c. Keep the young athletes Moving
 

 

If I can’t teach proper execution, I may as well pack up and go
home.
 

If I can’t monitor to make sure execution is correct, I am doing
more harm than good.
 

If I don’t keep these kids moving, engaged and thinking relative
to the space I have them in, I should just let them have at it in
the weight room on there own.
 

The key is to factor all of these unique issues into your
program.
 

Creating effective training programs has as much to do
with intangible aspects of session flow as it does with the
exercise selection itself.
 

Here’s what I came up with given the above scenarios.
 

It’s a three tiered program that alters focus as the session
moves on –
 

 

SECTION ONE
 

Hip Circuits (hip complex)
Bridges (glute activation)
Elbows/Up (torso activation)
 

 

SECTION TWO
 

Hip/Hamstring Deep Stretch (hip mobility)
Lateral Squats (adductor mobility)
Split Squats (posterior chain activation + hip complex)
Ankle Mobility
 

 

SECTION THREE
 

Deceleration Technique (movement aptitude)
Bear Crawl (system strength)
Crab Walk (systemic strength)
 

 

120 young athletes.

 

45 minutes.
 

No equipment.
 

No evaluation.
 

No problem.
 

I’ll be hitting you with some video of these young athletes training sessions
later this week so you can see what it all looks like.
 

 

‘Till next time,
 

 

Brian