Archive for “Adjunct” Tag

The Speed Training Secret

Speed Training Coaching

I received this great question from a reader earlier this week:

 

"Hi Brian. When training young athletes 8 – 12, what are the most important concepts of speed and acceleration to teach or stress?"

 

The answer, my friends, is none of them…

 

… Well not really, anyways.

 

If I were to look solely at speed training and acceleration development with pre-adolescent athletes, my suggestion would be strength. Strength is an often forgotten variable in the speed and power equation and quite a critical component to the matrix of developing young athletes.

 

But the actual answer is deceleration skills.

 

To decelerate well means that you are in a position to re-accelerate effectively.

 

It means that you are likely one of the ‘fastest’ kids on the field (remember – it’s not who runs the fastest… it’s who can change direction quickest and with the most ease).

 

It means that you are likely injury-free (a combination of strength and quality mechanical understanding are the two greatest factors I have seen in terms of reducing the likelihood of knee and ankle injuries).

 

Now when teaching proper deceleration skills, it is critical that you move from Closed to Open Habits.

 

Closed Habits – skills being executed in a static environment.

 

Open Habits – skills that are adaptable to varying conditions and situations.

 

Closed Habits remove the external concerns of adjunct movement, opponents, teammates, speed and objects like a ball or puck.

 

In essence, Closed Habit skills are taught in the beginning stages of learning a given movement or series of movements.

 

For example, with my ‘Principles of Movement’ chapter and DVD in Complete Athlete Development (www.CompleteAthleteDevelopment.com) I show how to teach both linear and lateral deceleration skills starting with repeating the motion from a static environment.

 

Eventually, you move into more advanced variations of learning and mastering these skills, such as repeating them in harmony with a random cueing from a coach or trainer.

 

At this level, the skills are known as Open Habits.

 

It is the progression of learning quality deceleration skills that make young athletes truly ‘fast’, ‘quick’ and ‘agile’.

 

Not the answer you were looking for on speed training, perhaps

 

 

Fitness Training For Youth – Even the Best Don’t Get it Sometimes…

Fitness Training For Youth – what age do you start training someone?

 

How old should your fitness training for youth clients be?

 

How about young athletes?

 

I have to admit to being utterly stunned by the opinions

some very esteemed members of our industry shared on this

topic on a popular website recently.

 

“No one under the age of 12”

 

“It’s hard to teach kids under the age of 14 proper technique”

 

I am more convinced than ever that the IYCA is 100% necessary

in this industry.

 

In the world for that matter.

 

What is magical about the age of 12?

 

Why is that considered an age that adjunct fitness training for youth is fine,

but 11 or 10 is an issue.

 

Here’s the real crux of the problem –

 

Many people in this industry simply don’t understand.

 

And although we live in a free country and I wholly support

the right of everyone to express there opinion, it really

makes me wonder why highly esteemed and influential

members of any community don’t first understand the issue

before stating a strong stance on the matter.

 

Notice how I never discuss the virtues of training highly

elite athletes or senior citizens?

 

It’s because I understand and respect my limitations as

a professional and find it silly to wield any sort of

influence over a topic I know nothing about.

 

Ideally, I wouldn’t want to have children pay for my

services either.

 

Kids should be outdoors, in the sun, playing and growing

physically for the exercise stimulus they encounter.

 

Just like I was as a kid.

 

The problem is they’re not doing that.

 

Kids should be enjoying at least 45 minutes of well-designed

and developmentally-sound physical education everyday in

school.

 

But that’s not happening either. 

That is why we need fitness training for youth.

If you know anything at all about human growth and

development, you know that the plasticity of the nervous

system is such that exposure to physical activity is a

must at an early age.

 

And while I would love to see kids just step outdoors

again and enjoy ‘free play’ experiences or partake in

vigors daily exercise in gym class, I also long for the

days when the gas to fill my car cost less than an

entire paycheck.

 

Obese kids aren’t active and must outlets to become

active.

 

Young athletes are at the mercy of under-educated and

over-zealous Coaches so must have a voice of reason in

their adjunct training programs that involve more than

just pushing through biomotor increases.

 

I’m not going to say that our industry has done a fantastic

job of understanding and applying proper elements of  fitness training for youth…

 

… But that’s all the more reason to LEARN them through

a credible organization rather than merely cutting off a

segment of the population who desperately needs help.

 

Let me know your thoughts…

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian
fitness training for youth
 

  

Youth Sports Conditioning

 

Youth Sports Conditioning Coaching Mistakes

Proper and developmentally-sound adjunct training in the form of speed, agility, strength, power and mobility work is the silver bullet in terms of building champions in any sport.

 

Done correctly, the collective gains of such training will serve to soundly support your mission as a sports coach to produce elite level competitors.

 

Done incorrectly, as is unfortunately often the case and your young athletes are destined for a life of injuries, missed opportunities and burnout.

 

That being said let me be blunt with my opening words of wisdom to you –

 

Leave what you currently know at the door and decide to open your heart to a new, fresh and much more effective method of training young athletes.

 

My job here is not to prove you wrong or cause you strive, but instead make your diligent and tireless work as a sports coach decidedly easier.

 

After 13 years of working as an Athletic Development Specialist throughout the world, I am now considered one of the foremost experts on this topic.

 

That is not meant to sound egocentric or in any way cocky.

 

Merely a statement to reflect that you can trust what it is I have to say.

 

I have personally worked with more than 10,000 young athletes worldwide and simply stated; I know what works and what doesn’t for youth sports conditioning

 

My advice will be sometimes poignant, often counter-conventional, but always direct.

 

With my first blog entry, I have decided to provide you with a series of metaphors that describe what proper youth athletic development should look like.

 

This will set the stage and provide a solid foundation on which to explain my proven methods for developing optimal speed, agility, strength, power and mobility.

 

As with anything, the degree to which you can successfully build upwards is solely determined by the strength, depth and solidification of your foundation…

 

Which leads me to my first metaphor…

 

Don’t Rush Grade 2

 

The school year has been created based on an understanding that the curriculum needing to be presented to students will take ‘x’ amount of time to teach properly.

 

If you were to take all the lessons and education contained in a standard Grade 2 school year and condense it down to 6-weeks worth of schooling, you would find that students did not understand, comprehend or retain virtually any of the material.

 

They would be overwhelmed and simply unable to ascend to higher levels of education successfully without this base building block of knowledge.

 

You Can’t Study Just Mathematics

 

Even if an 8-year-old child excelled and loved everything about math, you wouldn’t restrict them from learning the material offered in other subjects.

 

Removing basic curriculum such as Language, Science and Music would severely handicap that student from a developmental learning perspective.

 

General knowledge is a critically important element for children to be exposed to and learn at a young age. It sets the foundation for thinking process, problem solving and even study habits.

 

More over, to eventually specialize and excel in one particular area of study, a broad and far reaching understanding of all academic subjects is necessary.

 

When solving an involved mathematical equation for instance, the truly successful will pull from all their past experiences and resources in order to determine the appropriate answer.

 

‘Pigeonholing’ or relying on one specific area of expertise in youth sports conditioning is a practice that seldom proves successful

 

School is Progressive for a Reason

 

A student couldn’t understand advanced literature unless they were taught to read.

 

They couldn’t solve difficult mathematic problems with a basic foundation of knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.

 

A Master’s Degree in Science couldn’t be obtained without first being exposed to the basic elements of biology, physics and chemistry taught in high school.

 

Elementary through High School is a progressive building block of knowledge gaining that allows an individual to eventually specify and excel in a single area of study.

 

Miss any of the steps leading up to that climax however, and your success rate will plummet.

 

In my next blog post, I will outline what all of this means to you from a sporting perspective.

 

In support of your youth sports conditioning mission,