Archive for “Daily Basis” Tag

Olympic Lessons For Young Athletes

 

Olympic Lessons

 

Olympic lessons for young athletes

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Well it should go without saying, as a former athlete in an Olympic sport, there is no greater time than the Olympics. So many sports put on display, so many great athletes, and so many years of hard work finally shown on the world stage, means that there isn’t a better sporting event on the planet.

 

As a coach it is important to relay the messages of the Olympics to the athletes we work with on a daily basis.

 

1) Hope
The opening ceremony demonstrated this to its full effect. For those who missed the opening ceremonies, typically the host country will choose a famous former Olympian to be the final torch bearer as they light the cauldron that burns throughout the Olympics. Rather than choosing a great athlete from the country’s past, Great Britain decided to have the Olympic flame lit by seven athletes of the country’s future.

 

This gesture demonstrated hope, one of the greatest things that we can instill in our young athletes. While there are 10,000 athletes participating in the games, not every athlete we work with is destined for that glory, or a college scholarship, but we can instill the hope in each one of them that they can be the best athlete that they can be.

 

Each day we should aspire to inspire our young athletes. Find out what their REAL goals are, not just the typical. Several months ago I found out that one of my athletes didn’t want a college scholarship, all he wanted to do was score a touchdown for his high school football team. Considering he was playing guard for his team, this was not likely to happen. After consulting with him on his diet (losing 30 lbs and improving his 40 yd time), and even talking to his football coach, he is now a tight end and he is closer to realizing his REAL dream.

 

2) Skill
There are 28 sports in the Olympics and countless events that divide each of these sports. There will be plenty of jokes made about the merits of badminton and other sports and their inclusion in the Olympic games, but a true coach will seek out the skills necessary to compete at a high level in those sports and learn from these lessons.

 

Look at the hand-eye coordination of a table tennis player. Look at the lateral movement of the badminton player, think about the cardiovascular endurance of a shooting athlete trying to fire a shot between heart beats. Appreciation of these skills can help lead you to being a better coach, and thinking of new ways to help your athletes improve.

 

3) Defeat
A big part of reality is that of the 10,000 athletes that go to the Olympic games to compete, not many of them will come home with a medal. A majority of the athletes at the Olympic games will end their Olympic career in a defeat. Does that mean that they are a failure? No, not at all but it does mean that dealing with failure or defeat is part of choosing to be an athlete.

 

Learning to take defeat, or setbacks in training, is part of being an athletes. Young athletes who learn this lesson can benefit greatly by embracing that each defeat means another opportunity to get better.

 

So this week as you watch the Olympic games, think about the opportunities that we as coaches can embrace as some of these Olympic lessons can help our athletes get better in the process.

 

 

Evaluating Yourself As A Coach

 

Become The Best Coach You Can Be

youth coach evaluation

By Wil Fleming

 

There are a lot of great coaches in the world, and this newsletter reaches plenty of them. To become an even better coach evaluation is really important.

I think that coaching breaks down into four categories and seeing where you are an expert or could need some work is a helpful tool to become a better a coach.

 

  1. Anatomy and Kinesiology 

    This category is first as it is likely the first thing we learned in school that actually pertained to our development as coaches. For coaches that changed careers or don’t have a classic background in this area, this is typically the weakest. Coaches that are strong in this area, can do wonders in assessment, analyzing movements, and innovating new ideas.

     

    This is by far my weakest area and something that I strive to get better in everyday. Brushing up on anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics through reading is my primary way to get better in this area.

     

  2. Program design 

    Designing great programs can really make your athletes better. Putting the wrong exercises in the program can make your athletes unprepared for their competitions, or even get them injured. Incorrect rep schemes and volume can leave your athletes under or over trained. The right program can give each athlete a chance at giving their best effort when it counts.

     

    I think that I am fairly strong in this area, but could definitely use improvement. The easiest way to improve in this area is to observe and interact with coaches that are preparing athletes on a daily basis and glean what you can from their programming secrets.

     

  3. Practical Coaching 

    Practical coaching is what I have named the actual coaching on the floor. Seeing movements and cleaning them up to get the best patterns possible. Being a problem solver on the floor coaching the technique at every step.

     

    In my perspective, this is where I am strongest. I am able to identify issues in movements and make the modifications on the floor or to the technique that are necessary. Again watching good coaches in action is a great way to improve in this area, as is completing the movements yourself. Working through your own technical problems is a great way to get a feel for what you need to coach.

     

  4. Impact 

    Impact is all of the non-programming stuff. Are you making the environment fun? Are you setting the athletes up for life-long success by associating positive emotions with training?

     

    Also one of my strong suits, but probably the area in which I worry about the most. I want to make sure that the athletes love the experience and are excited to train. To improve in this area there are no secrets, it is always making sure that your energy is higher than the athletes’ energy and focusing on bringing them up with you through their training session.

     

Don’t be afraid to evaluate, and don’t be afraid to focus in on your weak points. You as a coach and your athletes will get better because of it.

 

Change Lives,

 

Wil