Archive for “Elite Athletes” Tag

Early Sport Specialization: Part 1


Sport Specialization

Sport Specialization Vs LTAD

 

The IYCA has championed the notion that the long-term athletic development model, or LTAD, provides the greatest benefit to a developing athlete, in both physical and psychological aspects, over time. 

 

Contrary to ever-popular and growing model of early sport specialization, the LTAD model is intended to optimize performance slowly and equip the young athlete with foundational skills. 

 

Although far from “new,” in light of heavily marketed programs intended to maximize immediate potential sport specific gains, the commonsense simplicity of the LTAD model is starting to gain momentum with some practitioners.

 

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Sport Specific Youth Training: Part 1

Insert/edit linkYouth Training

For Sports

As a given sport evolves and the participants within that sport begin to break records and perform what was once considered impossible, you can be sure that advancements in training and conditioning regimes have occurred within that sport. Very few athletes ever become great sport technicians without the inclusion of a comprehensive athletic development and conditioning program as part of their training package. Over the past decade, the type of training and conditioning performed by young, developing and elite athletes has gone from basic fitness to more functionally- based and developmental activities. Figure skating and all of the disciplines under that umbrella are such examples.

 

Youth Training

 

For example, many training coaches prescribe that their skaters practice landing jumps and performing balance based skills (such as spirals) off the ice. On the other side of the spectrum, there are the ‘athletic developers’ who tend not to concern themselves with producing specified strength gains but instead work more directly at improving the complete athletic profile of the skater. The general conception among these professionals is that the greater degree of athleticism the skater has, the more likely he or she will be able to carry out athletic skills. While traditionalists often incorporate basic and conventional exercises into their training programs, the athletic developers come from a more movement based perspective. This style of conditioning is often referred to as ‘functional’ training, which is in fact a misnomer. Let’s examine that.

 

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The Early Youth Specialization Debate

Youth Specialization Interview

Juan Carlos is the director and CEO of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton Florida. His training methodologies have been successfully applied to the full spectrum of the population; youth, geriatrics, rehabilitation and elite athletes. He has authored numerous articles, books and videos, on various topics involving optimum physical performance.

 

 

 

BG: What’s your background in youth sports and athletics? Have you trained a lot of young athletes?

 

JC: I’ve been a competitive athlete for over 3 decades. I started with little league when I was 7 and I’ll compete in the USA Judo Nationals (Masters Division) at 43. I competed in all of the major combative sports – from boxing to judo.
We at the Institute of Human Performance train hundreds of young athletes ranging from middle school to college every very. We also train some of the top pros.

 

BG: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were ‘little adults’. What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?

 

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How to Grow a Super-Athlete

Click Here to read the original article "How to Grow A Super Athlete"

 

The article is a wonderful portrayal of youth athletic development as it looks in Russia at the world famous Spartak Tennis Academy.

 

The article discusses the unique blend of non-specific athletic training, the keys to nervous system enhancement and the incredibly involved technical development that each young athlete goes through as they ascend to either sporting success or a functionally fit life…

 

… Interestingly enough, if you have been paying attention over the years that is EXACTLY what I have been telling you regarding the optimal development of a young athlete!

 

In discussing the differences between the way Russian kids and North America kids are trained and developed, Daniel points to the cultural variances as the reason why this slow, technically-sound style of developing a young athlete wouldn’t work in North America.

 

Here are my thoughts on the matter –

 

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Athletes Vs. Coaches?

"In order to be a good Coach, you have to have played the sport you’re Coaching"

 

"Those who can’t, Coach"

 

"Great Athletes make crappy Coaches"

 

"The best kind of Coach is the one who was the best Athlete"

 

Those are all comments I heard during casual conversation at my nephew’s basketball game this past weekend.

 

What do you think?

 

Is any of that correct or just standard societal dogma with no real truth?

 

Post your comments below…

 

 

– Brian

 

ACL Injuries and Young Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes Commn Injury

Sooner or later you’re going to get hurt. That’s what happens when athletes train hard and play intensely. But thanks to professionals like Erin Perry, young athletes are returning to action better and faster than ever before. Not to mention, her tips in this article will help you avoid injuries before they happen.

 

Erin is a sought-after athletic therapist in Toronto, Canada, specializing in pediatric elite athletes. She has worked with the women’s national soccer teams for 8 years, as well as the national gymnastics team, and regional teams including hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming, basketball, and volleyball to name a few. Erin also runs Developing Athletics Canada and the EOS Performance Institute.

 

Brian: Erin, can you tell us about the young athletes you typically work with and how you got into athletic therapy?

 

Erin Perry: As a young person, I was athletic, I enjoyed soccer, swimming, rowing, and skiing. I experienced some injuries, but it was the concussions that caused me to ‘hang ’em up’. I figured then and there that if I couldn’t be an athlete, that I would work hard to take care of other athletes in helping them realizing their dreams. Now I specialize in pediatric elite athletes both in clinic and field situations. Their development, training and treatment are my focus. So many injuries that I treat are preventable.

 

Brian: One of the most common injuries in female athletes is a torn ACL. What are your experiences in treating this injury and your thoughts on injury prevention?

 

EP: I am so happy that you asked. Most ACL injuries are what we call non-traumatic, which simply means that it is an injury that no contact was made in. For example, a soccer player running down the line with the ball, works to move the ball inside, and suddenly falls down while hearing a pop; an ACL tear. These are all preventable! The number one cause of these types of injuries is tight hamstrings. The three hamstrings should be stretched separately, and when tested in a straight leg raise, attention must be made that the findings are made with the pelvis remaining stationary. As soon as the pelvis rotates posteriorly, the test is negated. Most females have good straight leg raise range of motion, but have poor hamstring flexibility. The difference here is crucial. Normal is 80-90degrees. Please be tested, do the tests, and tell all of your friends and teammates, so that we decrease the incidence of ACLs! The other preventable cause is a muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings. I will say that this is crucial, that the three hamstrings need to be strengthened again individually. Closed kinetic chain strengthening should be done all of the time, unless it is a rehab program.

 

Brian: Is the ACL injury common among all sports?

 

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Youth Sports Conditioning: Juan Carlos Santana Speaks…

 

Youth Sports Conditioning

Juan Carlos is the director and CEO of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton Florida. His training methodologies have been successfully applied to the full spectrum of the population; youth, geriatrics, rehabilitation and elite athletes. He has authored numerous articles, books and videos, on various topics involving optimum physical performance.

We wanted to hear from him and his thoughts on youth sports conditioning

 

IYCA: What’s your background in youth sports conditioning and athletics? Have you trained a lot of young athletes?

 

JC: I’ve been a competitive athlete for over 3 decades. I started with little league when I was 7 and I’ll compete in the USA Judo Nationals (Masters Division) at 43. I competed in all of the major combative sports -from boxing to judo.

 

We at the Institute of Human Performance train hundreds of young athletes ranging from middle school to college every very. We also train some of the top pros.

 

IYCA: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were ‘little adults’. What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?

 

JC: I have had to save more kids from overzealous coaches and parents than anything else. Coaches and parents often want to live vicariously through their children, pushing them into sports and intensity levels they don’t want or not ready for -that is ALWAYS sad and disastrous.

 

Kids learn by discovery – this means things have to be fun and not so organized. The intensity and volume a young body can take is certainly different than what a mature body can take. Therefore, we develop a love for movement and the sport -the "athlete" naturally follows that development. Parent and coaches often want to develop great players and a love for winning and forget about athleticism and the love for training. That is like putting the horse before the carriage.

 

IYCA: The age old debate is ‘How old should an athlete be before they begin lifting weights’. What’s your view on that controversial topic?

 

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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
 

  

Young Athletes And The Olympic Games Lie

How Young Athletes Are Portrayed In The Olympics

I’m actually a big fan of the Olympic Games.

 

My favorite part is watching the Opening Ceremonies and

seeing the athletes from lesser known countries glow with

child-like enthusiasm as they walk into the Olympic arena.

 

But every four years, I find myself feeling uncomfortable

with what I am seeing and hearing while watching the Games

on television.

 

Because I know the sensationalized aspects of the Olympics

are creating more and more confusion and ignorance among

many young athletes, Trainers, Coaches and Parents worldwide.

 

Believe it or not, I believe that the Olympics are actually

a horrible influence on youth sports.

young athletes 
 

And while watching the Opening Ceremonies last week,

I got a glimpse of exactly why I feel that way.

 

“It’s the Struggle, Not the Triumph”

 

That was the ‘catch phrase’ being repeated by athletes

as they talked into the camera.

 

And while it sounds good, serves as a wonderful ‘TV sound

bite’ and showcases a majestic feel about the Games

themselves, it sends a very disturbing message to young

athletes and all those who participate in the world of

youth sports….

 

Hard Work.

 

Sweat, Blood and Tears.

 

Effort Conquers All.

 

And that all sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

It’s glorifying.

 

It displays the majestic nature of sport.

 

And it’s an absolute lie.

 

Maybe not for elite athletes, but certainly for kids and

teenagers.

 

The danger is in the fact that most Coaches, Trainers

and Parents think and act like their young athletes are

elite – and end up being influenced by statements like

the one I mentioned above.

 

“You have to work harder, Johnny”

 

“If you’re not sore, you’re not working hard enough”

 

“Did you hear what Micheal Phelps said? You’ll never

get to the Olympics if you don’t push yourself”

 

What a crock.

 

With youth sports and young athletes, it really isn’t 

about the struggle.

 

And the destination truly doesn’t matter.

 

It’s about the journey.

 

The path.

 

The process of getting from A – Z.

 

We actually believe that ‘working kids hard’ every day and

beating the living crap out of them without having a

developmental system in place is the answer.

 

And it isn’t.

 

It just isn’t.

 

In fact, it’s the main culprit for why so many kids are

getting hurt.

 

Dropping out of sports.

 

And disengaging from being physical at all.

 

We just don’t understand the process of what it takes to

become elite.

 

And that remains our worst and most damaging error when

it comes to working with young athletes.

 

I hear horror stories everyday about intense training

sessions, over worked young athletes and the general

lack of knowledge that so many Trainers and Coaches have

when it comes to working with this demographic.

 

And the Olympic Games are making that worse as we speak.

 

“It’s not the Destination, It’s the Journey”

 

Words to live by.

 

Are you prepared to find out what you don’t know and

truly become a leader in the realm of youth sports

training?

 

Or are you content to just keep plotting along without

a solid direction or path?

 

I think your young athletes deserve the best.

 

Why don’t you decide to become the best right now?

 

The IYCA Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist will give you

the tools you need to become a world-class Athletic

Development Specialist.

 

Maybe it’s time to start your own journey…

 

 

Click Here Now and Find Out What You Don’t Know

 

 

Brian