Archive for “Exercise” Tag

Baseball Season is a Marathon – Not a Sprint

As baseball season is well underway in most areas of the country, youth athletes across the country are dusting off gloves and bats and have geared their arms up for the spring season.

At any age, there is a sense of urgency to make every toss faster and further than the one before it. No matter the position, throwing can cause wear and tear on even the most prepared arm.

Here are THREE recommendations that every athlete should follow to keep them ON the field and OUT of the doctor’s office.

#1: Mechanics over Throwing More

The idea that to throw better you just need to “throw more” is rampant in the youth sports arena. It seems the same goes for all sports. Shoot more baskets, hit more slap shots, or simply jump until you can’t jump higher.

There is some truth to this but the key word here is some.Boy Throwing

Pro Tip: There are volume limits of which the shoulder and elbow can tolerate before breakdown sets in and thus the title of this article.

Young athletes come out of the gate sprinting in late winter/early spring and wear their arms out before things really heat up.

Teaching proper mechanics is one great strategy to reduce wear and tear on the arm. No different than a car with poor alignment where one tire wears faster than the others, the same is true for throwing. A great way to do this is to focus on throwing mechanics at the beginning and end of each practice. Perhaps it’s odd to focus on mechanics when the arm is exhausted but this is where education is most important.

The goal here is two fold.

First, having the athlete focus on throwing correctly, even for short distances, will reinforce correct mechanics while tired. Second (and most important), if a baseball player cannot throw correctly because their arm is too tired or it hurts, then it’s time to stop!

Too often athletes will just “sling” the ball or alter mechanics to keep throwing. This is a very bad idea. This is another solid education moment for any athlete because fatigue and pain seems to help absorb words better than when things are going well.

#2: Strengthen the Support System Throughout the Season

Once the season starts, the strength and conditioning that was done in preparation seems to go by the wayside. This makes sense, as there are so many hours in the day and hitting your cutoff man takes precedent over crunches.

Throwing requires a complex series of movements and too often we focus on only a few parts of the chain. Postural and scapular muscles are very important to position the shoulder correctly. When these muscles are strong, the rotator cuff doesn’t have to work as much to maintain good positioning while throwing.

Strengthening the postural muscles in the middle of the spine, obliques, and lower trap muscles helps. The combination of these muscles rotates the trunk and creates ideal arm angle during throwing. As long as these muscles are all working together, the rotator cuff doesn’t take as much of a beating.

Pro Tip: Simple exercises will do the trick such as superman’s, prone shoulder flexion with light dumbbells, and supine single leg adduction drops from side to side to engage the core.

What does swinging have to do with it?

Child at batThousands of swings over the course of the season reek havoc on the hip, pelvic, and lower back. This is because all the force transfers from the legs, up through the back, into the arms, and then contact is made with the ball, sending a jolt of energy back through the system.

This is important to throwing because many hitters and athletes will start to develop tight psoas, chest, and lat muscles from swinging and sprinting. When all these muscles become over-tightened, they tend to pull the lower back into extension and then shoulder into a downward rotated position.

What does this mean? Thousands and thousands of throws will become challenging, reducing the efficiency and quality of every throw.

Pro Tip: Be sure to keep the hips, chest, and lower back muscles nice and loose to maintain ideal body mechanics with throwing.

#3: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Every long distance runner knows they have to pace themselves because training only for 20 miles won’t finish the race. Baseball is no different. Having and executing a long-term game plan to ensure that a young athlete’s body is working from start to finish is paramount to long-term athletic success.

Too much of youth sports focuses on a game, a tournament, or a showcase. If attitudes and habits only address the now, the future for baseball—or any sport for that matter—is nothing more than a crap shoot.

At work, we put money into a 401k for retirement, we exercise to keep the heart strong and pumping, and we take vacations to keep stress from eating our body’s apart.

Do all the little things right and the big things will take care of themselves.

Play ball!

Dr. Keith Cronin, DPT


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About the Author: Keith J. Cronin

Keith CroninKeith J. Cronin is a physical therapist and owner of Sports and Healthcare Solutions, LLC. Keith currently supports US Operations for Dynamic Tape®, the “Original” Biomechanical Tape®, providing guidance for education, research, and distribution. He graduated with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Belmont University in 2008 and later earned his Orthopedic Certification Specialist (OCS).

Prior to graduate school, Keith was a collegiate baseball player and top-level high school cross country runner. He also had the opportunity to work as a personal trainer (CSCS) prior to his career in physical therapy, providing a very balanced approached to educating fitness and rehabilitation. Keith has focused his career on the evaluation, treatment, injury prevention, and sports conditioning strategies for athletes, with particular attention to youth sports. He currently lives in the St. Louis, MO area with his wife and two daughters, Ella and Shelby.

Additional noteworthy items about Keith:

  • Keith is currently a reviewer for the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy (IJSPT) on a variety of topics including throwing athletes, concussions, and ACL rehabilitation.
  • Keith has produced several online CEU courses for PTWebcuation.com on the topics of running injuries, ACL rehabilitation, Patellofemoral Syndrome, and injuries to the Foot and Ankle.
  • In 2012, Keith participated in a concussion education program in Newcastle, OK that resulted in the documentary “The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer” which had several runs on PBS worldwide.
  • Keith has also been published in a variety of media, publishing almost 100 articles through venues including MomsTEAM.com, Advanced Magazine, the 9s Magazine, the American Coaching Academy, and Suite101.
  • Keith was also featured on Fox2News several times on topics of concussions and ACL injuries.
  • In 2008, Keith was a winner of the Olin Business Cup at Washington University for his product innovation “Medibite” a jaw rehabilitation system designed to improve the outcomes for individuals suffering TMJ dysfunction.

Monitoring Part 2- Monitoring Tools That Every Coach Needs

In Part 1 of this blog I discussed why we monitor and considerations for monitoring your athletes.  Part 2 is going to deal with how we monitor at the high school level.

Monitoring can be an expensive venture, but there are also less expensive ways that can be implemented by virtually anyone at any level.

This blog will detail two practical and inexpensive ways in which, monitoring can be implemented to help you make decisions, allowing you to meet your athletes where they are at on any given day.

#1 Surveys

Having your athletes take quick daily surveys can help create awareness regarding their habits.  These surveys can be simple  and ask as few or as many questions as you would like. Keeping it simple is best. Here is an example of some of the questions to ask:

  • How many hours did you sleep?
  • Did you eat breakfast?
  • How many bottles of water did you drink?
  • How tough was practice yesterday on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the hardest?
  • How tough was your workout yesterday on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the hardest?
  • How do you feel overall 1-5 scale with 5 being the hardest?

You could make a survey through excel pretty quickly and log your information there to keep track of long term trends with your athletes. There are a couple of ways in which this can be beneficial for you.

  1. Make educated adjustments to your plan dependent upon feedback from the athlete
  2. Identify, where you feel they are at from a readiness standpoint that day.
  3. Look at long-term trends both individually and globally to make better decisions in programming for your athletes.

Individually, you may find that your athletes do not get enough sleep on Monday nights due to practice and academic obligations. Globally, you may find that the football team’s toughest day is on Tuesday every week. Knowing that your athletes average 6 hours of sleep on Monday nights and also have their toughest day on Tuesday allows you to adjust and make the best decision for your athletes that day.

It is very important that you use the data that you collect!

Pro Tip: Collecting data for the sake of collecting data is counter-productive. The adjustments you make off of the data collections is what is of real significance.

You can also up the ante and implement technology to take surveys. There are programs that exist where athletes can enter survey information into their phones, and it collects and organizes the data. This is a real time saver for busy trainers.

Here is an example of a survey:

Monitoring Part 2 Image- Fred Eaves

#2 Autoregulation (APRE-RPE Scales)

A second cost-effective way to monitor your athletes is by using an APRE/RPE scale in their strength training programming. APRE is defined by Dr. Bryan Mann as Autoregulatory Progressive Resistance Exercise.  APRE is a method that takes the daily readiness of the athlete into account through adjustment protocols that dictate working sets.  

There are two warm up sets, and then the third set is a set to failure at a prescribed rep max (RM). The results of the third set dictate the weight used on the fourth and final set.

As a coach, this can be used to help the athlete train to the highest level possible for that specific training session according to the physical state of the athlete.

We do not use strict percentages in our program but rather we use them as a guide.

Use this auto-regulation method to dictate our training loads for the day.

Pro Example:

I always use the example of the athlete who slept 3 hours the night before a hard training session that is under tremendous personal and academic stress when describing the need for this type of training. This athlete may have a prescription to hit 2 reps at 95% that day, but due to his physiological state that 95% is really more like 105% that day. This is why autoregulation can play such a key factor in the development of your athletes.

Dr. Mann from the University of Missouri has done a tremendous amount of work in this area, and has written an E-book specifically on APRE methods. 1

Mann’s Example:  

Here is what typical APRE protocol according would look like:

2016-02-29_1609

SET 4 ADJUSTMENTS- REFER to this chart after set 3

2016-02-29_1611

An RPE scale in conjunction with APRE methods is another effective manner in which to implement RPE. RPE  stand for rate of perceived exertion.  Athletes use this rating scale to rank the difficulty of a set in training.

Pro Example: Sample RPE rating scale

2016-02-29_1607

Pro Example:

An example would be an athlete does 155lbs. for 10 reps. When he finishes this set on set three, he rates whether or not he had one rep, two reps, or multiple reps left in the tank. Then picks an appropriate weight to finish his fourth set, using the adjustment chart below.

Here is an example of what this looks like:

2016-02-29_1604
SET 4 ADJUSTMENTS- REFER To This Chart after set 3

2016-02-29_1603
Look at long term trends when recording their numbers to make sure there is consistent progress.  Do not worry about disp as this is common due to the variable nature of the high school athlete.

Conclusion

Two simple and cost-effective measures in which to monitor and adjust for your athletes have been outlined.  Use these tools to tremendously impact your athletes in way that is both feasible and practical.

 


Are your athletes prepared to perform?

Download our free PDF and Overview video on the long term athletic development model.

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About the Author: Fred Eaves

Fred Eaves, Ed.S, M.Ed, CSCS, RSCC, IYCA, USAW, USATF, BIOFORCE Conditioning Coach Certified,  2015 NSCA H.S. Strength Coach of the Year, 2013 Samson Equipment & AFM H.S. Strength Coach of The Year
References

  1. Mann, B. (2011). THE APRE: The scientifically proven fastest way to get strong.

 

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Speed and Agility Training Program for Youth Football

Making a Speed and Agility Training Program Work for Everyone

There is often a disconnect between what we know is the ideal training for young athletes and what parents/coaches want for them—especially when it comes to a speed and agility training program.

We know through our education and in-the-trenches experience how to devise an athletic development program and implement it with athletes of various abilities and sports interests.

On the other hand, parents and coaches all too often adopt a “results now” mentality, and they’ve been fed loads of misinformation to boot. What are we to do when the opportunity presents itself to work with an entire youth league of athletes with a board president and coaches who have a philosophy that doesn’t match our ideals?

Make sure you keep your focus on their needs by asking questions—and a lot of them. You will gain the trust of the coaching staff when they know you are there to help them versus taking control over any aspect of their practice sessions.

If you do this with care and patience, the outcome can be very beneficial to your business and most importantly to the young athletes involved.

Youth Football Training Program Case Study

Speed and agility training programAfter several conversations with the president of the youth football league and some of his coaches, I was able to ascertain the areas they were most concerned with. They were, in their words:

1. “Revamping the warm up” to get the kids ready to play

2. Agility in small spaces

3. Injury prevention

Once we narrowed it down to these specifics, I could devise a game plan. They did not want the new programming to be intrusive to their practice time or ability to coach football.

Keep in mind the relationship with the president of this youth football league began nearly 2 years ago. Be patient when engaging coaches.

The outcome was to implement a pre-written youth football training program for every age group in the youth football league that the coaches would learn and implement for every practice.

What we gained from this exchange was exposure to every football player from 1st grade through 8th grade and the buy in of every coach. You just can’t buy that type of exposure for your business.

Upon completion of the last practice session, we set a time for the coaches and I to meet in order to troubleshoot any issues they were having.

The Nuts and Bolts of the Speed and Agility Training Program

Our situation was far from ideal. The coaches had limited time to learn their new programs. I only had one practice session with each team, and there was not enough time to include everything I wanted. Therefore, I knew the programs had to be prioritized.

The speed and agility training program had to deliver what the president and coaches asked for, and it had to be simple enough for both coaches and players to learn.

Templates Put into Action for Each Program

Not included are the descriptions and key points for each age group that were provided for each coach.

Pembroke Titans Football Mighty Mites (1st & 2nd Grade)

–Warm Up–
1. Reactive Game or Fun Activity
    a. Simon Says
    b. Tag Variations
    c. Movement Mirroring (coach or each other)
    d. Rhythm Machine (clapping)
    e. Coach’s Choice
2. Monster Walks
3. Bear Crawls
4. Dragon Walks
5. Log Rolls

–Speed/Agility/Strength = Coordination Training–
1. Scramble to Balance 2x Each leg
2. Rats/Rabbits
3. Red Light – Green Light (add football themed lights)
4. Push Up Hold/High Fives (partners)

–Speed and Agility–
1. Dynamic Repeats (run to stop)
2. Dynamic Repeats with Return (run, stop and return)
3. 4 x 4 x 4 Drill (survive for 7 seconds)
4. Bear Crawl to Hand Taps 6:4
5. Forward Crab Walk to Table Top 6:1

–Cool Down–
It is so important to give parents and coaches what they want while staying true to your beliefs as a coach. Below is a perfect example.

A formal cool down is not necessary from a developmental standpoint and static stretching is not advised for this age group. To acclimate the kids to a structure and expectation for future youth football practices, you can put them through the following passive active stretching activities.

1. Cobra 2 Second Hold x 5
2. Alternating Knee Hugs x 5 Each
3. Around the Worlds 2x Each Leg


Pembroke Titans Football Mites (3rd & 4th Grade)

–Warm up–
1. Activity – Game, Laps, etc…Coaches Choice
2. Spiderman 2 x 10
3. Alternating Supine Extension 20 Second Hold
4. Squat to Stand 2 x 5 (squat, knees out, arms up and stand)
5. Prone Extensions 2 x 8
6. Lunge with Toe Touch 1 x 10 Each
Speed and agility training program 67. Dynamic Warm Up
    a. Skipping Patterns
         i. Straight
         ii. High
         iii. Back
         iv. Side
    b. Knee Hugs 1 x 10
    c. Butt Kicks
    d. Straight Leg March 1 x 10
    e. Heel Walks/Toe Walks 1 x 10 Each
    f. Side Shuffle/Carioca (tight) 10 yds Each x 2

–Speed and Agility–
1. Dynamic Repeats (run to stop)
2. Dynamic Repeats with Return (run, stop and return)
3. 4 x 4 x 4 Drill (survive for 7 seconds)
4. Bear Crawl to Hand Taps 6:4
5. Forward Crab Walk to Table Top 6:1

Speed and agility training program 7–Cool Down–
1. Static Stretching
    a. Hamstrings
    b. Inner Thigh
    c. ITB/Hips
    d. Cobra Stretch
    e. Calf Stretch

Choice as needed


Pembroke Titans Football Pee Wees (5th & 6th Grade)

–Warm up–
1. Activity – Game, Laps, etc…Coaches Choice
2. Spiderman/Inside Elbow to Ground 2 x 10
3. Alternating Supine Extension 2 x 8 Each Side
4. Squat to Stand 2 x 5 (squat, knees out, arms up and stand)
5. Prone Extensions 2 x 10
6. Lateral Lunge with Toe Touch 1 x 10 Each
7. Dynamic Warm Up
    a. Skipping Patterns
         i. Straight
         ii. High
         iii. Back
         iv. Side
    b. Knee Hugs 1 x 10
    c. Butt Kicks
    d. Straight Leg March 1 x 10
    e. Heel Walks/Toe Walks 1 x 10 Each
    f. Side Shuffle/Carioca (tight) 10 yds Each x 2

–Speed and Agility–
1. Pro Agility
    a. 5-Hold-10
    b. 5-10-Hold
    c. 5-10-5
2. 4 x 4 x 4 Drill (survive for 7 seconds)
3. Bear Crawl to Push Up 6:1
4. Forward Crab Walk to Table Top 6:1

–Cool Down–
1. Static Stretching
    a. Hamstrings
    b. Inner Thigh
    c. ITB/Hips
    d. Cobra Stretch
    e. Calf Stretch

Choice as needed


Pembroke Titans Football Midgets (7th & 8th Grade)

–Warm up–
1. Activity – Game, Laps, etc…Coaches Choice
2. Spiderman with Hip Lift 2 x 10
3. Supine Extension with Rotation 2 x 8 Each Side
4. Squat to Stand 2 x 5 (squat, knees out, arms up and stand)
5. Atlas Stretch 2 x 6 Each
6. Prone Extensions 2 x 10
7. Alternating Lateral Lunge Walk 1 x 10
8. Dynamic Warm Up
    a. Skipping Patterns
         i. Straight
         ii. High
         iii. Back
         iv. Side
    b. Knee Lift/Heel Lift 1 x 10
    c. Straight Leg March 1 x 10
    d. Cradles
    e. Heel Walks/Toe Walks 1 x 10 Each

–Speed and Agility–
1. Pro Agility
    a. 5-Hold-10
    b. 5-10-Hold
    c. 5-10-5
2. 4 x 4 x 4 Drill (survive for 7 seconds)
3. Turn and Burn (Hip turn and go)
4. Bear Crawl to Push Up 6:1
5. Forward Crab Walk to Table Top 6:1

–Cool Down–
1. Static Stretching
    a. Hamstrings
    b. Inner Thigh
    c. ITB/Hips
    d. Cobra Stretch
    e. Calf Stretch

Choice as needed

Summary

So there you have some great examples of a youth football speed and agility training program that can be applied to nearly any sport. You also have some tips on how to deal with coaches to best suit their needs and ideals.

Dave Gleason


About the Author: Dave Gleason

Speed and agility training programDave Gleason is the owner and head coach of Athletic Revolution in Pembroke, MA. Dave’s career passions are training young athletes 6-18 years old as well as playing an integral role in the development of Athletic Revolution International. Dave was the 2010 IYCA Member of the Year, columnist and presenter. A proud member of the IYCA, Dave is honored to be named to the IYCA Board of Experts.


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Co-Existing With Today’s High School Athlete

 

How To Co-Exist With High School Athlete Programs

 

By Wil Fleming
 

Some of my fondest memories of training came when I was in high school training with my Olympic Weightlifting club 3 nights per week. We had a great time and became better athletes in the process. To me it was a lot like AR before there was an AR. I loved going because I knew that what I was doing was aiding what was expected of me as a high school football player and track athlete.
 

My coaches supported me and would often come by just to watch training. My high school coaches knew that I was not participating in a competing program but rather one that was only aiding in my development. My high school coaches knew that I was working with experts in the field of strength and conditioning.
 

As a high school athlete I never felt pressure to choose 1 or the other. This allowed me to enjoy the experience fully and fully commit to getting better when I don’t suggest that we all run weightlifting clubs, but I do think that there are some valuable lessons from that experience to apply to your coaching. It is important to coexist with the high school programs already in place instead of trying to take their place.
 

Here are my top 4 ways to successfully coexist with programs for a high school athlete already in place.

 

  1. Find out what the high school is doing. My weightlifting club would ask coaches at high schools about the current focus in training. At AR Bloomington, I like to find out what the coaches’ focus is at the time and try to augment their results. Being redundant in training is the last thing you want to do, athletes will not want to attend an AR session where they are planning on doing a heavy quad dominant exercise when they did back squats at school the same morning.
  2.  

  3. Offer to assist the coach. Assisting the coach is one of the easiest ways to coexist successfully with a high school program. Inviting the coach to watch your sessions is an easy way to show that you have an open door and are not competing for their athletes time, but instead just aiding in their development.
  4.  

  5. Don’t Pressure the athletes. Although we remember our high school days fondly and the carefree attitude that was associated with that time, athletes today feel pressure from every direction. Not even mentioning the season during which nearly every hour after school is accounted for on everyday, athletes are expected to attend workouts year round for their sport, expected to participate in club or travel team practices and games. Giving the impression that a high school athlete should only be a part of your program is a quick way to lose athletes from your business.
  6.  

    Despite evidence that year round participation in a sport is a poor route to choose for athletes looking to improve, trying to force this message on your athletes only adds to the pressure that athletes are feeling.

     

    Most importantly is point number 4 below:
     

  7. Become an expert and then some. Coaches often feel like they must be a jack of all trades, they have to develop their schedule of competitions, they have to handle the gate receipts, they organize fundraising, they have to plan the x’s and o’s and then plan their strength and conditioning program. So why would they send their athletes to train with another jack of all trades?
  8.  

Instead find something to be the “go to” expert in your community. Speed and agility, recovery and regeneration, and Olympic lifting are great places to start.
 

No matter your current level of knowledge, keep improving. My area of expertise is the Olympic lifts and many high school coaches have sought out my help in this area, but I am not satisfied with my current knowledge and have read nearly a dozen books or manuals this year on the subject to keep improving and further separate myself as the go to expert in my community. By improving these skills your business will always be the place to send athletes looking to improve in that area.
 

The excellence of your training program cannot be experienced without the approval of high school coaches in your area.
 

Working to gain their trust and acceptance is worth it to get the opportunity to impact more new High School Athlete everyday.

 

 

Around The World For Better Balance Training For Young Athletes

 

Young Athletes Balance Training

 

By Dave Gleason
 

In this video IYCA Expert and Athletic Revolution Pembroke Owner Dave Gleason discusses and demonstrates one of his favorite Activities for training dynamic balance in young athletes.

 

Progressions, regressions and even a way to make this exercise more fun for even the youngest of athletes is included in this short video coaching clip.
 

 

 

Let us know what you think of these exercises for improving the balance of young athletes below.
 

 

Modifications to Training Programs For a Young Athlete on the Spot

 

Young Athlete Programming Modifications

 

By Wil Fleming
 

When I first started training I figured out quickly that the best coaches developed
programs ahead of time. They approached each session with a clear picture of their
goals for a young athlete and designed a program that would accomplish those goals.
 

As I began coaching I knew that is something that I wanted to do as well. I want to
be a coach with a clear vision and purpose, plan for everything, and get results with
my athletes.
 

In my “eye test” for other coaches, making training sessions up on the spot is one of
the things that leads me to believe that the trainer or coach is not going to make it.
 

Creating a workout from thin air leads me to believe that my athletes are going to
get better results and dominate their athletes.
 

Recently though I had an athlete with an unexpected limitation in their program that
took away her ability to do many of things that we normally do in training. After a
surprise surgical procedure she was unable to clean, snatch, squat, etc. (Literally
everything I like to have my athletes do).
 

Being that she is a track and field athlete, in the middle of her season, just taking
time off from training was not going to cut it. I literally had to come up with a
program on the spot.
 

I was able to do it, and have her produce the best performance of her career in the
weeks following because I came up with training sessions that fit in with the rest of
her program. Her daily training sessions were extremely modified but were in line
with the goal of this phase of the program.
 

How was I and the young athlete able to do this?

 

1) I had a clearly defined goal for training. In this scenario the young athlete was in the
middle of a strength phase for her track and field season. By having this goal laid
out I had a rep range and set range that each exercise could fall into. By having a
goal laid out I was able to select movements that could fall into this rep range.
 

2) I have a pre-determined programming system. In my program each day
follows the same general order of exercise.
 

1—Explosive
1A—Explosive assistance (Oly lift pull)
 

2A—Bilateral lower body (Push or Pull)
2B— Core (Anti-Extension)
 

3A—Upperbody (Push or Pull)
 

3B—Unilateral Lowerbody (Push or Pull)
3C— Core (Anti Rotation)

 

There is some variation to that set up based on the athlete and the time of year, but
in general that covers it all. In the case of my injured athlete replacing exercises was only really replacing movements. If a particular exercise was going to cause pain
then I knew that I needed to eliminate it, and replace it.
 

3) I have exercise progressions and regressions. When it comes to replacing
exercises this is key. All exercises that we program fall into one of the
categories above. Olympic lifts were difficult to perform for my athlete so I
was able to fill the explosive training slot with medicine ball throws. Bilateral
Quad dominant exercise was limited so we substituted heavy sled pushes.
 

By having a programming system, and with a little thinking on the fly this
athletes training did not miss a beat. After performing her training in a modified
fashion for 3 weeks, this young athlete is back to full strength and has equaled training bests in
lifts she was unable to perform for the past 3 weeks.
 

Without the 3 keys to programming above we would likely be starting behind
where her training was and would be playing catch up for the rest of her season.
 

 

Teaching The Perfect Push Up To A Younger Athlete

 

Younger Athlete Push Ups Exercise

 

Push up for younger athlete from the IYCA

 

By Dave Gleason

 

Teaching the push up to a younger athlete can be arduous and complicated depending on physical maturity, body awareness, current skill and or experience. Let’s face it, in most scenarios the younger athlete has had no instruction, incomplete instruction or instruction with incorrect information. Once more, the opportunity to perform a push up is usually at the end of a practice, as a form of punishment or as an element of a timed standardized testing protocol. We know none of these story lines are optimal for any young athlete to achieve true success.

 

Creating a foundation where a younger athlete can progress to a push up worthy of actually performing as part of any training program is where we need to start.

In this video Dave Gleason, 2010 IYCA Trainer of the Year and owner of Athletic Revolution in Pembroke MA, shows you the progressions he uses with a younger athlete 10-13 years old.

 

 

Whole-Part Coaching of the Hip Turn for young athletes

 

Young athletes hip turn whole-part coaching

By Dave Gleason

 

Coaching any exercise to Young Athletes
can be challenging.

One of the most effective methods is to break down an activity into its
component parts, often times all the way down to the smallest or
simplest part possible.
 
This is very true when teaching the hip turn, especially to younger
(10-13 year old) athletes.  Unfolding this movement for Young Athletes
in an effort teach them how and why hip/shoulder disassociation is
crucial for their long term success.
 
At Athletic Revolution we use a 1-2-3 method to take full advantage of
variable learning styles and we have found that this tactic works
extremely well for our younger athletes.
 

 
Have fun and change lives!

The Training Template Secret

It’s great to watch a video or DVD and see what a quality training session is supposed to look like.

 

I always enjoy having exercise photographs at my fingertips with a visual representation of what each rep should look like along the way.

 

I also adore being able to read key information about what the Coach or Trainer was thinking when they designed a particular training program, or what philosophies and concepts they feel are important with respect to Speed, Strength, Coordination, Mobility, Flexibility and Injury Prevention.

 

And I especially love being given ‘sample programs’.

 

A literal “here, just do this because it works” roadmap for success.

 

You get that and every ounce of the information mentioned above inside my ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system.

 

But do you know what my favorite part is?

 

 

The fact that I took the time to create and develop a Training Template for you.

 

(more…)

Training Young Athletes and The Ultimate Blueprint

 

Training Young Athletes Resource

I’ll be blunt with a message heading into your weekend:

 

If Complete Athlete Development is not in your library of educational resources, you are sorely missing out.

  • DVD Collection of Coaching Cues, Training Programs & Exercise Selections
  • Manual with Specifics on Speed, Agility, Coaching, Philosophy of Training
  • Audio CD’s on Nutrition and Strength Development
  • Sample Programs for Training Young Athletes 6 – 18
  • Mix & Match Training Templates
  • 100+ Exercise Photographs

(more…)

Proper Technique for Youth Sports Training: How Important Is It?

How Important is Proper Technique For Youth Sports Training?

The IYCA forces you to think about your answer!

 

Watch this video to learn how to get the most out of your youth sports training programs and ensure that your young athletes are able to reach their full potential.

 

 

If you want to learn more about training young athletes and improving your youth sports training programs make sure you check out the IYCA’s Youth Fitness Specialist Certification.

 

http://youth-fitness-specialist.com/

Youth Fitness Training

 

 

Young Athletes & Coordination – Part 3

Young Athletes & Coordination Series

Here is the third and final portion of ‘Young Athletes & Coordination’:

 

(3) Teenage Athletes Are ‘Too Old’

 

Now, while there is truth to the matter that many of the sensitive periods for coordination development lay during the preadolescent phase of life, it would be shortsighted to suggest that teenage athletes should not be exposed to this type of training.

 

Firstly, much of the training of coordination takes the form of injury preventative.  Any sort of ‘balance’ exercise, for example, requires proprioceptive conditioning and increases in stabilizer recruitment.  With ‘synchronization of movement’, large ROM and mobility work is necessary.  ‘Kinesthetic differentiation’, by definition, involves sub-maximal efforts or ‘fine-touch’ capacity which is a drastically different stimulus than most young athletes are used to in training settings.

 

(more…)

Coordination and Movement Skill Development For Young Athletes: The Key to Long Term Athletic Success

 

 

Young Athletes Long Term Athletic Success

The key ingredient to working with pre-adolescent and early adolescent young athletes is providing global stimulation from a movement perspective. Younger athletes must experience and eventually perfect a variety of motor skills in order to ensure both future athletic success and injury prevention. Developing basic coordination through movement stimulus is a must, with the eventual goal of developing sport-specific coordination in the teenage years. Coordination itself, however, is a global system made up of several synergistic elements and not necessarily a singularly defined ability.

 

Balance, rhythm, spatial orientation and the ability to react to both auditory and visual stimulus have all been identified as elements of coordination. In fact, the development of good coordination is a multi-tiered sequence that progresses from skills performed with good spatial awareness but without speed to skills performed at increased speeds and in a constantly changing environment. As Joseph Drabik points out, Young Athletes coordination is best developed between the ages of 7 – 14, with the most crucial period being between 10 – 13 years of age.

 

As with anything else, an important issue with respect to coordination development is to provide stimulus that is specific (and therefore appropriate) for the individual. Prescribing drills that are either too easy or too difficult for the young athletes will have a less than optimal result.

 

An interesting note, as I have suggested in past articles, is that there appears to be a cap with respect to coordination development and ability. Younger athletes who learn to master the elements associated with good coordination (balance, rhythm, spatial awareness, reaction etc), are far better off then athletes who are not exposed to this kind of exercise stimulation until advanced ages. The ability to optimally develop coordination ends at around the age of 16. This validates the claim that global, early exposure is the key from an athletic development standpoint. Again, global coordination will serve as the basis to develop specific coordination in the teenage years.

 

(more…)

Your Opinion, Please

Our standards have sunk.

 

Do you realize that?

 

The fitness industry creates nonsense aerobic-style classes for children and the vast
majority of professionals claim them to be useful because "at least it gets kids moving"

 

Now understand, I’m the biggest proponent in the world of the "something is better
than nothing" way of thinking, but this is a matter of inappropriate standards and
the root cause of the issue is something we are going to sincerely regret in time.

 

The lowering of expectations and standards is one of the main causative factors in
the breakdown of our society’s overall fitness level.

 

We got fatter.

 

Much fatter.

 

And instead of someone (all of us) standing up and saying "NO, this is unacceptable"
we simply changed our standards in terms of what we decided was reasonable body
fat to carry.

 

Or how much exercise was truly necessary to maintain optimal health.

 

We’ve done this in our school system.

 

We’ve done this in our health care.

 

We’ve done this in the expectations we have in our elected officials.

 

And this slow decent of expectations and standards allow us to merely accept what
should be, used to be, considered entirely inappropriate.

 

Yes. Something is better than nothing.

 

But it’s not good enough, and our society (especially our youngest generation) will
suffer because of our apathy and ignorance.

 

Leave a comment below & let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

Complete Athlete Development System for Training Young Athletes

 

 

Become the Difference & Not Part of the Sinking Standards…

 

Order the Complete Athlete Development System Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young Athletes & Poor Technique

Correcting Young Athletes Technique

 

With young athletes who exhibit poor technical quality on a particular exercise or group of exercises, the best method of offering correction is often to become less dogmatic or predictable in your teaching method.

 

When teaching the squat for example, most Trainers and Coaches tend to take a ‘top down’ approach to skill execution

 

They teach the young athlete to set their feet and proceed through an eccentric-concentric progression.

 

The nuances as to why a squat may be faulty are many, but very often, it is the inability of the young athlete to get to and summarily regulate the base of the squat phase (the ‘hole’).  When inaccurate applications of force production/absorption are applied to the eccentric and ‘pause’ phase of the eccentric base (no matter how quick or seemingly inconsequential), the ability of the athlete to apply correct force sequences towards the concentric motion will be compromised.

 

In that, it is often the incorrect pattern of eccentric loading and ‘hole’ stabilizing that causes an incorrect pattern of force production through the concentric phase of the lift.

 

Many Trainers and Coaches will visually recognize the poor form during the concentric phase, but fail to recognize that it was due to incorrect loading patterns during the eccentric portion.

 

Having said that, a wonderful way to reform poor squat technique (as an example) is to start the young athletes in the fixed, static ‘hole’ position, and then proceed up through the concentric phase.

 

Have the young athlete assume a quality ‘hole’ position and talk them through what they should be feeling:

  • Weight back on the heels

  • Knees pushing outward

  • Neutral low back

  • Chin up

  • Chest push forward

  • Elbows angled downward

 

Do not be afraid to hold these positions for several second counts.  An increase in the static strength of this position can, and usually does, improve technical patterning of the entire squat.

 

Upon ascending into the concentric phase, be sure that the young athlete understands how to push from their heels, using the large muscles of the hip extensors and drive through the ground.

 

Repeated efforts of this exercise, perhaps over a single training session or for several successive sessions, will have a tremendously positive impact on the technical qualities of a young athletes squat.

 

So, whether it is the squat, lunge, push-press or any other compound exercise, think ‘BOTTOM UP’ when trying to create a positive change in the technique capacity of young athletes.

 

 

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
 

  

The ‘X Factors’ to Training Young Athletes

 

 

Training young athletes and kids is so much more than just the
‘x’ and ‘o’ factors.

 

Of course a strong base of knowledge in pediatric exercise
science, motor skill development and program design is critical for
you to truly create effective training and conditioning
agendas for this specific demographic.

 

But here’s something that may surprise you…

 

I find that coaches and trainers who have big personalities and
charismatic styles are often far better with kids than professionals
who really ‘know their science’.

 

That is not to knock education.

 

The IYCA has a very involved and complex 4-tiered educational
process that has been created to be a virtual vault of scientific
information for coaches and trainers to learn.

 

But a great deal of our material also focuses on teaching you
how to effectively communicate with your young clients and
understand their specific learning styles.

 

Here’s a simple metaphor that will help you truly grasp the
importance of this intangible factor –

 

 

It’s not always what you want to say that matters…

 

… It’s what they want to hear.

 

 

That doesn’t mean you need to placate to your athletes or not
say what it is you need to or want to say.

 

But you have to relay your message in a way that it will be
received.

 

This is the number one concern I see in youth sports, youth
fitness and even school.

 

We expect all children and teens to learn the same way and be
open to our messages irrespective of how they are offered.

 

13 years of working with this demographic has taught me that this
is just not the case.

 

Creating effective programs is the science…

 

But implementing them effectively is the art.

 

And the IYCA wants you to understand that your role as a coach
or trainer working with this demographic is not to be a
scientist, but an artist.

 

Understand the science.

 

Use it to create successful and developmentally-sound training young athletes
programs.

 

But BE an artists.

 

Learn how to implement these successful and developmentally-
sound training programs so that they are optimally received by
your audience.

 

Our coaching template found in the ‘Level 1 – Youth Fitness
Specialist’ certification offers a very detailed look at how to
understand your individual athletes motivation and learning
styles.

 

And while there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all
approach’ to coaching, there is one specific ingredient that
you can bank on as a surefire way to make sure all your athletes
are interested in what you have to say…

 

 

ENERGY

 

 

Do you bring energy to each and every training session?

 

Are you thrilled to see your young clients – and can they tell?

 

Do you coach with an enthusiastic nature that is contagious?

 

These are the questions you must ask yourself when you are training young athletes.

 

Coaching, learning and communication variances per athlete are
unique and the ‘Level 1’ material certainly gives you a massive
amount of information in terms of understanding it all.

 

But ‘energy’ is the single factor you can bring to the table
each and every time.

 

It’s what makes the difference between a good coach and a great
one.

 

Challenge yourself to bring the energy each time you’re in front
of your athletes.

 

Better yet – bring it one day and not the next.

 

See for yourself how much differently your athletes respond to
you and how much more involved they become in your training
session.

 

More than the ‘x’ and ‘o’ factors, my friend…

 

Brian

Designing Youth Training Programs

 

 

Youth Training Programs

Most Trainers and Coaches don’t have a clue.

 

That isn’t meant to sound horribly negative, just something I’ve
noticed a lot recently.

 

I was reading a textbook on Youth Training Programs recently that contained the following program for a high school football player:

 

 

a. Hang Cleans – 4 sets, 8 reps
b. Bench Press – 4 sets, 6 – 8 reps
c. Incline Bench Press – 4 sets, 6 – 8 reps
d. Front Pull Down – 4 sets, 8 reps
e. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets, 8 reps
f. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets, 8 reps (each)

 

 

What do you think?

 

Is that a good program to you?

 

If you’re like me, it strikes you immediately as a horrible
program.

 

But let me ask you to take a second and answer this one question:

 

Why?

 

If you agree it’s a poorly designed program, what makes it so
bad in your eyes?

 

What I’m getting at here is the most important and critical
aspects of being able to write quality programs of your own.

 

Dissection.

 

The ability to assess and analyze a program based on three
critical factors:

 

 

1. Timing Requirements
2. Even Stimulus
3. Understanding Objectives

 

 

These three elements, and your ability to dissect them, is
going to change your ability to write effective youth training programs of your
own.

 

Let’s take the program from above and dissect it from those three
variables:

 

 

1. Timing Requirements

 

Here’s what we know.

 

The average 6 – 8 rep set takes roughly 45 seconds to perform.

 

Each exercise lists ‘4 sets’ as the objective.

 

There are six exercises in total.

 

Six exercises at four sets each, is a total of 24 sets for the
session.

 

At 45 seconds per, that totals 18 minutes of working time.

 

Roughly 2 minutes of recovery time will take place in between
each set, which amounts to 8 minutes of total recovery per
exercise.

 

With six exercises in total, that amounts to 48 minutes in
total.

 

Combined with the 18 minutes of total work load, this training
session will take roughly 70 minutes to perform.

 

Here are my concerns:

 

 

a. 70 minutes is far too long for high school training programs

 

b. 70 minutes does not include any sort of warm-up or cool-down

 

c. The work/rest relationship is roughly 1:3 – unacceptable

 

 

2. Even Stimulus

 

One point here, but it’s a biggie –

 

12 sets = pushing

 

8 sets = pulling

 

You don’t need to know much about athletic development or
functional anatomy to know that this ratio is entirely
unacceptable.

 

 

3. Understanding Objectives

 

Do high school athletes really need to perform a horizontal
pushing motion from two different angles?

 

Are bilateral movements from start to finish the best option
when trying to create a functionally fit and injury resistant
athlete?

 

Does the program outlined above seem way too much like a
standard bodybuilding program?

 

The key to creating effective training programs is to start with
objectives.

 

Yet ANOTHER reason I am not a fan of assessing biomotor abilities
in young athletes.

 

If you are intent on testing there vertical jump, bench, squat
and 40 time, than your youth training programs are going to naturally focus
on improving these elements – and be limited in other areas as
a result.

 

What do your young athletes need in terms of:

 

 

– Injury Prevention
– Age Related Factors of Development
– On Field Performance
– Correction of Body/Structural Dysfunction

 

 

When you identify your athletes’ needs, you have a much broader
and more complete understanding of the objectives necessary in
creating an effective program.

 

The point of this email is to show you that training program
dissection is critical in understanding how to create programs
of your own.

 

Not everyone can write programs that work well – it is a skill
that requires time, trial and error as well as practice.

 

But rather than starting with a blank canvas, use the 3 points
I mentioned above to assess your own youth training programs –

 

 

1. Timing Requirements
2. Even Stimulus
3. Understanding Objectives

 

 

I hope this helps!

 

 

 

Brian