Archive for “Football Player” Tag

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.
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  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.
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  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.

 

 

Core Training For High School Athletes

 

Training A High School Athletes Core

 

By Wil Fleming
 

Not very long ago AR Bloomington was fortunate to get IYCA Board of Experts Member, Mike Robertson, to do an in-service for our entire team and he really knocked it out of the park.
 

Mike’s selected topic was “Core Training”, needless to say his presentation changed the way that we both think about and train an athlete’s core.
 

The IYCA training system is at the forefront of training high school athletes, so I thought that I’d share with you my takeaways from Mike’s presentation.
 

First off let’s try to define what the core is. Some people suggest that it is only the abdominals (and specifically talk about the rectus abdominus and external obliques), others begin to include the spinal erectors, and others go even further.
 

We will go with a description that includes deeper muscles (multifudus, transverse abdominus). By including these muscles we will be able to get to a better and deeper model of core training that is more applicable to high school athletes.
 

Athletes use their core for specific purposes, Mike termed the 2 uses for the core as the 2 R’s “Re-Distributing force and Re-Directing force”. This simple idea is on the cutting edge of performance training and shapes how we train the core.
 

Re-Distributing force is the idea that the core should take stress off of the lumbar spine and prevent pain. A strong core in this sense will focus on the ability to maintain and get in a neutral spine and pelvic position.
 

By doing this athletes will have greater core stability in their movements. When a football player has a glancing blow they will not go down as easily because their core keeps them stable; when a tennis player is in an extended 1 leg stance returning a ball they will be less likely to get injured. In this way Re-Distributing force keeps athletes healthy, and is the basic part of core training.
 

Re-Directing force is the next step in core training, by using core stability to re-direct force athletes swinging a baseball bat will be able to transmit power from the lower body and turn it into rotation at the shoulders.
 

A weak core in this sense is like a poor power line. All the power in the world can be generated at the power plant, but if it doesn’t get to your house, you don’t have any use for it.
 

To train each of these try the following movements with your high school athletes:

 

Planks….With a dowel on your back
 

Nearly everyone has tried the basic plank, but by making 1 simple change this becomes a tremendous exercise for training re-distributing force. Place a dowel rod along your back while in a plank and have 3 points of contact with it: the back of your head, your thoracic spine and your pelvis.
 

In the region of your lower back there should only be the space of your hand in between the dowel and your back. This position is the neutral spinal alignment we look for. Increasing time and decreasing stability (through removing a point of contact) are two easy ways to progress this exercise). Increasing the angle (i.e. elevating the upperbody by putting them on a bench) is a great way to regress the exercise.
 

MB Side Throws
 

Medicine balls throws are a big part of the AR Bloomington training system at the younger age and should remain so as athletes reach the 14+ group. There is no better way to train athletes to re-direct force than through the use of MB throws.
 

Ensure that the athletes are getting rotation through their hips, remaining stable through their lumbar spine and then again rotating in their thoracic spine. Changing the cadence (adding steps or recoiling in a rhythm) can add variation to the program and add a degree of specificity that High School Athletes really enjoy.
 

 

Sport Specialization for Young Athletes: Part 2


Toby Brooks (more…)

#1 Common Question From Parents of Young Athletes

Young Athletes and secrets to success

young athletes

Do you do ‘Sport-Specific’ Training”?

 

Well, let me give you the cold hard facts… It doesn’t exist. Especially not with young athletes.

 

When working with preadolescent and high school athletes, the undeniable reality is that we are tending to an organism that is in the process of growth.  And that fact is something that we cannot do anything about, nor cause disruption to the process of.

 

What a growing and maturing body needs in order to remain injury-free and develop optimal athletic skill is variety. With respect to training, this amounts to NOT having a hyper-focus on making a young athlete a better football player by only doing exercises in the gym that the NFL players would do.

(more…)

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