Archive for “high school football” 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Coaching Young Athletes Back in The Trenches: Part 1

Coaching Young Athletes – Teaching Again

The funniest thing happened 3 weeks ago…

 

I decided to go back to the grassroots of where I started

Insert/edit linkCoaching Young Athletes

.

 

Now make no mistake, although my ‘full time’ coaching days are about 7 years in the rearview mirror, I’ve maintained a coaching schedule through the entire thick and thin of both developing and running the IYCA.

 

I’ve worked with volleyball clubs, high school football, soccer, track and baseball teams and even moonlighted occasionally as a guest speed and agility instructor for local youth sporting associations.

 

But this summer, I’m heading back to the trenches.

 

 

I met a very young (23), ambitious and capable Coach who owns his own facility not more than 15 minutes from my house – we started chatting and 3 weeks ago, I agreed to take a position as a ‘Coach’ at his up and coming training center.

 

No pay.

 

This time, ‘In the Trenches’ is because I love it, feel obligated (in a good way) to give back and don’t need the money in order to pay my bills.

 

So the summer of 2011 for me, will be back doing what I love most every day:

 

Making young athletes better people.

 

Job #1 has been to review this facility’s current training system and attend live sessions as an observer.

 

To see if there are holes.

 

To understand what is expected of the athletes and staff in this facility.

 

To appreciate what will be expected of me.

 

My first inspected conclusion was simple… For a 23 year old Coach, this guy has got his stuff together very well!

 

In fact, the experience of ‘watching to determine’ got me thinking that I should chronicle to you what this 23 year old does so well… Because most of it is inherent to his personality and not something he’s learned from a textbook, conference or DVD.

 

So consider these heartily as potential inclusions for yourself and your own coaching young athletes habits…

 

(1) Specific Instruction Time

 

Although not IYCA certified when we met, this particular 23 year already understood, embraced and implemented perhaps the most critical of all IYCA Tenants:

 

Don’t Train… Teach.

 

By simply feelings his way through the coaching process, this young man knew instinctively that young athletes are ‘works in progress’ and that the urge to ‘make tired through hard work’ must be tempered by the undeniable need to teach proper execution.

 

His facility is not ‘numbers’ oriented.

 

He does not appease the symptomotolgy requirements for what most consider the hallmarks of quality training with respect to young people (breathless, sweaty, can’t walk the next day).

 

Every one of his training sessions is methodical in the way he teaches complexity through simplicity, prior to implementing an exercise into a given routine.

 

I’ve been very heartened watching this and believe fully that more Coaches need to take an honest look at there programming methods with respect to proper instruction.

 

Come back tomorrow for ‘Part 2’…

 

Everything I Learned in 15 Years In the Trenches… Working With More Than 20,000 Young Athletes:

 

Click Here: http://completeathletedevelopment.com/

 

– Brian

 

Coaching Young Athletes

 

Young Athletes and the Guarantee


When it comes to young athletes I’m confident for a lot of reasons…

 

I’ve field-tested the ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system with about 20,000 young athletes worldwide over the past 12 years.

 

The system itself contains more than 100 photographs of exercises I use every day in developing the best and most dominant young athletes in their respective sports.

 

You also get a complete ‘done-for-you’ sample program chapter and template that allows you to create (literally) thousands of training programs through my unique ‘mix-n-match’ structure.

 

Access to Videos of what training sessions must contain with young athletes (more…)

Dietary Supplements – Hype or Hope?

 

 

Dietary Supplements

by Dr. Chris Mohr, PhD, RD

 

There are over 29,000 dietary supplements available.

 

From creatine to fat burners, whey protein to weight gain formulas. 
     What works?
     What doesn’t?
     Do you need a supplement to perform at your best?

 

While giving a talk recently to high school football players, I asked the team this question:

 

How many of you take dietary supplements?

 

About 95% of the athletes raised their hands.

 

I then asked this follow up question.

 

How many of you ate breakfast this morning?

 

3 hands out of the entire team went up. 

 

(more…)

Kids Coaching: Memories – Part 2

 

 

Kids Coaching is so Rewarding

Robert was a born leader.

 

Not the most gifted athlete in the world.

 

Not the strongest kid in the weight room.

 

And certainly not the fastest guy on the field.

 

But he was captain of the #2 ranked high school football team
in Illinois and a three year varsity starter for one reason….

 

He elevated the work ethic of his teammates.

 

And he did so without words.

 

Robert just flat-out worked hard.

 

Every play.

 

Every down.

 

Every moment in practice and games.

 

And when you’re around a guy like that, it’s hard not to look in the
mirror and want to work harder yourself.

 

I’ll go on record as saying that the two consecutive trips we made as
a team to the state quarterfinals were due in large part to Robert.

 

Four starting offensive players went on to Division One football
scholarships after there senior seasons.

 

Five more from the defensive side of the ball.

 

Truly, this team was talent personified.

 

But Robert, the undersized and under skilled offensive lineman was
the real cog and catalyst.

 

Now, you may be assuming that what I learned from him was something
to do within the realm of "leadership" or "work ethic".

 

But that’s not what Robert taught me.

 

What he did offer as a valuable lesson however, was the power of
knowing what NOT to say.

 

Team Captain.

 

Undeniable Leader.

 

"The Man" in the locker room and on the field.

 

And barely a word ever came out of him.

 

It’s the pat on the back he would give his running back for making a
great cut and springing a 40 yard run.

 

The look he would give another offensive lineman if he didn’t feel as
though their block was as aggressive or complete as it could have been
on the last play.

 

(more…)

Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part One

 

 

Kids Coaching teaches us

Blake came to me as a quiet, shy and terribly uncoordinated
8th grader.

 

13 years old and quite tall for his age, I knew the second I saw
him that I was going to like the kid.

 

He never said much and certainly had a great deal of difficulty
learning how to perform even the most basic of exercises, but
he was steadfast in his work ethic and always brought a good
energy to the training center.

 

I learned a lot over the years from kids coaching and from Blake.

 

Mostly, how to enjoy and appreciate the very small things in life.

 

His last training session with me was on a humid and sweaty
Chicago-style, August afternoon.

 

Walking into my facility, I noticed an unfamiliar bounce to his
stride and a larger than usual, ear-to-ear grin on his face.

 

"What’s goin’ on, my friend" I greeted him.

 

"Why such a perky smile?"

 

"Tomorrow, football tryouts start and I’m geared up!" he replied.

 

I tend to get tunnel vision as the summer months dwindle down.
I have dozens upon dozens of college athletes returning to play
fall sports and even more high school kids phasing up for
football and basketball.

 

"That’s right! What position you trying out for? You expecting
a ton of playing time, I assume?" I asked.

 

"Don’t care to be honest. Just looking forward to strapping on a
helmet and being part of a team"

 

His answer struck something in me that I didn’t quite understand at
the time, but would be overwhelmed with a few short months later.

 

Fast forward.

 

Late September, same year.

 

Blake was attending the same high school that I served as Head
Strength Coach at.

 

Great bunch of kids all around.

 

Dedicated, hard working and a Coaching Staff that truly valued the
kid inside the athlete.

 

And I’ll be honest…

 

I ADORED Friday nights.

 

I got to patrol the sidelines.

 

Home games especially.

 

There is just something magical about high school football in the cool
autumn air.

 

So there I was.

 

Patrolling as usual.

 

Laid back as I am in my daily life, I get ultra-serious and intense when
it comes to competition.

 

My own or my athletes.

 

(more…)

Training Young Athletes – Four Years Later

 

 

Training Young Athletes With the IYCA

 

"What kind of person Brian was helped me become the person I am
today"…. I have a combination of tears and chills.

 

Why wouldn’t you want to join an organization that is worth so much
more than just credentials?

 

Click below to see the difference we can help you make when training young athletes

 

http://www.iyca.org/youth-fitness-certification

 

 

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