Archive for “Jim Herrick” Tag

5 Traits Of A Champion That Coaches Love To See

 

Youth Sport Coaches Want These Habits

 

By Jim Herrick

 

Youth Sport Coaches

 

Do you want to make the team, get more playing time, or win a championship this season? If you do, stop worrying about ability and start focusing on habit building.

 

Athletic Revolution coaches around the country work hard to instill Champion habits into all the kids who work with us, whether they play sports or not. We do this because we see how important they are to a young athlete’s long-term success on the field, in the classroom, and in life.

 

Kids who focus on winning or other external goals often lose sight of the internal factors that in many cases lead to much more personal and team success in the long run.

 

For anyone going out for a team, remember that by developing these 5 critical habits you will help yourself to get noticed by youth sport coaches, contribute more to your team, and become the best player you can possibly be over time.

 

Attention to detail: There are so many small details that go into the successful execution of a play or game plan. Players who do the little things that most kids overlook send a message to their coach that they are the detail-oriented type that helps teams become more successful. Building this habit during your youth league experiences will make it far easier to succeed as you move through high school and beyond, where sport has just as much to do with execution as it does ability.

 

Focus: Youth sport coaches never have enough practice time to do all the things they’d like to in order to prepare their teams. Players that are focused and attentive help to keep things moving along positively in practices, helping the team as a whole to get more done. And since the habits we all build in practices or training carry over to game performance, improving your focus will help you deal with adversity from opponents, crowds and other distractions that come up during the heat of competition.

 

Passion: Nothing is more infectious than enthusiasm. If you live to play your sport and can’t get enough of it, let it come out! Show energy and excitement at appropriate times. Give 100% in everything you do, from the simplest drill to the toughest physical challenge. Project a feeling of excitement on a regular basis, and your youth sport coaches will surely take notice.

 

Leadership: You do not have to be the star of your team to be a leader. Leadership is about helping to do what is best for the group as a whole, especially at times when it is not easy to do so. When it’s needed, pick up a teammate who is struggling. Let your passion show when the team appears flat. In critical moments where your group needs a leader, step up and be the voice that moves everyone in a better direction.

 

Show Improvement Over Time/Perseverance: The gains you make over the course of a season are a byproduct of your focus, passion, and attention to detail. I mention it separately because it is possible your coaches may not immediately realize the value of all the little things you bring to the table. But with the right habits in place, over time you’re going to get significantly better. And when that happens, I can almost guarantee your youth sport coaches will see it.

 

If you are not getting the playing time or having the team success you wished for right away, hang in there. Keep training and practicing with passion, stay focused and do all the little things you’ll need for success. Often times it takes longer to reach your goals than you realize. The true achievers in this world are those that hang in there and fight through the struggles while continuing to build great habits.

 

Many young athletes simply want to win as many youth sport coaches know, but are either unsure or unwilling to focus on all the critical steps that lead to long-term success. A true Champion recognizes that those who come out on top in the end put in countless hours of focused practice, took hundreds or thousands of small steps forward along the way, and continued to stay energized despite the roadblocks that fell on their path.

 

 

 

Preventing Knee Injuries With Youth Strength Training Programs

Does Your Youth Strength Training Program Promote ACL Injuries?

 

Youth Sports knee injuries

 

The good news about knee injuries these days, and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears in particular, is that medical science has turned what used to be a career-ending injury into something most athletes can recover from in time.

 

The bad news is that ACL tears are occurring more often than ever. Anyone involved in a youth strength training program likely knows at least one athlete who has had a severe knee injury in the past year.

 

Why do these injuries occur?

 

The ACL is a small ligament that runs diagonally inside the knee and connects the upper leg (femur) to the main shin bone (tibia). It’s job is to prevent the knee from twisting or moving side-to-side more than just a few degrees. When pushed beyond its relatively small limit, the ACL can either be partially stretched or ripped completely.

 

Youth Sports training knee injuries

 

In a sports setting, the ACL almost always gets torn during a one-time event. This can occur due to contact with another athlete, or during non-contact moments where the knee may be pushed out of position from a high level of force placed on it. Non-contact situations where this normally happens are during cutting, pivoting, out-of-control stopping, and awkward landings on jumps.

 

Surprisingly, about 70% of ACL tears in young athletes occur during non-contact events. Female athletes are between 3 and 8 times more likely than males to tear their ACL. Although all youth sports have some level of ACL injuries, soccer and basketball have the most for girls playing sports. For boys, it is football and lacrosse.

 

With nearly 150,000 tears occurring annually in the United States alone, more focus has not just gone into the rehabilitation process, but also in preventing these injuries from happening in the first place.

 

How To Prevent ACL Injuries With Your Youth Strength Training Program

 

One big piece of preventing ACL tears is to focus on both the ankle and hip joints, strange as that may seem. Knees basically go where the ankles and hips send them, so ‘prehabilitation’ measures focus on those areas.

 

For the ankle, it is crucial that young athletes limit the amount of side-to-side movement that occurs in that joint. Either during one leg standing postures or when running, the more their ankles roll the better the chance it will push their knees either in or out during faster-paced athletic events. Kids who tend to roll their ankles a lot may be much more susceptible to knee injuries when they get bigger, faster and stronger in their later years.

 

The hip joint needs to both be flexible and strong to function correctly, making it a little harder to train. For the flexibility side, stretches that specifically target the hips may be needed for those with limited ability to do a deep squat. Very young athletes (ages 11 and younger) are almost never in need of these, but once the teenage years approach and growth spurts really kick in, more stretching may be warranted.

 

Youth Strength Training Program

 

Strengthening the hips can be tricky, because most athletes with weak hip muscles have learned to move in a way that shifts the stress to their stronger leg and back muscles. You’d think a basic exercise like a squat would work the hips very well, but not for those who are leg-muscle dominant already. Isolated strength for the hip muscles plus relearning other exercise patterns, such as squatting, must both be done to stabilize and protect the knees.

 

Just as important in this equation is for young athletes to learn how to move properly. Being able to efficiently absorb the force of gravity when landing on a jump can lower your ACL tear risk substantially, and is relatively easy to learn for most focused and dedicated athletes. In addition, controlling momentum during stopping and cutting movements will further decrease your risk. These skills tend to take much more repetition to improve on, but it certainly can be done.

 

Although it is true that the younger someone starts improving these skills the better chance it will lower their future injury risk, it is never too late to build the strength, flexibility and movement skill required in sports with a great youth strength training program to keep your knees stable and safe.

 

Help young athletes train the RIGHT way, perform to their full potential and learn from the very best in industry by getting your IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist Certification today!

 

Youth Fitness Training

 

SOURCES: British Association of Sports Medicine, www.livestrong.com