Archive for “Job” Tag

Making Your High School Athletes Better

 

High School Athletes Programming

 

High School Athletes

By Wil Fleming

 

Recently I gave some thought to how many questions arise when putting
together programming for high school athletes. Questions about general strength
training practices, how to prioritize training goals, and what to do for speed and
agility are all important, but the most basic of questions that need to be asked by
any coach is:

 

 

What should be included in the program for your high school athletes?

 

As coaches we are all probably very familiar with the elements of a successful high school program in their entirety, but what are the finer points that can take your program for high school over the top?

 

Allow me to share with you the best ways to differentiate your program from all the others by looking at each phase of a high school training session:

 

SMR:A place to impact the health of athletes

 

A pre-workout program should do the job of preparing the athlete for the coming training and to some extent helping them recover from their prior training or practices. Foam rolling or other form of self-myofascial release should be included and should be mandatory prior to beginning that day’s session. High school programs and other coaches are doing SMR as an afterthought, by clearly laying out expectations for your athletes they will get more out of this part of the workout and be healthier.

 

Warm-Up:Continuity creates a great environment

 

Continuity in warm-ups creates the atmosphere at AR Bloomington, so
we stick with one for 2 months or so before altering it. In this way athletes
have very clear expectations of them and nearly all are able to achieve
some level of mastery within the warm-up period. I have also found that
a consistent warm-up is one of the single best times to create a fun and
exciting environment for the athletes through lively and interactive conversation.

 

Specific Mobility:Individualization

 

Specific mobility and activation should be differentiated by sport, position,
or athlete. We should take into account common movement patterns within
the sport, assessment results and injury history when designing this for each
athlete or group. No matter the size of the group, it is important that this time
be differentiated to keep athletes healthy, this touch of individualization even
in a large group goes a long way to insuring your athletes know that you took
into account their needs

 

Dynamic and Explosive Training:A difference maker

 

Dynamic and explosive training should consist of plyometrics and medicine
ball throws. This is a time for athletes to train their nervous system and train
fast twitch muscle fiber. In a lot of settings dynamic training gets thrown together
as an afterthought and sometimes looks like no more than “box jumps”. Smart
programming with progressions moving from: single response, to multiple
response, to shock, and unilateral work can greatly improve results for your
champions.

 

Speed and Agility:Basics first

 

Training for speed and agility can be the biggest opportunity for your AR to
be successful but so many programs go about it in the wrong way. Remember
that as with any other form of training, a foundation of technique should form
the basis of your training. Running mindless drills with no foundation will not
lead to success for your AR. Start with static drills, move to dynamic, and
finally move to randomization. Equip your athletes with the knowledge of
how to sprint, and how to change direction and they will be far better off than
any dot drill can make them.

 

Strength training:Choose to be different

 

Typically our high school athletes will be training with us concurrently with
a program run by their high school so we must take this into account. At most
high schools, athletes are trained predominantly through pushing movements
(squats, bench press etc), like the bench press and squat leaving their entire
posterior chain at a deficit to their front-side musculature. Balance your athletes
out by programming more “pulling” than “pushing”.

 

Energy Systems Training: So much more than just running

 

Athletes are very familiar with running mile after mile or “gasser” after “gasser”.
Exposing athletes to innovative energy systems training by using different
implements e.g. kettlebells or medicine balls, and by using exact intervals to
elicit particular responses, shows creativity on your part, allows you to use
your space more efficiently, and will make you a savior to your champions.

 

Flexibility:A final time to teach

 

Whether from the coach or the athlete flexibility gets a bad rap. Although
not as buzzworthy as mobility, training athletes for flexibility will undoubtedly
be to their benefit, if only for its use as a cool down. As a coach the time for
flexibility is a time for a wrap up of the days events and reminders for
upcoming events. It is your final time to connect with athletes in that given
day. Use it well.

 

Using this framework for how you approach the programming of your
high
school athletes will help you get them more invested and excited to be a
part of your High School Athletes, and make them better.
Remember that we are here to Change Lives!

 

 

 

 

 

IYCA Passion: Losing Is Your Only Safe Bet

 

 

IYCA Criticism is something I’ve just come to accept as part of my job.

 

It’s far easier to throw a brick at a house than it is to build one yourself.

 

And thus far since creating and launching the IYCA, I’ve seen firsthand how
that statement is true.

 

From world-class, big name industry icons to local youth sports Coaches, I
have taken my share of lumps over the past few years.

 

People criticize.

 

They publicly demean.

 

They get personal and attack my character.

 

It used to bother me some, I’ll admit.

 

Doesn’t phase me an ounce anymore.

 

Quite frankly, I sort of like it (is that odd???).

 

When you’re doing something of worth, it draws attention from all kinds of people.

 

Some are fans, some think you’re an idiot.

 

But you soon come to realize that the bad is going to come with the good.

 

The reason I’m bringing this up is because a good friend of mine recently forwarded
me an article about this very topic.

 

One particular sentence caught my attention -

 

(more…)

IYCA Specialist: Is Your OB-GYN Also A Dentist?

 

 

IYCA is about creating specialists

There are a lot of reasons someone may feel proud of themselves.

 

But I’m not going to bother listing them all right now.

 

I want to cut right to the chase.

 

I did it.

 

You did it.

 

We did it together.

 

We’re making ‘them’ stand up and take notice.

 

We’re forcing them to respond to us and what we have to say.

 

We didn’t ask for their input, but we forced them into taking action.

 

The fitness world is about to embark on something very interesting.

 

The ‘youth fitness’ craze is about to take over and organizations are
going to start having a ‘mission statement’ and ‘solutions’ approach
to the matter.

 

Good.

 

It’s about time.

 

,h3>But there’s two things you have to remember about the IYCA -

 

1) Youth is our ONLY concern. We’re not a buffet. We don’t offer all
things to all people. You wouldn’t go to the OB-GYN if they also
happened to be a Dentist. Specializing means you know that topics
better than anybody else and can provide the correct kind of information
to actually get things done.

 

2) We’re you-centered and Member-driven. Family first. We care about
your successes and achievements more than anyone else. If you don’t
feel that, odds are you’re not paying attention.

 

Case in point….

 

(more…)

The Trouble with High School Athletes

 

 

High School Athletes Training Programs

Okay… So the ‘trouble’ really isn’t with high school athletes, per say,
it’s with the training programs they’re often forced to use.

 

And frankly, they don’t know any better.

 

But then again, neither do many high school Coaches.

 

Not a targeted shot, just reality.

 

So here are some of the problems I’ve seen -

 

1) Train Versus Teach

 

From Day 1, many incoming high school athletes are asked to ‘perform’.

 

Using lifts they are often unfamiliar with and receiving little to no
technical instruction, they are often left to their own devices.

 

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Kids Fitness And The Little Things about Coaching…


Kids Fitness Coaching Tip. By Brian Grasso

Great kid.

 

Hard worker.

 

Lots of talent.

 

But very quiet and tends to get left out in other kids fitness partner drills.

 

It’s very faint in the video, but you can just barely hear me talking to him.

 

I’m inspiring him based on what I’ve seen about his personality.

 

Talking just to him.

 

Notice the ‘high five’ and quick pat on the stomach at the end of his set.

 

Sometimes it’s good to motivate loudly.

 

Other times it’s effective to be highly energetic and charismatic.

 

But you have to understand your audience and determine how best they will listen to your message.

 

In this case, I felt it was critical to let him know I thought he did a great job without being overly exuberant about it.

 

The Art of Coaching Kids fitness at work…

 

 

 

 

120 Young Athletes… 45 Minutes

 

Young Athletes Can be Coached In Big Groups

Now this is the kind of situation that baffles many coaches and
trainers.
 

But for good reason.
 

What do you do when your job is to effectively train 120 young
athletes, are only given 45 minutes and have nothing but an open
gym space?

 

It’s actually quite simple.
 

Here’s the rundown step-by-step:
 

1. Assess Your Athletes
 

Your assessment is not based on any sort of biomotor testing or
functional movement. It can’t be.
 

I was given very little warning about this contract and simply
don’t have the time or ability to perform any type of real
evaluation.
 

The assessment I’m referring to is based on knowledge
gathering in order to ascertain the ‘likelihoods’ of the
situation.
 

What many of the ‘assessment crazy’ professionals in our industry
don’t seem to understand about working with young athletes
is that you can evaluate and program for what I call the
‘likely’s’
 

120 young football players aged 15 – 17. It is likely that:
 

 

a. They are used to pounding weight in the gym so don’t have
much in the way of solid form with respect to lift mechanics.
 

b. Due to growth and other extraneous factors, they are tight
through the hip complex and weak in the posterior chain.
 

c. They don’t typical work on mobility, active flexibility or
concentrated torso strength.
 

d. Their movement mechanics have probably never even been
addressed.
 

 

In the absence of being able to truly assess, my ability to
program for these kids is based on the ‘likely factors’ of what
I know to be true.
 

 

2. Space versus Time
 

My objective here is simple.
 

Create a program that focuses on the following system -
 

 

a. Teach Effectively
 

b. Monitor Adherence
 

c. Keep the young athletes Moving
 

 

If I can’t teach proper execution, I may as well pack up and go
home.
 

If I can’t monitor to make sure execution is correct, I am doing
more harm than good.
 

If I don’t keep these kids moving, engaged and thinking relative
to the space I have them in, I should just let them have at it in
the weight room on there own.
 

The key is to factor all of these unique issues into your
program.
 

Creating effective training programs has as much to do
with intangible aspects of session flow as it does with the
exercise selection itself.
 

Here’s what I came up with given the above scenarios.
 

It’s a three tiered program that alters focus as the session
moves on -
 

 

SECTION ONE
 

Hip Circuits (hip complex)
Bridges (glute activation)
Elbows/Up (torso activation)
 

 

SECTION TWO
 

Hip/Hamstring Deep Stretch (hip mobility)
Lateral Squats (adductor mobility)
Split Squats (posterior chain activation + hip complex)
Ankle Mobility
 

 

SECTION THREE
 

Deceleration Technique (movement aptitude)
Bear Crawl (system strength)
Crab Walk (systemic strength)
 

 

120 young athletes.

 

45 minutes.
 

No equipment.
 

No evaluation.
 

No problem.
 

I’ll be hitting you with some video of these young athletes training sessions
later this week so you can see what it all looks like.
 

 

‘Till next time,
 

 

Brian