Archive for “Motivation” Tag

Training Young Athletes: Are You Coaching an Entitled Child?

 

Motivating When Training Young Athletes

Training young athletes IYCA youth fitness specialist

 

By Melissa Lambert

 

As coaches you can all think of a time when a parent or young athlete has approached you demanding they start and play the entire game. Whether they deserve that level of recognition or not, in their eyes they will be a professional athlete some day and the expectation is that you cater to their needs. One of the most difficult aspects of coaching can be motivating young athletes to compete at peak performance not only as individuals but as a team. Conversely, when you have young athletes who feel entitled and need to be in the limelight all the time, you can expect a bigger challenge. An entitled child or athlete feels like he or she should receive without giving and working. This child often refuses to hear the word no and will lash out. Other signs of entitlement include not taking turns, impatience, putting themselves first, lack of compassion, tantrums and minimal manners.

 

These childhood or adolescent behaviors are not innate; they have been shaped by their environment. They are a result of over-parenting and giving children too much without earning it. Coaches can only foster the environment during the time in which they are working with the athletes, however they still play a critical role in overall physical and emotional development. The problem with giving children everything they want is building false expectations that needs and desires will be at the center of future relationships whether it would be with friends, coaches, teachers or a significant other. If you put into the perspective of a high school athlete, how might he or she handle getting beat out of a position by their own teammate? The entitled athlete will come up with a million excuses for why they deserve to be playing and will quit the team instead of fighting for that position back.

 

The number of children with high skill and low motivation I see when training young athletes is increasing and the philosophy of coaching our current generation of youth needs to change in developing future elite athletes.

 

Coaches need to be mindful not to set-up athletes to fail by giving them the preconceived notion they will become the next all-star young athlete in order to meet their desired outcome.

 

What you need to know to about coaching and training young athletes:

 

Over-coaching hurts a child’s confidence and underestimates an athlete’s ability.

 

It’s a similar concept to over-parenting when your role is to provide the necessities without over indulging. Athletes need opportunities to learn for themselves and make their own mistakes. It is easy to find yourself catering to a child who always seems to have a problem whether it’s pain, hunger or needing a water break every 10 minutes. Make sure you set firm expectations and limits from the beginning and make team values a precedence. If an athlete shows up late to practice they should know ahead of time what the consequence is. You should also encourage your athletes to problem-solve their own questions or challenges rather than doing it for them. This allows for autonomy and exploration. Trust that your athletes can handle a difficult situation independently or as a team while providing guidance when needed.

 

Focus on the resilience of an athlete – their ability to cope with stress and adversity.

 

It’s much easier to say no to an athlete with a mind set that he or she will become a stronger individual in the long run. I am sure we can all think of an athlete that cracks under pressure or loses composure at the thought of failure. A child or athlete who is entitled tends to lack resiliency, which frequently results in poor performance in challenging situations. Create opportunities through competition and teach the importance of responsibility in growth. In order to affect change when training young athletes, an athlete needs to take ownership and acknowledge a change needs to be made. The more athletes are put in difficult situations during practice, scrimmages, etc. the greater their ability to handle adversity in a game situation. Use narcissism, giving-up and low motivation as teaching tools during practice to break out of habits while positively reinforcing appropriate behaviors through praise or additional playing time.

 

Don’t reward or compliment children for unfitting attributes.

 

Studies indicate that children who are complimented for everything don’t benefit from being positively reinforced by praise. You build false hope in an athlete if you tell them they are doing well at something when they are not. This will result in a greater sense of disappointment later in life when reality sets in. Coaches need to teach young athletes that mistakes are necessary to become better and use weaknesses as coaching opportunities for improvement. Don’t make athletes feel like they need to be exceptional all the time by using unsubstantiated appraisals.

 

Coaches are not only an intricate part of athletic development but also help build a foundation for everyday life skills. It is crucial to allow for autonomy and avoid doing everything for your young athletes. They need to be able to handle adversity and effectively cope when challenges arise. Most importantly when training young athletes, encourage them to build off weaknesses instead of giving false hop resulting in future disappointment.

 

Melissa Lambert, M.Ed, LPC, YFS1, HSSCC, YNS
Child and Adolescent Therapist
Program Director – Connecticut Coast Soccer Performance Training Clinic

 

 

Goal Setting for Young Athletes

Young Athletes Goals and Dreams

Dreams and ambition are great.

 

But how many times have you established a goal for yourself and not completed it?

 

I’ll bet that number totals into the dozens.

 

You start the process, get ultra-excited, amped-up beyond belief…

 

… And then…

 

Nothing.

 

You kind of get started, but not really.

 

You sort of create a plan, but never really follow it.

 

You get confused, overwhelmed, discouraged and then… JUST STOP.

 

Been there myself.

 

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How To Shape Speed Training – Part 2

 

 

Speed Training

A coach or trainer must possess a firm grasp of applied pedagogical science and have the ability to convert that knowledge into its practical art form.

 

Gone are the days of the ‘one size fits all’ approach to working with athletes. You cannot assume nor expect a given group of athletes, with their varying personalities and temperaments, to relate and respond to a singular style of coaching.

 

The aristocratic and authoritarian coaching style, long considered the most effective means of handling a group of athletes, is in actuality, a surefire way to negate the potential benefits of a lesson or training session.

 

From an ease of coaching perspective, it would be a wonderful scenario for us to only to work with those athletes whom were supremely motivated and exceptionally gifted, but in reality, this is seldom the case.

 

In any given group setting you have to accept the notion that your athletes will be divided in terms of both ability and motivation, and represent an eclectic cross-section of the following potential personalities:

 

– High Motivation/High Skill
– High Motivation/Low Skill
– Low Motivation/ High Skill
– Low Motivation/Low Skill

 

Each one of the sub-classifications above represents an athlete in need of a particular coaching style in order to gain and retain your speed and movement shaping lessons optimally.

 

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Training Young Athletes: Exposed!

 

 

Training Young Athletes

The IYCA takes Membership very seriously.

 

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Brian's Close Call

I’ll just come straight out with it.

 

I wrecked my car last weekend.

 

Something I likely won’t forget anytime soon.

 

I was driving from Chicago to Minnesota in order to present at a
seminar in St. Paul.

 

Scheduled to speak at 10:40 in the morning on Sunday, I opted to
leave my house at around 11pm Saturday night.

 

I had slept a bunch that day and was completely rested, so felt good
about making the 6 hour drive through the night.

 

At roughly 3am I found myself driving on a very poorly lit stretch of
the Wisconsin country-side. Wide awake, in great spirits and enjoying
an educational CD playing from my car’s stereo.

 

I won’t belabor the details or try to write in any sort of suspenseful
way.

 

Just the facts.

 

Without warning at all, an animal of some sort ran across the highway
and struck the front of my car.

 

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Developing Young Athletes: Intelligent vs. Dumb

 

 

>Developing Young Athletes With the IYCA

‘Intelligence’.

 

Defined by the dictionary as –

 

“The capacity for learning, understanding and aptitude for grasping relationships”

 

That sets the stage very nicely for the meaning of this IYCA-based term.

 

What about ‘Athletic’?

 

It’s defined as such –

 

“Involving the use of physical skills or capabilities”

 

String those two definitions together and you’ve got the basis for the main motivation needed when training and developing young athletes.

 

In short –

 

“Increasing the capacity for learning and understanding various physical skills and how they relate”

 

That is the crux and critical requirement with respect to programming for young athletes.

 

And how backwards do we have that these days?

 

Increase the capacity for learning:

 

It’s not about over-coaching pre-adolescent children.

 

Teaching them the ‘mechanics’ of how to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball.

 

It’s about enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how to perform these actions via Guided Discovery.

 

Allowing them to play.

 

Get a feel for the motion themselves and through trail and error, develop bodily aptitude.

 

Understanding various physical skills and how they relate:

 

Through this ‘trail and error’ period of development, it can’t be about specificity, either.

 

It’s about indirect, global stimulus.

 

Running fast, for example, isn’t just based on the action of running.

 

It’s based on:

 

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Children’s Fitness: 3 Career Tips

 

 

Children’s fitness is what your missing

Without pulling punches or beating around the bush, I’m going to
give you a straight look at something today.

 

Why you need to become a Youth Fitness Specialist through
the IYCA.

 

Do yourself a favor and read this entire post – it’s short, succinct
and very much to the point.

 

But the impact it could have on your career is tremendous.

 

 

Reason # 1 – Belong to Something Bigger

 

As a Fitness Professional and Coach, your career is very much an
isolated one.

 

Yes you have your clients and certainly you have some colleagues,
but what kind of professional support and daily inspiration do you
have?

 

The hours can be very long and the pay often insignificant.

 

What keeps you going and motivated?

 

Taking on yet another client who wants to drop a ‘few pounds’ or
look ‘better in a bathing suit’ just can’t stimulate you forever.

 

That’s one of the primary reasons this industry has such a high
turn over rate – Fitness Professionals either burnout quickly or
end up losing motivation all together and opt of move on.

 

Imagine instead feeling like this everyday –

 

"I am honored to be a part of such an AWESOME organization!
To walk into the Summit and to be in the room with over 200 like
minded, passionate individuals who care about youth fitness is
beyond words. The IYCA is a global family and one I am proud to
be a part of. I cherish each and every family member that I met
and look forward to learning and sharing from all in our family"

 

** Written by IYCA Member Lisa Aguilera after attending our recent
International Summit.

 

(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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Insights Into Training Young Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes In Sports

Sometimes, it feels good to be validated that you’re right.

 

And that’s what happened to me yesterday.

 

I conducted an interview with a Youth Sports Psychologist
named Dr. Darrell Burnett for a project I’ve been working on.

 

Darrell and I first met on a DVD shoot back in 2003.

 

We were both asked to appear as ‘experts’ in a information
documentary based on youth sports called ‘Operation TLC’.

 

I was unbelievably impressed with Darrell’s stunning insight
into human emotion, behavior and consequence as well as the
role self-esteem plays in terms of the choices and decisions
we make for ourselves.

 

I was so impressed, that I still stay in contact with him and
frequently ask him questions related to topics surrounding
coaching, motivation and Coach/Athlete relationship.

 

We spoke yesterday at length about these exact topics.

 

Here’s what Darrell’s thoughts were related to training
young athletes –

 

  • We spend far too much time on worrying about the
    ‘end result’ and not near enough time on considering
    the ‘process’. It’s not where we’re going that matters as
    much as how far we’ve come along the path. Knowing
    the end point or result is critical, but being proud and
    satisfied with how far we’ve progressed towards that
    result is what must be on our heads daily.

     

  • The formative years are key for absolutely everything,
    from sports to music and academics. What we are exposed
    to young is the number one factor in determining how
    successful we become later in life. But this isn’t restricted
    to ‘physical’ stimulus, the emotional support and validation
    we receive early in life plays a significant role on our self-
    esteem and self-worth – so much so that dysfunctional adult
    syndromes such as codefendant can result if we aren’t
    taught that "winning and losing are both okay but don’t
    define who you are"

     

  • No matter how ‘great’ the young athletes in our care are,
    we must always strive to downplay their athletic ‘greatness’
    and focus on treating them like a person first and athlete
    second. ‘Brand identifying’ a young person as an ‘athlete’,
    ‘obese’ or ‘book worm’ lends to much credence to them
    feeling as though that’s what they must always live up to.
    They are valuable kids first and foremost, who just happen
    to excel in sports – nothing more.

     

 

Not only is it amazing for me to constantly learn from great
professionals like Dr. Burnett, but it’s also so validating to
see that what I teach through the IYCA in terms of ‘The Art
of Coaching’ lines up so perfectly with what he has to say.

 

Re-read those lessons from Dr. Burnett and be sure that
you’re treating your young athletes the way he knows is right.

 

You can never stop learning.

 

 

‘TIll next time,

 

Brian

 

 

 

P.S. – Gaining insight from great professionals like Dr. Darrell
Burnett is a necessity in terms of becoming the most successful
professional you can be. Have a look inside my head and
understand how and why I produce the most successful training
programs for youths in the world today.

 

Visit http://www.iyca.org/course/programdesign and learn
the tremendous insight that will make you a better young athletes Coach or
Trainer guaranteed.

 

 

Developing Young Athletes: What is Athletic Intelligence?

 

 

Developing Young Athletes

 

‘Intelligence’.

 

Defined by the dictionary as –

 

“The capacity for learning, understanding and aptitude for grasping relationships”

 

That sets the stage very nicely for the meaning of this IYCA-based term.

 

What about ‘Athletic’?

 

It’s defined as such –

 

“Involving the use of physical skills or capabilities”

 

String those two definitions together and you’ve got the basis for the main motivation needed when training and developing young athletes.

 

In short –

 

“Increasing the capacity for learning and understanding various physical skills and how they relate”

 

That is the crux and critical requirement with respect to programming for young athletes.

 

And how backwards do we have that these days?

 

Increase the capacity for learning:

 

It’s not about over-coaching pre-adolescent children.

 

Teaching them the ‘mechanics’ of how to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball.

 

It’s about enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how to perform these actions via Guided Discovery.

 

Allowing them to play.

 

Get a feel for the motion themselves and through trail and error, develop bodily aptitude.

 

Understanding various physical skills and how they relate:

 

Through this ‘trail and error’ period of development, it can’t be about specificity, either.

 

It’s about indirect, global stimulus.

 

Running fast, for example, isn’t just based on the action of running.

 

It’s based on:

 

– Rhythm

 

– Movement Adequacy

 

– Efficient production and absorption of force

 

– Body position for optimal acceleration and deceleration

 

These physical skills aren’t only developed via performing endless sets of sprints or start and stop drills for young athletes

.

 

In fact, they are BEST developed singularly. Learned and understood in isolation and then eventually brought together in a relative format.

 

If you haven’t already, watch this basic ‘Skip Loop’ exercise from the ‘Coordination Development’ DVD found in Complete Athlete Development –

 

 

 

 

Rhythm

 

Timing

 

Movement Adequacy

 

Force Production and Absorption

 

Through drills like these, my young athletes are learning how to be ‘intelligent’.

 

It is through indirect methods of enhancing bodily knowledge that kids form the basis of becoming superior athletes in time.

 

It’s a process that can’t be rushed or overlooked.

 

The problem is, we rush and/or ignore this phase of athletic development all the time.

 

And that’s the main reason so few of our young athletes ever amount to much in terms of optimal sporting success.

 

They were rushed through a process.

 

Over-coached and ‘specified’ too early.

 

They simply aren’t Athletically Intelligent.

 

And when you don’t have basic intelligence, you can’t possibly expand your knowledge passed a certain point.

 

You lack the foundational aptitude on which to learn more.

 

Ask yourself this question –

 

Are the indirect aspects of learning addition and subtraction important to the eventual mastery of specific mathematical skills such as calculus or algebra?

 

You better believe they are.

 

Now apply that reasoning to developing young athletes.

 

Isn’t it time you saw firsthand what training for sporting success should REALLY look like?

 

Have a look at Complete Athlete Development and see what you’re missing –

 

 

Complete Athlete Development – Click Here Now

 

 

Brian