Archive for “Peers” Tag

7 Steps to Programming for young athletes: Part 2

Programming for young athletes

Here’s where I left off yesterday…

 

Moreover, I’d be willing to bet that 90% or better of the 13 year olds who walk into your facility would ‘fail’ this standard assessment:

 

  1. They’re growing and lack mobility
  2. They growing and lack coordination
  3. They sit all day and have inappropriate hip functionality as a result
  4. They’ve been introduced to improper ‘training’ and lack posterior strength

 

A formal assessment can certainly show us gains, improvements and corrections when performed at regular intervals – and because of that, I am all for them.

 

But here’s what I’ve learned to be true about coaching young athletes in the trenches:

 

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Young Athletes: Individual and Team Training – Mutually Exclusive?

 

 

Young Athletes Coaching

I have seen a fair amount of discussion on the merits of individual long term training vs. team long term training.  I will submit a later entry to compare short term vs. long term training.  My question is:  Why do any of these things have to be mutually exclusive?

 

All I want to do here is share some approaches I or associates have used in the past with my young athletes:

 

Whole team long term training:

 

The positives: There is a long term relationship where the team can get used to a certain approach.  You get to interact with the kids possibly throughout the critical athletic development years.  Additionally, kids get to train with each other, and build team camaraderie.  This approach can make training more affordable, and possibly result in more revenue.

 

The negatives (dependent on number of coaches and approach):  Less one-one attention and some movement difficulties can fall through the cracks.  There is less flexibility of routine and adjustment to routine when training a whole team (though the long term part of it helps to ease that a little).

 

Individual long term training:

 

Positives: There is a long term relationship where the coach can closely monitor the student.  Movement difficulties can be more easily addressed.  There is total freedom in adjusting to what makes this particular child “tick”.

 

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Setting Goals and Expectations for Young Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes Goals

 

The Pygmalion Effect can either elevate a workers productivity or entirely undermine it. For instance, workers who receive continuous verbal praise for their efforts, while being supported by non-verbal means, will aspire and ascend to even more productivity. In contrast, if a worker receives less praise or even communication from management than their peers or co-workers, although nothing is being conveyed verbally, the worker feels as though they are under-appreciated and will see a lapse or decrease in productivity.

 

Livingston substantiated this point –

 

“If he (the manager) is unskilled, he leaves scars on the careers of the young men and women, cuts deeply into their self-esteem and distorts their image of themselves as human beings. But if he is skillful and has high expectations of his subordinates, their self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop and their productivity will be high. More often than he realizes, the manager is Pygmalion”

 

Now, apply these realities to the world of youth sports and coaching young athletes.

 

If inappropriate managerial skills, in the form of limited positive affirmations or feedback, can effect an adult to the degree that they will have "scars… cuts deeply into their self-esteem and distorts their image of themselves as human beings", what do you think happens to children under the pressure of inappropriate coaching?

 

In understanding the relevancy and practicality of the Pygmalion Effect, answer these questions for yourself:

 

Why doesn’t a "one size fits all" coaching approach work?

 

Do coaches treat all of their young athletes the same, or do they every so subtly play favorites?

 

What would happen to the ability and self-esteem of young athletes if their coaches and parents demonstrated great pride in their efforts and positively voiced a level of expectation, based entirely on the notion that the coach "knows" the young athlete could achieve this?

 

Should we make our young athletes more concerned about the results of a game or training session, or spend our energy with heaping positive praise and expectation on them because we know that they are capable of anything?

 

Here is a list of Pygmalion-based coaching strategies for you to use with your young athletes:

 

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