Archive for “Performance Training” Tag

Performance Training Issues Solved by Standardizing?

Can Performance Training Issues Be Solved by Standardizing?

The goal of Performance Training programs for young athletes is simple: create more injury-resistant and higher-performing athletes.

After years of coaching parents and youth, it is evident that performance training is still not held as an essential or non-negotiable part of an athlete’s career.

How can performance training become a non-negotiable activity for athletes?

Let’s look at other activities that are common with youth, like karate, gymnastics, and boy/girl scouts. In all of these, you can find achievement progressions exemplified in the use of belts, levels or badges.

These progressions provide a clear guide for how a participant can achieve success. Performance Training programs could be standardized in a similar fashion. However, we need to first address some of the current issues.

Current Issues

Stopping When Functional

Many training programs utilize a program model that has the athlete completing achievement, and there is no longer any room for improvement. Typically, this occurs once the athlete appears to be moving and functioning fundamentally.

So…now what?

Pro Tip: Create a “ladder” of achievement for young athletes. This ladder will allow them to continue to move toward a Performance Training program. Once they have qualified for this program, there is a new set of criteria for advancement.

No Mastery of Skills

Over the last decade or so, the onset of “functional strength” has meant that young athletes are introduced to a wide variety of movements including unstable surfaces, single leg exercises and more.

These variations are meant to induce “sport specific” characteristics. While that is great, the athletes never become masters of any one skill because they only scratch the surface of multiple variations.

Pro Tip: Focus on the “big bang” movements: squat, dead lift, bench, power clean, overhead press and loaded carries. These movements provide the foundation of the program until mastery is achieved.

Athletes need to learn the basics before moving on to a more complex exercise. You would not have a basketball athlete practice a cross-over dribble when they cannot dribble a ball with one hand.

Lack of Next Level Necessities

karate-502384_640As athletes grow and develop, they may have aspirations of playing their sport(s) at a collegiate level. This may be seen as an opportunity to earn a scholarship.

As a result of the focus on sport-specific training, oftentimes, an athlete never properly learns or completes the functional lifts.

Pro Tip: Focus on teaching the basics and doing “simple things savagely well” (as Mark Verstegan says), then athletes will be optimally prepared for the strength demands and the rigors of performing at the next level.

Focusing on Simply “Moving Weight”

There seems to be a trend in the youth strength and conditioning world of simply lifting a “specific weight”. This creates numerous concerns.

  • The focus on this “number” may create a situation where a teammate or coach assists with a lift, and the athlete is actually not capable of lifting this weight.
  • Larger athletes might not feel compelled to progress past a specific weight.
  • Smaller athletes may feel less confident as they are not able to reach the weight.

Pro Tip: When determining measuring metrics, consider each individual’s strength relative to their body weight. For example, a 300lb squat for a 300lb lineman is a lot different than a 300lb squat for a 150lb athlete.

No Positivity

There is a lack of emphasis on positive reinforcement for proper movement or great performances in many programs. This can have a negative impact on the athlete’s confidence levels, create a negative learning environment and/or stall or decrease progress, to name a few.

Pro Tip (BONUS!): This may be the most important item to take away. You must praise and provide feedback to your athletes. This does not have to mean “everyone gets a medal,” but for example, you earn colored bands as you improve.

Higher-level bands are a sign of proficiency and progress, the athlete becoming more self-aware, confident, and stronger. We should provide reinforcement for these attributes!

SUMMARY

By creating a standardized system, you provide athletes, parents and coaches with a simplistic and organized path to athletic success in your program.

ADAPT and Conquer,
Coach Jared


About the Author: Jared Markiewicz

JarredJared is founder of Functional Integrated Training (F.I.T.). F.I.T. is a performance-based training facility located in Madison, WI. They specialize in training athletes of all levels: everyday adults, competitive adults and youth ages 5-20+.

The long-term vision for F.I.T. is recognition as the training facility for those desiring to compete at the collegiate level in the state of Wisconsin. Alongside that, to also develop a platform to educate those in our industry looking to make strides towards improving the future for our young athletes.

Find out more about Jared’s gym by visiting F.I.T.

Career Highlights

  • 2014 Fitness Entrepreneur of the Year – Fitness Business Insiders
  • 2014 IYCA Coach of the Year Finalist
  • Volunteer Strength Coach for West Madison Boys Hockey and Westside Boys Lacrosse
  • Helped develop dozens of scholarship athletes in 3 years of business
  • Instructed Kinesiology Lab at UW-Madison
  • Houses an internship program at F.I.T. that started in 2013
  • Member of Elite Mastermind Group of Nationwide Fitness Business Owners

Want to Learn More about Standardization?

Check out Jared’s Module in INSIDERS with this Exclusive Trial.

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Core Training For High School Athletes

 

Training A High School Athletes Core

 

By Wil Fleming
 

Not very long ago AR Bloomington was fortunate to get IYCA Board of Experts Member, Mike Robertson, to do an in-service for our entire team and he really knocked it out of the park.
 

Mike’s selected topic was “Core Training”, needless to say his presentation changed the way that we both think about and train an athlete’s core.
 

The IYCA training system is at the forefront of training high school athletes, so I thought that I’d share with you my takeaways from Mike’s presentation.
 

First off let’s try to define what the core is. Some people suggest that it is only the abdominals (and specifically talk about the rectus abdominus and external obliques), others begin to include the spinal erectors, and others go even further.
 

We will go with a description that includes deeper muscles (multifudus, transverse abdominus). By including these muscles we will be able to get to a better and deeper model of core training that is more applicable to high school athletes.
 

Athletes use their core for specific purposes, Mike termed the 2 uses for the core as the 2 R’s “Re-Distributing force and Re-Directing force”. This simple idea is on the cutting edge of performance training and shapes how we train the core.
 

Re-Distributing force is the idea that the core should take stress off of the lumbar spine and prevent pain. A strong core in this sense will focus on the ability to maintain and get in a neutral spine and pelvic position.
 

By doing this athletes will have greater core stability in their movements. When a football player has a glancing blow they will not go down as easily because their core keeps them stable; when a tennis player is in an extended 1 leg stance returning a ball they will be less likely to get injured. In this way Re-Distributing force keeps athletes healthy, and is the basic part of core training.
 

Re-Directing force is the next step in core training, by using core stability to re-direct force athletes swinging a baseball bat will be able to transmit power from the lower body and turn it into rotation at the shoulders.
 

A weak core in this sense is like a poor power line. All the power in the world can be generated at the power plant, but if it doesn’t get to your house, you don’t have any use for it.
 

To train each of these try the following movements with your high school athletes:

 

Planks….With a dowel on your back
 

Nearly everyone has tried the basic plank, but by making 1 simple change this becomes a tremendous exercise for training re-distributing force. Place a dowel rod along your back while in a plank and have 3 points of contact with it: the back of your head, your thoracic spine and your pelvis.
 

In the region of your lower back there should only be the space of your hand in between the dowel and your back. This position is the neutral spinal alignment we look for. Increasing time and decreasing stability (through removing a point of contact) are two easy ways to progress this exercise). Increasing the angle (i.e. elevating the upperbody by putting them on a bench) is a great way to regress the exercise.
 

MB Side Throws
 

Medicine balls throws are a big part of the AR Bloomington training system at the younger age and should remain so as athletes reach the 14+ group. There is no better way to train athletes to re-direct force than through the use of MB throws.
 

Ensure that the athletes are getting rotation through their hips, remaining stable through their lumbar spine and then again rotating in their thoracic spine. Changing the cadence (adding steps or recoiling in a rhythm) can add variation to the program and add a degree of specificity that High School Athletes really enjoy.
 

 

Why Performance Training Alone isn’t enough For Young Athletes

 

By Melissa Lambert

Young athletes require more than physical training

As a former collegiate athlete, I remember spending my off seasons training every opportunity I had including weight lifting, running and playing with the men’s team to increase my speed of play. I took pride in having the top times in running and physically being able to outplay others. However, I remember playing our rival team and making a huge mistake that could have resulted in the other team scoring. What could have possibly gone wrong when I was in the best shape of my life? I neglected the most significant component of an athlete; my mind. The mental aspect of any sport can make or break a talented athlete regardless of their training regiment. I didn’t spend nearly the amount of time training my mind as I did training my body.

It wasn’t until becoming a girls’ premier soccer coach and a licensed therapist that I realized how much of performance was based on mental skills. More of my time was spent off the practice field counseling my young athletes than actually playing. Coaches expect players to be ready to perform and leave all baggage behind, but if the athlete lacks mental toughness they will not see peak performance. Sport Psychologist, Gary Mack, defines the seven characteristics associated with mental toughness:

Competitive: An athlete who does whatever it takes to win and will go the extra mile for a team. As a coach or fitness professional, observe whether your athletes’ fight for the ball after making a mistake or give-up.

Confident: An athlete believes he or she can’t be stopped. These athletes believe in their abilities and don’t allow self-defeating thoughts to take over.

Control: Mentally tough athletes have control of their emotions and behaviors. They won’t allow coaches, players and parents to get into their head.

Committed: An athlete who is highly motivated will avoid letting outside distractions deter them from their goals. As a coach it’s important to observe the commitment of each individual athlete to themselves and to their team.

Composure: Mentally tough athletes who can deal with adversity and stay focused under pressure. Those athletes who lack faith in their abilities have more trouble managing their emotions.

Courage: Athletes who believe in themselves are more likely to take a risk. In order to improve individually and as a team an athlete must step out of their comfort zone.

Consistency: An athlete can play their best on the worst day. They possess inner strength to block thoughts that would negatively impact performance.

What coaches don’t realize is how much work goes into developing mentally tough young athletes and the impact of environmental influences. The most significant factor in preventing an athlete from being mentally tough is known as negative cognitions or thoughts.
As humans we all have core beliefs about the way we see ourselves, others and the world based on life experiences.
Young athletes who lives in the inner city is going to see the world differently than other young athletes who lives in a rural environment.

A therapeutic tool I commonly use with both my young patients and athletes is cognitive mapping. The athlete would identify a series of events, followed by their thoughts, feelings, behaviors and consequences. The athlete would be able to visually see how a particular event led to a specific thought.
For example, a 13 year old male basketball player missed the winning foul shot and thought he must be a horrible athlete. As a result he may have felt depressed or angry, which resulted in giving up. The consequence was sitting the bench for not working hard after making a mistake. However, if the athlete was able to recognize the belief “I am a horrible athlete” as being irrational and change his thought about the experience, his feeling would also change.

 

Coaches can support their young athletes by encouraging them to set daily or short-term goals that are measurable.

Children specifically like to set long-term goals like winning a conference championship or setting new personal records but lack action steps to get there. As a coach, be sure to know the goals of your young athletes and check in frequently on their progress.
It is also important to stress the power of control each athlete carries as an individual and as a team. It is guaranteed mistakes will be made; however are your young athletes responding by working harder or giving up? Mentally tough young athletes have the ability to control their thoughts from becoming self-defeating.
A baseball pitcher may walk a batter, but how he perceives the situation will impact the outcome of his next series of pitches.
Coaches play an intricate role in helping to develop mentally sound athletes at any level whether it’s recreational or an elite program. Studies have proven that mental training will not only enhance performance and improve productivity but increase one’s passion or enjoyment of the sport. However, achieving inner excellence takes time and effort in the same manner as physical training.

One of the biggest mistakes coaches make is having the need to improve performance solely through training and play. Realistically, ask yourself whether it’s your need that’s getting met or the need of your Young Athletes. If you coach a high school team and have practice the week of finals, be attentive to their emotions and take time to address what’s on their mind. Performance training and talent can only go so far without the ability to conquer self-defeating thoughts.

 

young athletesMelissa Lambert
LPC, M.Ed, YFS1, YNS, HSSCS
Child and Adolescent Therapist

Youth Soccer Training: Part 1

Youth Soccer Training Success

For Soccer Coaches and Youth Fitness Specialists:

 

Watch This:

 

 

 

 

Soccer Speed Training ==> http://CompleteAtheteDeveopment.com

 

… Actually, This Works for ALL Youth Sports not just youth soccer training:

 

A Step-By-Step Blueprint for Making Young Athletes Faster

 

==> http://CompleteAtheteDeveopment.com

 

(more…)

Symptomatology of Training Young Athletes

 

Training young athletes… It seems that everybody dabbles in this market 

Whether the fitness or sport training professional is a Physical Therapist by trade, Personal Trainer to the average adult clientele or Strength Coach to elite sporting stars, when stating their bios and areas or expertise, it seems that the sentence always ends with ‘I am Training Young Athletes, too‘.

 

And why not, right?

 

Training young athletes is the fastest growing niche within the entire fitness industry.

It’s worth over $4 billion a year in the United States alone and more than 1 million children, youths and teens hired a Personal Trainer in 2007 – a large number for the purpose of enhancing sport performance.

 

But that term, ‘enhancing sport performance’ is something that doesn’t really belong in the vernacular of the youth sports training world. At least not in the way we currently use it.

 

At the risk of sounding acrimonious, let me ask you this question.

 

How much do you really know about human growth, development and the necessary components of training clients in the pediatric and formative years?

 

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High School Certification: Available Now!

IYCA High School certification Strength & Conditioning Coach Certification

 

The “High School Certification is NOW AVAILBLE:

 

Click Here Right Now ––> http://iyca.org/highschool/

 

** Important Notice **

 

The High School Certification for Strength & Conditioning will retail for $297 starting Saturday January 29….

 


Enjoy a full $100 discount right now
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—> Click Here for ‘$100 Off’ the “High School Strength & Conditioning Coach” Certification: (more…)

New: High School Strength Coach Certification

High School Strength Coach Certification

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Get the entire audio event I recorded with Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson and Wil Fleming:

 

“The High School Training Manifesto”

 

Everything you need to know about training high school champions!

 

Click Here —> http://iyca.org/highschool/

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

  • Eric Cressey
  • Wil Fleming
  • Dr. Toby Brooks
  • Pat Rigsby
  • Brian Grasso
  • Mike Robertson

(more…)

Youth Fitness – How to Get On TV

With youth obesity and sport performance training getting so much in the way of media attention these days, it stands to reason that the best and most efficient means by which to gain local interest in your youth fitness program is through large scale exposure via newspapers, television and radio.

 

Media exposure is widely considered the most effective method of marketing your business for three very distinct reasons –

 

1. No Cost, High Value

 

Unlike other marketing avenues, media exposure is 100% free.  There are no advertisement costs to pay and no material or reproduction fees to factor in.  Appearing in the pages of your local newspaper or neighborhood magazines, as a guest on your regional news or being interviewed by a community radio show carries your best possible scenario in terms of marketing to your demographic – zero cost but maximum visibility.  You will literally be ‘seen’ by anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people depending on the population of your respective geographic area. 

 

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Youth Fitness Training vs Long Term Athletic Development

 

Youth fitness

A) What do I call my Athletic Development or Youth Fitness services to parents and Coaches who are otherwise laypeople and without knowledge of industry jargon?

 

As with any marketing effort, your best potential gain comes when you are tailoring your language to the audience you are dealing with.

 

When discussing and defining your services to Parents of young athletes or Coaches, the following words and phrases evoke the strongest emotional connection and familiarity:

 

a. Sports Performance Training
b. Sport Specific Training

 

Although we are defined internally as ‘Long-Term Athletic Development’, the uneducated ear will not understand or draw a connection to that title.

 

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My Top 4 Reasons For Attending the 2010 IYCA International Summit

IYCA International Summit


1) Earn Valuable CEU’s:

 

Just for coming to the 2-day main event, you will receive a full 12 CEU
credits from the IYCA.

 

That’s enough to renew whatever level certification you’re on with us.

 

In addition to that, we are in the process of becoming accredited through
NSCA, NASM, ISSA and more.

 

A world-class education PLUS critical continuing education credits that
you can apply to multiple fitness organizations.

 

I can’t think of a better ‘bang for your buck’ than that!!

 

–> Reserve Your Seat At the IYCA Summit Today!

 

 

2) Your Future in the Fitness Industry:

 

According to the ACSM, the Top 10 fitness trends for 2010 include two
specific demographics that the IYCA International Summit is being based
on:

 

(more…)

Injury Prevention and Youth Performance Training

 

 

Youth Performance Training,/h1>

 

So here’s where I chime in.

 

Want the truth from my perspective?

 

Blunt and to the point as usual….

 

 

Injury prevention and youth performance training is the same thing.

 

 

When working with young athletes in a well-designed developmental
process, the goal is simply skill acquisition and advancement.

 

Done correctly, injury prevention and performance gains take care of
themselves.

 

Now, this is in stark contrast to much of the industry who pontificate
about specific "6-Week Injury Prevention Programs" or "8-Week Off-Season
Speed Training Programs"

 

A well-designed developmental system of training involves little more than
teaching skill, progressing the skill and then subsequently applying it
to specific patterns or sports when required.

 

Biomotor gains (i.e. speed, strength, flexibility increases) occur naturally
as a bi-product of such a system.

 

So to does injury prevention.

 

When technique and force application is taught correctly and in a progressive
manner, efficiency of movement, systemic strength and range of motion increases
happen naturally.

 

When young athletes move better, are stronger head to toe and have full, complete
ranges of motion through joints, they are naturally less likely to incur injury.

 

It really is just that simple.

 

But do you know how to construct a fully developmental and progressive
training system?

 

Do you understand fully what sorts of training stimulus are necessary at certain
ages in order to maximize athletic performance?

 

Maybe it’s time to look very seriously at my Complete Athlete Development
System.

 

More than 10,000 young athletes worldwide, Coaches, Trainers and Parents
haven’t been wrong.

 

Click on the link below to see what I mean –

 

www.CompleteAthleteDevelopment.com

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian

 

 

 

Young Athletes Power Training Myth?

Young Athletes and Plyometrics

Almost without exception, every ‘sport-performance training center’ and youth sporting association in North America both markets and incorporates some degree of plyometric conditioning into the routines of the athletes they manage. More often than not, the trainer or coach prescribes an unintelligible series of jumping exercises and can be seen either holding a clipboard and a stop watch as they count and record the number of jumps or foot contacts a young athlete makes within a certain period of time, or barking out commands to the young athletes ‘jump higher’. Plyometric training has become such a ‘catch-phrase’ in the vernacular of trainers and coaches that it is often marketed as a sole measure of distinction for a training facility or individual coach/trainer. Do you know how many sporting clubs, for instance, have told me that they would love to have their young athletes train at my facility, but their Director of Coaching has a ‘plyometric class’ that he/she hosts every week and that’s all the conditioning they need?

 

Plyometric training has become watered down in North America to such a level that now even basic health clubs have introduced ‘plyometric jumps’ into their general group exercise classes as a means of achieving some measure of ‘high intensity’ training. Jumping and then abruptly stopping and holding a fixed position, jumping and then jumping again after a cursory pause or being taken through a series of jumping exercises without being taught proper execution of either the jumping or landing phases respectively are simply gross misappropriations of what plyometric training is or how it should be applied.

 

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Young Athletes And The Olympic Games Lie

How Young Athletes Are Portrayed In The Olympics

I’m actually a big fan of the Olympic Games.

 

My favorite part is watching the Opening Ceremonies and

seeing the athletes from lesser known countries glow with

child-like enthusiasm as they walk into the Olympic arena.

 

But every four years, I find myself feeling uncomfortable

with what I am seeing and hearing while watching the Games

on television.

 

Because I know the sensationalized aspects of the Olympics

are creating more and more confusion and ignorance among

many young athletes, Trainers, Coaches and Parents worldwide.

 

Believe it or not, I believe that the Olympics are actually

a horrible influence on youth sports.

young athletes 
 

And while watching the Opening Ceremonies last week,

I got a glimpse of exactly why I feel that way.

 

“It’s the Struggle, Not the Triumph”

 

That was the ‘catch phrase’ being repeated by athletes

as they talked into the camera.

 

And while it sounds good, serves as a wonderful ‘TV sound

bite’ and showcases a majestic feel about the Games

themselves, it sends a very disturbing message to young

athletes and all those who participate in the world of

youth sports….

 

Hard Work.

 

Sweat, Blood and Tears.

 

Effort Conquers All.

 

And that all sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

It’s glorifying.

 

It displays the majestic nature of sport.

 

And it’s an absolute lie.

 

Maybe not for elite athletes, but certainly for kids and

teenagers.

 

The danger is in the fact that most Coaches, Trainers

and Parents think and act like their young athletes are

elite – and end up being influenced by statements like

the one I mentioned above.

 

“You have to work harder, Johnny”

 

“If you’re not sore, you’re not working hard enough”

 

“Did you hear what Micheal Phelps said? You’ll never

get to the Olympics if you don’t push yourself”

 

What a crock.

 

With youth sports and young athletes, it really isn’t 

about the struggle.

 

And the destination truly doesn’t matter.

 

It’s about the journey.

 

The path.

 

The process of getting from A – Z.

 

We actually believe that ‘working kids hard’ every day and

beating the living crap out of them without having a

developmental system in place is the answer.

 

And it isn’t.

 

It just isn’t.

 

In fact, it’s the main culprit for why so many kids are

getting hurt.

 

Dropping out of sports.

 

And disengaging from being physical at all.

 

We just don’t understand the process of what it takes to

become elite.

 

And that remains our worst and most damaging error when

it comes to working with young athletes.

 

I hear horror stories everyday about intense training

sessions, over worked young athletes and the general

lack of knowledge that so many Trainers and Coaches have

when it comes to working with this demographic.

 

And the Olympic Games are making that worse as we speak.

 

“It’s not the Destination, It’s the Journey”

 

Words to live by.

 

Are you prepared to find out what you don’t know and

truly become a leader in the realm of youth sports

training?

 

Or are you content to just keep plotting along without

a solid direction or path?

 

I think your young athletes deserve the best.

 

Why don’t you decide to become the best right now?

 

The IYCA Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist will give you

the tools you need to become a world-class Athletic

Development Specialist.

 

Maybe it’s time to start your own journey…

 

 

Click Here Now and Find Out What You Don’t Know

 

 

Brian