Archive for “School Athlete” 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

 

 

Co-Existing With Today’s High School Athlete

 

How To Co-Exist With High School Athlete Programs

 

By Wil Fleming
 

Some of my fondest memories of training came when I was in high school training with my Olympic Weightlifting club 3 nights per week. We had a great time and became better athletes in the process. To me it was a lot like AR before there was an AR. I loved going because I knew that what I was doing was aiding what was expected of me as a high school football player and track athlete.
 

My coaches supported me and would often come by just to watch training. My high school coaches knew that I was not participating in a competing program but rather one that was only aiding in my development. My high school coaches knew that I was working with experts in the field of strength and conditioning.
 

As a high school athlete I never felt pressure to choose 1 or the other. This allowed me to enjoy the experience fully and fully commit to getting better when I don’t suggest that we all run weightlifting clubs, but I do think that there are some valuable lessons from that experience to apply to your coaching. It is important to coexist with the high school programs already in place instead of trying to take their place.
 

Here are my top 4 ways to successfully coexist with programs for a high school athlete already in place.

 

  1. Find out what the high school is doing. My weightlifting club would ask coaches at high schools about the current focus in training. At AR Bloomington, I like to find out what the coaches’ focus is at the time and try to augment their results. Being redundant in training is the last thing you want to do, athletes will not want to attend an AR session where they are planning on doing a heavy quad dominant exercise when they did back squats at school the same morning.
  2.  

  3. Offer to assist the coach. Assisting the coach is one of the easiest ways to coexist successfully with a high school program. Inviting the coach to watch your sessions is an easy way to show that you have an open door and are not competing for their athletes time, but instead just aiding in their development.
  4.  

  5. Don’t Pressure the athletes. Although we remember our high school days fondly and the carefree attitude that was associated with that time, athletes today feel pressure from every direction. Not even mentioning the season during which nearly every hour after school is accounted for on everyday, athletes are expected to attend workouts year round for their sport, expected to participate in club or travel team practices and games. Giving the impression that a high school athlete should only be a part of your program is a quick way to lose athletes from your business.
  6.  

    Despite evidence that year round participation in a sport is a poor route to choose for athletes looking to improve, trying to force this message on your athletes only adds to the pressure that athletes are feeling.

     

    Most importantly is point number 4 below:
     

  7. Become an expert and then some. Coaches often feel like they must be a jack of all trades, they have to develop their schedule of competitions, they have to handle the gate receipts, they organize fundraising, they have to plan the x’s and o’s and then plan their strength and conditioning program. So why would they send their athletes to train with another jack of all trades?
  8.  

Instead find something to be the “go to” expert in your community. Speed and agility, recovery and regeneration, and Olympic lifting are great places to start.
 

No matter your current level of knowledge, keep improving. My area of expertise is the Olympic lifts and many high school coaches have sought out my help in this area, but I am not satisfied with my current knowledge and have read nearly a dozen books or manuals this year on the subject to keep improving and further separate myself as the go to expert in my community. By improving these skills your business will always be the place to send athletes looking to improve in that area.
 

The excellence of your training program cannot be experienced without the approval of high school coaches in your area.
 

Working to gain their trust and acceptance is worth it to get the opportunity to impact more new High School Athlete everyday.

 

 

Coaching Young Athletes Back in The Trenches: Part 1

Coaching Young Athletes – Teaching Again

The funniest thing happened 3 weeks ago…

 

I decided to go back to the grassroots of where I started

Insert/edit linkCoaching Young Athletes

.

 

Now make no mistake, although my ‘full time’ coaching days are about 7 years in the rearview mirror, I’ve maintained a coaching schedule through the entire thick and thin of both developing and running the IYCA.

 

I’ve worked with volleyball clubs, high school football, soccer, track and baseball teams and even moonlighted occasionally as a guest speed and agility instructor for local youth sporting associations.

 

But this summer, I’m heading back to the trenches.

 

 

I met a very young (23), ambitious and capable Coach who owns his own facility not more than 15 minutes from my house – we started chatting and 3 weeks ago, I agreed to take a position as a ‘Coach’ at his up and coming training center.

 

No pay.

 

This time, ‘In the Trenches’ is because I love it, feel obligated (in a good way) to give back and don’t need the money in order to pay my bills.

 

So the summer of 2011 for me, will be back doing what I love most every day:

 

Making young athletes better people.

 

Job #1 has been to review this facility’s current training system and attend live sessions as an observer.

 

To see if there are holes.

 

To understand what is expected of the athletes and staff in this facility.

 

To appreciate what will be expected of me.

 

My first inspected conclusion was simple… For a 23 year old Coach, this guy has got his stuff together very well!

 

In fact, the experience of ‘watching to determine’ got me thinking that I should chronicle to you what this 23 year old does so well… Because most of it is inherent to his personality and not something he’s learned from a textbook, conference or DVD.

 

So consider these heartily as potential inclusions for yourself and your own coaching young athletes habits…

 

(1) Specific Instruction Time

 

Although not IYCA certified when we met, this particular 23 year already understood, embraced and implemented perhaps the most critical of all IYCA Tenants:

 

Don’t Train… Teach.

 

By simply feelings his way through the coaching process, this young man knew instinctively that young athletes are ‘works in progress’ and that the urge to ‘make tired through hard work’ must be tempered by the undeniable need to teach proper execution.

 

His facility is not ‘numbers’ oriented.

 

He does not appease the symptomotolgy requirements for what most consider the hallmarks of quality training with respect to young people (breathless, sweaty, can’t walk the next day).

 

Every one of his training sessions is methodical in the way he teaches complexity through simplicity, prior to implementing an exercise into a given routine.

 

I’ve been very heartened watching this and believe fully that more Coaches need to take an honest look at there programming methods with respect to proper instruction.

 

Come back tomorrow for ‘Part 2’…

 

Everything I Learned in 15 Years In the Trenches… Working With More Than 20,000 Young Athletes:

 

Click Here: http://completeathletedevelopment.com/

 

– Brian

 

Coaching Young Athletes

 

Sport Specific Youth Training: Part 1

Insert/edit linkYouth Training

For Sports

As a given sport evolves and the participants within that sport begin to break records and perform what was once considered impossible, you can be sure that advancements in training and conditioning regimes have occurred within that sport. Very few athletes ever become great sport technicians without the inclusion of a comprehensive athletic development and conditioning program as part of their training package. Over the past decade, the type of training and conditioning performed by young, developing and elite athletes has gone from basic fitness to more functionally- based and developmental activities. Figure skating and all of the disciplines under that umbrella are such examples.

 

Youth Training

 

For example, many training coaches prescribe that their skaters practice landing jumps and performing balance based skills (such as spirals) off the ice. On the other side of the spectrum, there are the ‘athletic developers’ who tend not to concern themselves with producing specified strength gains but instead work more directly at improving the complete athletic profile of the skater. The general conception among these professionals is that the greater degree of athleticism the skater has, the more likely he or she will be able to carry out athletic skills. While traditionalists often incorporate basic and conventional exercises into their training programs, the athletic developers come from a more movement based perspective. This style of conditioning is often referred to as ‘functional’ training, which is in fact a misnomer. Let’s examine that.

 

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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
:

 

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

High School Strength Certification

IYCA High School Strength Certification

 

High School Strength Certification will be released tomorrow.

And today, I wanted to hit you with a few key points for your consideration…

 

Barrington High School

Timothy Christian

Prairie Ridge

 

3 of the numerous high schools I either worked at or consulted for from 2001 – 2009.

 

Without question the most fulfilling time of my career.

 

In those 8 years and with those 6,000+ high school athletes, I experienced more in the way of learning than at any other point in my 15 years inside this industry.

 

I learned that the situation (for multiple reasons) was never going to be ideal and that a practical system was necessary to optimally train these teenagers.

 

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7 Steps to Kids Programming: Part 3

 

Kids Programming

Picking up from yesterday…

 

Over the years, I have grown fond of referring to these issues as the ‘Likely Bunch’ and have created a training template intended to meet of the aforementioned needs as a matter of principle rather than what an assessment tells me.

 

Rather than programming for the day, week or month, my standard Training Template for a high school athlete looks as follows:

 

  1. Tissue Quality – 10 minutes
  2. ROM/Torso/Activation – 10 minutes
  3. Movement Preparatory – 10 minutes
  4. Movement – 10 minutes
  5. Strength/Power Technique – 10 minutes
  6. Strength Execution – 10 minutes
  7. Warm-Down/Active Flexibility – 10 minutes

 

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