Archive for “Self Esteem” Tag

Coaching in the Weight Room

 

Coaching High School Athletes in the Weight Room

 

By Jim Kielbaso
 

Just about every sport coach now recognizes the fact that a strength program can help their athletes optimize performance, reduce the risk of injury, and improve overall health and self-esteem. Some coaches are very comfortable in the weight room, while others feel totally out of their element. Either way, there are a few easy steps to follow to maximize your effectiveness in this environment.
 

Many coaches get overwhelmed in the weight room and never really give their best instruction or encouragement. But, many high school athletes need you there to show proper technique, get through the routine quickly, keep traffic flowing, give safe and effective spotting, and maximize effort.
 

In addition to reducing the risk of injury and enhancing performance, the weight room is also an excellent place to develop relationships and create team unity. Unfortunately, many coaches miss out on this because they are sitting in the corner or absent from the room altogether. Never underestimate the long-term benefits of polishing your weight room coaching skills.
 

Here are a few easy steps you can take to optimize your coaching effectiveness and help your athletes get the most out of their training time:

 

1. Educate Yourself. If you haven’t implemented a program because you don’t feel knowledgeable enough, put that excuse to rest. You don’t have to be an expert to help your team reap the benefits of strength training, and there are plenty of books that can give you a decent understanding of technique, program design, and how to spot different exercises. Go to your local bookstore or at the very least get online to find something to fit your needs. There is plenty of mis-information online, so just be sure to read with a critical mind. Always check the source before you completely buy into something that sounds too good to be true.
 

Avoid the trap of feeling like your athletes need an incredibly specialized training routine. It’s best to keep it simple with high school athletes. They will benefit from a basic, well-rounded program, so just get them started and feeling comfortable in the weight room by introducing a few basic exercises that you can easily teach. Remember, you can always add more later on.
 

2. Teaching Sessions. Before you turn your athletes loose in the weight room, spend a couple of days teaching them how to perform all of the exercises and how to safely spot each other. Take your time up front to save a lot of time and energy down the road.
 

3. Record Keeping. Once you’ve created the training routine, give it to your athletes on a piece of paper or card-stock so they can record the amount of weight lifted and number of repetitions performed on each set. This serves a few important purposes. For the athlete, it tells them exactly what they should be doing on every exercise and gives them a goal each day. This will help them make progress and eliminates guess-work.
 

For the coach, a workout card quickly gives you a lot of information and tracks attendance. You are going to be bouncing around from athlete to athlete, spotting as many athletes as possible; you want to spot each athlete on at least one exercise each day so you have a little contact with everyone. As soon as you’re done spotting one athlete, look around the room, see who is ready to lift, and get there quickly.
Having the workout card available allows you to easily see the weight and repetition goal for each set before you begin spotting. You can assess progress and effort on each exercise by taking a quick look at the chart. This is a great way to increase accountability and improve your ability to coach multiple athletes in the weight room.
 

4. Exercise Selection. In an effort to keep your training sessions time-efficient, it is recommended to select exercises that utilize a large amount of musculature rather than focusing on isolation exercises. For example, squats, leg presses, lunges, bench presses, dips, pull-downs, rows, and military presses all use multiple joints and recruit several muscle groups. These exercises should be the foundation of your program.
 

Curls, wrist extensions, and triceps pushdowns are examples of isolation exercises that can eat up a lot of valuable time.
 

It is also highly recommend that you select exercises that are relatively easy to teach, learn and execute. Lifts like the power clean and snatch are very technique intensive, require a great deal of coaching expertise, and are often performed incorrectly, which can be dangerous. There is absolutely no need to include exercises that are problematic for your situation. Whether you don’t feel comfortable teaching an exercise or the athletes just aren’t getting it, drop any exercise that is causing problems.
 

5. Traffic Flow. I often see traffic jams in high school weight rooms. This makes for an inefficient, frustrating experience that can be avoided. Rather than performing several sets of each exercise, have your athletes perform one set of 2-4 different exercises for the same body part to keep traffic moving.
 

For example, instead of performing three sets of bench press, try doing one set of bench press, one set of incline press, and one set of push-ups. Not only will this keep everyone moving, it also allows the musculature to be trained at several different angles and is equally effective in developing strength. This eliminates a lot of standing around that ultimately creates distractions and decreases training intensity.
 

You can also create different versions of a workout. Change the order of exercises for some athletes so the equipment is being used at different times. This small change will allow more athletes to workout simultaneously without traffic jams.
 

The weight room can be the motivational hub of your program if you create the right environment, and these simple tips can increase your effectiveness as a coach. They will allow you to maximize your coaching skills and give your athletes what they deserve – your attention.
 

 

 

Kids Fitness: Why they Shouldn’t Lock Out Their Joints

 

 

Kids Fitness Physiology

by Dr. Kwame M. Brown

 

This article will by no means be an exhaustive discussion of the evidence, but I look forward to elaborating as we get responses. 

 

Installment #476 in things I keep hearing people say:

 

“You should lock out the joints at the end of a (bench press, squat, etc)”.  The joints need stress to get stronger.” 

 

By this logic I should do the following:

 

1. Beat my head against a wall to protect myself from brain injuries (After all I am putting my cranium under much needed stress, right?

 

2. Yell at kids all the time and berate them to improve their self esteem

 

I think we can agree that just because something needs to get stronger, this doesn’t mean that all stress on that thing is good! 

 

I could just simply say that this is wrong, but it’s better for all concerned (especially kids) if we address the real problem.  The real problem is a combination of a lack of understanding of how joints work combined with a pretty loose application of terminology. 

 

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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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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.

 

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The Childhood Obesity Crisis Ends on Monday…

 

 

Something extraordinary is taking place on Monday.

 

And your name is written all over it.

 

One of the greatest problems in society today is going to start
meeting its match.

 

Childhood Obesity

 

And you will be on the front lines of that confrontation.

 

You know me as the ‘youth sports’ guy.

 

Trained thousands of young athletes all over the world.

 

But most don’t realize that in my 13 year career, I’ve also worked
with thousands of overweight and obese kids, as well.

 

In fact, some of my careers’ fondest memories are of helping kids
regain their self-esteem, their confidence or teaching them how to
include daily activity as a life long pursuit and love.

 

And on Monday, I am going to be releasing what I consider to be one
of the most important resources I’ve ever produced.

 

A tell-all look into how we, as an industry and society, can rid this
planet of childhood obesity forever.

 

It’s partly exercise.

 

Somewhat dietary.

 

And a lot to do with perspective and communication style.

 

I am thrilled to be offering this resource and know that every adult in
the world will benefit from reading the contents and understanding
my principles.

 

That’s all for now.

 

I’m going to email you again tomorrow with a few more details, but for
now, just know that Monday is the day we start to change childhood obesity in the world
together.

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.