Archive for “Sessions” Tag

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.
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  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.
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  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.
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    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?
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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.

 

 

Modifications to Training Programs For a Young Athlete on the Spot

 

Young Athlete Programming Modifications

 

By Wil Fleming
 

When I first started training I figured out quickly that the best coaches developed
programs ahead of time. They approached each session with a clear picture of their
goals for a young athlete and designed a program that would accomplish those goals.
 

As I began coaching I knew that is something that I wanted to do as well. I want to
be a coach with a clear vision and purpose, plan for everything, and get results with
my athletes.
 

In my “eye test” for other coaches, making training sessions up on the spot is one of
the things that leads me to believe that the trainer or coach is not going to make it.
 

Creating a workout from thin air leads me to believe that my athletes are going to
get better results and dominate their athletes.
 

Recently though I had an athlete with an unexpected limitation in their program that
took away her ability to do many of things that we normally do in training. After a
surprise surgical procedure she was unable to clean, snatch, squat, etc. (Literally
everything I like to have my athletes do).
 

Being that she is a track and field athlete, in the middle of her season, just taking
time off from training was not going to cut it. I literally had to come up with a
program on the spot.
 

I was able to do it, and have her produce the best performance of her career in the
weeks following because I came up with training sessions that fit in with the rest of
her program. Her daily training sessions were extremely modified but were in line
with the goal of this phase of the program.
 

How was I and the young athlete able to do this?

 

1) I had a clearly defined goal for training. In this scenario the young athlete was in the
middle of a strength phase for her track and field season. By having this goal laid
out I had a rep range and set range that each exercise could fall into. By having a
goal laid out I was able to select movements that could fall into this rep range.
 

2) I have a pre-determined programming system. In my program each day
follows the same general order of exercise.
 

1—Explosive
1A—Explosive assistance (Oly lift pull)
 

2A—Bilateral lower body (Push or Pull)
2B— Core (Anti-Extension)
 

3A—Upperbody (Push or Pull)
 

3B—Unilateral Lowerbody (Push or Pull)
3C— Core (Anti Rotation)

 

There is some variation to that set up based on the athlete and the time of year, but
in general that covers it all. In the case of my injured athlete replacing exercises was only really replacing movements. If a particular exercise was going to cause pain
then I knew that I needed to eliminate it, and replace it.
 

3) I have exercise progressions and regressions. When it comes to replacing
exercises this is key. All exercises that we program fall into one of the
categories above. Olympic lifts were difficult to perform for my athlete so I
was able to fill the explosive training slot with medicine ball throws. Bilateral
Quad dominant exercise was limited so we substituted heavy sled pushes.
 

By having a programming system, and with a little thinking on the fly this
athletes training did not miss a beat. After performing her training in a modified
fashion for 3 weeks, this young athlete is back to full strength and has equaled training bests in
lifts she was unable to perform for the past 3 weeks.
 

Without the 3 keys to programming above we would likely be starting behind
where her training was and would be playing catch up for the rest of her season.
 

 

Using Weighted Sleds for Acceleration Work

 

Using Weighted Sleds With Young Athletes

 

young athlete acceleration training

 

By Jim Kielbaso

 

There are plenty of toys out there designed for speed development, but one of the most effective and easiest to use is a weighted sled. The research on resisted sprinting using these sleds is way behind the actual use of the device, but that’s usually how it goes. More recent information has shown that proper use of these sleds can have a positive effect on a young athletes ability to accelerate – one of the most important aspects of speed in many sports.

 

Most of the early research on resisted sprinting was focused on kinematics. They wanted to see if using a sled would change sprinting mechanics significantly enough to cause problems. Through experimentation of different loads, it turns out that using a relatively low weight (8-20% of bodyweight) will not have a significantly negative impact on mechanics.

 

The old research also focused on maximal velocity running instead of acceleration. The conclusions drawn from this research showed that resisted sprinting at maximal velocity (top speed) did not have a positive training effect and could actually have a slightly detrimental effect. Most of this was seen because the resistance caused longer ground contact times at top speed. The studies showed that maximal velocity training with no resistance may be better than using resistance.

 

A more recent study by Harrison and Bourke out of Limerick, Ireland showed that training with the weighted sled significantly improved scores on the time to 5 meters test. The study had subjects perform two resisted sprinting sessions per week for six weeks, using 13% of their bodyweight as the load. This load was based on an earlier study by Lockie et al that recommended using 12.6-13% of bodyweight. All subjects had experience with resisted sprinting and all were competitive rugby players. They weren’t using untrained individuals, making this much more useful information for sports performance coaches.

 

After warming up, subjects performed six 20-meter sprints with 4 minutes of rest between bouts. They did this twice a week for 6 weeks and had significantly positive results on their ability to accelerate.

 

This study, along with the experience of many coaches, provides evidence that use of a weighted sled may be beneficial for improving an athlete’s ability to accelerate. Of course, one of the keys to this kind of training is adequate coaching in the mechanics involved in accelerating. When training young athletes we often see them trying to accelerate without a proper forward lean or taking small, lower-power steps. The sled can be a helpful tool in the learning/coaching process because it can help an athlete get into a steeper forward lean without falling. It can also help an athlete alter his/her turnover slightly in favor of producing as much power as possible on the first 2-8 steps of a sprint.

 

An extremely important aspect of acceleration training with young athletes is the use of proper mechanics. Without quality instruction and the plenty of reps with optimal mechanics, the use of weighted sleds or any other type of acceleration training will be marginalized. A qualified youth coach who can analyze the young athletes movements and utilize individualized cues and feedback to improve mechanics is absolutely essential to this process. Lower-quality instruction will yield lower-quality results no matter what kind of apparatus, toy or method is used.

 

Knee drive is another important aspect of acceleration, and information from another study by Alcaraz et al suggests that a weighted sled may help athletes exaggerate knee drive. This could be a result of having to pull extra weight or the additional forward lean they observed. Either way, it’s a good thing and can benefit athletes who want to increase their acceleration performance.

 

Based on the scientific evidence and years of coaching experience, use of a weighted sled for improving acceleration performance is recommended as long as adequate coaching is available so mechanics are optimized during the process. I recommend focusing your efforts on the first 5-10 yards of a sprint since this is where the most benefit is seen.

 

We’re still kind of guessing in regards to the optimal load used, but you certainly want to keep it fairly low for most people. The research does not take into account the abilities of each of the young athletes, so a more powerful athlete may be able to use higher loads than 13% of bodyweight and still reap the benefits. Since the research suggests that resisted sprinting somehow strengthens the musculature at high velocities, using the heaviest weight possible without a negative effect on mechanics or joint rotational velocities seems to be the goal.

 

I also highly encourage the use of contrast training when using a sled. First, do a few reps without a sled, then perform 5-10 reps with the sled. Be sure to always perform 2-4 more reps without the sled to give the athlete the opportunity to “feel” the difference and allow the nervous system to adapt. This could simply be a trick, but it has been suggested that this kind of contrast training can actually get the nervous system to “up-regulate” with consistent training over time. When using resistance, the body is forced to fire harder on each step. Over time, using contrast training, the athlete’s nervous system may learn to fire harder all the time, not just directly after use of the weighted sled. This is still a theory, but the recent research suggests it may be exactly what is occurring.

 

Other professionals, including well-respected trainer Mike Boyle, use weighted sleds with much higher loads as more of a movement-specific strength training exercise. You can load the sled up and have athletes “march” forward, driving the knees upward, pushing backward as hard as possible and getting into a steep forward-lean position. There is no real scientific evidence that this works, but the principle of specificity would suggest that this could be a good way to add strength when the goal is to improve acceleration speed.

 

There seems to be enough evidence that a weighted sled works to warrant its use when training for improvements in acceleration speed.
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Because there is limited research available, we’re still searching for the optimal training volume and loads for young athletes, but some guidelines are being created through the literature and experience.

 

·2-3 days/week

 

·8-20% bodyweight as the load

 

·4-10 short-distance sprints (5-20 yards) per workout

 

·Relatively long rest periods between bouts (1 – 4 minutes)

 

·Utilize contrast training

 

·Possibly use the sled as a strength training exercise

 

Try using a weighted sled with your young athletes, and be sure to focus on mechanics.

 

While it is just one tool in a trainer’s toolbox, it does seem to have merit. As long as the athlete is giving high effort, using appropriate loads and practicing proper mechanics, you should enjoy the results of faster acceleration after a period of training.

 

Jim Kielbaso acceleration Training program for young athletes

 

Jim Kielbaso

 

Non-Programming Elements of a Great Youth Fitness Program

 

Creating a Great Youth Fitness Program

Youth Fitness

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Non-Programming elements of a great Youth Fitness program

 

That sure is a mouthful for a title. Maybe the meaning is quite self evident or maybe it is a little more veiled. Either way I think that these elements are essential to making your AR successful and helping you to develop great athletes.

 

What do I mean by “non-programming” elements?

 

Sets, reps, exercises, and their order are all the things that you put on paper when you are putting together their training program., those are the traditional “programming elements”. There are things that don’t end up on paper that can make your program successful though.

 

Those things that don’t end up on the whiteboard or workout card are just as important to the quality of your program as what’s written down. They create the environment in which your athletes train.

 

Coaching
This is first. It really should always be first. Great coaching can change the way athletes think, can improve technique, and can inspire. Each day in your AR you should seek to instruct, teach, and inspire each athlete. In fact in my training sessions I aim to do these 3 separate things with each individual I encounter. Your interactions with your champions will be deeper and more meaningful if you approach each athlete with these 3 things in mind.

 

Communication
The way that we communicate with our champions is very important. Maximum uptake of information is dependent upon how we choose to transmit ideas to our athletes. I like to communicate training technique in a “do this, don’t do that, do this” way (first popularized by the AMAZING John Wooden). In essence I tell each athlete how we should do a movement or piece of a movement, then give them 1 way to not do that movement, and then repeat using different cues how to do this movement. For instance in the hang clean if I am verbally communicating technique I might say “Get full extension in your hips. We don’t want to leave your hips behind the bar. It might feel like you are going onto your tippy toes” I communicated the same point to the athlete in 2 different ways and let them know what the improper way to do things might look like.

 

Fun
We hear about fun all the time, but what does it look like? In my AR it is often impromptu competition between athletes or between athletes and coaches. A quick game of wall ball, with rules made up on the spot, as we wait to warm-up. A race with a sled, or relay will do the trick as well. Impromptu feels better than planned, and we try to do something like this everyday. Fun makes communication easier and coaching easier and is the underlying note to creating a great environment for your youth fitness program.

 

I cannot remember who said it to me but I was once told “A horrible program implemented well, will always out perform a great program implemented poorly. ” The non-programming elements are what makes this true, those things which create the environment. If poor programs in a great environment can do well, imagine what a great youth fitness program (your AR program) can do in a great environment (your AR).

 

 

 

Speed Training For Athletes: How to develop speed in young athletes for soccer

How To Develop Speed Training for Athletes

There are a few key things that must be in every program that is designed to help athletes get faster. As you are putting together a program that is focused on speed training for athletes consider if your program includes the following:

1. Tissue Quality

2. Mobility

3. Torso

4. Movement Preparation

5. Skill

Speed training for athletes

As you are developing your program for speed training for athletes it should have each of those components and the sessions should follow that progression.

Most of our progressions and programs when speed training for athletes are similar in nature, but today we wanted to share a quick video from IYCA Expert Dave Gleason on speed training for athletes that play soccer.

 

 

Learn How Our IYCA Experts Develop Speed Training Programs By Getting YSAS Certified! Click The Image Below To Get Started Today.

Speed Training for Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes and the Guarantee


When it comes to young athletes I’m confident for a lot of reasons…

 

I’ve field-tested the ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system with about 20,000 young athletes worldwide over the past 12 years.

 

The system itself contains more than 100 photographs of exercises I use every day in developing the best and most dominant young athletes in their respective sports.

 

You also get a complete ‘done-for-you’ sample program chapter and template that allows you to create (literally) thousands of training programs through my unique ‘mix-n-match’ structure.

 

Access to Videos of what training sessions must contain with young athletes (more…)

How Much Should I Charge For Speed Training?

Speed Training Business Tips

Hi Brian,

 

Erik here. I am currently waiting my approval on the level 1 IYCA Speed cert. Long story short. I am in a new area and have begun to approach facilities, coaches, organizations to be the go to guy for speed training.

 

I have a meeting set up with a baseball center and they want me to put together a proposal for them immediately.

 

So my question is, in an area that is very wealthy what would be the best way to go about pricing this?

 

Per month, in blocks eg, 12, 24, 50 sessions, and basic idea of what to charge?

 

I know loaded questions, but I figured I would ask.

 

Keep up the awesome work.

 

Yours in speed,

Erik

 

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Overtraining Young Athletes – Part 1

 

 

Young Athletes

I have long supported the notion that the zeal many Trainers and Coaches show with respect to conducting high intensity training sessions with young athletes is akin to the unsure actor who feels a need to "over-do" his or her role in a given appearance for fear that the audience may disapprove of his acting ability.

 

Almost like a "they paid for it and now I must deliver it" mind set.

As a Coach, you sometimes feel as though you must have your athletes walk away from a training session dripping with sweat and barely able to open their car doors. After all, if they don’t feel as though you are ‘training them hard enough’, they may opt to go and seek the services of a different Coach.

 

The problem is that overtraining syndromes are not hard to develop with adolescent athletes and must be recognized as an issue with respect to programming.

 

For ease of explanation sake, let’s just say that if your athlete walks into your training center at what would constitute a normal biological level, and if your training stimulus was at an intensity that would enable the athlete to dip below this normal biological level, but not be too much so as to not be able to ascend into a level of super-compensation, then, well… that would be good.

 

But there are energies in the world that effect an athletes recoverability from a training session (you know… recovery… that’s the part of the training routine during which your athlete’s body actually makes improvements and gains).

 

For example:

 

– Nutrition
– Emotional Stress
– Sleep

 

Let’s examine those individually for a second.

 

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