Archive for “Soccer Ball” Tag

Training Young Athletes Where It All Begins

 

 

Foot Strike: The most obvious but most overlooked component of training young athletes.

 

 

About eight years ago, one of my high school high jumpers, Danielle, came running down to me at a track meet to tell me the news. As the coach of the long, triple and high jumps I was making the rounds at a meet trying to miss as few competitive attempts as possible, in a facility that spread the jump areas out. Needless to say, I missed her high jumps attempts. She was about to fill me in.

 

Between spurts of laughter, Danielle, whose athleticism is best described as “she is a really nice girl”, managed to tell me that during her approach she fell, crashed into the standard, caused a ruckus but rather enjoyed the experience. She then bounded off.  Momentarily, I was relieved to have missed it. Days later I scrounged up the video to see what I expected. Poor foot placement in the latter steps of the approach and some other factors caused the wipeout.

 

Her problem was caused by the same part of athleticism that also led to many of the great performances that day: the” foot strike.”  “Foot strike,” refers to the foot contacting the ground while running. That instant is vital to the success or failure of nearly every sporting endeavor, yet it is rarely emphasized, coached, taught or even discussed. It definitely should be. Since then, the other co-head coach of the track team and I have focused many hours upon this very topic. Here are some things to think about:

 

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Developing Young Athletes: Intelligent vs. Dumb

 

 

>Developing Young Athletes With the IYCA

‘Intelligence’.

 

Defined by the dictionary as –

 

“The capacity for learning, understanding and aptitude for grasping relationships”

 

That sets the stage very nicely for the meaning of this IYCA-based term.

 

What about ‘Athletic’?

 

It’s defined as such –

 

“Involving the use of physical skills or capabilities”

 

String those two definitions together and you’ve got the basis for the main motivation needed when training and developing young athletes.

 

In short –

 

“Increasing the capacity for learning and understanding various physical skills and how they relate”

 

That is the crux and critical requirement with respect to programming for young athletes.

 

And how backwards do we have that these days?

 

Increase the capacity for learning:

 

It’s not about over-coaching pre-adolescent children.

 

Teaching them the ‘mechanics’ of how to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball.

 

It’s about enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how to perform these actions via Guided Discovery.

 

Allowing them to play.

 

Get a feel for the motion themselves and through trail and error, develop bodily aptitude.

 

Understanding various physical skills and how they relate:

 

Through this ‘trail and error’ period of development, it can’t be about specificity, either.

 

It’s about indirect, global stimulus.

 

Running fast, for example, isn’t just based on the action of running.

 

It’s based on:

 

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Developing Young Athletes: What is Athletic Intelligence?

 

 

Developing Young Athletes

 

‘Intelligence’.

 

Defined by the dictionary as –

 

“The capacity for learning, understanding and aptitude for grasping relationships”

 

That sets the stage very nicely for the meaning of this IYCA-based term.

 

What about ‘Athletic’?

 

It’s defined as such –

 

“Involving the use of physical skills or capabilities”

 

String those two definitions together and you’ve got the basis for the main motivation needed when training and developing young athletes.

 

In short –

 

“Increasing the capacity for learning and understanding various physical skills and how they relate”

 

That is the crux and critical requirement with respect to programming for young athletes.

 

And how backwards do we have that these days?

 

Increase the capacity for learning:

 

It’s not about over-coaching pre-adolescent children.

 

Teaching them the ‘mechanics’ of how to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball.

 

It’s about enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how to perform these actions via Guided Discovery.

 

Allowing them to play.

 

Get a feel for the motion themselves and through trail and error, develop bodily aptitude.

 

Understanding various physical skills and how they relate:

 

Through this ‘trail and error’ period of development, it can’t be about specificity, either.

 

It’s about indirect, global stimulus.

 

Running fast, for example, isn’t just based on the action of running.

 

It’s based on:

 

– Rhythm

 

– Movement Adequacy

 

– Efficient production and absorption of force

 

– Body position for optimal acceleration and deceleration

 

These physical skills aren’t only developed via performing endless sets of sprints or start and stop drills for young athletes

.

 

In fact, they are BEST developed singularly. Learned and understood in isolation and then eventually brought together in a relative format.

 

If you haven’t already, watch this basic ‘Skip Loop’ exercise from the ‘Coordination Development’ DVD found in Complete Athlete Development –

 

 

 

 

Rhythm

 

Timing

 

Movement Adequacy

 

Force Production and Absorption

 

Through drills like these, my young athletes are learning how to be ‘intelligent’.

 

It is through indirect methods of enhancing bodily knowledge that kids form the basis of becoming superior athletes in time.

 

It’s a process that can’t be rushed or overlooked.

 

The problem is, we rush and/or ignore this phase of athletic development all the time.

 

And that’s the main reason so few of our young athletes ever amount to much in terms of optimal sporting success.

 

They were rushed through a process.

 

Over-coached and ‘specified’ too early.

 

They simply aren’t Athletically Intelligent.

 

And when you don’t have basic intelligence, you can’t possibly expand your knowledge passed a certain point.

 

You lack the foundational aptitude on which to learn more.

 

Ask yourself this question –

 

Are the indirect aspects of learning addition and subtraction important to the eventual mastery of specific mathematical skills such as calculus or algebra?

 

You better believe they are.

 

Now apply that reasoning to developing young athletes.

 

Isn’t it time you saw firsthand what training for sporting success should REALLY look like?

 

Have a look at Complete Athlete Development and see what you’re missing –

 

 

Complete Athlete Development – Click Here Now

 

 

Brian