Archive for “Speed And Agility Training” Tag

Misuse Of Speed And Agility Training

Speed and Agility Training With Young Athletes

Speed and Agility Training

A lot of people in this field call themselves Strength & Conditioning Coaches. I don’t have a problem with the “Strength” part of the title, but the “Conditioning” part could use a little work.

As a former college S & C Coach, I fully understand the time constraints of the collegiate or high school environment. Running a private facility for athletes, I also understand the limitations of this situation. In both cases, it is very difficult to give every athlete the time and instruction they need. Still, there is one area of our profession that I feel is in desperate need of some attention. That area is what I call Movement Training.

Speed and Agility Training

Recently, I was asked by a college coach what mistakes I have made in the past and what I would do differently if I could re-live the past 6-10 years of my career. At first, like many coaches, my ego didn’t want to admit to any mistakes, especially to another coach. But, after some thought, I realized that the area in which I have the greatest impact on athletes today, I simply did not understand when I was younger.

A few years ago, I thought the best S & C Coach was the one who most fully brutalized his/her athletes. I thought I was supposed to lift my athletes until they puked and condition them until they couldn’t see straight. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that stuff has its place. I love putting athletes through brutally hard workouts, and I think that kind of hard work can have amazing benefits (it also has terrific entertainment value). But, through time, I have gained a better understanding of how to maximize the “Conditioning” or “Speed and Agility Training” part of my job title.

To a lot of coaches, conditioning means creating running programs that enhance the physiological processes involved in aerobic or anaerobic metabolism. You may not think of it this way, but that is essentially what many conditioning programs are designed to do. I have no problem with this. Conditioning sport-specific energy systems is a vital part of athletic success.

Speed and Agility Training

Many coaches also implement speed, agility, and plyometric routines into their programs, and I think it’s great to see coaches making an effort to improve the physical abilities of their athletes. Unfortunately, I see way too many mistakes being made in this area, and I think many coaches are doing their athletes an injustice.

Over the years, we have read articles by some great coaches about specificity, but the full message of these wise men is often lost in an effort to use their message to support our own views. I’m sure you’ve done it. You’ve read an article, and thought to yourself “That’s what I’m talkin’ about. That’s why I do what I do. I’m going to use this article to support my speed and agility training philosophy.”

The articles have been great. They have helped a generation of S & C Coaches formulate their strength training philosophies….strength training philosophies. Why didn’t we see that the same information we’ve applied to strength training can also be used to develop effective speed and agility programs?

In my opinion, a lot of S & C Coaches approach speed and agility training the same way they approach strength training.

They find out what other coaches are doing (through reading summer manuals, watching workouts, etc.), and duplicate it in their environments. This has worked out pretty well for strength training because there are a lot of good Strength and Conditioning Coaches to learn from.

Unfortunately, there are a few problems with learning about speed and agility training this way.

First, there are not nearly as many quality speed and agility coaches to learn from.

Second, most of us didn’t learn anything about effective movement patterns in school.

Third, proper coaching of speed and agility training for young athletes is highly dependent on coaching prowess, movement analysis, and the ability to understand proper movement patterns. It is more like teaching a sport skill; instructor knowledge is vital, and you can’t just apply a cookie-cutter approach like many coaches do with strength training. Nonetheless, we’ve learned our speed and agility drills from Strength Coaches not Speed and Agility coaches.

The best case scenario for many of us was to learn a few drills from a track coach or catch an article outlining a couple of exercises. This kind of coaching just doesn’t cut it. I believe that movement training falls under the “Conditioning” part of our job title, and it’s time we take full responsibility for this important part of our jobs.

I like to call speed and agility training “movement training” because the goal is to train athletes how to move more efficiently. The problem with most movement training is the assumption that if we put some cones or hurdles out in a cool design and have our athletes run through them, we are making an impact on their movement patterns.

speed and agility training

The truth is, we’re not. All we’re doing is helping them reinforce whatever movement patterns they are using to get through the drill. Take a few minutes to re-read some of those specificity articles, and I think you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

I have had the good fortune of working with, observing, and learning from a lot of good sport coaches and instructors. I have never seen a good basketball coach allow players to take hundreds of jump shots with poor shooting technique, and I have never seen a good baseball coach let players pitch and hit with poor mechanics. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of Strength Coaches allow athletes to perform hours of agility drills using horrible technique.

A lot of coaches assume that if the athletes are going through the drills, their athleticism will improve. But, the benefits of performing speed and agility drills are dramatically reduced if the athletes are not executing them with sound mechanics and learning proper technique. If the coach is unable to analyze the movement and give corrective feedback, what good is he/she doing for the athletes?

There are still a lot of questions about speed and agility training and movement training especially with young athletes, but there are certainly some answers and a lot of room for us to improve. I look forward to examining this misunderstood aspect of our profession in more detail with you in the future.


 

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Training for Power: The Top 5 Exercises for Athletes to Dominate the Game

 

Training for Power with Young Athletes

 

Young Athletes hang position

 

By Wil Fleming

 

My young athletes are known for explosive power, from middle school volleyball players to football players preparing for the combine all of them out class the competition when it comes to quick bursts of power.  Recently I put together a presentation outlining my favorite exercises to do just that.  I have shared a brief outline of the topics covered in that seminar in the list below.

 

1. Hang Clean and Snatch-

 

You will notice that I did not say the Power Clean or Power Snatch.  Power cleans are the staple of most training programs, but the key is by doing this movement from the hang position i.e. with the bar just above your knees.  This position is much closer to ones athletes actually use in athetics and athletes have a much greater potential for technically sound lifts.

The snatch must be included because it is such a powerful movement as well and can lend diversity to the program.

 

2. CHAOS agility drills

Much of the need for power in football comes in the reaction to a movement of the ball or of the defensive player, because of this football players must also have the mental awareness to make explosive movements as a reaction. Credit Coach Robert Dos Remedios for this one, but my favorite training tool for this are CHAOS agility drills (it stands for Conscious to unconscious Have unpredictability Active to Reactive Open drills Slow to Fast). The idea behind it is to have athletes mirror one another in specific patterns first and then to open ended drills with many different movement patterns, more closely replicating the actions of actual game play.

 

3. Kettlebell Swings

This is a foundation movement for any athlete looking to develop more power. The action in the kettlebell swing is founded on the idea of a hip hinge, this is important because most athletes need to gain better control of the ability to hinge at the hips.  Most athletes are very much Quad dominant and are losing out on the potential of their backside. The Kettlebell Swing does a great job of teaching these motions effectively.

 

4. MB Throws

Using medicine balls in throwing motions (chest pass, Side throws, Throws for distance) is a great way to develop power in the upperbody for young athletes while incorporating the important parts of hang cleans, hang snatches, and Kettlebell swings (hip hinging).  Delivering a Medicine ball with force is a great way to engage the core in explosive activities as well, generating force with the lower body must require active core control to deliver the ball with the arms, This transfer of power is important to all sports.

 

5. Plyometrics

Athletes need to be adept at accelerating and decelerating their own body at maximum speeds. Plyometrics are the first way that athletes can learn to do so.  Maximal jumps with a stuck landing will help athletes develop resistance to injury and will simulate many movements in sport.

 

 

There is a lot more than just power that goes into becoming athlete. It takes general strength, resistance to injury, proper conditioning and a well prepared mind.

 

Focusing on power will take athletes a long way towards getting to where they want to be.

 

 

 

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

 

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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…)

Athletic Revolution Success You Don’t Have…

 

Could you imagine this kind of success and media attention?

 

Read this…

 

Soccer Hero Named to MLS All-Star Team after Training at Local Facility

Alston suggests new training program had much to do with reaching his dream

 

Local soccer hero and member of the New England Revolution played against the famed Manchester United last week after being named to the MLS All-Star Team.

(more…)

Young Athletes & Motor Skill – Audio

Motor Skill Development & Young Athletes

 

The cornerstone of progressive training programs.

 

Enjoy this information on young athletes and please be sure to leave a comment below:

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Youth Speed Training Exposed

 

 

Youth Speed Training Mistakes

Everyone claims to be an ‘expert’ don’t they?

 

It’s the one title that I truly can’t stand.

 

And I say that because there are very few real experts in the industry of
fitness and sports training.

 

Gray Cook comes to mind as one of them.

 

So to does Alwyn Cosgrove, Al Vermeil and Carlo Alvarez.

 

Experts all.

 

Easy to spot on expert, too. They’re the ones who have a major track record
of success when it comes to training athletes, but are also ALWAYS on the
lookout for stuff they don’t know.

 

Lifelong learners.

 

That to me is what defines an ‘expert’.

 

The greatest expert I know in terms of youth speed training and agility training is a man that
I am 100% sure you know.

 

Lee Taft.

 

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