Archive for “Train” Tag

Selecting the Right Starting Position for Olympic Lifts (Part 2)

 

Olympic Lifts and Foundatations

Young Athlete hang position olympic lifts

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Coaches everywhere, and a great percentage of coaches at that, choose to use some type of Olympic lifts in their training of athletes. Typically this Olympic lift is a power clean, starting from the floor. While this is appropriate for plenty of athletes, there are multiple variations in the starting position, that it can be hard to determine which is the right place to start.

 

In Part 1 I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the floor start position and the block start position. In Part 2 you will learn about 2 of the more popular hang start positions.

 

So lets take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of some of the Olympic lifts variations in start position.

 

Hang Start Position (High Thigh)

 

The hang position with the bar on the high thigh is a very popular way to start for both athletes and in training for competition weightlifters. This position is actually the one that is taught in many certification courses as a great way to train beginners on the lifts.

 

The start position is usually ½ way or more up to the top of the thigh but below the hip crease. The start position is nearly at the finish of the 2nd pull and will lead to a very quick and explosive lift.

 

Pros: This start position is excellent for training athletes to become more proficient at the Olympic lifts. The start position is relatively easy to attain because the counter movement is short which makes it hard to miss. Due to the high nature of the start position the speed of the lift is very quick making coaching cues simple, (“explode”, “Drive” etc,). As a technique tool it reinforces the 2nd pull and even assists in making the athlete more efficient at the 3rd pull, more so than any other start position for the Olympic lifts.

 

Cons: This is a great place to start. In my experience though many athletes have a difficult time generating much power from this start position early on. Technical difficulties for novice athletes from this position are usually things like, jerking their head back from the start, or over scooping the knees forward to initiate the movement. The correct start position is fairly quad dominant and doesn’t rely as much on the athlete’s ability to extend the hips as other hang start positions. As with other hang start positions multiple reps are difficult on the grip (not that big of a con, but still needs to be mentioned).

 

Hang Start Position (Above Knee)

 

This is a common position to see athletes do cleans and snatches. In fact, this is the primary position from which I teach my athletes how to clean or snatch. The start position is directly above the knee cap (or 3-4 inches above in the snatch).

 

Pros: This start position is easy to attain for most athletes, it mimics the pattern that they will go through when you ask them to jump as high as possible. The easy to attain start position and similarity to other athletic movement means that athletes will have early success with the lift. In terms of training this usually means that the athlete will be able to lift more weight, correctly, and sooner than with other positions. One big positive with this lift is that athletes are made to assume a more hip dominant position to start, training the posterior chain more effectively than hang start positions higher on the thigh.

 

Cons: Because the position is lower on the thigh, athletes that are extremely quad dominant in their movements have difficulty getting to the start position. Often times they will try to squat, or knee bend their way to the start. Athletes that lack lumbar and core stability will try to achieve the start position through a back bend. The longer counter movement actually makes grip even more of an issue than some shorter hang start positions.

 

Many pros and cons lists end up with a verdict, but with the Olympic lifts I cannot form one. All of the lifts have benefits and drawbacks, and some more so than others. Take the considerations in the last two articles to mind when training with the lifts and test each of them out for yourself and those athletes that are ready.

 

olymic lifts young athletes

 

The IYCA Olympic Lift Instructor Course gives you everything you need to better understand, teach, progress and implement Olympic Lift training with your young athletes. You will gain complete technical instruction and learn necessary skill sets & essential coaching cues.

 

click here

 

 

Missed part 1? Click here

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).

 

 

 

The Training Template Secret

It’s great to watch a video or DVD and see what a quality training session is supposed to look like.

 

I always enjoy having exercise photographs at my fingertips with a visual representation of what each rep should look like along the way.

 

I also adore being able to read key information about what the Coach or Trainer was thinking when they designed a particular training program, or what philosophies and concepts they feel are important with respect to Speed, Strength, Coordination, Mobility, Flexibility and Injury Prevention.

 

And I especially love being given ‘sample programs’.

 

A literal “here, just do this because it works” roadmap for success.

 

You get that and every ounce of the information mentioned above inside my ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system.

 

But do you know what my favorite part is?

 

 

The fact that I took the time to create and develop a Training Template for you.

 

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Train a Group of Young Kids With Different Abilities

Is it really possible to effectively train a group of young kids with varying levels of

ability at the same time?

 

What if some of them were highly skilled in movement aptitude while others (in the same group) had Autism?

 

Watch this fascinating ‘practical’ video from 2010 IYCA Trainer of the Year, Dave Gleason, and see for yourself:

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Qualifications to Work with Young Athletes

Young Athletes and the qualifications needed to train them

I started my career by training nothing but Olympic Champions, National Team Competitors and Professionals Athletes.

 

But what I came to realize is that none of those experiences made me qualified to train young athletes.  Neither would I be qualified if I had an Olympic Medal around my neck or a Super Bowl ring on my index finger.

 

We constantly mistake ‘big names’ or ‘big credentials’ as qualified.

 

Let me put it this way… The most impressive and decorated mathematician at NASA is a literal genius with the topic of math, but would you really think them qualified and ideal to teach your 7 year old son how to multiply?

 

Success in sport or at the highest level of Coaching doesn’t mean that one is suited to understand and be fluent in the unique sciences of youth sports training.  Seek experience and education pertaining to the specialty at hand – not glitz and glamour.

 

Please, comment below… We truly want to hear your thoughts on this!

 

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Kettlebell Training for Youth Athletes

 

 

Youth Athletes With Kettlebells

by Pamela MacElree of www.KettlebellAthletics.com

 

Kettlebell training for kids and youth athletes

There really are hundreds of ways to train youth athletes, all the way from traditional weight lifting to strongman training, and everywhere in between.  Some programs focus strictly on gaining mass, some focus entirely on sport specific practice, some can’t get enough speed and agility, and others have no real basis at all.  Implementing kettlebell training into a youth training program has a variety of complimentary benefits to existing programs.

 

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Training Young Athletes – Big Mistake

 

Training Young Athletes

I admit to being annoyed on my call with Brad.
 

Not by him, but by the advice he was given,
 

It’s not a bad thing to say “I don’t know.”
 

You can’t know everything.
 

But yet again, I find more examples of people who think they do.
 

Training Young athletes need specific protocols

 

And if you don’t know what those ‘specifics’ are, why not just say so?
 

How to train young baseball players is the topic of this video but you better believe that it applies to ALL young athletes.
 

I think I’m getting tired of being surprised every time I realize that our industry, at large, doesn’t know ANYTHING about working with young athletes…

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Training Teaching And Coaching Young Athletes

 


 

Coaching Young Athletes

Do you Teach or Train and deliver great coaching young athletes?

 

If you are like most coaches and trainers I am familiar with, you likely ‘train’ your athletes as a means to elicit biomotor improvement.

 

You work on various forms of sprints and jumping in order to develop ‘blazing speed’.

 

You lift weights or perform bodyweight exercises to increase ‘mammoth strength’.

 

You set out cones and have your young athletes practice elaborate movement drills as a way of improving their ‘stealth-like agility’.

 

These types of exercises in themselves are not problematic or bad per say…

 

But they are only quasi-beneficial and extremely narrow-scoped if you aren’t looking to teach your young athletes the skills they need to perform these drills and set them up to improve on the next level.

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How to Get High School Coaches to Like You

 

 

High School Coaches Do Need You

"The Head Football Coach just won’t listen to me… He
thinks he knows everything, but his training program is
terrible and his team would be so much better if he would
just hire me as the Strength Coach…"

 

Do you know how many times I hear that?

 

I get emails about it.

 

People talk with me about it at conferences.

 

It’s a common topic discussed on the IYCA Message Board.

 

And every single time, the follow up question reads something
like this –

 

"How can I get the Coach to trust and hire me?"

 

And here’s my standard answer…

 

Why would he?

 

From his perspective, who in the heck are you?

 

Do you know many ‘well credentialed’ Personal Trainers
there are in our industry who are absolute crap at what
they do?

 

Now, I’m sure that sounds like a negative slam, but it
really isn’t.

 

It’s a wake up call for you.

 

You have to PROVE to the Coach that you’re better.
Show him that you know more than him and more than
any other Trainers out there.

 

But you can’t prove that by ‘telling him so’ and then
walking away with your hands up in the air angry
that he isn’t listening.

 

I have made a career of gaining the trust of high school
coaches in various parts of the world and literally
having them beg me to train their athletes and teams.

 

Very few people in our industry can boast that kind of
success.

 

And here’s my secret….

 

I get someone else to do the talking for me.

 

Seriously.

 

I use my client referral network. 

 

I chat with satisfied parents who have connection to
the local high school coaches and athletic department and ask them
to consider chatting with the coach about me.

 

And when they do, that opens the door.

 

All I have to do is walk in.

 

Literally, I go from ‘just another Trainer trying to
work with my athletes’ to a ‘fantastic Trainer who is
coming highly recommended by the father of one of my
star players’.

 

See the difference?

 

And it works… Every time.

 

But you know what else works?

 

The right credentials.

 

With a certification from the IYCA, you can proudly
tell the coach that your expert training and education
is BASED on working with young athletes.

 

It’s not a certification that people suggest is the
‘Gold Standard’ but really doesn’t have much to do with
developmental athletic training – something critically
important to high school athletes.

 

And your certification doesn’t come from an organization
who offers 25 different kinds of educational streams from
‘Geriatric Fitness’ to ‘Pre-Natal care’.

 

It comes from an international association whose sole mission
is based on teaching Trainers to work effectively with
young athletes.

 

From Speed Training and Team Program Design to Strength
Development and The Art of Coaching.

 

I take great pride in being a Member of the IYCA.

 

And every single high school coach I have ever
talked with appreciates that I am equipped to work with
there athletes based on my IYCA affiliation.

 

Now that speaks volumes.

 

Our Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist certification is
your ticket ‘in’ my friend.

 

Get certified now to work with high school athletes and
teams for a fraction of what you’d have to pay for other
more generic educational opportunities.

 

Below is your exclusive link to the IYCA Level 1
material –

 

http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian

 

P.S. – Did  you know that ALL IYCA Members are invited to
the Ryan Lee Boot Camp on September 21 to enjoy a live

 

Level 1 certification seminar being hosted by yours truly…
… For FREE!

 

Enjoy the event live and in person.

 

Ask me ANYTHING you want about training or business and more on high school coaches.

 

All for free.

 

Check out www.RyanLeeBootCamp.com for the details.

Elevating Young Athletes

Young athletes require support and guidance.

Quick thought for you…

How can you elevate the Young Athletes you train?

The ones who constantly work hard, are forever giving you their
best efforts and never let up no matter how difficult the
session is.

How can you help elevate them into a team leader?

Because sometimes they are quiet.

They lead by example, to be sure, but maybe you want more of
their tenacity known.

I don’t struggle with this problem… in fact, I have a
system for making this work.

But I really want to hear your thoughts.

Click below and leave a comment or suggestion…

120 Young Athletes… 45 Minutes

 

Young Athletes Can be Coached In Big Groups

Now this is the kind of situation that baffles many coaches and
trainers.
 

But for good reason.
 

What do you do when your job is to effectively train 120 young
athletes, are only given 45 minutes and have nothing but an open
gym space?

 

It’s actually quite simple.
 

Here’s the rundown step-by-step:
 

1. Assess Your Athletes
 

Your assessment is not based on any sort of biomotor testing or
functional movement. It can’t be.
 

I was given very little warning about this contract and simply
don’t have the time or ability to perform any type of real
evaluation.
 

The assessment I’m referring to is based on knowledge
gathering in order to ascertain the ‘likelihoods’ of the
situation.
 

What many of the ‘assessment crazy’ professionals in our industry
don’t seem to understand about working with young athletes
is that you can evaluate and program for what I call the
‘likely’s’
 

120 young football players aged 15 – 17. It is likely that:
 

 

a. They are used to pounding weight in the gym so don’t have
much in the way of solid form with respect to lift mechanics.
 

b. Due to growth and other extraneous factors, they are tight
through the hip complex and weak in the posterior chain.
 

c. They don’t typical work on mobility, active flexibility or
concentrated torso strength.
 

d. Their movement mechanics have probably never even been
addressed.
 

 

In the absence of being able to truly assess, my ability to
program for these kids is based on the ‘likely factors’ of what
I know to be true.
 

 

2. Space versus Time
 

My objective here is simple.
 

Create a program that focuses on the following system –
 

 

a. Teach Effectively
 

b. Monitor Adherence
 

c. Keep the young athletes Moving
 

 

If I can’t teach proper execution, I may as well pack up and go
home.
 

If I can’t monitor to make sure execution is correct, I am doing
more harm than good.
 

If I don’t keep these kids moving, engaged and thinking relative
to the space I have them in, I should just let them have at it in
the weight room on there own.
 

The key is to factor all of these unique issues into your
program.
 

Creating effective training programs has as much to do
with intangible aspects of session flow as it does with the
exercise selection itself.
 

Here’s what I came up with given the above scenarios.
 

It’s a three tiered program that alters focus as the session
moves on –
 

 

SECTION ONE
 

Hip Circuits (hip complex)
Bridges (glute activation)
Elbows/Up (torso activation)
 

 

SECTION TWO
 

Hip/Hamstring Deep Stretch (hip mobility)
Lateral Squats (adductor mobility)
Split Squats (posterior chain activation + hip complex)
Ankle Mobility
 

 

SECTION THREE
 

Deceleration Technique (movement aptitude)
Bear Crawl (system strength)
Crab Walk (systemic strength)
 

 

120 young athletes.

 

45 minutes.
 

No equipment.
 

No evaluation.
 

No problem.
 

I’ll be hitting you with some video of these young athletes training sessions
later this week so you can see what it all looks like.
 

 

‘Till next time,
 

 

Brian