Archive for “Visual Cues” Tag

Three Quick Ways To Become a Better Coach

 

Become a Better Coach

Become a better coach with young athletes

 

By Wil Fleming

 

In the network of coaches that I have met, the most passionate always are other coaches at AR. Every one of the coaches that I have met wants to do the best they can FOR their athletes. As a franchise this sets AR apart from any other that I have ever witnessed (outside of maybe Fitness Revolution!).

 

The franchisee at the local Starbucks isn’t trying to become better at brewing coffee, the local owner of Chipotle isn’t trying to build a better burrito, but each and everyday the owners of AR’s are trying to be better at developing young athletes.

 

It is a pretty cool thought when you get down to it.

 

In light of this, and of a conversation that I had with one of my coaches recently I wanted to talk about my 3 ways to INSTANTLY become a better coach. We can all dive into more continuing education products, and attend live events, but those things take time and it is all about being a better coach today than you were yesterday!

 

    1. Attend your athletes’ sporting events

 

We typically see our athletes in the bubble that is our AR, we even evaluate them through the lens of an assessment, but the ultimate assessment is how they perform on the field (or court, or track). See your athletes compete and you will be able to pick out exactly what it is that is holding them back.

 

In their lateral movement are they applying the principles of deceleration? Are they reacting quickly enough to the visual cues of the game played? Right there you have a blueprint for their next phase of speed training.

 

Do your athletes start to tire later in the match or game? How exactly is their game paced? If you didn’t already know you know now and you hae a blueprint for designing the conditioning protocols they will use in training.

 

Lastly, and it has been said 100’s of times, being a presence at sporting events is one of the single greatest marketing tools you have in your toolbox.

 

    1. Use film to breakdown lifts

 

This is so simple but sometimes we forget it. Our eyes can only capture so much, and with limited repetitions per training session there are so few opportunities to see your athletes in action while training.

 

Using film can help you spot errors when you believe that everything is going perfectly. Recently with one of my athletes I was able to spot that the athlete was lacking in complete extension of their hips while doing Olympic lifts, even though it seemed they were reaching this point while in full speed. I was able to notice this by breaking down the lift on film and correct this error for the next lift.

 

Taking a look at film will sharpen your ability to see things going forward and improve your ability to correlate results (missed lifts, slowing down in acceleration, etc) with particular errors.

 

For the best breakdown of movements I use the iSwing app available for iPhone and Android (it costs $2.99).

 

    1. Spend 1 day observing other coaches

 

This is almost immediate, but just arranging to spend 1 day while around other coaches can help you become a better coach and improve your abilities as well. I am fortunate that at AR Bloomington we have some tremendous coaches that I can turn to so that I can bounce ideas off of them, but even if you are not in this situation find someone in driving distance and go learn from them.

 

They don’t have to be household names or even strength coaches. Just last week I was able to observe a 2x state champion basketball coach take his team through some off-season basketball workouts. His command and presence resonated with me to be a better leader on the floor of our gym.

 

The desire to become a better coach is the reason that the members of the AR family are among the best in the world.

Try out these 3 quick tips and see your coaching improve overnight!

 

 

 

Designing The Right Speed & Agility Training Program

 

Speed & Agility Training Program Design

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Training athletes in speed & agility can be some difficult business.

Without a plan in mind of how to train a speed session, what can start as a speed session can crumble into a conditioning workout, with no lasting effects on an athlete’s ability to move quickly.
 

When I am training athletes in speed & agility I find it necessary to first, break it down into the component parts that I would like to train,and second assess the size of the group that I will be working with.
 

Lets start with what we need to train.
 

Linear and Lateral Technique
The first thing we should address with any group of any size is the technical components that will make the athletes better and safer. For linear technique we must analyze the most common ways that linear speed are expressed:
 

Is it from a 3 point stance, 2 point stance, split stance, from a slower pace?
 

This will guide our use of acceleration training and allow us to coach the young athletes on the proper start positions.
 

Lateral technique will focus on the lateral gait cycle and change of direction body positions. This type of training should be done with any group regardless of age and size of the group.
 

Linear and Lateral Power
The next phase of training will involve using different implements or tools to create more power for your athletes. Typically we will use sleds, weighted vests, medicine balls, or resistance bands to improve power in both the linear sprinting/acceleration and in lateral deceleration or acceleration
 

Linear and Lateral Reaction
When training reaction we are trying to improve the athletes ability to perceive the action and make the appropriate reaction. Drills in this category include change of direction with visual or verbal cues and acceleration drills on visual cues
 

Next lets move onto the size of the group, as this will determine the types of drills and equipment that we can use.
 

Less than 3 athletes
With less than 3 athletes training the coaching can be very intensive and the athletes can receive direction on technique with any and all drills. Very rarely in this situation will you be limited with the amount of equipment needed to complete a drill. Rest times will have to be accounted for through the training plan to make sure that the athletes get quality repetitions.
 

Small group – Less than 10-15 athletes
Training in groups smaller than 10 may limit your ability to train the group with equipment that you have on hand. If equipment is to be used it will be necessary to partner up the young athletes or go in a rotation. Your ability to instruct will not be limited, but should be planned out in the speed & agility training program for the day.
 

Large group – More than 15 athletes
With a group of more than 15 athletes restrictions on equipment become a primary concern, typically with groups this size or larger choices of equipment should be easily transportable (cones, small bands) and be plentiful. Instruction time should be mapped out before hand and should be deliberate. Large groups should be divided into smaller groups, this will allow for instruction between repetitions. Rest intervals in large groups are less necessary to plan because a normal rotation of drills and groups will allow for even, or positive rest periods.
 

With groups of any size it is important to approach Speed & Agility with the same type of deliberate plan that is often reserved for strength training. Doing so will insure that your session will not turn into glorified conditioning work, but will instead develop real, true speed, wow coaches and grow your business.