Archive for “Youngsters” Tag

IYCA members updates

Here are your IYCA updates to www.IYCAMembers.com for the week of February 7, 2011:

 

(1) The Athletic Performance Matrix

 

Last week, I gave you an incredible look at Athletic Development from New Zealand through the sample programming of IYCA Member and world-class Coach, Gareth Ashton.

 

This week, I want you to see exactly how and why he sets up his Athletic Development program inside one of New Zealand’s most famed sporting schools:

 

Click Here to Access this Incredible Resource —> http://www.iycamembers.com/members/324.cfm

 

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Youth Fitness Business: Training Adults is More Difficult – Part 2


More Reasons why choose a Youth Fitness business

 

youth fitness business

2.) Sedentary Lifestyle – Most adults that work are inactive due to desk jobs, laziness, or boredom. Unlike youngsters involved in scholastic sports, there is no structure involving financial accountability and job performance. Youth athletes benefit from a different kind of structure. They follow a routine consisting of academia, social thrivers, and sport. So if the expectation is not there, don’t expect adults to get off their couch to do something unless that are forced to.

 

I think I’d be splitting hairs to disagree with this point outright, but it should be noted that most teenagers also sit in desks some 5 – 6 hours per day and compound that issue with homework and TV/video game play in the evening. Professionals who don’t work with young people regularly may be quite surprised to find out how sedentary many young athletes truly are outside of their competitive season.

 

Having said that, I absolutely understand John’s point about sedentary lifestyles and expectations, but to a degree that point could be flipped by suggesting that adults have more incentive to ‘get fit’ due to their advancing age and sense of mortality. I’ve never met a teenager who felt concerned about their health with respect to inactivity – kids, by in large, feel themselves to be ‘bulletproof’ which can make for creating an incentive to become active very difficult.

 

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Youth Fitness Business: Training Adults is More Difficult?

Youth Fitness Business Comparisons

You can (and should) take a look at John’s entire article here.

 

Now, our industry is full of people who seem to enjoy taking shots at their peers. Almost like a sport, they feel somehow empowered and or compelled to lobby opinions at what other people have to say and cloak their oftentimes defaming commentary with “this isn’t personal”.

 

My ‘retort’ article is not anywhere near a ‘shot’ at John. I was just so intrigued by his thoughts and feelings on the matter, I wanted to test the merits of his conclusions based on what I know about developing young athletes.

 

And by ‘testing the merits’ I mean to decide for myself if I think his deductions are correct. Not whether he’s right – he believes he is and I respect that wholly.

 

Below are the enumerated reasons John has outlined as to why adults are more difficult to train. My thoughts are below each point in italics.

 

youth fitness business

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Endurance Training & Young Athletes

Young Athletes Endurance Training

Endurance training and young athletes is an often-misunderstood topic. On one hand, there are strength coaches who tend to disregard developmentally sound elements of endurance training in lieu of producing stronger and faster young athletes via strength and power type exercises exclusively. On the other hand, there are over-zealous coaches and trainers who equate endurance to long distance/duration activities, often with little regard for the athlete’s stage of development, ability or current level of conditioning.

 

Endurance can be defined quite simply as one’s ability to withstand fatigue or the ability to control the functional aptitude of movement while experiencing external stress. The latter definition lends itself well to the concept of athletic development and training young athletes. As I have stated many times in both print and lecture, when working with youngsters, the key ingredient to producing a successful training program is the ability to recognize that quality of execution is profoundly more important than quantity. Having said that, I still see coaches, trainers and parents opting for more difficult training sessions that include high volume or high intensity activities rather than concerning themselves with how correctly the exercise is being performed. Poor execution results in habitual patterns that are difficult to break and could result in injury. With respect to endurance training, proper mechanics are often compromised for higher volumes or intensities and this is very much a mistake.

 

One thing to consider is that the term ‘endurance’ has application to varying lengths and types of effort:

 

• Long slow distances – efforts of limited intensity but high distance or time

• Speed – efforts typically lasting 15 – 45 seconds with high levels of intensity but obviously limited time or distance

• Muscular – the ability to sustain a muscular contraction for a prolonged period of time

 

There are several factors to consider with respect to the development of endurance in young athletes:

 

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Fitness Programs For Kids: Top 3 Keys To Speed Training

 

 

Fitness Programs For Kids

Fitness Programs For Kids speed training for young athletes
International superstar Speed Coach Lee Taft and I agree on almost everything related to training athletes.

 

Together, we have found through our combined 40 years of experience that these are the 3 most important factors to a successful speed training program –

 

 

Speed Key #1 – Create a Developmental System
Training for speed has to be developmental in nature.

 

With younger athletes (6 – 9 years old) training for speed is a matter of allowing kids to explore various aspects of movement from a self-learning perspective.

 

As a Coach or Trainer, your objective is to create games and drills that provide a broad-base of multi-directional movement (i.e. forward, backwards) as well as timing-oriented skills (i.e. skipping to a specific cadence).

 

It is important to resist the urge to ‘over-teach’ or ‘make perfect’ the way your youngsters are performing these skills.

 

Young nervous systems must be given the opportunity to learn through a trial and error process, what quality movement feels like.

 

With athletes 10 – 18, your training efforts can become much more teaching based and focus will shift to perfection of movement habits and eventually ‘drilling’ (i.e. repetitive sets of specific skills).

 

Do not be fooled into thinking that young athletes and more mature athletes can learn the skills associated with speed & agility in the same way, however.

 

A developmental system is necessary for optimal speed & agility training.

 

Our new Youth Speed & Agility Specialist Certification contains the complete developmental process that Lee and I have used successfully for nearly 4 decades.

 

—> Click here for an example of that system

 

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Fundamental To Sport Specific Training for Young Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes and Sports Training

Spida Hunter is a one-of-a-kind trainer from New Zealand. He has worked with participants of all ages and abilities. I thought that you might all enjoy a glimpse into how things are done with young athletes on the other side of the world!

 

IYCA: What’s your background in youth sports and athletics? Have you worked with young athletes?

 

SH: I don’t specialize in youth sports or athletics however I do train young aspiring athletes that are looking to produce the best results and performance that they can achieve. I have worked with puberty (and post puberty) athletes which is a very influential age and a very important age not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well! I will also be training a 1st XV high school rugby team next season.

 

IYCA: There are a lot of coaches, parents, and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were "little adults." What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn them against that kind of training?

 

SH: I used to get very frustrated with the mentality of; this is what they do so you can too! However other then a selected few I truly believe now, is that parents, coaches and unfortunately trainers are actually doing what they believe is the best thing for the young athlete. This is what they know so this is what they hand down I do not believe that a parent, coach, trainer would purposely harm a child through training but unfortunately this is what they do when they treat the child as a "little adult"!

 

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The 3-4-5 System for Young Athletes

 

 

Young Athletes Training System

Stephen Holt has long been considered one of the fitness industry’s top personal trainers. He has been highlighted by NSCA, PTontheNet, Fitness Magazine, IDEA and Health and Fitness Source, to name a few. Additionally, Stephen has been named "Expert of the Year" by AllExperts.com and "Personal Trainer of the Year" by the American Council on Exercise.

 

 

BG: What’s your background in youth sports and athletics? Have you worked with young athletes?

 

SH: Hi, Brian. First, let my point out that I’m really glad to hear about your book. Far too many trainers and parents are forcing kids into programs designed by and for adult bodybuilders.

 

Back to your question & That depends on your definition of "young." When I started as a personal trainer over 20 years ago, I set a minimum age of 16 for clients. Later, as I took more courses and read more books and articles on training young athletes, I lowered that minimum to 14, then eventually 10 or so, depending on their mental and physical maturity.

 

Most of the young athletes I help are girls’ lacrosse players with the youngest being 11. (We started when she was 9).

 

Although I focus on lacrosse (it’s a major sport here in the Baltimore area), most of the girls are three-season athletes and also play soccer, field hockey basketball and/or tennis.

 

If the athlete is a little younger (9-11,12), I’ll typically train them along with one parent. It seems to keep all of us happier.

 

BG: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were "little adults". What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?

 

SH: I agree that, unfortunately, there are too many young athletes being forced to specialize in a single sport.

 

Although it may appear counterintuitive at first, it’s better for young athletes NOT to specialize in a single sport. A single sport will limit that athlete’s motor development. Diversity puts the young athlete in various positions and requires different motor patterns and different strategies of muscle and muscle fiber recruitment.

 

You’ll find that most successful adult athletes were well-rounded athletes when they were younger.

 

BG: The age old debate is "How old should an athlete be before they begin lifting weights." What’s your view on that controversial topic?

 

SH: For years we’ve heard the myth that weight training will stunt a young athlete’s growth, but most scientific evidence shows otherwise.

 

In fact, recent studies indicate that young athletes can make gains in strength and, in some cases, even muscle size (which we once thought was impossible) at any virtually any age.

 

What you do what to avoid, however, are structured weight training "routines" based on traditional bodybuilding for adults.

 

Young athletes

respond better both mentally and physically to workouts that are more like play. Games using medicine balls work well, for example.

 

We also know that the adult heart rate charts don’t work for children and neither do the %RM vs. reps charts. It’s clear that the "rules" that we often use in training adults don’t apply to young athletes and can even be harmful.

 

BG: Using your ideals, could you define "functional conditioning" for us?

 

SH: It’s interesting that "functional" is probably the most popular buzzword in the fitness industry these days, yet most people, even trainers who claim that they’re "functional," can’t define exactly what they mean.

 

My definition of functional is "fortifying the way the body is designed to work based upon anatomy, movement patterns and biomechanics."

 

I use what I call the "3-4-5 System."

 

This is a little technical, but … I make sure that my clients work all three planes (sagittal, frontal, transverse), all four outer unit muscle systems (anterior oblique, posterior oblique, deep longitudinal and lateral) and all five basic motor patterns (pushing, pulling, rotation, moving your center of gravity, and working on one leg).

 

If you’re doing the math and think that’s a lot of exercises, it doesn’t total up to 3 x 4 x 5 = 60 different exercises. You simply select exercises that cover multiple categories.

 

The scientific basis is a little complicated, but the exercises are not as complicated. I explain it all in my book and through free excerpts that I publish in my "3-4-5 Fitness Newsletter." Most people pick up the system quickly and easily.

 

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Youth Sports Conditioning: Juan Carlos Santana Speaks…

 

Youth Sports Conditioning

Juan Carlos is the director and CEO of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton Florida. His training methodologies have been successfully applied to the full spectrum of the population; youth, geriatrics, rehabilitation and elite athletes. He has authored numerous articles, books and videos, on various topics involving optimum physical performance.

We wanted to hear from him and his thoughts on youth sports conditioning

 

IYCA: What’s your background in youth sports conditioning and athletics? Have you trained a lot of young athletes?

 

JC: I’ve been a competitive athlete for over 3 decades. I started with little league when I was 7 and I’ll compete in the USA Judo Nationals (Masters Division) at 43. I competed in all of the major combative sports -from boxing to judo.

 

We at the Institute of Human Performance train hundreds of young athletes ranging from middle school to college every very. We also train some of the top pros.

 

IYCA: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were ‘little adults’. What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?

 

JC: I have had to save more kids from overzealous coaches and parents than anything else. Coaches and parents often want to live vicariously through their children, pushing them into sports and intensity levels they don’t want or not ready for -that is ALWAYS sad and disastrous.

 

Kids learn by discovery – this means things have to be fun and not so organized. The intensity and volume a young body can take is certainly different than what a mature body can take. Therefore, we develop a love for movement and the sport -the "athlete" naturally follows that development. Parent and coaches often want to develop great players and a love for winning and forget about athleticism and the love for training. That is like putting the horse before the carriage.

 

IYCA: The age old debate is ‘How old should an athlete be before they begin lifting weights’. What’s your view on that controversial topic?

 

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Exercise Programs For Kids: Tip of the Week

 

 

Exercise Programs For Kids From The IYCA

I had a great conversation today with brilliant and passionate
IYCA Member, Billy Corbett.

 

He mentioned that while tooling around on the IYCA website,
something caught his eye that he knew he had seen before, but
never really paid close attention to –

 

The photograph of me running around and playing with a group
of small children.

 

"It occurred to me that I should be doing more stuff like that, Brian"
Billy told me over the phone.

 

"Is that kind of coaching a good idea when working with kids?"

 

Excellent question and an easy answer….

 

Yes!
HECK yes!

 

There is certainly a fine line between goofing around with your
young clients and enjoying physical activity with them.

 

In my 13 years of coaching Exercise Programs For Kids experience, I can tell you that one of
the fastest and most practical ways of creating relationships with
youngsters that will bridge a level of trust and keep them coming
back for more (i.e. member retention) is to section off a period of
class time during which you participate in a game with them.

 

In fact, my standard training session for kids between the ages of
6 – 9 looks something like this –

 

1) Introductions (5 minutes)
2) Technique Instruction (5 minutes)
3) Technique Play (10 minutes)
4) Technique Instruction 2 (5 minutes)
5) Technique Play 2 (10 minutes)
6) Free Play (10 minutes)

 

And #6 is where I jump in and play WITH them during the Exercise Programs For Kids!

 

They love it, I love it and the parents LOVE it!

 

Be sure to get down and dirty with your young clients and play
with them during certain period of your training session.

 

To learn more about my Exercise Programs For Kids training system and why this ‘play time’
is absolutely critical to the proper growth and development of your
young clients, click on the link below to access the IYCA’s Level 1
Youth Fitness Specialist certification –

 

http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1.html

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Brian