Young Athletes Can be Coached In Big Groups
Now this is the kind of situation that baffles many coaches and
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
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
The assessment I’m referring to is based on knowledge
gathering in order to ascertain the ‘likelihoods’ of the
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
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
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
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
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 –
Hip Circuits (hip complex)
Bridges (glute activation)
Elbows/Up (torso activation)
Hip/Hamstring Deep Stretch (hip mobility)
Lateral Squats (adductor mobility)
Split Squats (posterior chain activation + hip complex)
Deceleration Technique (movement aptitude)
Bear Crawl (system strength)
Crab Walk (systemic strength)
120 young athletes.
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,
I loved the mention of ‘likely factors’ – although I have a little more time to prepare than you did, in 2 weeks I will need to assess/evaluate 125 youth lacrosse players and breaking the task down in to ‘likely factors’ will be very helpful. thanks for the advice and can’t wait to see the videos.
Recently i visited a local high school football team in the middle of their 10 day spring training. It was day 6. the coach was emphasizing to them weight lifting (squat, bench, clean). He had 30 plus in an antiquated weight room that was very small. What i saw in the lack of proper form technique made me scarred to think who would get hurt first. Most of them are not even proficient at body weight exercises or movements. It is unfortunate that the mentality is this far behind in training our young people.
Nicely done Brian. Let’s hope others are executing this as you do. Keep it up!
I love the idea of targeting the torso throughout the session. Still even with all the information out today strength coaches do not understand all the variables when training the torso. If kinetic transfer of energy was better understood by more people performance would increase, and injuries would reduce immediately. I enjoy the info the newsletter brings each time I open the email. Thanks Brian.
[…] 120 Young Athletes… 45 Minutes 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 … […]
Can’t wait to see the video’s, thanks Brian.
Thank you as always Brian! My childrens programs are growing and I too look forward to the videos.