Coaching Young Athletes – Here’s the last part of what you need to know to become a great Coach…
(3) Constant Praise
This one is something I wish more Fitness pros understood when Coaching Young Athletes .
If your young athlete performs an exercise that is 90% incorrect, the only option you have in terms of making sure he or she eventually gets it, is to comment on the 10% that was right.
I know… The urge is to correct the mistakes, but as I’ve been saying for years now:
The human body comes equipped with an auto-regulatory feature that knows where proper versus improper functional execution lies.
The goal is to ‘allow’ the body-brain to relax and find proper execution for itself.
That’s not to say that we create situations where repeated efforts of incorrect execution become the norm, but when trying to ‘over-correct’ (because their Coach just gave them 12 things they did wrong and have to do better) young athletes become inhibited and entirely too careful.
They need to move freely and allow auto-regulation to occur.
Thus, remind them of what they did correctly first; then spend a little time discussing the ONE or TWO things you’d like to see differently in the next set.
You absolutely must adopt an ‘ata-boy’ mentality when it comes to working with developing athletes.
Remember when coaching young athletes:
(a) Young bodies are growing constantly. What was ‘good’ form in an exercise 2 weeks ago may no longer be quality execution today because of hormonal or structural changes.
(b) Human emotion (which is terribly inconsistent during the teenage years) dramatically effects the visceral portion of the body which can place great strain on associated soft tissue. A ‘bad’ first set of squats could be made ‘good’ on set 2 by simply reminding the young athlete of what they were doing right, focusing them on proper breathing and helping them reduce an emotional stress they may be experiencing.Coaching Young Athletes
It’s going to be a fun and incredibly worthwhile summer for me!
I’ll keep you posted on everything about my rebirth back to the trenches!
The Art of Coaching…. The Most Important Quality of a Great Coach?
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