10 X Factors



The ‘X Factors’ to Training Young Athletes

Training young athletes and kids is so much more than just the ‘x’ and ‘o’ factors.

Of course a strong base of knowledge in pediatric exercise science, motor skill development and program design is critical for you to truly create effective training and conditioning agendas for this specific demographic.

But here’s something that may surprise you…

I find that coaches and trainers who have big personalities and charismatic styles are often far better with kids than professionals who really ‘know their science’.

That is not to knock education.

The IYCA has a very involved and complex 4-tiered educational process that has been created to be a virtual vault of scientific information for coaches and trainers to learn.

But a great deal of our material also focuses on teaching you how to effectively communicate with your young clients and understand their specific learning styles.

Here’s a simple metaphor that will help you truly grasp the importance of this intangible factor –

It’s not always what you want to say that matters…

… It’s what they want to hear.

That doesn’t mean you need to placate to your athletes or not say what it is you need to or want to say.

But you have to relay your message in a way that it will be received.

This is the number one concern I see in youth sports, youth fitness and even school.

We expect all children and teens to learn the same way and be open to our messages irrespective of how they are offered.

13 years of working with this demographic has taught me that this is just not the case.

Creating effective programs is the science…

But implementing them effectively is the art.

And the IYCA wants you to understand that your role as a coach or trainer working with this demographic is not to be a scientist, but an artist.

Understand the science.

Use it to create successful and developmentally-sound training programs.

But BE an artists.

Learn how to implement these successful and developmentally- sound training programs so that they are optimally received by your audience.

Our coaching template found in the ‘Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist’ certification offers a very detailed look at how to understand your individual athletes motivation and learning styles.

And while there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all approach’ to coaching, there is one specific ingredient that you can bank on as a surefire way to make sure all your athletes are interested in what you have to say…


Do you bring energy to each and every training session?

Are you thrilled to see your young clients – and can they tell?

Do you coach with an enthusiastic nature that is contagious?

These are the questions you must ask yourself.

Coaching, learning and communication variances per athlete are unique and the ‘Level 1′ material certainly gives you a massive amount of information in terms of understanding it all.

But ‘energy’ is the single factor you can bring to the table each and every time.

It’s what makes the difference between a good coach and a great one.

Challenge yourself to bring the energy each time you’re in front of your athletes.

Better yet – bring it one day and not the next.

See for yourself how much differently your athletes respond to you and how much more involved they become in your training session.

More than the ‘X’ and ‘O’ factors, my friend…



Become a Certified Youth Fitness Specialist

IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist Level 1 personal training certification

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