11 120 Young Athletes, 45 Minutes



120 Athletes… 45 Minutes

Now this is the kind of situation that baffles many coaches and trainers.

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 gym space?

It’s actually quite simple.

Here’s the rundown step-by-step:

1. Assess Your Young 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 evaluation.

The assessment I’m referring to is based on knowledge gathering in order to ascertain the ‘likelihoods’ of the situation.

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 ‘likely’s’

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 addressed.

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 Kids Moving

If I can’t teach proper execution, I may as well pack up and go home.

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 program.

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)
Ankle Mobility


Deceleration Technique (movement aptitude)
Bear Crawl (system strength)
Crab Walk (systemic strength)

120 young athletes.

45 minutes.

No equipment.

No evaluation.

No problem.

I’ll be hitting you with some video of these training sessions later this week so you can see what it all looks like.


‘Till next time,



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