Long Term Training…
Point #2 – M.O.L.D: The Key to Long-Term training and Athletic Performance
Taken straight from the IYCA’s Youth Fitness Specialist – Level 1 certification material, this acronym should be the calling card for every single professional and/or volunteer working with young athletes:
M = Movement Must Dominate
Every aspects of your work with young athletes must come under the pretense of ‘movement’. Free-motion-based strength, torso, ROM, mobility, flexibility, speed, agility and cardiovascular training absolutely must be key to everything.
O = Open to Communication Variances
Coaching and communication are two of the much more important, but largely ignored aspects of proper athletic development.
Kids learn at different rates and via different means. If you are not prepared to accept that and create a system of communication that reinforces both positivist and your willingness to educate, you will only ever be half a Coach.
L = Learning Style Variances
Not unlike ‘O’; young athletes sometimes need to see. Other times they need to hear or feel.
Short-term training models are built to make young athletes tired and showcase rapid improvements in biomotor numbers.
Long-term training models are designed to instruct and infuse skill – the numbers will come (and they’ll be much better in the long run).
D = Don’t Train… Teach
Perhaps the nexus on which the entire IYCA is built…
We are not Trainers or Performance Specialists – we are Coaches.
And by default, a Coach’s job is to teach so that “next level” potential is maximized.
Point #3 – Principles versus Values
Our industry at large, chases numbers – and we convince our clients (both young and old) that this is the key to showing worth.
How much weight will you lose?
How much stronger is your squat?
How much faster can you run?
The problem with values (i.e. “the numbers”) is that they’re reasonably easy to attain – even in a short period of time, but they simply lack sustainability.
Think of how many adult clients in the world have “dropped the 25 pounds they always wanted to… And only in 10 weeks!” just to find themselves back where they started not more than 4 months later.
Think of how many young athletes go through ‘intensive pre-season’ programs, only to come back to the same facility at season’s end (5 months later) to find out that all the incredible gains they made are no longer there.
Numbers are easy to obtain and they come and go through the natural realities of ‘Training Effect’ and ‘De-Training’. But sustainability and real progression is only ever made through long-term models of training predicated on teaching and keeping ‘Principles’ more important than ‘Values’.
For example, consider a young athlete going through peak height velocity or PHV (typically between 12 – 15 years of age).
Everyone (including most “Performance Specialists”) will work to make sure that young athlete enhances their strength, speed and power through an aggressive, value-based training model.
In reality however, PHV represents an incredibly delicate time within the ascension of life, during which bones grow faster than muscle (inhibiting coordination and producing great strain on the muscular complex) and mobility becomes dramatically reduced.
Performance Enhancements (or “numbers”) are simply the wrong thing to pursue at this point. You are going to gain greater in the long-term if you take the foot off the acceleration and spend time on re-acquainting the young athlete to proper movement and coordinated efforts and lessened all lifting loads so that ROM/Mobility became a more focused upon goal of strength training.
In the end (when PHV ceases) your young athlete is stronger, faster and more mobile. They are more injury resistant and have a very large base or foundation on which to now build towards the ‘next level’
‘Principles’ means you’re honoring the realities of the situation and not bending them merely to eek out better ‘numbers’ in the immediate range.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the ‘Part 3’ conclusion….
… I’m going to be showing you stuff I’ve never talked about before…