Making Youth Training Work No Matter What


Youth Training Systems

Youth Training


(1) Create An Ascension System


Prior to my arrival, if you watched the Novice Teams (8 – 11 years old) go through their conditioning regime and then you watched the Senior Team (16 – 18) right after, you’d have trouble distinguishing the difference.


Exercise Selection.




Coaching Style/Intensity.


Across the board; identical.


I had to educate all parties involved (Coaches, Athletes and Parents) that the stimulus requirements needed for optimal athlete development varied based on age (among other factors) but that club formats like this (600+ athletes all of whom graduate every year to play on the next level team) provided an ideal backdrop within which to build something developmentally sound.


The goal was to ‘introduce’ and ‘stimulate’ while Novice, progress to ‘educate’ and ‘advance’ through Junior and climax with ‘apply’ and ‘increase complexity’ at Senior.


(2) Break Down Conditioning Sessions Into Categories of Importance


I was given 20 minutes at the end of each practice, on the court, with each team (2x per week).


20 minutes; 30 young athletes at one time; 1 volleyball court (with as many as 12 other team practices going on at the same time inside the expansive gym complex).


Not ideal.


But then… It almost never is!!


Within those 20 minutes, I had to re-educate everyone about what was necessary and important.


This wasn’t going to be about ‘sweat’, ‘throwing up’, ‘max efforts’ or ‘can’t move the next day syndromes’.


My largest concerns (which eventually became how I broke down my 20 minute sessions) were in order:


a) Mobility & Active Flexibility
b) Injury Prevention Mechanics (jump/land techniques)
c) Injury Prevention Deficits (systemic strength increases)
d) Torso (fluidity from hips to shoulders)


4 major points and 20 minutes.


Tomorrow, I’ll show you exactly how I break those categories down into:


Exercise Selection

Time Frames




– Brian



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One Response

  1. Chris says:

    Timely and great content Brian. I was approached recently by an adult client of mine asking what I thought of ankle braces for volleyball players. The coach that her 14 yr old daughter plays for is requiring that players wear an ankle braces for every practice and game. It reminds me of how linemen in football all wear knee braces for the most part now. Similar to what you outlined above was my response where the players should spend time working on mobility and active flexibility along with injury prevention instead of just slapping braces on and not addressing the root cause. The mom has hired me to work 1:1 with her daughter and I will be using what I’ve learned from your CAD program and anything else I pick up through this post. Thanks again for all of your valuable contributions to youth fitness!

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