Youth Training Systems
(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.
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).
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:
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