Archive for “10 Years” Tag

Misuse Of Speed And Agility Training

Speed and Agility Training With Young Athletes

Speed and Agility Training

A lot of people in this field call themselves Strength & Conditioning Coaches. I don’t have a problem with the “Strength” part of the title, but the “Conditioning” part could use a little work.

As a former college S & C Coach, I fully understand the time constraints of the collegiate or high school environment. Running a private facility for athletes, I also understand the limitations of this situation. In both cases, it is very difficult to give every athlete the time and instruction they need. Still, there is one area of our profession that I feel is in desperate need of some attention. That area is what I call Movement Training.

Speed and Agility Training

Recently, I was asked by a college coach what mistakes I have made in the past and what I would do differently if I could re-live the past 6-10 years of my career. At first, like many coaches, my ego didn’t want to admit to any mistakes, especially to another coach. But, after some thought, I realized that the area in which I have the greatest impact on athletes today, I simply did not understand when I was younger.

A few years ago, I thought the best S & C Coach was the one who most fully brutalized his/her athletes. I thought I was supposed to lift my athletes until they puked and condition them until they couldn’t see straight. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that stuff has its place. I love putting athletes through brutally hard workouts, and I think that kind of hard work can have amazing benefits (it also has terrific entertainment value). But, through time, I have gained a better understanding of how to maximize the “Conditioning” or “Speed and Agility Training” part of my job title.

To a lot of coaches, conditioning means creating running programs that enhance the physiological processes involved in aerobic or anaerobic metabolism. You may not think of it this way, but that is essentially what many conditioning programs are designed to do. I have no problem with this. Conditioning sport-specific energy systems is a vital part of athletic success.

Speed and Agility Training

Many coaches also implement speed, agility, and plyometric routines into their programs, and I think it’s great to see coaches making an effort to improve the physical abilities of their athletes. Unfortunately, I see way too many mistakes being made in this area, and I think many coaches are doing their athletes an injustice.

Over the years, we have read articles by some great coaches about specificity, but the full message of these wise men is often lost in an effort to use their message to support our own views. I’m sure you’ve done it. You’ve read an article, and thought to yourself “That’s what I’m talkin’ about. That’s why I do what I do. I’m going to use this article to support my speed and agility training philosophy.”

The articles have been great. They have helped a generation of S & C Coaches formulate their strength training philosophies….strength training philosophies. Why didn’t we see that the same information we’ve applied to strength training can also be used to develop effective speed and agility programs?

In my opinion, a lot of S & C Coaches approach speed and agility training the same way they approach strength training.

They find out what other coaches are doing (through reading summer manuals, watching workouts, etc.), and duplicate it in their environments. This has worked out pretty well for strength training because there are a lot of good Strength and Conditioning Coaches to learn from.

Unfortunately, there are a few problems with learning about speed and agility training this way.

First, there are not nearly as many quality speed and agility coaches to learn from.

Second, most of us didn’t learn anything about effective movement patterns in school.

Third, proper coaching of speed and agility training for young athletes is highly dependent on coaching prowess, movement analysis, and the ability to understand proper movement patterns. It is more like teaching a sport skill; instructor knowledge is vital, and you can’t just apply a cookie-cutter approach like many coaches do with strength training. Nonetheless, we’ve learned our speed and agility drills from Strength Coaches not Speed and Agility coaches.

The best case scenario for many of us was to learn a few drills from a track coach or catch an article outlining a couple of exercises. This kind of coaching just doesn’t cut it. I believe that movement training falls under the “Conditioning” part of our job title, and it’s time we take full responsibility for this important part of our jobs.

I like to call speed and agility training “movement training” because the goal is to train athletes how to move more efficiently. The problem with most movement training is the assumption that if we put some cones or hurdles out in a cool design and have our athletes run through them, we are making an impact on their movement patterns.

speed and agility training

The truth is, we’re not. All we’re doing is helping them reinforce whatever movement patterns they are using to get through the drill. Take a few minutes to re-read some of those specificity articles, and I think you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

I have had the good fortune of working with, observing, and learning from a lot of good sport coaches and instructors. I have never seen a good basketball coach allow players to take hundreds of jump shots with poor shooting technique, and I have never seen a good baseball coach let players pitch and hit with poor mechanics. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of Strength Coaches allow athletes to perform hours of agility drills using horrible technique.

A lot of coaches assume that if the athletes are going through the drills, their athleticism will improve. But, the benefits of performing speed and agility drills are dramatically reduced if the athletes are not executing them with sound mechanics and learning proper technique. If the coach is unable to analyze the movement and give corrective feedback, what good is he/she doing for the athletes?

There are still a lot of questions about speed and agility training and movement training especially with young athletes, but there are certainly some answers and a lot of room for us to improve. I look forward to examining this misunderstood aspect of our profession in more detail with you in the future.


 

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Goal Setting for Young Athletes

 

by Dave Gleason

 

Setting short, medium and long term goals is the foundation for any action plan.  Creating and attaining any goal is a process.

 

In the context of Goal Setting for young athletes, often a trainer or coach will direct the question of desired goal(s) by giving away the answers.  A typical pre-exercise questionnaire will ask the young athlete (and/or parent) to choose from a list of goals ranging from speed, agility, strength and flexibility to injury resistance and more confidence.

 

This is a terrific start but we need to reach beyond this for our young athletes.

 

Developing a specific culture in your facility or programs is instrumental in differentiating what you do from your competition.  Everything you do should point back toward the same ethos that your culture is built upon.  Goal setting is no exception.

 

For a long term athletic development program this is critical.  Can we honestly expect kids to stay in our programs for 2,3,5 or 10 years?

 

Setting up reward systems for young athletes will help them set and attain goals.  All too often children are pressured to succeed merely for the sake of success.

 

(more…)

Complete Athlete Development

Complete AThlete Development

 

 

The ‘Complete Athlete Development‘ System…

 

Now 100% Digital (So You Get IMMEDIATE ACCESS)

 

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Click Here Right Now —>http://completeathletedevelopment.com/cad/digital

 

 

 

 

“When I read Brian’s ‘Speed & Movement Techniques’ chapter in his Complete Athlete Development Program, I knew that I was on to something very special…

 

… When I watched the corresponding DVD’s, I realized in an instance that the techniques and progressions he was showing were going to make my athletes the fastest and most agile in the game…

 

… I was right!”

 

I received that email from Heath Croll about 3 years ago.

 

My ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system was brand-new and I was anxious for feedback.

 

It’s one thing to coach successfully for 10 years, it’s another thing altogether to put your system on paper and ask people to believe in it.

 

But believe in it they did.

 

Fitness Professionals, Strength Coaches, High School Coaches – even Parents and Athletes!

 

(more…)

Youth Fitness and Politics… I Never Expected This

youth fitness

Mixing Youth Fitness & Politics doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

 

But today, I’m taking a chance and risking a lot.

Here’s the thing, I’m fed up, overwhelmed by stupid and entirely annoyed.

 

But all at the same time, I really don’t know which side of the fence I sit on.

 

I sat glued to the TV playing absently in the background of my gym during a workout last week.

 

The opening sentence of a commercial caught my attention:

 

“The government thinks my child is fat, so decided it wants me to pay for that!!”

 

Yup… I was listening HARD after hearing that.

 

And here’s the gist of the message contained in the 90 second commercial:

 

Because of the rise in youth obesity, certain States within the U.S. have started adding additional taxes to the purchase of items such as soft drinks, sugar waters and certain ‘sports’ drinks.

 

Many families are against it, suggesting that the government has absolutely no place in deciding what they should or shouldn’t buy based on making some goods over-expensive with tax and therefore potentially out of budget.

 

Now… Here’s my take…

 

Politically, I want the government interfering with my life as little as possible.

 

Safe neighborhoods, freedom from crime and terrorism, clean drinking water and that’s about it!

 

I’ll take care of the rest myself.

 

So at first glance, I want NOTHING to do with specific tax measures placed on certain foods. Even the unhealthy ones.

 

It just doesn’t feel right.

 

BUT…

 

At what point is an external solution necessary in some capacity?

 

If parents continue their ignorance and/or stupidity, where will that leave their child in 10 years?

 

I’ve always considered Youth Obesity to be the most acceptable form of child abuse – and if you agree with that, then forced outside assistance is NECESSARY.

 

A child doesn’t ask to be beaten by his Mom or Dad.

 

But he or she also doesn’t ask to weigh 100 pounds by the age of 7 either.

 

And if a child was being beaten physically, as a society we would ALL want to run to the rescue of that young, defenseless person.

 

Why wouldn’t we here?

 

And here’s another way of thinking about it…

 

In many States, CIGARETTES have become an incredibly taxed purchase as a direct way of reducing smoking in both young and adult populations.

 

If they can’t afford them, they can’t smoke them.

 

Anyone complaining about that government intrusion?

 

So… I sit undecided (although leaning towards one direction).

 

What say you on this hot youth fitness topic?

 

Please, don’t be shy or brief – say what you feel:

 

 

– Brian

 

  

Physical Education Injuries: 150% Increase

Physical Education Injuries alarm bells

IYCA Member, Mike Howard, sent me a link to this incredible article.

 

I was floored.

 

Stunned.

 

And completely annoyed.

 

150% increase Physical Education injuries.

 

Read the article and then be sure to leave me your comments about
why exactly you think this has become such a problem.

 

I feel very strongly that I know the answer.

 

And tomorrow I’m going to tell you what it is.

 

But for now, I want to hear your thoughts.

 

Here’s the article:

 

 

New national study finds increase in P.E. class-related injuries

 

Annual number of cases increased 150 percent from 1997-2007

 

Physical education (PE) in schools is one of the main tools used to increase physical activity and to prevent childhood obesity, and PE-related injuries are on the rise. Although increasing physical activity may reduce obesity, it may also increase the risk of injury. While recognizing that PE classes and physical activity are important components in combating obesity, parents and school administrators should remain vigilant for injuries. A recent study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that the number of PE-related injuries to elementary, middle and high school students in the United States increased 150 percent between 1997 and 2007.

 

According to the study, published in the online issue of Pediatrics, the most common PE-related injuries were lower-extremity sprains and strains (23 percent), followed by upper extremity sprains and strains (14 percent) and fractures (14 percent). Middle school-aged children (11-14 years of age) accounted for the majority of PE-related injuries (52 percent). Elementary school-aged children (5-10 years of age) had almost double the odds of a head injury, compared with other injuries.

 

Nearly 70 percent of PE-related injuries occurred while children were participating in six activities (running, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics). Injuries were caused by contact with another person, playing surface, equipment, stationary structures, pulled muscles, overuse and activity-related illnesses such as heat stroke.

 

"The 150 percent increase in PE-related injuries presenting to emergency departments was consistent across gender and age groups. It is unlikely that this increase was attributable to an increase in PE participation," explained study author Lara McKenzie, PhD, principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and faculty member of The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "Identifying patterns of PE-related injuries is the first step toward preventing them. Injury prevention education should be made a priority for all PE activities, especially for those activities with the highest injury rates."

 

This is the first published study to examine PE-related injuries on a national level. Data for this study were collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which is operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The NEISS dataset provides information on consumer product-related and sports and recreation-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments across the country.

 

IYCA Summit DVD Sale Extended Extra 24 Hours

 

 

IYCA Summit Sale

Sometimes the calendar works to our advantage.

 

This past weekend’s holiday here in the U.S. has helped me make a very
important decision.

 

I’m going to extend your ‘first exposure’ offer for the entire DVD collection
from the IYCA Summit by one more day.

 

Midnight on Wednesday is when your clock runs out.

 

Read these testimonials from some of the Summit attendees and be prepared
to answer one question after…..

 

"The IYCA Summit was hands down the most incredible experience of my
life to date"

 

"The IYCA Summit was the most engaging educational seminar that I have ever
attended"

 

"I just wanted to let you know that the IYCA Summit was by far one of the very
best fitness conferences I’ve ever attended"

 

"Best event I’ve been to in 10+ years"

 

"One word that describes the IYCA Summit to me – ‘Unbelievable!"

 

Now here’s the question –

 

Do those sound like the kind of testimonials you get form other fitness conferences?

 

More over, do they sound like the kind of testimonials that make you think
clicking the link below WOULDN’T be something of interest to you?

 

You have until Midnight on Wednesday.

 

At very least, click on the link below and see what all the international ‘hype’ is
all about…

 

… And what you’re missing –

 

http://www.iyca.org/2009summitdvds

 

 

– Brian