Archive for “Competency” Tag

Youth Sports Training Technique: Part 1

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I found this archived article and wanted desperately to bring it to your attention.

 

There is SO MUCH MORE to youth sports training than just selecting some exercises and counting reps… ‘Part 1’:

 

Demonstrating good technique from a sporting perspective involves applying optimal movement ability in order to accomplish or solve a particular task effectively.  A young athlete, for instance, who demonstrates sound technical ability while running is getting from point A to point B in an effective manner.

 

Technical ability in a sport is typically the underlying measure for potential success. Good athletes are more often than not technically sound athletes. This reality, however, does not start and stop with respect to sport specific skills; this fact extends itself into the realm of general athletic development and the promotion or advancement of general movement abilities. The crux of athletic development as a science resides in the notion that before we create a sporting technician or specialist, we must first build the athlete by instilling competency in both basic and advanced movement abilities; this would include not only multi-directional movement skill but also the technical requirements of basic to advanced strength and power training exercises.

 

The technical abilities demonstrated in a given sport can be categorized based on the rules or requirements of that sport –

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Prevent Overtraining for Young Athletes

 

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Young Athletes Programming

In far too many situations throughout North America, strength coaches and personal trainers make common errors in their programming for young athletes, many of which can lead to overtraining syndromes –

 

Critical Analysis of Biomotor Ability

 

In working with young athletes, there is very little reason to ever ‘test’ their ability at certain lifts or speed variances. Your programming guidelines must be based around instilling proper execution of technique in your young athletes from a lift and movement economy standpoint. Having said that, gleaning 1, 3, 5 or 8 RM values on any particular exercise should be deemed a distant secondary consideration to teaching the proper values of form and function.

 

By using a ‘Teaching Model’ of exercise development rather than a ‘Training Model’ you are taking the pressure off of kids to reach for biomotor improvements at the expense of developing sound technique.

 

Changing Exercises to Often

 

Although when training adult clientele, there are neural advantages to altering your exercise selection often, with young athletes the reality is that the initial stages of training should comprise little more than dedicated time to teach and become proficient in the basics of lift and movement economy.

 

Far too often, trainers work to make young athlete routines challenging and neurally stimulating by incorporating complex programming and exercise selection into the mix early in the athletes’ training life. Resist the urge to make a neurological impact and instead, focus your efforts on developing sound competency in just a few basic lifts – the foundation you build during this time is paramount to eventually increasing both the volume and intricacy of your programming.

 

Consider the Athlete’s Entire Life

 

When creating a training program for a young athlete, you must take into consideration their entire life – that is, don’t just make training sessions hard for the sake of making them hard.

You do a disservice to the athlete and your business by following this practice.

 

For instance, if the young athlete is in-season for a particular sport, there practice and game schedule must be considered into the reality of your overall programming. Soccer practices, for instance four days per week coupled with one to two games per week, will leave any young athlete bordering on the verge of overtraining syndrome as it is. Your job during times like this is to augment them with restorative training that does not serve to push them lower beneath what would be considered normal and healthy biological levels.

 

Additionally, you must work to understand your young athletes’ eating and sleeping habits as well. Inappropriate nutrition and poor sleeping patterns (which many teenagers face today) are precursors to overtraining syndrome in that they are two of the more important restorative elements trainees can use to combat such concerns.

 

As a professional trainer working with young athletes, you are responsible and must assume accountability for their overall health and wellbeing. When training young athletes and in an effort to ensure quality, efficacy-based training practices, resist the temptation to do the ‘norm’ by making exercise sessions hard and physically challenging. Instead, follow the three key points above to ensure optimal training conditions and guard against the very real concerns of overtraining.

 

– Brian

 

 

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