Archive for “Confidence” Tag

What Is The Best Youth Speed Training Drill

 

Youth Speed Training

By CJ Easter
 

One of the #1 questions that I get from coaches is “What is your favorite youth speed training drill?”
 

And I always give the answer that everyone hates, “It depends.”
 

But this is not a cop out because it really does depend. Speed is a total body, coordinated skill. So the “best drill” depends on what exact skill that we are trying to develop and the skill level of our athletes to properly perform that drill.
 

“That drill looks cool” should not be the deciding factor when putting together your training session. The deciding factor should be what is the simplest, most time-efficient drill to work on the desired concept.
 

One of my favorite coaching quotes is “Coach the kids, not the drills.”
 

Does it matter what the drill is if all the kids are doing it wrong and not developing the desired skill…
 

OR if we cannot demonstrate or coach this drill properly, so we have 50 kids moving “just like coach showed me” (which isn’t always pretty)?
 

When I first started coaching, I made those exact mistakes. I tried to take all the drills that I learned at Stanford and use them on my younger athletes. The classic “this is what I did, so you should do it too” coach.
 

My athletes not only weren’t developing the movement patterns that I wanted, but they were also losing confidence because they didn’t look and feel coordinated.
 

That’s when I made a huge realization…
 

College and professional coaches are probably the worst sources for youth and high school coaches to get drills from because they work with superior athletes.
 

Athletes don’t make it to that level without a certain level of coordination, so at the highest levels, the job description is mostly “don’t screw the guy up”. Our job as high school and youth coaches is to completely develop or restructure a coordination. I am not assigning value to either job, but they are definitely much different tasks.
 

So the “best youth speed training drill” is the drill that is done correctly to develop the skill that you want to address.

 

Here is a general template on exactly how I coach concepts and skills regardless of the youth speed training drill:

 

1. Introduce the skill/concept and the drill:
“This drill is called X. We are doing this to improve concept/skill X.”
 

This helps build a mental bridge for your athletes. They might not always like the drill, but at least they know and understand how it’s going to make them a better player.
 

2. Demonstrate the drill and explain key coaching points as you are demonstrating.
 

In the social media era, the majority of our kids are visual learners, so proper demonstration is necessary. Explaining the coaching points as you go also addresses auditory learners.
 

3. Demonstrate what you DON’T want to see and address common errors.
 

This aligns with John Wooden’s coaching style of “Do this, not this, do this.”
 

4. Demonstrate it correctly one more time, reinforcing the correct movement pattern.
 

5. Have your kids do a walk-through rep or if it’s an extended drill, do a mental walk-through. This addresses kinesthetic learners.
 

This process will take more time than just setting up the cones and saying “do this drill”, but you will definitely see improvement in the quality of your youth speed training drills and the development of the desired skills.
 

 

Coaching Young Athletes – It’s Not Business…It’s Personal

 

Young Athletes Need Support

Young Athletes

 

By Dave Gleason

 

The last month and a half I have been making more of a concerted effort to attend as many events that our AR Champions are involved in as possible. This includes sporting events, plays and concerts. I have quickly come to the realization that within reason – I need to do much more of this.
Why?

 

Quite simply the look on my young athletes faces when they see me, and the gracious comments from their parents, extolling how very excited their son or daughter is.

 

The games, activities, sets, reps and external loads we choose for our young athletes have obvious importance. Without our world-class long-term programming we do not distinguish ourselves from any other organization that serves young athletes.

 

The truth is that our program templates and endless list of exercises to plug in to those templates have little value if the overall experience we provide our athletes is not superior.

 

Keep in mind that beyond their athletic development, your young champions are developing from several different standpoints.
Bio-Socially – How they are responding to biological changes in their bodies including kinesthetic awareness and how they compare themselves to other children’s bodies.

 

Psycho-Socially – How their young minds are socially adjusting to learning new social skills, sportsmanship, fairness and the concept of efficacy (“what I can do”).

 

Cognitively – How and what their brains are storing information from new experiences.
All of these are factors that can break down and destroy confidence.

 

That said, the connections we make with our young athletes and their parents are the most important aspects of our business.

 

Coaching and mentoring young children comes at a cost. That cost is the value they place on you in their young lives. They look up to you, they admire you… they want your acceptance and praise. You become a very important part of their young lives.

 

Celebrating your young athletes outside of your facility is as easy as attending a tournament, a concert, an award ceremony, and even a personal event that you’ve been invited to such as a birthday party. Your attendance at these events will add to the culture of your AR, the strength of your AR family and the long-term health of your AR business.

 

The ramifications of your ability to network while being introduced to other parents and young athletes by your AR champion’s parents cannot be over stated. The levity of making your young champion feel special because you took the time to watch them perform is epic. The appreciation your AR parents display is a direct result of their realization that you care about their child(ren).

 

The opportunity to make your AR champions feel special will always begin within your program. Reaching outside that from time to time is a win – win for everyone!

 

Keep changing lives!

 

 

Goal Setting for Young Athletes

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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.

 

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The Childhood Obesity Crisis Ends on Monday…

 

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Something extraordinary is taking place on Monday.

 

And your name is written all over it.

 

One of the greatest problems in society today is going to start
meeting its match.

 

Childhood Obesity

 

And you will be on the front lines of that confrontation.

 

You know me as the ‘youth sports’ guy.

 

Trained thousands of young athletes all over the world.

 

But most don’t realize that in my 13 year career, I’ve also worked
with thousands of overweight and obese kids, as well.

 

In fact, some of my careers’ fondest memories are of helping kids
regain their self-esteem, their confidence or teaching them how to
include daily activity as a life long pursuit and love.

 

And on Monday, I am going to be releasing what I consider to be one
of the most important resources I’ve ever produced.

 

A tell-all look into how we, as an industry and society, can rid this
planet of childhood obesity forever.

 

It’s partly exercise.

 

Somewhat dietary.

 

And a lot to do with perspective and communication style.

 

I am thrilled to be offering this resource and know that every adult in
the world will benefit from reading the contents and understanding
my principles.

 

That’s all for now.

 

I’m going to email you again tomorrow with a few more details, but for
now, just know that Monday is the day we start to change childhood obesity in the world
together.

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian