Archive for “Dozens” Tag

How to Teach young athletes the Olympic Snatch

by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com

Young Athletes Snatch Lesson

On my first day with one of the dozens of high school athletic programs I work with, I rarely walk in and see a bunch of athletes snatching incorrectly. I also don’t have many athletes who come in to my facility for the first time and show technical issues with the snatch.

 

"Great," you say. "A bunch of kids doing a highly technical lift really well."

 

Well… this isn’t exactly the case. I rarely see issues with the snatch on Day 1 because most athletes don’t have any experience at all doing it since many coaches just don’t teach their athletes to snatch.

 

This will not be an article imploring you to teach your young athletes to perform a snatch or one of its variations.  Despite being one of the single best indicators of an athlete’s power output and a great indicator of future performance in power sports, even I keep it out of the programs of some athletes.

 

I am not here to be the pied piper of the snatch. In this article I am simply going to teach you an effective and simple way to teach the snatch to your athletes so that you will never have to exclude it because you aren’t comfortable teaching it. 

 


The Cursory Stuff

 

The grip on the bar during the snatch can vary to a tremendous degree between individual athletes. A helpful rule of thumb is to have the athlete put their arms in a reverse scarecrow position: upper arms straight out from the shoulder, parallel to the ground, and the forearms straight down.   I think that it is important to have the athletes grip the bar using a hook grip (with their thumbs inside of their fist around the bar).

 

With that out of the way let’s get on to the meat of teaching the snatch to young athletes.

 

 

A Starting Point

To begin with, we will need to select a starting point for the snatch. Floor? Hang? To a further extent, above the knee, or below the knee?  Well I think all are great at certain times in training, but for a starting point lets choose the above the knee, hang position.  I select that position for starting our teaching progression because it is highly applicable to nearly all sports. It is a position that most athletes can find fairly quickly and it also puts the athletes in a position to succeed quickly at this sometimes difficult lift. 

 

So let’s get the athlete to this position! First, take the bar out of the athlete’s hands and just ask them to prepare themselves to jump as high as possible from a parallel, two-foot stance. Starting with the bar in hand the athletes will many times discover themselves in an unnatural position with their knees forward and their chest behind the bar. Without the bar in hand, I would be willing to bet that the athlete assumes a stance that is about shoulder width apart, or narrower, and automatically their head is up. This is contrary to the stance many athletes will take when you put the bar in their hand prior to this exercise. 

 

As the athlete makes their counter-movement, they will most likely take their chest forward and hips back, with only a slight bend in the knees.  Often though the athlete will do this, but bypass this position and go slightly lower, increasing the bend in their knees.  If this is the case, slow down their pre-jumping routine to illustrate the actual position you want them to find.  The emphasis here is on the Hip Hinge being the primary movers as opposed to a knee bend. 

 

young athletes

Starting Position

Just a Little too Low

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week…

 

Olympic Lifts are at the core of developing Power and Speed in young athletes.

 

Become the very best, most knowledgeable and well-known Speed & Agility Coach in your area through the incredible “Youth Speed & Agility Specialist – Level 1” certification.

Click Here for all the Details —-> http://YouthSpeedSpecialist.com

 

Goal Setting for Young Athletes

Young Athletes Goals and Dreams

Dreams and ambition are great.

 

But how many times have you established a goal for yourself and not completed it?

 

I’ll bet that number totals into the dozens.

 

You start the process, get ultra-excited, amped-up beyond belief…

 

… And then…

 

Nothing.

 

You kind of get started, but not really.

 

You sort of create a plan, but never really follow it.

 

You get confused, overwhelmed, discouraged and then… JUST STOP.

 

Been there myself.

 

(more…)

Youth Conditioning Programs Tip of the Week

 

 

Youth Conditioning Programs

Why hold on to the ‘norm’?

 

What’s the point of doing what everyone else always has?

 

Case in point.

 

I’ve worked with literally dozens of different high schools
over the past several years and almost always have been
asked to ‘add’ to there already existing programs rather
than re-create a system that I know will work better.

 

It takes time, but eventually the Coaching staff come to
learn that my style of athletic development works better
than what they currently have and turn the reigns
completely over to me.

 

And when that happens, do you know what my first step
is in changing the face of their youth conditioning programs and methods?

 

I separate the freshmen from everyone else.

 

High school represents a perfect developmental model.

 

4-years of having the same athletes – guaranteed.

 

So rather than making the young 14 year olds perform the
same lifts as the 18 year old seniors (and with the same
zeal of heavy loads) I remove them from the equation and
train them as a separate group.

 

We work on things like summation of forces, lift technique
and speed/agility basics.

 

This gives them a solid foundation on which to grow and
ensures they don’t get caught up in the ‘how much can you
lift’ world of high school athletics.

 

By the time they are sophomores, they are much better
equipped to handle loads and perform lifts with more
accuracy and precision.

 

Now this methodology flies in the face of what most high
school athletic programs do.

 

But trust me when I say that it’s a much superior system.

 

Don’t be afraid to go against the ‘norm’ with Youth Conditioning Programs.

 

Carlos Alvarez, looked at as the best high school
strength coach in the entire United States, will be discussing
topics just like this one next month at our International Summit.

 

MORE than worth taking a look at –

 

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

 

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Brian

 

 

 

IYCA – Loving Every Second of it

The Growth of The IYCA

So I make the drive from my home in Schaumburg to Northbrook – about 20 minutes or so.

 

I’m meeting with two editors from Men’s Health to discuss a book deal as well as chat with a local school district about bringing our Fit Schools project to their respective PE programs.

 

Now, although I’ve talked on the phone with my two Men’s Health colleagues dozens of times, I’ve never met them face-to-face and certainly have no idea what they looked like.

 

When I stopped at a grocery store just before my meeting was about to start (I needed to pick up an apple…. I was starving!) I wasn’t taken back when a gentleman walked up to me and said “are you Brian?”.

 

“Yes” I answered, figuring I was meeting one of my Men’s Health partners for the first time.

 

“Nice to meet you, I’m Andrew. I’m a member of the IYCA“.

 

It took me a second to realize that ‘Andrew’ had nothing to do with Men’s Health.

 

“Wow” was about all I could muster…. I had never been ‘recognized’ in a grocery store before.

 

“Thanks for being involved” I finally managed to say. “Are you enjoying everything so far?”

 

“I’m loving it!” Andrew replied.

 

I was almost speechless.

 

That may sound odd to you.

 

I mean, I’m used to being ‘recognized’ at conferences.

 

I’m used to people chatting with me after I make a presentation.

 

But I have never been recognized in a random public setting like this before and was truly thrown off.

 

Andrew and I chatted briefly and then I was on my way.

 

But the incident has stayed with me all day long.

 

And as my fatigue has grown, the chance meeting with Andrew at 8:30 this morning has managed to ward off the usual ‘cloudy head syndrome’ I tend to get when I’ve been working this many hours.

 

I suppose it just feels good.

 

Feels good to know that I have created the IYCA and something of substance.

 

I’m used to taking shots.

 

People love to bash those of us who decide to stand for something and make that something known.

 

Heck, even a former employee of mine, someone I gave a job to and mentored for a year (who by the way is a member of the IYCA) has taken to making negative comments about me and the IYCA on his own personal blog.

 

That kind of stuff never bothers me.

 

It goes with the territory and I couldn’t care less.

 

But the reason I couldn’t care less is because of folks like Andrew and the rest of the IYCA members worldwide.

 

I receive emails, hand written letters and phone calls daily from people just wanting to express there thanks and appreciation to me for starting this movement.

 

And today, I got to experience my first ‘public recognition’ – I’ve been on cloud nine ever since.

 

In short, I suppose the easiest way for me to wrap this up is to offer these words….

 

Thank you.

 

More than you know, I appreciate every single phone call, email and letter.

 

The fact you would take the time to write to me, dial my number or stop me in a grocery store just to say “hi” means more than I could possibly express in words.

 

In your service…. It’s been more than an honor and a pleasure,

 

 

Brian

 

 

P.S. – During the meeting with that local school district I mentioned, one of the PE teachers had this to say to me after listening to my impassioned speech about how the IYCA is working to curb youth obesity nationwide –

 

“It is so nice and refreshing to see an organization actually doing something about this rather than talking about it”

 

I was at that meeting and got to hear those words firsthand.

 

But you were there with me.

 

That ‘organization’ this PE teacher was referring to has as much to do with you as it does with me.

 

Take a moment to be proud about that today.