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Archive for “Exercises” Tag

The X’s and O’s of Training Young Athletes

 

Training Young Athletes

What a young organism needs to experience in the way of physical stimulus can largely be deduced by chronological age.  Certainly biological age (relative body maturation), emotional age (psychological maturation) and even personality (temperament) can all be factored into the equation, but I have found in my 13 year career that chronological age determents can be successfully applied in 90% of the cases – the remaining 10% can be accounted for through proper coaching and identification.

 

Having said all that, the following is a brief rundown of the physical needs of ‘kids’ based on chronological age:

 

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The X & O Factors in Training Young Athletes

 

Training Young Athletes

For the purposes of this article, let me say this:

 

“Kids” is a term I will use to encompass everyone who inhabits the ages of 6 – 18.

 

Athletes and Non-Athletes alike.

 

Miniature superstars, bench-warmers and the overweight, will all be lumped under the same umbrella.

 

And simply stated, I do this because the development parameters of physical stimulus needed for ALL ‘kids’ is the same – at very least in the beginning phases of training spectrum.

 

Training stimulus with this demographic is guided, primarily, by physiology.

 

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Youth Fitness Specialist: How Do I Train Junior Golfers?

Youth Fitness Specialist

Good Afternoon Brian,

 

I am a PGA golf professional and do a lot of teaching, including junior clinics. I am looking to include physical fitness into my junior golf program and get away from having the kids just hitting golf balls for the hour lesson. What information do you have to offer that might specifically address what programs to design for different age groups and child development stages in general?

 

I look forward to hearing from you

 

Thanks,

Joe, PGA

 

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Training Olympic Lifting in Younger Populations

Training Olympic Lifting

by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com

 

How soon should you start training Olympic lifting technique in young athletes?

My answer? As soon as the athlete walks in your door. 

olympic lifts

As soon as a young athlete starts training at my facility we are either doing the Olympic lifts or preparing them to eventually perform the lifts.

 

I do not advocate loading up a bar and telling younger athletes to start cleaning and snatching immediately, but I do advocate training the technique and qualities that produce great Olympic lifts later in training. Athletes at any age must learn how to properly create and absorb force. Teaching the young athlete how to produce force from the ground up is not only important to their athletic endeavors later in life, but also serves the purpose of learning the basics of the pull in both the clean and the snatch.

 

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When Do You Train Young Athletes?

 

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Train Young Athletes Correctly

From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden:

 

"All sports require high degree of skill for superior performance. The major emphasis of a (youth athletic) training program should be skill excellence. For skills to be developed, learning should occur in non-fatigued states… It is advisable to schedule auxiliary training sessions either after a (sport) session or at some time that allows complete recovery from its execution so that no residual fatigue is carried over".

 

I’ve never mentioned this in literature, but have advocated it several times through lectures and seminars. Learning how to create appropriate training sessions is crucial to working with young athletes. If you are forced to have the technical practice AND the training session within the same day (as is typical), make sure that the training session comes AFTER practice. This keeps the body and CNS rested and for skill acquisition and demonstration during practice.

 

Ever notice that the "science" of strength, conditioning and fitness is more
complex than many realize?

 

Train Young Athletes

It’s really got nothing to do with just throwing some exercises together and
counting sets and reps.

 

Does speed training come before or after strength training?

 

When is it best to train the "core"?

 

Where does flexibility training fit into the daily picture?

 

Getting the most from your young athletes and truly making them the very
best they possibly can be means knowing as much as you can about how
to train them properly.

 

It’s not a day-by-day concept or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants situation.

 

It requires a system.

 

A complete and comprehensive system that is internationally proven to be
successful and can be implemented by you TOMORROW with ease.

 

A system just like this one…

 

strength training for young athletes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Complete Athlete Development is the number #1 resource available that
shows you EXACTLY how to create cutting-edge training programs for young
athletes of all ages and for all sports, that will keep them progressing without
the concern of over-training.

 

strength training for young athletes

 

 

Increased Athletic Ability
Increased Speed and Agility
Increased Strength
Increased Weight Room Technique
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Click Here to to see what athletes, parents, coaches and trainers worldwide have said about the Complete Athlete Development System

 

 

Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part 3

 

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Kids Coaching Triumphs

Justin was overweight, shy, awkward and without a shred of athletic
ability.

 

But he had a ton of passion.

 

Loved baseball.

 

And I mean loved everything about the game.

 

You could see the delight in his eyes and practically feel the joy
in his smile when he slid his glove on, picked up a Louisville
Slugger or laced up his cleats.

 

This was the kind of kid you flat out just enjoyed being around.

 

Not because he brought a tremendous amount of vocal energy to
the field, but because of the way he walked around a baseball
diamond in a trance-like, dream state that conveyed absolute bliss.

 

And what he taught me about coaching was, and is to this day,
one of the most important lessons I have ever had the pleasure
of learning.

 

Justin went from the shy kid who didn’t really have any friends on
his team, to a hero.

 

And he did it all by himself…

 

I won’t belabor this story or add too much in the way of detail.

 

I’ll just get straight to the point by saying this –

 

 

Every Child Has Currency

 

 

They’re all important.

 

They all have hopes, dreams and ambitions.

 

And most importantly…

 

They’re all good at something.

 

Part of the Art of Coaching is knowing how to create enough
of a wide-spectrum training system that allows each and everyone
of your young athletes to be "the best" on a particular day.

 

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Young Athletes Training Facts

 

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Young Athletes long term development insights

In lieu of an article or interview, I thought that I would hit you guys with some great information and solid insight into the training & development of Young Athletes

 

>> From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden.

 

"The question of whether (young athletes) should specialize in particular sports at an early age has been asked for many years. The evidence now seems to support programming activities that develop overall capacities rather than specialized functions while the young athlete is growing."

 

This is a fact that I have been preaching for many years. Contrary to popular belief, the BEST and MOST EFFICIENT means of developing a future champion is through slow progression and multilateral means.

 

 

>> From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden.

 

"If resistance training is to be done with children and young adolescents, exercises should involve sub-maximal loads, such as one’s own bodyweight, light dumbbells, weighted bags and/or medicine balls. Sophisticated and restrictive weight exercises, particularly on machines, are not ideal for children".

 

Did anyone read my article a few newsletters back on "Keeping Kids Off Weight Training Machines"? Trainers or coaches who advocate machine-based training for young athletes are simply not thinking straight.

 

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Young Athletes & Poor Technique

Correcting Young Athletes Technique

 

With young athletes who exhibit poor technical quality on a particular exercise or group of exercises, the best method of offering correction is often to become less dogmatic or predictable in your teaching method.

 

When teaching the squat for example, most Trainers and Coaches tend to take a ‘top down’ approach to skill execution

 

They teach the young athlete to set their feet and proceed through an eccentric-concentric progression.

 

The nuances as to why a squat may be faulty are many, but very often, it is the inability of the young athlete to get to and summarily regulate the base of the squat phase (the ‘hole’).  When inaccurate applications of force production/absorption are applied to the eccentric and ‘pause’ phase of the eccentric base (no matter how quick or seemingly inconsequential), the ability of the athlete to apply correct force sequences towards the concentric motion will be compromised.

 

In that, it is often the incorrect pattern of eccentric loading and ‘hole’ stabilizing that causes an incorrect pattern of force production through the concentric phase of the lift.

 

Many Trainers and Coaches will visually recognize the poor form during the concentric phase, but fail to recognize that it was due to incorrect loading patterns during the eccentric portion.

 

Having said that, a wonderful way to reform poor squat technique (as an example) is to start the young athletes in the fixed, static ‘hole’ position, and then proceed up through the concentric phase.

 

Have the young athlete assume a quality ‘hole’ position and talk them through what they should be feeling:

  • Weight back on the heels

  • Knees pushing outward

  • Neutral low back

  • Chin up

  • Chest push forward

  • Elbows angled downward

 

Do not be afraid to hold these positions for several second counts.  An increase in the static strength of this position can, and usually does, improve technical patterning of the entire squat.

 

Upon ascending into the concentric phase, be sure that the young athlete understands how to push from their heels, using the large muscles of the hip extensors and drive through the ground.

 

Repeated efforts of this exercise, perhaps over a single training session or for several successive sessions, will have a tremendously positive impact on the technical qualities of a young athletes squat.

 

So, whether it is the squat, lunge, push-press or any other compound exercise, think ‘BOTTOM UP’ when trying to create a positive change in the technique capacity of young athletes.

 

 

Athlete Development- What I Did in Australia…

 

Worldwide Athlete Development . A post From Brian Grasso.

I just got back from Australia…

…. And let me tell you – I am jet lagged!

The trip home from locations that far away are always

toughest.

I ended up flying from Melbourne to Auckland – Auckland to

Los Angeles – Los Angeles to Chicago.

Total time = 28 hours.

But it was worth every second.

Not only is it an honor to get invited to share my

knowledge worldwide, but it’s also incredibly enlightening

to sit in the audience and learn from other athlete development professionals.

Most of whom you may never have heard of.

This past week in Melbourne, I had the sincere pleasure of learning from my athlete development co-presenters, Douglas Heel from South Africa and Paul Taylor from Ireland.

And although we didn’t prepare any topics together,

we all ended up talking about the same general thing –

Communication.

Not one second of time was spent on discussing sets,

reps, exercises or programming.

All three of us lectured on the importance of

communication when it comes to your clients and athletes.

And our messages were 100% congruous:

The program doesn’t matter if your clients don’t

‘buy into’ the message.

Paul discussed this topic from his perspective as a

human behavior specialist.

Douglas from his specialty of sports medicine.

And of course I presented my take on the topic from

the perspective of a coach.

:: How do you coach young athletes who have different

personalities and learning styles?

:: What is the approach you use with high skill athletes

versus low skill athletes?

:: Why communication is the most important, but most

misunderstood part of producing champion athletes?

These are the main questions I answered during my two

hour lecture.

And the reality is that I took every second of my

presentation from the material contained in Complete

Athlete Development.

Not only has this all-inclusive package become known

worldwide as the number one collection of speed, strength,

flexibility and coordination athlete development training for

young athletes, but it also contains my own personal

coaching template that teaches you how to get the very

best out of each and every one of your young athletes.

I was overwhelmed at the conclusion of my seminar to

see and hear the audience so incredibly appreciative of

the information I provided.

Time for you to look at Complete Athletes Development and

see for yourself why ‘communication’ is the most critical

factor to developing championship young athletes.

Here’s a link for you to look at –

http://developingathletics.com/cad-short-copy.html

I’m off to get some sleep…

‘Till next time,

Brian

Complete Athlete Development For Coordination

Complete Athlete Development Video Clip

 

 

The above video clip is from the ‘Coordination Development’ DVD in my
Complete Athlete Development system.

 

Complete Athlete Development is literally changed the lives and careers
of countless Trainers and Coaches worldwide due to it cutting and
revealing look at how to TRULY train and develop young athletes.

 

Head Football Coach, John Reese, has this to say about it –

 

 

“I received your Complete Athlete Development system a few weeks
ago and have to say that so far am loving it. I have only just thumbed
through the exercises, but the other material is mind blowing to me….
I am happy I purchased the program because now I have the knowledge
to put better athletes on the field”

 

 

John’s comments are similar to hundreds of other emails and letters I’ve
received over the past few years about experiences Trainers and Coaches
have had with Complete Athlete Development.

 

Soon to come off the market for good, your chance to own this groundbreaking
collection and have it as a road map for training young athletes will soon be
gone…..

  

Designing Youth Training Programs

 

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Youth Training Programs

Most Trainers and Coaches don’t have a clue.

 

That isn’t meant to sound horribly negative, just something I’ve
noticed a lot recently.

 

I was reading a textbook on Youth Training Programs recently that contained the following program for a high school football player:

 

 

a. Hang Cleans – 4 sets, 8 reps
b. Bench Press – 4 sets, 6 – 8 reps
c. Incline Bench Press – 4 sets, 6 – 8 reps
d. Front Pull Down – 4 sets, 8 reps
e. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets, 8 reps
f. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets, 8 reps (each)

 

 

What do you think?

 

Is that a good program to you?

 

If you’re like me, it strikes you immediately as a horrible
program.

 

But let me ask you to take a second and answer this one question:

 

Why?

 

If you agree it’s a poorly designed program, what makes it so
bad in your eyes?

 

What I’m getting at here is the most important and critical
aspects of being able to write quality programs of your own.

 

Dissection.

 

The ability to assess and analyze a program based on three
critical factors:

 

 

1. Timing Requirements
2. Even Stimulus
3. Understanding Objectives

 

 

These three elements, and your ability to dissect them, is
going to change your ability to write effective youth training programs of your
own.

 

Let’s take the program from above and dissect it from those three
variables:

 

 

1. Timing Requirements

 

Here’s what we know.

 

The average 6 – 8 rep set takes roughly 45 seconds to perform.

 

Each exercise lists ‘4 sets’ as the objective.

 

There are six exercises in total.

 

Six exercises at four sets each, is a total of 24 sets for the
session.

 

At 45 seconds per, that totals 18 minutes of working time.

 

Roughly 2 minutes of recovery time will take place in between
each set, which amounts to 8 minutes of total recovery per
exercise.

 

With six exercises in total, that amounts to 48 minutes in
total.

 

Combined with the 18 minutes of total work load, this training
session will take roughly 70 minutes to perform.

 

Here are my concerns:

 

 

a. 70 minutes is far too long for high school training programs

 

b. 70 minutes does not include any sort of warm-up or cool-down

 

c. The work/rest relationship is roughly 1:3 – unacceptable

 

 

2. Even Stimulus

 

One point here, but it’s a biggie –

 

12 sets = pushing

 

8 sets = pulling

 

You don’t need to know much about athletic development or
functional anatomy to know that this ratio is entirely
unacceptable.

 

 

3. Understanding Objectives

 

Do high school athletes really need to perform a horizontal
pushing motion from two different angles?

 

Are bilateral movements from start to finish the best option
when trying to create a functionally fit and injury resistant
athlete?

 

Does the program outlined above seem way too much like a
standard bodybuilding program?

 

The key to creating effective training programs is to start with
objectives.

 

Yet ANOTHER reason I am not a fan of assessing biomotor abilities
in young athletes.

 

If you are intent on testing there vertical jump, bench, squat
and 40 time, than your youth training programs are going to naturally focus
on improving these elements – and be limited in other areas as
a result.

 

What do your young athletes need in terms of:

 

 

– Injury Prevention
– Age Related Factors of Development
– On Field Performance
– Correction of Body/Structural Dysfunction

 

 

When you identify your athletes’ needs, you have a much broader
and more complete understanding of the objectives necessary in
creating an effective program.

 

The point of this email is to show you that training program
dissection is critical in understanding how to create programs
of your own.

 

Not everyone can write programs that work well – it is a skill
that requires time, trial and error as well as practice.

 

But rather than starting with a blank canvas, use the 3 points
I mentioned above to assess your own youth training programs –

 

 

1. Timing Requirements
2. Even Stimulus
3. Understanding Objectives

 

 

I hope this helps!

 

 

 

Brian