Archive for “Extent” Tag

Making Your High School Athletes Better

 

High School Athletes Programming

 

High School Athletes

By Wil Fleming

 

Recently I gave some thought to how many questions arise when putting
together programming for high school athletes. Questions about general strength
training practices, how to prioritize training goals, and what to do for speed and
agility are all important, but the most basic of questions that need to be asked by
any coach is:

 

 

What should be included in the program for your high school athletes?

 

As coaches we are all probably very familiar with the elements of a successful high school program in their entirety, but what are the finer points that can take your program for high school over the top?

 

Allow me to share with you the best ways to differentiate your program from all the others by looking at each phase of a high school training session:

 

SMR:A place to impact the health of athletes

 

A pre-workout program should do the job of preparing the athlete for the coming training and to some extent helping them recover from their prior training or practices. Foam rolling or other form of self-myofascial release should be included and should be mandatory prior to beginning that day’s session. High school programs and other coaches are doing SMR as an afterthought, by clearly laying out expectations for your athletes they will get more out of this part of the workout and be healthier.

 

Warm-Up:Continuity creates a great environment

 

Continuity in warm-ups creates the atmosphere at AR Bloomington, so
we stick with one for 2 months or so before altering it. In this way athletes
have very clear expectations of them and nearly all are able to achieve
some level of mastery within the warm-up period. I have also found that
a consistent warm-up is one of the single best times to create a fun and
exciting environment for the athletes through lively and interactive conversation.

 

Specific Mobility:Individualization

 

Specific mobility and activation should be differentiated by sport, position,
or athlete. We should take into account common movement patterns within
the sport, assessment results and injury history when designing this for each
athlete or group. No matter the size of the group, it is important that this time
be differentiated to keep athletes healthy, this touch of individualization even
in a large group goes a long way to insuring your athletes know that you took
into account their needs

 

Dynamic and Explosive Training:A difference maker

 

Dynamic and explosive training should consist of plyometrics and medicine
ball throws. This is a time for athletes to train their nervous system and train
fast twitch muscle fiber. In a lot of settings dynamic training gets thrown together
as an afterthought and sometimes looks like no more than “box jumps”. Smart
programming with progressions moving from: single response, to multiple
response, to shock, and unilateral work can greatly improve results for your
champions.

 

Speed and Agility:Basics first

 

Training for speed and agility can be the biggest opportunity for your AR to
be successful but so many programs go about it in the wrong way. Remember
that as with any other form of training, a foundation of technique should form
the basis of your training. Running mindless drills with no foundation will not
lead to success for your AR. Start with static drills, move to dynamic, and
finally move to randomization. Equip your athletes with the knowledge of
how to sprint, and how to change direction and they will be far better off than
any dot drill can make them.

 

Strength training:Choose to be different

 

Typically our high school athletes will be training with us concurrently with
a program run by their high school so we must take this into account. At most
high schools, athletes are trained predominantly through pushing movements
(squats, bench press etc), like the bench press and squat leaving their entire
posterior chain at a deficit to their front-side musculature. Balance your athletes
out by programming more “pulling” than “pushing”.

 

Energy Systems Training: So much more than just running

 

Athletes are very familiar with running mile after mile or “gasser” after “gasser”.
Exposing athletes to innovative energy systems training by using different
implements e.g. kettlebells or medicine balls, and by using exact intervals to
elicit particular responses, shows creativity on your part, allows you to use
your space more efficiently, and will make you a savior to your champions.

 

Flexibility:A final time to teach

 

Whether from the coach or the athlete flexibility gets a bad rap. Although
not as buzzworthy as mobility, training athletes for flexibility will undoubtedly
be to their benefit, if only for its use as a cool down. As a coach the time for
flexibility is a time for a wrap up of the days events and reminders for
upcoming events. It is your final time to connect with athletes in that given
day. Use it well.

 

Using this framework for how you approach the programming of your
high
school athletes will help you get them more invested and excited to be a
part of your High School Athletes, and make them better.
Remember that we are here to Change Lives!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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