Archive for “Facets” Tag

Youth Sports Training Program Design Considerations

 

Youth Sports Training Variables

By Art McDermott
 

The purpose of this article to present some of the key variables required for a successfully designed youth sports training and performance program. This topic always seems to produce some VERY strong opinions about what works, what does not and what the latest and greatest techniques may be.
 

Once all the sweating, lifting and marketing are done, sometimes it may be difficult to tell the difference between one sports performance facility and another.
 

With rare exceptions, even a young athlete’s parents do not know the difference between a good program and one that is not so good. As a strength and conditioning professional, it is your job to be able to clarify this.
 

At the end of the day, there is one thing that cannot be hidden from the light. Results. Physical Testing at the start of a summer program and then a retest at the conclusion of the training will always reveal the answer to the single most important question.
 

Did the youth sports training program work?
 

We cannot cover all the facets that go into a complete program in one article. This topic takes an entire semester when I cover it with the physical therapy students at UMass Lowell. However, I will do my best to present to most pressing issues.
 

There are nearly as many different approaches to youth sports training program design as there are coaches in the industry. However, here some of the factors that should be considered when designing an effective program.
 

* Time Frame – How long do you have to work with the athlete?
* Sport – What position does the athlete play?
* Gender
* Time of Year – Is this a pre-season program or an off-season program?
* Muscle balances and weaknesses – If any imbalances or weaknesses are present, are these the result of overuse, a lack of training, injury other factors?
* Level of Experience (Training Age) – Has the athlete be training for years or are they just learning to train or lift weights?
* Chronological Age – What level of physical maturity has the athlete reached?
 

Let’s examine why these elements are important before designing a youth sports training program:

 

1) Time Frame: This is the first question I ask ANY athlete that comes to our facility. How much time do you have to train (in weeks)? This will determine nearly every aspect of the program. How much corrective work can I do? What kind of strength level can we expect to achieve? Will we have time to properly periodize the program? Basically, can we do our job effectively? We have literally had parents call us and say, “My son has hockey tryouts in two weeks and we would like to get some training in. What can we put together?” Short answer: Not much.
 

2) Sport: This is a given. Very rarely can two athletes in different sports be on the same program. The physical requirements from sport to sport vary too widely. This is why having “Today’s Workout” posted on a board is a far cry from a properly designed program. A thorough coach should understand the needs of each sport or at least be adept at doing the research to gain this knowledge. The coach must then customize each athlete’s program accordingly.
 

3) Gender: This one is also fairly obvious. There are particular movements that MUST be in every female’s programs. Among them are: Knee and hip stability, hamstring work and upper body work. ACL injury is epidemic among female athletes but the incidence of ACL tears can be reduced by up to 70% according to some studies, if a proper program is put in place. A disproportionally weak upper body is usually the standard for females and should be addresses as well. As Martin Rooney says, “Who decided it as OK for females to do push ups from their knees?”
 

4) Muscle Imbalances and Weaknesses: While some imbalances may be genetic, many are a result of the trend towards early specialization in sport at too early an age. Examples are: Hip flexor shortening in hockey players, spine injury in gymnasts and figure skaters, dominant arm hypertrophy in tennis players, etc.
 

Muscular Weaknesses abound and have multiple sources. Most younger athletes are weak everywhere…unless they are one of those high-end gymnasts. Pinpointing muscular weaknesses allows the coach to correct them. Once the musculature is in balance, the entire “system” will be able to gain strength more effectively overall.
 

5) Time of Year: This refers back to point #1. The time of year will have a clear impact on exercise selection. Generally, as the competitive season gets closer there is a shift from general work to more transferable strength and power work.
 

6) Level of Experience: This is an easily overlooked parameter. If I am training a gymnast, she could be in her 8th year of high-end training and still only be 15 years old. On the other hand, you could have a 15 year old male who has ever been in a weight room but wants to try out for baseball in high school. Should these two be on the same routine?
 

7) Chronological Age: This one varies in a very important way from Training age. Actual chronological age looks purely at the physical maturity of the athlete. Keep in mind that one major factor impacting program design is onset or completion of puberty. If an athlete has significant androgens present in their system, additional intensity and volume options become available.
 

While not all-inclusive, I hope this article demonstrates the need for a properly designed youth sports training. From the testing procedures used to the energy system program used, making sure each program the right program for your athletes is vital for the athlete’s success as well as yours!
 

 

Complete Athlete Development: No More Guessing

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Proven strategies that work every time.

 

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That’s what you get when you follow what is in the DVD

An all-inclusive training system for working with

young athletes ages 6 – 18.

 

And yes. It’s been internationally field-tested and

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Over 15,000 young athletes worldwide have been exposed

to my training system. And I may a lot of mistakes

with them along the way.

 

That’s kind of like the built-in guarantee of Complete

Athlete Development.

 

I’ve made mistakes and am certainly never afraid to

say I was wrong.

 

I used to work endlessly on linear speed technique.

 

Teach my young athletes who to accelerate forward,

drive their arms and get full hip extension with every

stride.

 

Then I realized I was wrong.

 

It’s not about linear speed. It’s about angles and

deceleration.

 

That’s why I created my Principles of Movement.

 

They teach young athletes how to accelerate and decelerate

through a progressive sequence –

 

1) Repeat Statically

2) Repeat Dynamically

3) Repeat Randomly

4) Predictable Specificity

5) Random Specificity

6) Individualization

 

 

I also used to think that working with pre-adolescents

was nothing more than playing some random games.

 

Tag

 

Sharks and Minnows

 

Capture the Flag

 

 

Then I realized that these games had to be cloaked in

certain aspects of coordination.

 

That without these coordination efforts, young athletes

would be grossly deficient in certain areas of athletic

ability by the time they reached the teenage years.

 

Some of the coordination facets include –

 

1) Kinesthetic Differentiation

2) Balance

3) Rhythm

4) Spatial Awareness

5) Movement Adequacy

 

 

Ever since I adopted all these ideas and put them into

practical use, I have seen the injury rates of my young

athletes drop considerably while their overall performance

increase dramatically.

 

Have a look at what other Coaches worldwide have to

say about my Complete Athlete Development system –

 

www.DevelopingAthletics.com/cad-short-copy

 

This training system has changed the philosophies,

training styles and lives of countless Coaches worldwide.

 

And all because I was in the trenches making mistakes.

 

Until I found the secret to it all…

 

www.DevelopingAthletics.com/cad-short-copy

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian

Youth Fitness: Are You Making a Huge Mistake?

 

 

Youth Fitness Industry Is Booming

Sometimes the signs all lead in the same direction –
Does that make sense?

 

The Youth Fitness and Sport Training niche is the fastest
growing in our entire industry.

 

Entrepreneur Magazine has cited this specific demographic
to be one of the most lucrative and expanding markets in the
world.

 

From private practice and franchising to government agencies
and consulting, the opportunities within this niche are
absolutely endless.

 

Very few professionals actually specialize in the area of
Youth Fitness or Sport Training making your ability to
become a local or worldwide leader all-but guaranteed.

 

That takes care of the whole ‘supply and demand’ equation
related to business success.

 

But there are ‘X Factors’.

 

Other realities that make taking the ‘Level 1 – Youth
Fitness
Specialist’ certification more than worthwhile
for you.

 

Any educational pursuit you take should have cross-over.

 

Even if the course is ‘niche-specific’, it should still
carry with it valuable information that you can use in
all facets of your business and career.

 

Check out this email I received earlier today from a
newly certified Youth Fitness Specialist –

 

"I loved your course. My whole training staff has gone
through the program and I can say unequivocally that
this is the best training tool we have EVER used – and
we don’t even focus on youth"

 

They don’t even focus on youth.

 

And still say it was the best course they ever experienced.

 

How many other certification courses offer that kind
of educational cross-over?

 

‘Coordination Development’ and the functionality of
training balance, kinesthetic differentiation and
movement adequacy has application with kids, young athletes,
senior citizens and everyone in between.

 

Our ‘Coaching and Communication’ material is absolutely
indispensible for understanding how to best inspire and
teach clients of any age or ability.

 

Our ‘Programming’ portion shows you how to create
progressive training routines that cycle through intensity
and loading parameters guaranteed to keep your clients
ascending without concern of over-training or burnout.

 

Who isn’t that applicable to?

 

And as you found out yesterday, the Level 1 course
is soon to be re-priced in order to betterreflect the high
quality of information it provides.

 

And your reasons for not thinking the youth fitness course worthwhile
are starting to seriously dwindle.

 

Here’s your exclusive link –

 

www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1

 

‘Till next time,

Brian