Archive for “Force Application” Tag

Coaching Young Athletes : Use Feedback as Proprioception

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Brain Food for Coaching Young Athletes.

  by Phil Hueston, NASM-PES; IYCA-YFS

 

Your feedback and communication is brain food when it comes to coaching young athletes.

To develop correctly and effectively, young athlete’s brains need a steady flow of quality nutrients and stimuli. Neural development and conditioning is a process that never really ceases, at least not until brain function does. Since none of us train zombies, let’s focus on how we affect brain development, especially synaptic development, through communication, feedback and the impact of both on proprioception with our living clients.

 

While synaptic structural growth is activity-independent, that is it’s spontaneous, part of the normal physical development of the neuro-muscular system, synaptic performance and modification, delivery efficiency and transient synapse termination require neural activity. By extension, then, all synaptic impulses are affected by previous proprioception. Spatial and kinesthetic differentiation, spatial awareness, force development, stabilization, deceleration and force application are all impacted by the billions of proprioceptive signals processed by synapses.

 

It’s reasonable to state, then, that the development and performance of synapses is affected by the quality (and quantity) of feedback and communication received by the sensory organs. Emotional response to sensory organ proprioception creates new “sub-signals” if you will, that affect the processing of and response to proprioceptive input. That’s because part of the neural response to stimulus is conditioned (more…)

Youth Fitness Professionals: My Job Is To Equip You

 

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Youth Fitness Professionals

There is no real danger in kids performing machine based training under the proper supervision and appropriate guidelines. Many studies done the world over have concluded that strength based training programs done on this kind of fitness equipment is very safe for young children (again under appropriate guidelines). My issue is not whether or not kids CAN perform this kind of training, my question is WHY they need to.

 

Back tracking for a second, I have watched (as I’m sure we all have) a very young baby struggle to get to their feet. In terms of strength output, this equates to a near maximal load. No one seems to be concerned about it until that child becomes eight or so years old and wants to lift weights… Then people want to call the police on you because you had the ignorance to let a child perform strength training! The bottom line is that kids CAN handle strength training based loads… heck they do everyday – hopscotch, tag, bowling, ANY sport – all these things require varying degrees of strength.

 

Now the question of why. I just have never been convinced by any article, book or study championing child strength training that kids SHOULD use machine based fitness equipment. The reality is that sport AND life are based on the functionality of movement. Juan Carlos refers to it as the Four Pillars of human movement; Paul Check has a similar model which incorporates six stages.

 

My point being that whether you are dealing with a young athlete or just a young fitness participant, your goals as Youth Fitness Professionals should involve obtaining health and/or sporting proficiency on a useable level. Machines provide support (I have trained so many young athletes who simply cannot produce stability in all three planes), and the force application is both pre-set (which just begs for biomechanical dysfunction) as well as pre-guided (unfortunately sport and life are not).

 

My other concern with machines is that they inhibit two very important concerns when dealing with young athletes (actually when dealing with anyone):

 

1. It is very hard to train unilaterally when using machines (one side of the body at a time). Unilateral training, in my mind, is one of the most crucial components of developing young athletes.

 

Youth Fitness Professionals

2. You simply cannot train (either produce force through or learn to stabilize) the transverse plane. As referenced in many Kinesiology based books, over 85% of our core musculature is oriented horizontally or diagonally – we are designed for rotation, yet machines don’t allow for it.

 

My suggestion for working with young athletes (and this is based on several factors including age, emotional maturity, current physical proficiency) is as follows –

 

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Injury Prevention and Youth Performance Training

 

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Youth Performance Training,/h1>

 

So here’s where I chime in.

 

Want the truth from my perspective?

 

Blunt and to the point as usual….

 

 

Injury prevention and youth performance training is the same thing.

 

 

When working with young athletes in a well-designed developmental
process, the goal is simply skill acquisition and advancement.

 

Done correctly, injury prevention and performance gains take care of
themselves.

 

Now, this is in stark contrast to much of the industry who pontificate
about specific "6-Week Injury Prevention Programs" or "8-Week Off-Season
Speed Training Programs"

 

A well-designed developmental system of training involves little more than
teaching skill, progressing the skill and then subsequently applying it
to specific patterns or sports when required.

 

Biomotor gains (i.e. speed, strength, flexibility increases) occur naturally
as a bi-product of such a system.

 

So to does injury prevention.

 

When technique and force application is taught correctly and in a progressive
manner, efficiency of movement, systemic strength and range of motion increases
happen naturally.

 

When young athletes move better, are stronger head to toe and have full, complete
ranges of motion through joints, they are naturally less likely to incur injury.

 

It really is just that simple.

 

But do you know how to construct a fully developmental and progressive
training system?

 

Do you understand fully what sorts of training stimulus are necessary at certain
ages in order to maximize athletic performance?

 

Maybe it’s time to look very seriously at my Complete Athlete Development
System.

 

More than 10,000 young athletes worldwide, Coaches, Trainers and Parents
haven’t been wrong.

 

Click on the link below to see what I mean –

 

www.CompleteAthleteDevelopment.com

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian