Archive for “Habitual Patterns” Tag

Endurance Training & Young Athletes

Young Athletes Endurance Training

Endurance training and young athletes is an often-misunderstood topic. On one hand, there are strength coaches who tend to disregard developmentally sound elements of endurance training in lieu of producing stronger and faster young athletes via strength and power type exercises exclusively. On the other hand, there are over-zealous coaches and trainers who equate endurance to long distance/duration activities, often with little regard for the athlete’s stage of development, ability or current level of conditioning.

 

Endurance can be defined quite simply as one’s ability to withstand fatigue or the ability to control the functional aptitude of movement while experiencing external stress. The latter definition lends itself well to the concept of athletic development and training young athletes. As I have stated many times in both print and lecture, when working with youngsters, the key ingredient to producing a successful training program is the ability to recognize that quality of execution is profoundly more important than quantity. Having said that, I still see coaches, trainers and parents opting for more difficult training sessions that include high volume or high intensity activities rather than concerning themselves with how correctly the exercise is being performed. Poor execution results in habitual patterns that are difficult to break and could result in injury. With respect to endurance training, proper mechanics are often compromised for higher volumes or intensities and this is very much a mistake.

 

One thing to consider is that the term ‘endurance’ has application to varying lengths and types of effort:

 

• Long slow distances – efforts of limited intensity but high distance or time

• Speed – efforts typically lasting 15 – 45 seconds with high levels of intensity but obviously limited time or distance

• Muscular – the ability to sustain a muscular contraction for a prolonged period of time

 

There are several factors to consider with respect to the development of endurance in young athletes:

 

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How To Shape Speed Training – Part 1

Speed Training

Many articles, books and information products discuss the development of speed from its physiological perspective of bio-motor enhancement.

 

How to get athletes stronger so as to create more force production and absorption.

 

How many sets and reps are necessary in a given training program in order to elicit the greatest possible hypertrophic response.

 

How long should the rest times be between sprints or cone drills so as to ensure maximum recoverability.

 

These are all valid considerations and the purpose of this article is not to diminish their value.

 

The pursuit of lasting speed and movement enhancement with your athletes however, should not be reduced to learning and applying just the overviews of quality programming. There is a much larger picture to consider – and it requires a more long-term approach and keen eye from a coaching perspective.

 

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Young Athletes And Injuries

I had an absolutely amazing meeting yesterday about Young Athletes.

 

It was with Scott Hopson – the international Director of

Education for Power Plate.

 

Known widely as ‘vibration training’, Scott wanted to get

together with me in order to discuss the potential of using

vibration training with young athletes.

 

Now, I have only known Scott for a few months, but already

understood him to be an exceptionally intelligent man and

someone who I respect a great deal.

 

Having said that – I had my reservations about the meeting.

 

I am a traditionalist to the core when it comes to creating

training programs and developmental strategies for young

athletes, and I really wasn’t terribly convinced that

vibration training would have much of a place in my system.

 

Boy was I wrong!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to change directions with

my career or add a new component to my training systems,

but my meeting with Scott taught me a lot about something in

particular….

 

…. I have been right for a long time.

 

We talked about nervous system fatigue and its impact on

progressing a young athletes’ ability.

 

We discussed the importance of creating proper habitual

patterns of movement and the role that has sporting success.

We shared our views on over-training parameters and the effect that can have on young athletes injury potential.

Scott offered his perspective and I offered mine.

 

And we were in full agreement with each other.

 

In fact, the conversation drew me back to an experience I

had earlier that day with one of my Young Athletes.

 

Britney is a 14 year old soccer player who is currently

attending my summer development camp.

 

And yesterday morning, she came looking tired, pale and

extremely low energy.

 

After chatting with her and her Mom about what was the

matter, I found out that for the past few nights, Britney

had been trying out for a new soccer team and that each of

the 2-hour practices had involved nothing more than wind

sprints and various forms of ‘agility’ training.

 

Her new Coach, it seems, considers this time of year to be

the ‘pre-season’ and so was working at increasing the level

of his athlete’s ‘mental toughness’ and ‘conditioning’.

 

And this is the kind of crap that goes on day-in and day-out

worldwide with respect to young athletes and sport.

 

Coaches who don’t know.

 

Trainers who don’t get it.

 

And the troubling part is that it really is a simple equation.

 

Any sort of training stimulus sends the body into a

state of catabolism (a breaking down phase).

 

If the training was not too tough and in accordance with

proper recovery strategies (sleep, nutrition etc) the body

will ‘bounce’ from this catabolic state and become anabolic

(a building up phase).

 

But the primary factor necessary for this to happen is the

‘toughness’ of the training.

 

And I’ve got to tell you, we absolutely stink at this particular point.

 

We make things hard all the time for our young athletes and

truly believe that if they aren’t sweating or near

exhaustion, the training session just wasn’t worth the time.

 

Nothing and I am nothing could be farther from the truth.

 

That’s not to say you don’t train your Young Athletes hard

from time to time or create enough bodily stress in order

to create an adaptation – you certainly do.

 

But it’s the mindless attention we pay to the ‘hard’

component of our training programs that need a serious

second look.

 

On this topic specifically, here’s what you’re going to

learn in Complete Athlete Development:

 

1) Why training sessions that last more than 50 minutes are

a bad idea for teenage athletes.

 

2) How to create a training system that keeps your young

athletes getting faster, stronger and more flexible without

the risk of over-training them.

 

3) How to design speed and strength programs that are

exactly what young athletes need – in the right doses and

using the correct form.

 

You know, many Trainers want to earn a living working with

young athletes.

 

Several Coaches want to know what’s best so they can create

championship teams.

 

Most Parents will shell out thousands on dollars in order

to ensure the sporting success of their children.

 

And yet just over $200 for a complete system that shows you

all of that is considered ‘not worth it’ by some.

 

Honestly, I don’t think I understand that.

 

Give Complete Athlete Development a try for a risk-free

365 days and see the power of what you don’t know –

 

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

 

Because what you don’t know is destroying our young athletes.

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian