Archive for “Mechanics” Tag

First Movement, Then Stability, Finally Mechanics

Movement, Stability & Then Mechanics

“Proper Body Mechanics” is a hot topic in any sport. Perhaps because over decades of research, video analysis and studying elite athletes there are seemingly very common trends on how to exceed in sports.

Whether throwing a baseball, shooting a hockey puck, or putting in a header, there is an “ideal” way to perform these tasks to optimize results. So the most important thing for any coach or trainer to focus on is body mechanics? Not necessarily.

Do you have a tennis player that always falls short of full extension with a serve? How about an athlete that can’t keep proper knee alignment with a squat?

There is a concept that precedes body mechanics, something much more fundamental than the correct foot position when lining up with a 7 iron.

It is this: Can your body physically do what you are asking it to do?

Movement: Making Motion

lacrosse-165576_640The human body is designed with 200+ bones that provide structure for movement to occur.

Among all those bones are a bunch of different joints, with distinct functions that allow various types of movement.

Hip and shoulder joints are designed for motion in all directions, knees and elbows in one direction, and ankles and wrists use a series of joints and bones to make little circles.

Laying on top of this structural support and center of movement are muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue that puts humans into motion. Functional movement is very important.

PRO TIP: If an athlete cannot functionally move in the way that is ideal for athletic performance then that has to be addressed first.

Stability: Controlling Movement

Stability in a broader sense is the ability to generate motion while remaining in control. You want a car with a “stable chassis” which allows for moving at high speeds while keeping everything together. The athletic body craves the same ability to produce ideal body mechanics.

Most relevant to sports and strength conditioning, stability comes from core control. This is the ability to control the arms and legs while providing a stable platform and base of support.

It can be said that you only are as fast as your ability to stop. This perhaps is not true where there is plenty of time for the body to slow down, such as a 100m sprint. Otherwise, if an athlete has to change directions quickly, speed will be limited by the brakes.

This extends to throwing a baseball as well, as the rotator cuff has to prevent the shoulder from dislocating after a throw. Sports performance is limited by the ability to stop efficiently, an important consideration when we talk about controlling motion.

PRO TIP: Control is key to sports performance. The ability to control one’s body effectively is what creates an ideal environment for sports success.

Mechanics: Mastering Performance

If an athlete is capable of moving and stopping motion appropriately then everything else is about performance.

Humans have a phenomenal capacity for neural plasticity. This means we are capable of adapting the brain and nervous system to learn new tasks and master them.

So why is mechanics training so important with young athletes? Because learning carries for life.

PRO TIP: Keep preaching the mechanics! In baseball, for every odd throwing style or batting stance there are 99 that all do it pretty much the same way. Proper mechanics is not only about producing home runs, 3 pointers, and touchdowns but it is also about reducing wear and tear.

Every athlete will succumb to the limits of volume at some point, but those limits are significantly reduced when mechanics are crappy.

Dr. Keith Cronin, DPT


About the Author: Keith Cronin

Keith CroninKeith J. Cronin is a physical therapist and owner of Sports and Healthcare Solutions, LLC. Keith currently supports US Operations for Dynamic Tape®, the “Original” Biomechanical Tape®, providing guidance for education, research and distribution. He graduated with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Belmont University in 2008 and later earned his Orthopedic Certification Specialist (OCS).

Prior to graduate school, Keith was a collegiate baseball player and top-level high school cross country runner. He also had the opportunity to work as a personal trainer (CSCS) prior to his career in physical therapy, providing a very balanced approached to educating fitness and rehabilitation. Keith has focused his career on the evaluation, treatment, injury prevention, and sports conditioning strategies for athletes, with particular attention to youth sports. He currently lives in the St. Louis, MO area with his wife and two daughters, Ella and Shelby.


Prepare Your Athletes To Perform

Learn how to leverage the Long-Term Athletic Development Model to ensure your athletes are prepared to perform. In expert Wil Fleming’s free 7-minute video and PDF checklist, he covers how to create a training system that prepares young athletes to move better, get stronger, and enhance their performance.

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Using Weighted Sleds for Acceleration Work

 

Using Weighted Sleds With Young Athletes

 

young athlete acceleration training

 

By Jim Kielbaso

 

There are plenty of toys out there designed for speed development, but one of the most effective and easiest to use is a weighted sled. The research on resisted sprinting using these sleds is way behind the actual use of the device, but that’s usually how it goes. More recent information has shown that proper use of these sleds can have a positive effect on a young athletes ability to accelerate – one of the most important aspects of speed in many sports.

 

Most of the early research on resisted sprinting was focused on kinematics. They wanted to see if using a sled would change sprinting mechanics significantly enough to cause problems. Through experimentation of different loads, it turns out that using a relatively low weight (8-20% of bodyweight) will not have a significantly negative impact on mechanics.

 

The old research also focused on maximal velocity running instead of acceleration. The conclusions drawn from this research showed that resisted sprinting at maximal velocity (top speed) did not have a positive training effect and could actually have a slightly detrimental effect. Most of this was seen because the resistance caused longer ground contact times at top speed. The studies showed that maximal velocity training with no resistance may be better than using resistance.

 

A more recent study by Harrison and Bourke out of Limerick, Ireland showed that training with the weighted sled significantly improved scores on the time to 5 meters test. The study had subjects perform two resisted sprinting sessions per week for six weeks, using 13% of their bodyweight as the load. This load was based on an earlier study by Lockie et al that recommended using 12.6-13% of bodyweight. All subjects had experience with resisted sprinting and all were competitive rugby players. They weren’t using untrained individuals, making this much more useful information for sports performance coaches.

 

After warming up, subjects performed six 20-meter sprints with 4 minutes of rest between bouts. They did this twice a week for 6 weeks and had significantly positive results on their ability to accelerate.

 

This study, along with the experience of many coaches, provides evidence that use of a weighted sled may be beneficial for improving an athlete’s ability to accelerate. Of course, one of the keys to this kind of training is adequate coaching in the mechanics involved in accelerating. When training young athletes we often see them trying to accelerate without a proper forward lean or taking small, lower-power steps. The sled can be a helpful tool in the learning/coaching process because it can help an athlete get into a steeper forward lean without falling. It can also help an athlete alter his/her turnover slightly in favor of producing as much power as possible on the first 2-8 steps of a sprint.

 

An extremely important aspect of acceleration training with young athletes is the use of proper mechanics. Without quality instruction and the plenty of reps with optimal mechanics, the use of weighted sleds or any other type of acceleration training will be marginalized. A qualified youth coach who can analyze the young athletes movements and utilize individualized cues and feedback to improve mechanics is absolutely essential to this process. Lower-quality instruction will yield lower-quality results no matter what kind of apparatus, toy or method is used.

 

Knee drive is another important aspect of acceleration, and information from another study by Alcaraz et al suggests that a weighted sled may help athletes exaggerate knee drive. This could be a result of having to pull extra weight or the additional forward lean they observed. Either way, it’s a good thing and can benefit athletes who want to increase their acceleration performance.

 

Based on the scientific evidence and years of coaching experience, use of a weighted sled for improving acceleration performance is recommended as long as adequate coaching is available so mechanics are optimized during the process. I recommend focusing your efforts on the first 5-10 yards of a sprint since this is where the most benefit is seen.

 

We’re still kind of guessing in regards to the optimal load used, but you certainly want to keep it fairly low for most people. The research does not take into account the abilities of each of the young athletes, so a more powerful athlete may be able to use higher loads than 13% of bodyweight and still reap the benefits. Since the research suggests that resisted sprinting somehow strengthens the musculature at high velocities, using the heaviest weight possible without a negative effect on mechanics or joint rotational velocities seems to be the goal.

 

I also highly encourage the use of contrast training when using a sled. First, do a few reps without a sled, then perform 5-10 reps with the sled. Be sure to always perform 2-4 more reps without the sled to give the athlete the opportunity to “feel” the difference and allow the nervous system to adapt. This could simply be a trick, but it has been suggested that this kind of contrast training can actually get the nervous system to “up-regulate” with consistent training over time. When using resistance, the body is forced to fire harder on each step. Over time, using contrast training, the athlete’s nervous system may learn to fire harder all the time, not just directly after use of the weighted sled. This is still a theory, but the recent research suggests it may be exactly what is occurring.

 

Other professionals, including well-respected trainer Mike Boyle, use weighted sleds with much higher loads as more of a movement-specific strength training exercise. You can load the sled up and have athletes “march” forward, driving the knees upward, pushing backward as hard as possible and getting into a steep forward-lean position. There is no real scientific evidence that this works, but the principle of specificity would suggest that this could be a good way to add strength when the goal is to improve acceleration speed.

 

There seems to be enough evidence that a weighted sled works to warrant its use when training for improvements in acceleration speed.
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Because there is limited research available, we’re still searching for the optimal training volume and loads for young athletes, but some guidelines are being created through the literature and experience.

 

·2-3 days/week

 

·8-20% bodyweight as the load

 

·4-10 short-distance sprints (5-20 yards) per workout

 

·Relatively long rest periods between bouts (1 – 4 minutes)

 

·Utilize contrast training

 

·Possibly use the sled as a strength training exercise

 

Try using a weighted sled with your young athletes, and be sure to focus on mechanics.

 

While it is just one tool in a trainer’s toolbox, it does seem to have merit. As long as the athlete is giving high effort, using appropriate loads and practicing proper mechanics, you should enjoy the results of faster acceleration after a period of training.

 

Jim Kielbaso acceleration Training program for young athletes

 

Jim Kielbaso

 

The Simple Math Behind Young Athletes Running Faster

 

How to Get Young Athletes to Run Faster

By Latif Thomas

 

 

If you want to improve athletic performance you have to make your young athletes faster. That’s pretty straight forward.

 

So let’s break the process down in very clear terms.

 

For the sake of argument, let us assume that an athlete’s one rep max for deadlift directly relates to how fast they can run. (It doesn’t, but for the sake of this argument, it will make things clear.)

 

young athletes

 

So, The Athlete has a max deadlift of 500 pounds. Therefore, if everything is done perfectly, The Athlete can apply 500 pounds of force to the ground with every step.

 

In a perfect world, if the athlete runs a race taking 50 steps, they will run their absolute ‘best case scenario’ time if they apply 500 pounds of force for all 50 steps.

 

But we know from working with young athletes that things don’t go perfectly with every stride. Or anything close to it.

 

So let’s look at the first 5 steps of the race and see where things break down (keeping in mind that 500 pounds of force is a ‘perfect’ step/stride.

 

STEP 1. Athlete doesn’t push into the ground/blocks hard enough, so only applies 400 pounds of force.
Result: Only 80% efficient (20% of potential force wasted)

 

STEP 2: Athlete’s foot lands heel first, so only applies 350 pounds of force.Young athlete running
 

If your heel touches the ground, you’re running slow!
Result: Only 70% efficient (30% of potential force wasted)

 

STEP 3: Knee angle opens up too much and foot strike takes place in front of Center of Mass, applying 350 pounds of force.
Result: Only 70% efficient (30% of potential force wasted)

 

STEP 4: Too much backside mechanics, so Athlete can’t recover swing leg quickly enough to drive foot down into the ground, applying 300 pounds of force
Result: Only 60% efficient (40% of potential force wasted)

 

STEP 5: Athlete recovers from bad start, gets foot down under hips, pushes the ground back and away, applying 450 pounds of force.
Result: 90% efficient (10% of potential force wasted)

 

Now plot this out over the course of the entire race/distance being run and think about how much potential ‘speed’ is wasted simply due to lack of efficiency or running skill.

 

In just 5 steps, The Athlete applies an average of 370 pounds of force per step, out of a possible 500. This means The Athlete has an efficiency rating of 74%.

 

Bottom Line: If the athlete had better running form, better understanding of *how* it should feel when running, better coaching feedback, etc., they would be more efficient with each step and, based on simple physics, would run faster.

 

So, you can make athletes (in any sport) faster just by making them more efficient. How?

 

1. Regularly practice speed drills (with perfect technique) so athletes understand what good running form FEELS like.

 

2. Give technical feedback. If you, the coach, know what the athlete should be doing, you can help them clean up their form. But if you don’t tell them what to do (and give them correct information) they’re not going to figure it out on their own.

 

Young athletes running drills

 

This is a torn hamstring waiting to happen. (I know from experience!)

 

If you don’t give them good technical feedback, they’re just going to keep practicing bad running and it will keep getting worse.

 

3. Improve general and absolute strength, hip and ankle mobility and coordination. Core work, weight training and body weight training will improve the inter and intramuscular coordination required to maximize force application/speed.

 

Now, let’s say you improve average efficiency of The Athlete (by using the above methods) from 74% to 84%. Average force applied per stride goes from 370 pounds to 420 pounds.

 

Again, simple physics tells us the Athlete MUST get faster.

So, if you want young athletes to improve, you must make them more efficient.

Here’s the next thing you need to focus on:

 

Let’s say you improve The Athlete’s absolute strength from 500 pounds to 600 pounds. But you *don’t* make The Athlete any more efficient.

 

So they stay at 74% Efficiency, but based off of a greater ability to apply force to the ground. So the athlete now can apply 444 pounds of force per stride (74% of 600).

 

Think about it:

 

By improving maximum strength, but not touching Efficiency, The Athlete goes from 370 pounds of force per stride to 444.

 

That’s a HUGE improvement in terms of athletic performance.

 

So two identical athletes with identical Efficiency Rates step on the starting line. But one can apply 600 lbs. of force and the other 500 lbs. The physically stronger (yet otherwise identical) Athlete wins the race Every Single Time!

 

The moral of the story? Get your athletes in the weight room if you want them to perform better!

 

Now, let’s say you improve absolute strength from 500 to 600 pounds AND you improve average efficiency from 74% to 84%.

 

The Athlete now has an average force application of 504 pounds per stride (84% of 600).

 

Again, think about it. The stronger, more efficient athlete applies more force to the ground (runs faster) at only 84% efficiency than an otherwise identical athlete with 100% efficiency but significantly lower strength levels.

 

The numbers don’t lie!!!

 

What’s my point?

 

You can get ridiculous results with your young athletes when you focus on improving strength *and* efficiency.

 

This is where the argument that speed can’t be coached breaks down. Sure you can’t turn kids into Usain Bolt. But they’re generally so weak and inefficient (even the ‘good’ ones) that they can make ‘night and day’ improvements by becoming more well rounded young athletes.

 

All you have to do is look at the numbers and put a plan into place that focuses on long term development of specific biomotor skills: speed, strength, mobility, coordination and endurance.

 

To your success,

 

Latif Thomas

Now Available: IYCA Youth Kettlebell Instructor Course

Over the past 3 years with the IYCA, I’ve spent a lot of time considering this subject.

 

Are Kettlebells safe for young athletes?

 

Are they just a fad that our industry is embracing right now?

 

Are the reputed performance gains you get from using Kettlebells real?

 

I considered it all.

 

And then I asked the 2 people I trust more than anyone else in the world with respect to this topic:

 

Owners of the incredibly popular, Kettlebell Athletics.

 

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Youth Sports Training for Large Groups

Youth Sports Training For;

Mobility & Active Flexibility
Injury Prevention – Mechanics
Injury Prevention – Deficits
Torso

 

I had 20 minutes, one volleyball court and 50+ young athletes…

 

So, here’s how I broke it down:

 

(A) Mobility/Active Flexibility (7 Minutes)

 

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Developing Young Athletes: Intelligent vs. Dumb

 

 

>Developing Young Athletes With the IYCA

‘Intelligence’.

 

Defined by the dictionary as –

 

“The capacity for learning, understanding and aptitude for grasping relationships”

 

That sets the stage very nicely for the meaning of this IYCA-based term.

 

What about ‘Athletic’?

 

It’s defined as such –

 

“Involving the use of physical skills or capabilities”

 

String those two definitions together and you’ve got the basis for the main motivation needed when training and developing young athletes.

 

In short –

 

“Increasing the capacity for learning and understanding various physical skills and how they relate”

 

That is the crux and critical requirement with respect to programming for young athletes.

 

And how backwards do we have that these days?

 

Increase the capacity for learning:

 

It’s not about over-coaching pre-adolescent children.

 

Teaching them the ‘mechanics’ of how to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball.

 

It’s about enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how to perform these actions via Guided Discovery.

 

Allowing them to play.

 

Get a feel for the motion themselves and through trail and error, develop bodily aptitude.

 

Understanding various physical skills and how they relate:

 

Through this ‘trail and error’ period of development, it can’t be about specificity, either.

 

It’s about indirect, global stimulus.

 

Running fast, for example, isn’t just based on the action of running.

 

It’s based on:

 

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Exercise Programs For Kids and The Art Of Teaching Speed

Exercise Programs For Kids Speed Training

One of my favorite things to teach, both to young athletes as well as
Coaches, is the mechanics of speed.

 

Deceleration techniques specifically.

 

And that’s because speed is seldom taught as a skill at all.

 

Usually, the ‘speed work’ of a training session consists of some hurdles,
cones, sprinting and ‘plyo’ exercises with little attention being paid to
form or function.

 

Simply put, we don’t often TEACH speed and respect it in the way we
should.

 

Young athletes can (and should) be taught how to become faster and
more efficient from a movement perspective.

 

And in order to do that correctly, you must have a progressive system
in place that allows them to learn.

 

I always teach speed by instructing on the skill of deceleration first –
and I teach that from both a lateral and linear perspective.

 

Here’s my overview for teaching the skill of lateral deceleration for Exercise Programs For Kids:

 

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The Young Athletes Injury Prevention Lie

 

 

Young Athletes Programming Do Reduce Injuries

You can’t build a house on quicksand.

 

You just can’t.

 

When the base isn’t sturdy, the structure is bound to
topple.

 

And that’s the only real lesson you need to understand
when it comes to injury prevention for young athletes.

 

It’s all in building a foundation.

 

From the ground up.

 

As Trainers and Coaches, our entire obligation when
working with younger athletes (6 – 13 years old) is to
fill them with as much athletic knowledge as possible.

 

Nothing ‘sport specific’.

 

Nothing ‘position specific’.

 

Just a full and complete warehouse of information.

 

Force production and absorption.

 

Speed and agility skill.

 

Lift mechanics and positioning.

 

Teaching young athletes how to perform these critical
elements of sporting success in the undeniable key
to the becoming champions.

 

But it’s also the most important factor in preventing
injuries as well.

 

And that is one of the main issues we have wrong in
this industry.

 

True injury prevention does not come in the form of
6-week programs geared towards lessoning the risk of
certain incidents.

 

Real injury prevention occurs naturally as a secondary
result of proper developmental training.

 

It is not an isolating issue that needs to be addressed
separately.

 

Case in point, I was reviewing an ‘ACL Prevention’
program offered by a local hospital last week and saw
the curriculum they teach their young athletes during
this 6-week course:

 

a. Deceleration Techniques

b. Jumping and Landing Mechanics

c. Proper Strength Training Technique

 

Is there anything in there that shouldn’t automatically
be included in a well designed athletic development
training system?

 

What denotes this specifically as an ‘ACL Prevention’
program?

 

A good friend and colleague mine, Alwyn Cosgrove, is
found of saying, "If it isn’t injury prevention that
doesn’t that make it automatically injury promotion?"

 

Alwyn’s comment is meant to make you think.

 

All quality training programs should be based on
preventing injuries.

 

If they aren’t, than they’re promoting them – which
doesn’t seem to make any sense.

 

In the case of young athletes (6 – 13), the most
critical factor in preventing injuries is in understanding
the science and practical application of coordination
development.

 

 

Balance

 

Spatial Awareness

 

Kinesthetic Differentiation

 

Rhythm

 

Movement Adequacy

 

 

How each of these commodities apply to a training
session.

 

How to create fun and engaging drills for each of them.

 

Why they are critical for both future performance and
injury prevention.

 

And it seems to me that when it comes to working with
younger athletes, very few Coaches and Trainers truly
seem to get it.

 

ACL and other debilitating injuries that occur in the
teenage years can be prevented by applying the right
kind of exercise stimulus while athletes are still
very young.

 

Maybe worth looking at a resource that is considered
one of the greatest information products ever produced
when it comes to the training and development of young
athletes.

 

Complete Athlete Development has been field tested on
more than 15,000 young athletes worldwide and changed
the lives of countless Coaches, Trainers and Parents.

 

I’ve been coaching for 13 years now.

 

Not one major injury suffered to a single athlete
yet.

 

Could be chance.

 

Maybe I’m just lucky.

 

Or perhaps there’s some stuff about injury prevention
that you need to know better?

 

Have a look at Complete Athlete Development and find out –

 

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

 

Over 3.5 million young athletes will get injured playing sports
this year in the United States alone.

 

Tragic but largely preventable.

 

Give CAD a try –

 

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

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian

 

Developing Young Athletes: What is Athletic Intelligence?

 

 

Developing Young Athletes

 

‘Intelligence’.

 

Defined by the dictionary as –

 

“The capacity for learning, understanding and aptitude for grasping relationships”

 

That sets the stage very nicely for the meaning of this IYCA-based term.

 

What about ‘Athletic’?

 

It’s defined as such –

 

“Involving the use of physical skills or capabilities”

 

String those two definitions together and you’ve got the basis for the main motivation needed when training and developing young athletes.

 

In short –

 

“Increasing the capacity for learning and understanding various physical skills and how they relate”

 

That is the crux and critical requirement with respect to programming for young athletes.

 

And how backwards do we have that these days?

 

Increase the capacity for learning:

 

It’s not about over-coaching pre-adolescent children.

 

Teaching them the ‘mechanics’ of how to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball.

 

It’s about enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how to perform these actions via Guided Discovery.

 

Allowing them to play.

 

Get a feel for the motion themselves and through trail and error, develop bodily aptitude.

 

Understanding various physical skills and how they relate:

 

Through this ‘trail and error’ period of development, it can’t be about specificity, either.

 

It’s about indirect, global stimulus.

 

Running fast, for example, isn’t just based on the action of running.

 

It’s based on:

 

– Rhythm

 

– Movement Adequacy

 

– Efficient production and absorption of force

 

– Body position for optimal acceleration and deceleration

 

These physical skills aren’t only developed via performing endless sets of sprints or start and stop drills for young athletes

.

 

In fact, they are BEST developed singularly. Learned and understood in isolation and then eventually brought together in a relative format.

 

If you haven’t already, watch this basic ‘Skip Loop’ exercise from the ‘Coordination Development’ DVD found in Complete Athlete Development –

 

 

 

 

Rhythm

 

Timing

 

Movement Adequacy

 

Force Production and Absorption

 

Through drills like these, my young athletes are learning how to be ‘intelligent’.

 

It is through indirect methods of enhancing bodily knowledge that kids form the basis of becoming superior athletes in time.

 

It’s a process that can’t be rushed or overlooked.

 

The problem is, we rush and/or ignore this phase of athletic development all the time.

 

And that’s the main reason so few of our young athletes ever amount to much in terms of optimal sporting success.

 

They were rushed through a process.

 

Over-coached and ‘specified’ too early.

 

They simply aren’t Athletically Intelligent.

 

And when you don’t have basic intelligence, you can’t possibly expand your knowledge passed a certain point.

 

You lack the foundational aptitude on which to learn more.

 

Ask yourself this question –

 

Are the indirect aspects of learning addition and subtraction important to the eventual mastery of specific mathematical skills such as calculus or algebra?

 

You better believe they are.

 

Now apply that reasoning to developing young athletes.

 

Isn’t it time you saw firsthand what training for sporting success should REALLY look like?

 

Have a look at Complete Athlete Development and see what you’re missing –

 

 

Complete Athlete Development – Click Here Now

 

 

Brian

120 Young Athletes… 45 Minutes

 

Young Athletes Can be Coached In Big Groups

Now this is the kind of situation that baffles many coaches and
trainers.
 

But for good reason.
 

What do you do when your job is to effectively train 120 young
athletes, are only given 45 minutes and have nothing but an open
gym space?

 

It’s actually quite simple.
 

Here’s the rundown step-by-step:
 

1. Assess Your Athletes
 

Your assessment is not based on any sort of biomotor testing or
functional movement. It can’t be.
 

I was given very little warning about this contract and simply
don’t have the time or ability to perform any type of real
evaluation.
 

The assessment I’m referring to is based on knowledge
gathering in order to ascertain the ‘likelihoods’ of the
situation.
 

What many of the ‘assessment crazy’ professionals in our industry
don’t seem to understand about working with young athletes
is that you can evaluate and program for what I call the
‘likely’s’
 

120 young football players aged 15 – 17. It is likely that:
 

 

a. They are used to pounding weight in the gym so don’t have
much in the way of solid form with respect to lift mechanics.
 

b. Due to growth and other extraneous factors, they are tight
through the hip complex and weak in the posterior chain.
 

c. They don’t typical work on mobility, active flexibility or
concentrated torso strength.
 

d. Their movement mechanics have probably never even been
addressed.
 

 

In the absence of being able to truly assess, my ability to
program for these kids is based on the ‘likely factors’ of what
I know to be true.
 

 

2. Space versus Time
 

My objective here is simple.
 

Create a program that focuses on the following system –
 

 

a. Teach Effectively
 

b. Monitor Adherence
 

c. Keep the young athletes Moving
 

 

If I can’t teach proper execution, I may as well pack up and go
home.
 

If I can’t monitor to make sure execution is correct, I am doing
more harm than good.
 

If I don’t keep these kids moving, engaged and thinking relative
to the space I have them in, I should just let them have at it in
the weight room on there own.
 

The key is to factor all of these unique issues into your
program.
 

Creating effective training programs has as much to do
with intangible aspects of session flow as it does with the
exercise selection itself.
 

Here’s what I came up with given the above scenarios.
 

It’s a three tiered program that alters focus as the session
moves on –
 

 

SECTION ONE
 

Hip Circuits (hip complex)
Bridges (glute activation)
Elbows/Up (torso activation)
 

 

SECTION TWO
 

Hip/Hamstring Deep Stretch (hip mobility)
Lateral Squats (adductor mobility)
Split Squats (posterior chain activation + hip complex)
Ankle Mobility
 

 

SECTION THREE
 

Deceleration Technique (movement aptitude)
Bear Crawl (system strength)
Crab Walk (systemic strength)
 

 

120 young athletes.

 

45 minutes.
 

No equipment.
 

No evaluation.
 

No problem.
 

I’ll be hitting you with some video of these young athletes training sessions
later this week so you can see what it all looks like.
 

 

‘Till next time,
 

 

Brian