Archive for “Medicine Balls” Tag

Designing The Right Speed & Agility Training Program

 

Speed & Agility Training Program Design

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Training athletes in speed & agility can be some difficult business.

Without a plan in mind of how to train a speed session, what can start as a speed session can crumble into a conditioning workout, with no lasting effects on an athlete’s ability to move quickly.
 

When I am training athletes in speed & agility I find it necessary to first, break it down into the component parts that I would like to train,and second assess the size of the group that I will be working with.
 

Lets start with what we need to train.
 

Linear and Lateral Technique
The first thing we should address with any group of any size is the technical components that will make the athletes better and safer. For linear technique we must analyze the most common ways that linear speed are expressed:
 

Is it from a 3 point stance, 2 point stance, split stance, from a slower pace?
 

This will guide our use of acceleration training and allow us to coach the young athletes on the proper start positions.
 

Lateral technique will focus on the lateral gait cycle and change of direction body positions. This type of training should be done with any group regardless of age and size of the group.
 

Linear and Lateral Power
The next phase of training will involve using different implements or tools to create more power for your athletes. Typically we will use sleds, weighted vests, medicine balls, or resistance bands to improve power in both the linear sprinting/acceleration and in lateral deceleration or acceleration
 

Linear and Lateral Reaction
When training reaction we are trying to improve the athletes ability to perceive the action and make the appropriate reaction. Drills in this category include change of direction with visual or verbal cues and acceleration drills on visual cues
 

Next lets move onto the size of the group, as this will determine the types of drills and equipment that we can use.
 

Less than 3 athletes
With less than 3 athletes training the coaching can be very intensive and the athletes can receive direction on technique with any and all drills. Very rarely in this situation will you be limited with the amount of equipment needed to complete a drill. Rest times will have to be accounted for through the training plan to make sure that the athletes get quality repetitions.
 

Small group – Less than 10-15 athletes
Training in groups smaller than 10 may limit your ability to train the group with equipment that you have on hand. If equipment is to be used it will be necessary to partner up the young athletes or go in a rotation. Your ability to instruct will not be limited, but should be planned out in the speed & agility training program for the day.
 

Large group – More than 15 athletes
With a group of more than 15 athletes restrictions on equipment become a primary concern, typically with groups this size or larger choices of equipment should be easily transportable (cones, small bands) and be plentiful. Instruction time should be mapped out before hand and should be deliberate. Large groups should be divided into smaller groups, this will allow for instruction between repetitions. Rest intervals in large groups are less necessary to plan because a normal rotation of drills and groups will allow for even, or positive rest periods.
 

With groups of any size it is important to approach Speed & Agility with the same type of deliberate plan that is often reserved for strength training. Doing so will insure that your session will not turn into glorified conditioning work, but will instead develop real, true speed, wow coaches and grow your business.
 

 

Alternative Methods for Training Explosive Strength To High School Athletes

 

 

High School Athletes Strength Training

 

 

high school athletes

By Wil Fleming

Nearly all high school athletes, with very few exceptions, need to
develop explosive strength.

 

 

The instances in which the skill of explosive strength are used in
sports are endless, but when used “explosiveness” is very apparent.

 

A linemen firing off from their stance.

 

A soccer player rising above his opponents to head a ball toward goal.

 

A volleyball player making a quick lateral move to reach for the dig.

 

Instances of explosive strength are very vivid when used and typically are a part of a game changing play.

 

Typically I would now talk about the importance of Olympic lifts, but in some instances using a barbell is not possible due to equipment limitations or even the readiness of the athlete. In those instances, the need for High School Athletes does not diminish, but the need for creativity does increase.

 

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Combination Training for Power

 

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by Wil Fleming

 

Both bands and medicine balls are great tools to develop power for athletes. When you combine them, though, you can get some really practical drills for athletes to use for total body power. Check out the video below to see a great drill I use to link the upper body and lower body in power creation.

 

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Young Athletes Training Facts

 

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Young Athletes long term development insights

In lieu of an article or interview, I thought that I would hit you guys with some great information and solid insight into the training & development of Young Athletes

 

>> From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden.

 

"The question of whether (young athletes) should specialize in particular sports at an early age has been asked for many years. The evidence now seems to support programming activities that develop overall capacities rather than specialized functions while the young athlete is growing."

 

This is a fact that I have been preaching for many years. Contrary to popular belief, the BEST and MOST EFFICIENT means of developing a future champion is through slow progression and multilateral means.

 

 

>> From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden.

 

"If resistance training is to be done with children and young adolescents, exercises should involve sub-maximal loads, such as one’s own bodyweight, light dumbbells, weighted bags and/or medicine balls. Sophisticated and restrictive weight exercises, particularly on machines, are not ideal for children".

 

Did anyone read my article a few newsletters back on "Keeping Kids Off Weight Training Machines"? Trainers or coaches who advocate machine-based training for young athletes are simply not thinking straight.

 

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