Archive for “Relationships” Tag

Stop Focusing on Training Systems

relationship

By Alex Slezak – M.Ed, YFS, YSAS, HSSCS

I estimate that I have been directly coaching youth in some manner for 15,000+ hours and counting; hopefully I have many more years to go. My off time has been devoted to discovering the best systems and methods for my physical education and tennis programs. One day I came to a profound realization that it is not all about having the best system or newest fad, instead it really is about the interpersonal relationship you have with the students you are teaching. In my opinion the relationship is more important than the system. What I mean by that is that even the best methods and systems fail when the teacher cannot find a way to have their knowledge and message resonate with the students. Children are not empty vessels that teachers just fill up with knowledge. Kids are dynamic human beings and if you really want something to stick they have to engage in the teaching and learning process. The old saying, “no one cares what you know, until they know you care” comes to mind.

Some coaches jump on the next best program or piece of equipment and think it will be the solution for everything. Others look to replicate the system and drills other successful people are doing. But when they try to replicate the incredible results they witnessed the results are often disappointing. I know from experience; I have been there and done that. You see it is not the equipment or system that is the problem, these things really could be the best thing since sliced bread, but what really makes it successful is the interrelationship the coach has with the students. The tools and the system are the means but the real magic is in the interaction.

I am not saying that having a system or plan that works for you is not important, it is. You need to have a good base of knowledge and an organized plan of delivery. What I am suggesting to you is stop focusing so much on every detail of the system or chasing new equipment and start focusing on real teaching and coaching which lies in the interpersonal relationships between you and your students.

relationship

So the question always comes up, “how do you build this kind of interpersonal relationship between teacher and student?” In my opinion it all starts by earning trust and respect. Notice I said earning. I do not take trust or respect lightly nor do I mix them up with being liked. If you are doing the right things for your students and holding them accountable day in and day out, over time you will earn their trust and respect. You will not always be liked but you will earn their trust and respect. When you have it and open your mouth to teach students listen and are engaged in what you are saying. It is not about them liking you, be very careful not to mix the two up. In fact, one of the sure fire ways to lose trust and respect is to fail to do what you know you should in fear of not being liked. Children, even young children, are very smart. They know when someone is shortchanging them and taking the easy way out. I even think sometimes they test the boundaries just to see if you are willing to call them out. It is like a test just to find out how much you really care. They know you truly care if you will hold them accountable even if it means not being liked. As a wise friend of mine once said to me, “even the wildest stallions want fences.”

So go against the gain and while everyone else is changing to the latest system or buying the latest equipment focus your efforts on earning the trust and respect of your students. Then whatever system you decide to utilize it will be successful because you took the time to develop the real secret to teaching, the interpersonal relationship that allows teaching to occur.

Alex is a Physical Education teacher and operates a tennis & fitness training business in Pittsburgh, PA. You can learn more by visiting his website at www.AlexSlezak.com.

Coaching in the Weight Room

 

Coaching High School Athletes in the Weight Room

 

By Jim Kielbaso
 

Just about every sport coach now recognizes the fact that a strength program can help their athletes optimize performance, reduce the risk of injury, and improve overall health and self-esteem. Some coaches are very comfortable in the weight room, while others feel totally out of their element. Either way, there are a few easy steps to follow to maximize your effectiveness in this environment.
 

Many coaches get overwhelmed in the weight room and never really give their best instruction or encouragement. But, many high school athletes need you there to show proper technique, get through the routine quickly, keep traffic flowing, give safe and effective spotting, and maximize effort.
 

In addition to reducing the risk of injury and enhancing performance, the weight room is also an excellent place to develop relationships and create team unity. Unfortunately, many coaches miss out on this because they are sitting in the corner or absent from the room altogether. Never underestimate the long-term benefits of polishing your weight room coaching skills.
 

Here are a few easy steps you can take to optimize your coaching effectiveness and help your athletes get the most out of their training time:

 

1. Educate Yourself. If you haven’t implemented a program because you don’t feel knowledgeable enough, put that excuse to rest. You don’t have to be an expert to help your team reap the benefits of strength training, and there are plenty of books that can give you a decent understanding of technique, program design, and how to spot different exercises. Go to your local bookstore or at the very least get online to find something to fit your needs. There is plenty of mis-information online, so just be sure to read with a critical mind. Always check the source before you completely buy into something that sounds too good to be true.
 

Avoid the trap of feeling like your athletes need an incredibly specialized training routine. It’s best to keep it simple with high school athletes. They will benefit from a basic, well-rounded program, so just get them started and feeling comfortable in the weight room by introducing a few basic exercises that you can easily teach. Remember, you can always add more later on.
 

2. Teaching Sessions. Before you turn your athletes loose in the weight room, spend a couple of days teaching them how to perform all of the exercises and how to safely spot each other. Take your time up front to save a lot of time and energy down the road.
 

3. Record Keeping. Once you’ve created the training routine, give it to your athletes on a piece of paper or card-stock so they can record the amount of weight lifted and number of repetitions performed on each set. This serves a few important purposes. For the athlete, it tells them exactly what they should be doing on every exercise and gives them a goal each day. This will help them make progress and eliminates guess-work.
 

For the coach, a workout card quickly gives you a lot of information and tracks attendance. You are going to be bouncing around from athlete to athlete, spotting as many athletes as possible; you want to spot each athlete on at least one exercise each day so you have a little contact with everyone. As soon as you’re done spotting one athlete, look around the room, see who is ready to lift, and get there quickly.
Having the workout card available allows you to easily see the weight and repetition goal for each set before you begin spotting. You can assess progress and effort on each exercise by taking a quick look at the chart. This is a great way to increase accountability and improve your ability to coach multiple athletes in the weight room.
 

4. Exercise Selection. In an effort to keep your training sessions time-efficient, it is recommended to select exercises that utilize a large amount of musculature rather than focusing on isolation exercises. For example, squats, leg presses, lunges, bench presses, dips, pull-downs, rows, and military presses all use multiple joints and recruit several muscle groups. These exercises should be the foundation of your program.
 

Curls, wrist extensions, and triceps pushdowns are examples of isolation exercises that can eat up a lot of valuable time.
 

It is also highly recommend that you select exercises that are relatively easy to teach, learn and execute. Lifts like the power clean and snatch are very technique intensive, require a great deal of coaching expertise, and are often performed incorrectly, which can be dangerous. There is absolutely no need to include exercises that are problematic for your situation. Whether you don’t feel comfortable teaching an exercise or the athletes just aren’t getting it, drop any exercise that is causing problems.
 

5. Traffic Flow. I often see traffic jams in high school weight rooms. This makes for an inefficient, frustrating experience that can be avoided. Rather than performing several sets of each exercise, have your athletes perform one set of 2-4 different exercises for the same body part to keep traffic moving.
 

For example, instead of performing three sets of bench press, try doing one set of bench press, one set of incline press, and one set of push-ups. Not only will this keep everyone moving, it also allows the musculature to be trained at several different angles and is equally effective in developing strength. This eliminates a lot of standing around that ultimately creates distractions and decreases training intensity.
 

You can also create different versions of a workout. Change the order of exercises for some athletes so the equipment is being used at different times. This small change will allow more athletes to workout simultaneously without traffic jams.
 

The weight room can be the motivational hub of your program if you create the right environment, and these simple tips can increase your effectiveness as a coach. They will allow you to maximize your coaching skills and give your athletes what they deserve – your attention.
 

 

 

Is Your Training Program Complete?

 

 

by Wil Fleming

 

The other day a track coach that I really respect called me to discuss an athlete that we both work with and right away I knew he was excited. I could hear in his voice that he was just fired up. I asked him what was going on and he responded,
"Coach Flem I have to tell you the coolest thing, Anthony has gotten 3 feet faster just training with you this summer and fall. (meaning his long jump approach had to be moved back 3 feet on the same number of approach steps) What kind of speed work have you been doing?"

 

 

Honestly, the answer was very little, outside of some very short acceleration work, this athlete’s focus had been on improving his explosive strength recently.

 

So what’s the point of this story?

 

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IYCA: Thank You and A Gift From Me

IYCA Provides…

by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com

 

It is the week of Thanksgiving and I wanted to share with you why I am thankful for the IYCA.

 

Certainly I am thankful for the knowledge I gain from attending live events and the continuing education certification courses but that only touches the surface.  The IYCA gives away, literally gives away, so much valuable information. All of it for free.   The IYCA treats its members like family.  I am thankful for being a part of an organization that wants me to be able to do what I love better than any other professional around.

 

As members of the IYCA we are all passionate about the training of our youth.  Some are passionate about reducing the prevalence of obesity in our youth, others want to help athletes succeed to their highest levels.  Wherever you fall on this spectrum there is one thing that will determine your success.

 

Your ability to reach as many young people as possible. 

 

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Young Athletes: Flexibility versus Mobility

 


 

Young Athletes Priorities

by Mike Robertson

 

What is the difference between Flexibility and Mobility?

I’ve always used the Bill Hartman definitions; they go something like this:

 

Mobility – Range of motion under specific circumstances (specific)

 

Flexibility – Range of motion about a joint (non-specific)

 

So mobility is specific to a certain movement – i.e. you need a certain amount of hip mobility to squat, lunge, etc.

 

In contrast, flexibility is non-specific – i.e. you lay someone on their back and stretch their hamstrings.  This gives you an idea of their flexibility, but it’s not specific.  Just because they have great hamstring length doesn’t mean they’ll be able to perform functional movements properly or without compensation.

 

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Exercise Programs For Kids: Tip of the Week

 

 

Exercise Programs For Kids From The IYCA

I had a great conversation today with brilliant and passionate
IYCA Member, Billy Corbett.

 

He mentioned that while tooling around on the IYCA website,
something caught his eye that he knew he had seen before, but
never really paid close attention to –

 

The photograph of me running around and playing with a group
of small children.

 

"It occurred to me that I should be doing more stuff like that, Brian"
Billy told me over the phone.

 

"Is that kind of coaching a good idea when working with kids?"

 

Excellent question and an easy answer….

 

Yes!
HECK yes!

 

There is certainly a fine line between goofing around with your
young clients and enjoying physical activity with them.

 

In my 13 years of coaching Exercise Programs For Kids experience, I can tell you that one of
the fastest and most practical ways of creating relationships with
youngsters that will bridge a level of trust and keep them coming
back for more (i.e. member retention) is to section off a period of
class time during which you participate in a game with them.

 

In fact, my standard training session for kids between the ages of
6 – 9 looks something like this –

 

1) Introductions (5 minutes)
2) Technique Instruction (5 minutes)
3) Technique Play (10 minutes)
4) Technique Instruction 2 (5 minutes)
5) Technique Play 2 (10 minutes)
6) Free Play (10 minutes)

 

And #6 is where I jump in and play WITH them during the Exercise Programs For Kids!

 

They love it, I love it and the parents LOVE it!

 

Be sure to get down and dirty with your young clients and play
with them during certain period of your training session.

 

To learn more about my Exercise Programs For Kids training system and why this ‘play time’
is absolutely critical to the proper growth and development of your
young clients, click on the link below to access the IYCA’s Level 1
Youth Fitness Specialist certification –

 

http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1.html

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Brian

 

Youth Fitness Certification Is Almost Here

 

 

It’s D-Day for you, my friend…

 

One of those ‘no turning back now’ moments we all face from time
to time.

 

I’m ready to come clean.

 

And here it is…

 

Youth Fitness Certification From IYCA

My life has changed like you wouldn’t believe over the past 4
months.

 

Changes that I really never expected.

 

To say that I am sorry they came would be a lie, though.

 

Where my life is now is just so much better and more focused
than it ever has been before.

 

And if you’ve met me at some point in the past, you know how
big a statement that is.

 

I’ve always been a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy.

 

Ever since that day my Dad told me what has now become a
famous quote in our industry:

 

Some view things as they are and say, why?

 

I dream of things that have never been and say, why not?

 

I have been a dedicated and ‘never-say-die’ kind of man since
then.

 

And it’s extended into my professional life.

 

Why can’t I lead an industry into a new realm of greatness through our Youth Fitness Certification?

 

Why can’t I be the guy who tells people to stop bickering about
which methodology works best and instead focus on communicating
and developing relationships with their young clients?

 

Why can’t I create a revolution that inspires every fitness
professional on the planet to take action.

 

The fact is… I can (thanks Dad!).

 

And what started 4 months ago is coming to a climax for you right now.

 

I’ll be brief in the summary:

 

I’ve turned the IYCA into a cutting-edge organization that is
built on PROVIDING FOR people… Not ASKING FROM them.

 

Paying for educational materials is fine.

 

Keeping current with CEU’s is great.

 

But what have my membership fees gotten me?

 

What has ‘belonging’ to various certification company’s ever
done for my career?

 

Why are they all so faceless and sterile?

 

What started 4 months ago was a literal revolution in my brain.

 

One of those ‘flickering ideas’ that eventually starts taking
shape…

 

Build the IYCA into an organization that people are PROUD to be
part of because:

 

You providing a ‘personal touch’ is at the core of the mission

 

You don’t ‘over charge’ – you ‘over deliver’

 

You create actual opportunity, jobs and professional growth

 

You allow people to teach your concepts worldwide and get paid

 

You teach professionals how to run successful businesses

 

The kind of hands-on success mentoring that doesn’t exist now in
our industry.

 

The revolution has started and you’re about to become part of it.

 

Later this week, I will let you in on the little secret that the
entire fitness industry has been talking about…

 

YOUR chance to become certified through the IYCA Level 1 Youth Fitness
Specialist course.

 

And it will be a very exclusive offer for you.

 

Through my professional colleagues, over 750,000 fitness
professionals throughout the world find out about our
Level 1 course each month.

 

And they are all hungry to jump on board.

 

Not only is ‘youth fitness and sport training’ considered the
number one exploding niche in our industry, but the IYCA has
become the one organization that provides you with MUCH MORE
than just some letters after your last name.

 

Here’s the problem…

 

… And this is fair warning so you can’t be upset if you get
left behind.

 

750,000 will receive the invitation every month.

 

But we only allow 500 to "get in".

 

Quality Service

 

Quality Customer Care

 

Quality Control

 

Quality Attention

 

I’ve taken a personal inventory of the IYCA’s human resources
and determined that ‘500’ per month is our max number of members at this
point.

 

At 501, our ability to serve you better than any other
organization on the planet starts to falter.

 

And I won’t have that.

 

So consider this your very fair and very reasonable warning.

 

Stay by your emails this week.

 

Sometime over the next few days, I will open the door for you.

 

The Level 1 Youth Fitness Specialist certification will be
offered to you and your career will change forever.

 

If you’re somewhere between 1 – 500, that is.

 

Look for an email from me ( Brian Grasso) that says in the
subject line –

 

The Revolution Has Started

 

Open that email and be prepared to take action.

 

Want to see how big the IYCA is getting?

 

Read this testimonial…

 

But then, READ WHO IT’S FROM:

 

* * * * * * *

"Brian Grasso is a voice of reason and beacon of hope for anyone
who wants kids to develop fitness patterns for life"

Tom Farrey, ESPN

* * * * * * *

 

ESPN, my friend.

 

Getting the picture yet?

 

When is the last time you heard a youth fitness certification company
being endorsed by a major sporting media entity?

 

And only one year after being profiled in Newsweek?

 

Be sure to check your email in-box this week…

 

YOUR Revolution is about to start…

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian