Archive for “Screw” Tag

What Is The Best Youth Speed Training Drill

 

Youth Speed Training

By CJ Easter
 

One of the #1 questions that I get from coaches is “What is your favorite youth speed training drill?”
 

And I always give the answer that everyone hates, “It depends.”
 

But this is not a cop out because it really does depend. Speed is a total body, coordinated skill. So the “best drill” depends on what exact skill that we are trying to develop and the skill level of our athletes to properly perform that drill.
 

“That drill looks cool” should not be the deciding factor when putting together your training session. The deciding factor should be what is the simplest, most time-efficient drill to work on the desired concept.
 

One of my favorite coaching quotes is “Coach the kids, not the drills.”
 

Does it matter what the drill is if all the kids are doing it wrong and not developing the desired skill…
 

OR if we cannot demonstrate or coach this drill properly, so we have 50 kids moving “just like coach showed me” (which isn’t always pretty)?
 

When I first started coaching, I made those exact mistakes. I tried to take all the drills that I learned at Stanford and use them on my younger athletes. The classic “this is what I did, so you should do it too” coach.
 

My athletes not only weren’t developing the movement patterns that I wanted, but they were also losing confidence because they didn’t look and feel coordinated.
 

That’s when I made a huge realization…
 

College and professional coaches are probably the worst sources for youth and high school coaches to get drills from because they work with superior athletes.
 

Athletes don’t make it to that level without a certain level of coordination, so at the highest levels, the job description is mostly “don’t screw the guy up”. Our job as high school and youth coaches is to completely develop or restructure a coordination. I am not assigning value to either job, but they are definitely much different tasks.
 

So the “best youth speed training drill” is the drill that is done correctly to develop the skill that you want to address.

 

Here is a general template on exactly how I coach concepts and skills regardless of the youth speed training drill:

 

1. Introduce the skill/concept and the drill:
“This drill is called X. We are doing this to improve concept/skill X.”
 

This helps build a mental bridge for your athletes. They might not always like the drill, but at least they know and understand how it’s going to make them a better player.
 

2. Demonstrate the drill and explain key coaching points as you are demonstrating.
 

In the social media era, the majority of our kids are visual learners, so proper demonstration is necessary. Explaining the coaching points as you go also addresses auditory learners.
 

3. Demonstrate what you DON’T want to see and address common errors.
 

This aligns with John Wooden’s coaching style of “Do this, not this, do this.”
 

4. Demonstrate it correctly one more time, reinforcing the correct movement pattern.
 

5. Have your kids do a walk-through rep or if it’s an extended drill, do a mental walk-through. This addresses kinesthetic learners.
 

This process will take more time than just setting up the cones and saying “do this drill”, but you will definitely see improvement in the quality of your youth speed training drills and the development of the desired skills.
 

 

Kids Fitness: Why they Shouldn’t Lock Out Their Joints

 

 

Kids Fitness Physiology

by Dr. Kwame M. Brown

 

This article will by no means be an exhaustive discussion of the evidence, but I look forward to elaborating as we get responses. 

 

Installment #476 in things I keep hearing people say:

 

“You should lock out the joints at the end of a (bench press, squat, etc)”.  The joints need stress to get stronger.” 

 

By this logic I should do the following:

 

1. Beat my head against a wall to protect myself from brain injuries (After all I am putting my cranium under much needed stress, right?

 

2. Yell at kids all the time and berate them to improve their self esteem

 

I think we can agree that just because something needs to get stronger, this doesn’t mean that all stress on that thing is good! 

 

I could just simply say that this is wrong, but it’s better for all concerned (especially kids) if we address the real problem.  The real problem is a combination of a lack of understanding of how joints work combined with a pretty loose application of terminology. 

 

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Every single day of every single week, I receive emails from all over the world.

And it’s the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.

I mean, I was raised in Toronto, Canada by a little redheaded Irish Mom with a big temper (who I love dearly) and a crusty Italian Dad with the best "don’t screw with me" stare you have ever seen (who I rank as one of the greatest human beings on the planet).

I had two older brothers who took turns beating me up, and a dog named Tiger (named affectionately after me – my nickname when I was very young was Tiger apparently due to some kind of rambunctious energy I possessed… a fact I summarily deny by the way).

My point is that I was raised by common folks and in a common way.

I never had any sort of inkling when I was young, that I would grow up to become someone that every single parent, coach and trainer in the youth sports world would know and come to trust.

But that is exactly what has happened.

And my "inbox" counter is proof of that fact.

Every single morning, there are no fewer than 50 – 200 emails waiting for me.

50 – 200 emails multiplied by 365 days…

… You do the math!

More often than not, the emails are a simple message of ‘thanks’ from grateful Moms, Dads, coaches and trainers, all of whom want to send their regards for the information I offered them in my last week’s newsletter.

Other times, the emails are long and excited rambles from folks who just purchased one of our training products and are beside themselves at how much they learned about how to make their young athletes faster, stronger or better overall athletes.

In both cases, I get tickled pink!

I say all that because my strongest desire is to see that all young athletes are trained and cared for in the best way possible – so that they can both maximize their performance and remain safe and healthy in the process.

And that’s why I sit at my computer every morning and blush.

Because so many people, all over the world, decide to take the time to tell me exactly what my information has meant to them.

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It meant the world to me.

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