Archive for “Solid Foundation” Tag

One Shell At A Time

 

Coaching Young Athletes: One Shell At A Time

 

young athletes

 

By Dave Gleason

 

When we are educating prospective parent members about the value of long term athletic development we often use very poignant and effective analogies. This is paramount in guiding parents to a better understanding and, at times, a paradigm shift as to the optimal way to train their child(ren).

 

Once more, it is imperative that our parents as well as our athletes comprehend the inherent risk of early specialization in sport… and the 6 week “bigger, stronger, faster” quick fix.

 

A common analogy that has proved advantageous to these efforts is that of our educational system.

 

We can quickly draw a parallel between the progressive and cumulative effect of our school systems while explaining that learning physical skill sets is no different. We speak to building a solid foundation before specializing in any one subject. We offer the example of not excluding other subject matter because a child has an affinity or increased aptitude in one particular subject.

 

“If Trevor was brilliant in the subject of math in 1st grade we certainly would not skip to 7th grade algebra”.

 

As coaches we need to take heed as to how we observe our young athletes from a standpoint of skill acquisition and movement economy. More importantly we must pay close attention to each athletes well being from a humanistic perspective.

 

I offer this analogy to think about how you may become a better coach and mentor to the young athletes in your program.

 

One shell at a time.

 

When walking the beaches of the south shore in Massachusetts I have often collected sea shells. Far too easy to pick up the shell that catches my eye because of its outstanding shape, size or varied colors. The thousands of shells I have walked passed without a second thought.

 

Half buried.

 

Pale in color compared to the shells.

 

Jagged and unpleasing to look at.

 

How many shells were bypassed that were in fact the most unique and wonderful shells on the beach?

 

What have I missed as an observer and collector of shells?

 

What have we missed as coaches?

 

What kids have we looked past to see the athlete who is the “better” athlete?

 

What child needed to be picked up so we could see the true value of them?

 

As Athletic Revolution franchisees we are all on a greater mission to change the way young athletes are coached.

 

This is why we will continue to set ourselves apart from from others in our industry. THIS is why will we change lives…one athlete at a time.

 

Keep up the great work!

 

 

Youth Conditioning Programs Tip of the Week

 

 

Youth Conditioning Programs

Why hold on to the ‘norm’?

 

What’s the point of doing what everyone else always has?

 

Case in point.

 

I’ve worked with literally dozens of different high schools
over the past several years and almost always have been
asked to ‘add’ to there already existing programs rather
than re-create a system that I know will work better.

 

It takes time, but eventually the Coaching staff come to
learn that my style of athletic development works better
than what they currently have and turn the reigns
completely over to me.

 

And when that happens, do you know what my first step
is in changing the face of their youth conditioning programs and methods?

 

I separate the freshmen from everyone else.

 

High school represents a perfect developmental model.

 

4-years of having the same athletes – guaranteed.

 

So rather than making the young 14 year olds perform the
same lifts as the 18 year old seniors (and with the same
zeal of heavy loads) I remove them from the equation and
train them as a separate group.

 

We work on things like summation of forces, lift technique
and speed/agility basics.

 

This gives them a solid foundation on which to grow and
ensures they don’t get caught up in the ‘how much can you
lift’ world of high school athletics.

 

By the time they are sophomores, they are much better
equipped to handle loads and perform lifts with more
accuracy and precision.

 

Now this methodology flies in the face of what most high
school athletic programs do.

 

But trust me when I say that it’s a much superior system.

 

Don’t be afraid to go against the ‘norm’ with Youth Conditioning Programs.

 

Carlos Alvarez, looked at as the best high school
strength coach in the entire United States, will be discussing
topics just like this one next month at our International Summit.

 

MORE than worth taking a look at –

 

http://www.iyca.org/2009summit

 

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Brian

 

 

 

Youth Sports Conditioning

 

Youth Sports Conditioning Coaching Mistakes

Proper and developmentally-sound adjunct training in the form of speed, agility, strength, power and mobility work is the silver bullet in terms of building champions in any sport.

 

Done correctly, the collective gains of such training will serve to soundly support your mission as a sports coach to produce elite level competitors.

 

Done incorrectly, as is unfortunately often the case and your young athletes are destined for a life of injuries, missed opportunities and burnout.

 

That being said let me be blunt with my opening words of wisdom to you –

 

Leave what you currently know at the door and decide to open your heart to a new, fresh and much more effective method of training young athletes.

 

My job here is not to prove you wrong or cause you strive, but instead make your diligent and tireless work as a sports coach decidedly easier.

 

After 13 years of working as an Athletic Development Specialist throughout the world, I am now considered one of the foremost experts on this topic.

 

That is not meant to sound egocentric or in any way cocky.

 

Merely a statement to reflect that you can trust what it is I have to say.

 

I have personally worked with more than 10,000 young athletes worldwide and simply stated; I know what works and what doesn’t for youth sports conditioning

 

My advice will be sometimes poignant, often counter-conventional, but always direct.

 

With my first blog entry, I have decided to provide you with a series of metaphors that describe what proper youth athletic development should look like.

 

This will set the stage and provide a solid foundation on which to explain my proven methods for developing optimal speed, agility, strength, power and mobility.

 

As with anything, the degree to which you can successfully build upwards is solely determined by the strength, depth and solidification of your foundation…

 

Which leads me to my first metaphor…

 

Don’t Rush Grade 2

 

The school year has been created based on an understanding that the curriculum needing to be presented to students will take ‘x’ amount of time to teach properly.

 

If you were to take all the lessons and education contained in a standard Grade 2 school year and condense it down to 6-weeks worth of schooling, you would find that students did not understand, comprehend or retain virtually any of the material.

 

They would be overwhelmed and simply unable to ascend to higher levels of education successfully without this base building block of knowledge.

 

You Can’t Study Just Mathematics

 

Even if an 8-year-old child excelled and loved everything about math, you wouldn’t restrict them from learning the material offered in other subjects.

 

Removing basic curriculum such as Language, Science and Music would severely handicap that student from a developmental learning perspective.

 

General knowledge is a critically important element for children to be exposed to and learn at a young age. It sets the foundation for thinking process, problem solving and even study habits.

 

More over, to eventually specialize and excel in one particular area of study, a broad and far reaching understanding of all academic subjects is necessary.

 

When solving an involved mathematical equation for instance, the truly successful will pull from all their past experiences and resources in order to determine the appropriate answer.

 

‘Pigeonholing’ or relying on one specific area of expertise in youth sports conditioning is a practice that seldom proves successful

 

School is Progressive for a Reason

 

A student couldn’t understand advanced literature unless they were taught to read.

 

They couldn’t solve difficult mathematic problems with a basic foundation of knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.

 

A Master’s Degree in Science couldn’t be obtained without first being exposed to the basic elements of biology, physics and chemistry taught in high school.

 

Elementary through High School is a progressive building block of knowledge gaining that allows an individual to eventually specify and excel in a single area of study.

 

Miss any of the steps leading up to that climax however, and your success rate will plummet.

 

In my next blog post, I will outline what all of this means to you from a sporting perspective.

 

In support of your youth sports conditioning mission,