Archive for “Spatial Awareness” Tag

Coaching Young Athletes : Use Feedback as Proprioception

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Brain Food for Coaching Young Athletes.

  by Phil Hueston, NASM-PES; IYCA-YFS

 

Your feedback and communication is brain food when it comes to coaching young athletes.

To develop correctly and effectively, young athlete’s brains need a steady flow of quality nutrients and stimuli. Neural development and conditioning is a process that never really ceases, at least not until brain function does. Since none of us train zombies, let’s focus on how we affect brain development, especially synaptic development, through communication, feedback and the impact of both on proprioception with our living clients.

 

While synaptic structural growth is activity-independent, that is it’s spontaneous, part of the normal physical development of the neuro-muscular system, synaptic performance and modification, delivery efficiency and transient synapse termination require neural activity. By extension, then, all synaptic impulses are affected by previous proprioception. Spatial and kinesthetic differentiation, spatial awareness, force development, stabilization, deceleration and force application are all impacted by the billions of proprioceptive signals processed by synapses.

 

It’s reasonable to state, then, that the development and performance of synapses is affected by the quality (and quantity) of feedback and communication received by the sensory organs. Emotional response to sensory organ proprioception creates new “sub-signals” if you will, that affect the processing of and response to proprioceptive input. That’s because part of the neural response to stimulus is conditioned (more…)

Young Athletes & Coordination – Part 3

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Young Athletes & Coordination Series

Here is the third and final portion of ‘Young Athletes & Coordination’:

 

(3) Teenage Athletes Are ‘Too Old’

 

Now, while there is truth to the matter that many of the sensitive periods for coordination development lay during the preadolescent phase of life, it would be shortsighted to suggest that teenage athletes should not be exposed to this type of training.

 

Firstly, much of the training of coordination takes the form of injury preventative.  Any sort of ‘balance’ exercise, for example, requires proprioceptive conditioning and increases in stabilizer recruitment.  With ‘synchronization of movement’, large ROM and mobility work is necessary.  ‘Kinesthetic differentiation’, by definition, involves sub-maximal efforts or ‘fine-touch’ capacity which is a drastically different stimulus than most young athletes are used to in training settings.

 

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Young Athletes & Coordination – Part 1

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Young Athletes Coordination Series

In this 3-part article, I will discuss the role and significance of ‘Coordination Training’ as it relates to both preadolescent and high school athletes:

 

The myths and falsehoods associated with young athletes Coordination Training are plenty.  I’ll outline the ‘Top 3’ here:

 

  1. Coordination is a singular element that is defined by a universal ability or lack of ability
  2. Coordination cannot be trained nor taught
  3. Coordination-based stimulus should be restricted to preadolescent children

 

This article will provide a broad-based look at each of those myths and shed some light on the realities behind coordination training as a continuum for the complete development of young athletes aged 6 – 18.

 

Part 1: Coordination & Young Athletes

 

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Coordination and Movement Skill Development For Young Athletes: The Key to Long Term Athletic Success

 

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Young Athletes Long Term Athletic Success

The key ingredient to working with pre-adolescent and early adolescent young athletes is providing global stimulation from a movement perspective. Younger athletes must experience and eventually perfect a variety of motor skills in order to ensure both future athletic success and injury prevention. Developing basic coordination through movement stimulus is a must, with the eventual goal of developing sport-specific coordination in the teenage years. Coordination itself, however, is a global system made up of several synergistic elements and not necessarily a singularly defined ability.

 

Balance, rhythm, spatial orientation and the ability to react to both auditory and visual stimulus have all been identified as elements of coordination. In fact, the development of good coordination is a multi-tiered sequence that progresses from skills performed with good spatial awareness but without speed to skills performed at increased speeds and in a constantly changing environment. As Joseph Drabik points out, Young Athletes coordination is best developed between the ages of 7 – 14, with the most crucial period being between 10 – 13 years of age.

 

As with anything else, an important issue with respect to coordination development is to provide stimulus that is specific (and therefore appropriate) for the individual. Prescribing drills that are either too easy or too difficult for the young athletes will have a less than optimal result.

 

An interesting note, as I have suggested in past articles, is that there appears to be a cap with respect to coordination development and ability. Younger athletes who learn to master the elements associated with good coordination (balance, rhythm, spatial awareness, reaction etc), are far better off then athletes who are not exposed to this kind of exercise stimulation until advanced ages. The ability to optimally develop coordination ends at around the age of 16. This validates the claim that global, early exposure is the key from an athletic development standpoint. Again, global coordination will serve as the basis to develop specific coordination in the teenage years.

 

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Complete Athlete Development: No More Guessing

No more guessing.

 

Proven strategies that work every time.

 

Complete Athlete Development:

That’s what you get when you follow what is in the DVD

An all-inclusive training system for working with

young athletes ages 6 – 18.

 

And yes. It’s been internationally field-tested and

proven to work.

 

Over 15,000 young athletes worldwide have been exposed

to my training system. And I may a lot of mistakes

with them along the way.

 

That’s kind of like the built-in guarantee of Complete

Athlete Development.

 

I’ve made mistakes and am certainly never afraid to

say I was wrong.

 

I used to work endlessly on linear speed technique.

 

Teach my young athletes who to accelerate forward,

drive their arms and get full hip extension with every

stride.

 

Then I realized I was wrong.

 

It’s not about linear speed. It’s about angles and

deceleration.

 

That’s why I created my Principles of Movement.

 

They teach young athletes how to accelerate and decelerate

through a progressive sequence –

 

1) Repeat Statically

2) Repeat Dynamically

3) Repeat Randomly

4) Predictable Specificity

5) Random Specificity

6) Individualization

 

 

I also used to think that working with pre-adolescents

was nothing more than playing some random games.

 

Tag

 

Sharks and Minnows

 

Capture the Flag

 

 

Then I realized that these games had to be cloaked in

certain aspects of coordination.

 

That without these coordination efforts, young athletes

would be grossly deficient in certain areas of athletic

ability by the time they reached the teenage years.

 

Some of the coordination facets include –

 

1) Kinesthetic Differentiation

2) Balance

3) Rhythm

4) Spatial Awareness

5) Movement Adequacy

 

 

Ever since I adopted all these ideas and put them into

practical use, I have seen the injury rates of my young

athletes drop considerably while their overall performance

increase dramatically.

 

Have a look at what other Coaches worldwide have to

say about my Complete Athlete Development system –

 

www.DevelopingAthletics.com/cad-short-copy

 

This training system has changed the philosophies,

training styles and lives of countless Coaches worldwide.

 

And all because I was in the trenches making mistakes.

 

Until I found the secret to it all…

 

www.DevelopingAthletics.com/cad-short-copy

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian

Drills for Young Athletes

Drills.

 

Drills for young athletes.

 

How do you create them?

 

Now that’s a question I get asked virtually everyday.

 

Here are three great ones to use with your young
athletes – especially if you work with kids between the
ages of 6 – 12.

 

 

(1) Line Jumps

 

Have your athlete(s) stand directly in front of a line
either painted or taped on the ground.

 

They should be only a few feet away from the line.

 

On your cue, they will jump and try to land with their
toes as close to the line as possible without actually
touching it.

 

The purpose of this drill is not ‘maximum power’ but
rather a fine touch or precise execution of power.

 

Have them walk back to the starting point and repeat.

 

Purpose –

 

:: Kinesthetic Differentiation (coordination)

:: Bodily Control

:: Jump/Land Technique

 

 

(2) Red/Green/Yellow Light

 

With this drill, you can use any action you want such
as lunge walking, hopping, 1-leg jumping or crawling.

 

Have your young athletes move (using one of the actions
listed above) in a straight line across a gym, floor or
field.

 

When you call out ‘Red Light’, they must stop and hold
in place exactly where they are.

 

‘Green Light’ requires them to resume at normal speed.

 

‘Yellow Light’ is a command that asks them to continue
the action, but at a slow pace – as slow as possible
in fact.

 

Purpose –

 

:: Movement Adequacy (coordination)

:: Systemic Strength

:: Reaction (coordination)

 

 

(3) Monkey Tag

 

There are several variations of tag that are absolutely
wonderful for young athletes…. and this is one of them!

 

Have your young athletes start in a ‘catchers’ position
with their hands also on the floor/ground.

 

When they move to avoid being ‘tagged’ they must do
so by crawling/jumping like a monkey.

 

Purpose –

 

:: Hip Flexibility & Strength

:: Spatial Awareness (coordination)

:: Reaction (coordination)

 

 

Three great drills based entirely on fun and what
young athletes in the 6 – 12 year old range need in
terms of athletic development.

 

And here’s the thing…..

 

Within the Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist certification,
we show you exactly what those drills look like as well
as many others.

 

In fact, we have our entire audience playing and
participating in tons of drills so that they could get
a feel for them and you could see what they looked like.

 

"How do you create drills for young athletes, Brian?"

 

Easy…..

 

You become certified through the IYCA.

 

Become certified now and get started on a brand new
career that is guaranteed to be both rewarding and
lucrative.

 

Here’s an exclusive link to a deal I’ve put together
for you –

 

http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1

 

And this is a perfect time for you.

 

All IYCA Members are invited to the Ryan Lee Boot Camp
in two weeks to enjoy a live IYCA Young Athletes Seminar hosted by
myself and Pat Rigsby for absolutely no charge.

 

Here’s that link again –

 


http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1

 

I hope to see you soon!

 

Brian