Archive for “Sports Conditioning” Tag

Youth Sports Conditioning Goal Confusion – Part 2

 

 

Youth Sports Conditioning Principles

Soccer is no different than any other sport at the youth level – and I am not
inferring that anyone suggested otherwise – but every youth coach of every
sport, seems to think that the technical nuances of their sport are some how
more intricate or specialized than the skills of other sports… and that is not
the case.

 

And you can replace ‘Soccer’ with ‘Baseball’, ‘Basketball’ or any other sport
in the above paragraph.

 

The point of the Goal Confusion article can be summed up in one sentence –

 

Coaches and Trainers must learn how and when to apply certain teaching
techniques and when to let kids ‘learn’ things for themselves – and that is
especially true when we design drills in which we tell our players that the
success of a drill is based on the outcome rather than the form.

 

If you have been a subscriber for any length of time, you know exactly how
I feel about teaching skill – it is imperative and an ability that frankly, many
Coaches and Trainers lack (when in consideration of pedagogical science
and individual player temperament).

 

Having said that, by not letting young kids simply ‘have at it’ on their own
once in a while or at certain phases of development, we risk limiting free
nervous system adaptability at large – and this has been a prevalent problem
in North American sports for years.

 

We over-teach our youngsters and do not allow them free exploration
(which is at the crux of sport development) but then marvel at how much
more ‘naturally skilled’ international athletes often tend to be.

 

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Youth Sports Conditioning: Juan Carlos Santana Speaks…

 

Youth Sports Conditioning

Juan Carlos is the director and CEO of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton Florida. His training methodologies have been successfully applied to the full spectrum of the population; youth, geriatrics, rehabilitation and elite athletes. He has authored numerous articles, books and videos, on various topics involving optimum physical performance.

We wanted to hear from him and his thoughts on youth sports conditioning

 

IYCA: What’s your background in youth sports conditioning and athletics? Have you trained a lot of young athletes?

 

JC: I’ve been a competitive athlete for over 3 decades. I started with little league when I was 7 and I’ll compete in the USA Judo Nationals (Masters Division) at 43. I competed in all of the major combative sports -from boxing to judo.

 

We at the Institute of Human Performance train hundreds of young athletes ranging from middle school to college every very. We also train some of the top pros.

 

IYCA: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were ‘little adults’. What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?

 

JC: I have had to save more kids from overzealous coaches and parents than anything else. Coaches and parents often want to live vicariously through their children, pushing them into sports and intensity levels they don’t want or not ready for -that is ALWAYS sad and disastrous.

 

Kids learn by discovery – this means things have to be fun and not so organized. The intensity and volume a young body can take is certainly different than what a mature body can take. Therefore, we develop a love for movement and the sport -the "athlete" naturally follows that development. Parent and coaches often want to develop great players and a love for winning and forget about athleticism and the love for training. That is like putting the horse before the carriage.

 

IYCA: The age old debate is ‘How old should an athlete be before they begin lifting weights’. What’s your view on that controversial topic?

 

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Youth Sports Conditioning Tip of the Week

Ever thought about “sub-specializing”?

Youth Sports Conditioning Niche

That’s when you narrow down your scope from being a ‘specialist’ in one specific demographic to a ‘specialist’ in one specific portion of that demographic.

 

Rather than being a specialist in Youth Fitness or Youth Sports Conditioning Training, you become a specialist in Youth Soccer Conditioning, for example.

 

At first, it may seem scary to isolate yourself this far down into a market niche, but I assure you that the pay-off can actually be tremendous.

 

I started thinking about this last night.

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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,