Training Young Athletes goes a lot deeper than you might think.
I had an exceptional time this past weekend.
I got a chance to hang out with one of the best and most unique
minds in our industry – Paul Taylor.
Paul owns and operates ‘PT Academy’ in Australia – which is the
largest and most well-known certification organization in that
part of the world.
What makes Paul so unique and ‘visionary-like’ is his
understanding of human behavior, cognitive function and its
connection to both fitness and sport training.
Now I don’t mean your standard run-of-the-mill sport psychology,
Paul’s understanding of mental/emotional science and the way
stressors, stimulus and regressive beliefs actually serve to
shape our ‘who we are now’ realities is absolutely astounding.
And as always, I was listening intently and learning everything
I could during our conversation.
I was also incredibly happy to see that so many of my thoughts
pertaining to youth fitness and sports training were valid
from a scientific level.
Here’s a recap of what I learned from Paul –
:: The key toTraining Young Athletes is to connect fitness with fun.
This develops a positive correlation in the brain at the
neuro-transmitter level and leads to a favorable and habitual
pattern for years.
:: Over-training is a great sin. Stress at large punishes the
delicate balance of the endocrine system and can lead to
extremely problematic health-related issues. Infusing fun and
following a ‘teaching model’ of athletic development is the
best and most effective way of working with young athletes.
:: The Pygmalion Effect truly is a critical factor in working
with youngsters. Placing positive and constructive expectations
on kids is essential for optimal development.
:: Language is absolutely critical – calling kids ‘fat’, sending
them to ‘Fat Camp’ or always telling them that ‘they should
be faster’ are surefire ways of establishing that exact
slant in their minds. Essentially, the stigma you place on
them is what they will begin to believe about themselves and
eventually create habits around fulfilling (i.e. they will
become exactly that).
:: Although teaching and training young athletes to ‘think positively’ is
key, you must also teach them to create habits around those
positive thoughts. Thoughts don’t change things – habits do.
Positive thought processes must lead to or be accompanied by
positive habitual patterns. When combined, the road to change
All in all, absolutely fascinating stuff!
Very much like my stance on the Art of Coaching…
Training is the SCIENCE.
But Coaching is the ART.
To be truly effective in what we do, we must understand how
the mental and emotional science of our work connects with the
‘Till next time,