Archive for “Teammates” Tag

Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part 3

 

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Kids Coaching Triumphs

Justin was overweight, shy, awkward and without a shred of athletic
ability.

 

But he had a ton of passion.

 

Loved baseball.

 

And I mean loved everything about the game.

 

You could see the delight in his eyes and practically feel the joy
in his smile when he slid his glove on, picked up a Louisville
Slugger or laced up his cleats.

 

This was the kind of kid you flat out just enjoyed being around.

 

Not because he brought a tremendous amount of vocal energy to
the field, but because of the way he walked around a baseball
diamond in a trance-like, dream state that conveyed absolute bliss.

 

And what he taught me about coaching was, and is to this day,
one of the most important lessons I have ever had the pleasure
of learning.

 

Justin went from the shy kid who didn’t really have any friends on
his team, to a hero.

 

And he did it all by himself…

 

I won’t belabor this story or add too much in the way of detail.

 

I’ll just get straight to the point by saying this –

 

 

Every Child Has Currency

 

 

They’re all important.

 

They all have hopes, dreams and ambitions.

 

And most importantly…

 

They’re all good at something.

 

Part of the Art of Coaching is knowing how to create enough
of a wide-spectrum training system that allows each and everyone
of your young athletes to be "the best" on a particular day.

 

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Kids Coaching: Memories – Part 2

 

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Kids Coaching is so Rewarding

Robert was a born leader.

 

Not the most gifted athlete in the world.

 

Not the strongest kid in the weight room.

 

And certainly not the fastest guy on the field.

 

But he was captain of the #2 ranked high school football team
in Illinois and a three year varsity starter for one reason….

 

He elevated the work ethic of his teammates.

 

And he did so without words.

 

Robert just flat-out worked hard.

 

Every play.

 

Every down.

 

Every moment in practice and games.

 

And when you’re around a guy like that, it’s hard not to look in the
mirror and want to work harder yourself.

 

I’ll go on record as saying that the two consecutive trips we made as
a team to the state quarterfinals were due in large part to Robert.

 

Four starting offensive players went on to Division One football
scholarships after there senior seasons.

 

Five more from the defensive side of the ball.

 

Truly, this team was talent personified.

 

But Robert, the undersized and under skilled offensive lineman was
the real cog and catalyst.

 

Now, you may be assuming that what I learned from him was something
to do within the realm of "leadership" or "work ethic".

 

But that’s not what Robert taught me.

 

What he did offer as a valuable lesson however, was the power of
knowing what NOT to say.

 

Team Captain.

 

Undeniable Leader.

 

"The Man" in the locker room and on the field.

 

And barely a word ever came out of him.

 

It’s the pat on the back he would give his running back for making a
great cut and springing a 40 yard run.

 

The look he would give another offensive lineman if he didn’t feel as
though their block was as aggressive or complete as it could have been
on the last play.

 

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The Speed Training Secret

Speed Training Coaching

I received this great question from a reader earlier this week:

 

"Hi Brian. When training young athletes 8 – 12, what are the most important concepts of speed and acceleration to teach or stress?"

 

The answer, my friends, is none of them…

 

… Well not really, anyways.

 

If I were to look solely at speed training and acceleration development with pre-adolescent athletes, my suggestion would be strength. Strength is an often forgotten variable in the speed and power equation and quite a critical component to the matrix of developing young athletes.

 

But the actual answer is deceleration skills.

 

To decelerate well means that you are in a position to re-accelerate effectively.

 

It means that you are likely one of the ‘fastest’ kids on the field (remember – it’s not who runs the fastest… it’s who can change direction quickest and with the most ease).

 

It means that you are likely injury-free (a combination of strength and quality mechanical understanding are the two greatest factors I have seen in terms of reducing the likelihood of knee and ankle injuries).

 

Now when teaching proper deceleration skills, it is critical that you move from Closed to Open Habits.

 

Closed Habits – skills being executed in a static environment.

 

Open Habits – skills that are adaptable to varying conditions and situations.

 

Closed Habits remove the external concerns of adjunct movement, opponents, teammates, speed and objects like a ball or puck.

 

In essence, Closed Habit skills are taught in the beginning stages of learning a given movement or series of movements.

 

For example, with my ‘Principles of Movement’ chapter and DVD in Complete Athlete Development (www.CompleteAthleteDevelopment.com) I show how to teach both linear and lateral deceleration skills starting with repeating the motion from a static environment.

 

Eventually, you move into more advanced variations of learning and mastering these skills, such as repeating them in harmony with a random cueing from a coach or trainer.

 

At this level, the skills are known as Open Habits.

 

It is the progression of learning quality deceleration skills that make young athletes truly ‘fast’, ‘quick’ and ‘agile’.

 

Not the answer you were looking for on speed training, perhaps