I just can’t shake the awful feeling. In a mixture of emotions that included gratitude, despair, frustration, and anger, I recently watched my oldest child, my six year old daughter Brynnan, play tee ball. I have been involved with young athletes for quite a long time, and have worked with developed athletes even longer. However, this year marks my first foray as a parent to a young athlete playing organized sports. And wow, what an experience.
by Toby J. Brooks, PhD, ATC, CSCS, YCS-2, PES
Director of Research & Education – IYCA
Owner – www.nitrohype.com
I am in the midst of a huge move. My family and I are in the process of boxing up everything in our modest home, loading up a truck, and moving over 1000 miles west to Lubbock, Texas. I am excited by the possibilities and opportunities that await us there, but the whole process got me to thinking…
And when I get to thinking, like my wife says, watch out.
I am an expert packer. Eleven moves, six of them 400 miles or more, in 12 years will do that to you. I am also pretty tight fisted with money. That means I’d rather pay less for the smaller U-Haul. Not only is it cheaper, it gets better gas mileage- both of which save me cash.
I am known across my family as a master of using every square inch of rental truck space to cram all our stuff in the smallest cargo area possible. The secret to my technique is simple. Priorities.
I figure out where to put the big stuff first. Couch? Big. Table and chairs? Big. Refrigerator? Big. If you get that stuff loaded and secured, then you take the small boxes and fill in the space left all the way to the roof. Not only does everything fit, it is tight and won’t shift during transit. That makes for a better effort all the way around.
“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do.” -Don Galer
It is a difficult time for anyone, particularly entrepreneurial newcomers, to be in business given the corporate climate in our nation and our world. With one time “blue chip,” can’t miss stocks selling for pennies on the dollar, 401k’s evaporating before our very eyes, and staggering job losses the world over, it is tempting to consider means by which to trim excesses and help the bottom line.
“It takes God a hundred years to make an oak, but it only takes Him two months to make a squash.” –President James Garfield
In our results-now, win at all costs, sports-crazed society, many athletes, coaches, parents, and professionals seem to have lost sight of the goal of sport and physical activity for growing young athletes. What is currently widely marketed as “athletic development” by individuals across the country is, in many instances, quick-fix training designed to show immediate results. While results are great, young athletes and their parents and coaches must be certain that such short-term improvements don’t compromise long term outcomes. The following represents an incomplete list of potential warning signs that may indicate that programming may be too short sighted in nature to be optimally effective.
1. Heavy emphasis on measureable assessments to demonstrate progress. Developing children will usually improve no matter what type of stimulus is introduced; the key is finding the optimal training approach. Testing eight year olds in the 40 yard dash or in the vertical leap may be acceptable, but developing an entire training program around such testing is laughable. Competent professionals are more interested in mechanics and the acquisition of steadily improving motor patterns rather than showing stunning improvements in “measurable” early on.
2. Short-term programming. Six and eight week programs are popular and certainly have their place in contemporary athletic development facilities; however, the main utility of such programs should be to introduce athletes, parents, and coaches to the long-term athlete development model. Beware any facility that does not offer long-term training plans, as it is impossible to effectively develop a young athlete with such a myopic approach.