Archive for “Training And Conditioning” Tag

Sport Specific Youth Training: Part 1

Insert/edit linkYouth Training

For Sports

As a given sport evolves and the participants within that sport begin to break records and perform what was once considered impossible, you can be sure that advancements in training and conditioning regimes have occurred within that sport. Very few athletes ever become great sport technicians without the inclusion of a comprehensive athletic development and conditioning program as part of their training package. Over the past decade, the type of training and conditioning performed by young, developing and elite athletes has gone from basic fitness to more functionally- based and developmental activities. Figure skating and all of the disciplines under that umbrella are such examples.

 

Youth Training

 

For example, many training coaches prescribe that their skaters practice landing jumps and performing balance based skills (such as spirals) off the ice. On the other side of the spectrum, there are the ‘athletic developers’ who tend not to concern themselves with producing specified strength gains but instead work more directly at improving the complete athletic profile of the skater. The general conception among these professionals is that the greater degree of athleticism the skater has, the more likely he or she will be able to carry out athletic skills. While traditionalists often incorporate basic and conventional exercises into their training programs, the athletic developers come from a more movement based perspective. This style of conditioning is often referred to as ‘functional’ training, which is in fact a misnomer. Let’s examine that.

 

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You’re Destroying Young Athletes

Young Athletes Programming

One of my favorite things to do is chat with the ‘big name’ trainers in our industry about programming, speed training, strength development or flexibility for young athletes.

 

Sometimes, in the middle of a casual conversation about nothing at all related to conditioning, I will switch gears in an instant and turn the discussion to something related to training.

 

And that’s just what I did with superstar trainer, Alwyn Cosgrove this past weekend.

 

Alwyn and I are good friends, so it’s not really unusual for us to be chatting about sports or family late in the afternoon on Saturday.

 

“Ya, baseball doesn’t really do it for me – after all, I’m  Scottish!” Alwyn was telling me.

 

“Uh huh” I replied, not really listening… I was planning my big move.

 

“It’s kinda like Cricket I guess, except for a smaller field, smaller bat, different throwing motion, different scoring system… actually, it’s not really like Cricket at all is it?” Alwyn continued on.

 

“I guess not,” I countered… about ready to evoke my patented conversation-switching technique.

 

“Ya, and besides, Cricket games can go on for like 4,000 years or something like that.  Rugby, now there’s a game. I remember…” Alwyn stopped mid-sentence – I had finally sprung into action.

 

“What’s the biggest mistake trainers are making with young athletes in this industry, Al?” I finally asked.

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The ‘X Factors’ to Training Young Athletes

 

 

Training young athletes and kids is so much more than just the
‘x’ and ‘o’ factors.

 

Of course a strong base of knowledge in pediatric exercise
science, motor skill development and program design is critical for
you to truly create effective training and conditioning
agendas for this specific demographic.

 

But here’s something that may surprise you…

 

I find that coaches and trainers who have big personalities and
charismatic styles are often far better with kids than professionals
who really ‘know their science’.

 

That is not to knock education.

 

The IYCA has a very involved and complex 4-tiered educational
process that has been created to be a virtual vault of scientific
information for coaches and trainers to learn.

 

But a great deal of our material also focuses on teaching you
how to effectively communicate with your young clients and
understand their specific learning styles.

 

Here’s a simple metaphor that will help you truly grasp the
importance of this intangible factor –

 

 

It’s not always what you want to say that matters…

 

… It’s what they want to hear.

 

 

That doesn’t mean you need to placate to your athletes or not
say what it is you need to or want to say.

 

But you have to relay your message in a way that it will be
received.

 

This is the number one concern I see in youth sports, youth
fitness and even school.

 

We expect all children and teens to learn the same way and be
open to our messages irrespective of how they are offered.

 

13 years of working with this demographic has taught me that this
is just not the case.

 

Creating effective programs is the science…

 

But implementing them effectively is the art.

 

And the IYCA wants you to understand that your role as a coach
or trainer working with this demographic is not to be a
scientist, but an artist.

 

Understand the science.

 

Use it to create successful and developmentally-sound training young athletes
programs.

 

But BE an artists.

 

Learn how to implement these successful and developmentally-
sound training programs so that they are optimally received by
your audience.

 

Our coaching template found in the ‘Level 1 – Youth Fitness
Specialist’ certification offers a very detailed look at how to
understand your individual athletes motivation and learning
styles.

 

And while there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all
approach’ to coaching, there is one specific ingredient that
you can bank on as a surefire way to make sure all your athletes
are interested in what you have to say…

 

 

ENERGY

 

 

Do you bring energy to each and every training session?

 

Are you thrilled to see your young clients – and can they tell?

 

Do you coach with an enthusiastic nature that is contagious?

 

These are the questions you must ask yourself when you are training young athletes.

 

Coaching, learning and communication variances per athlete are
unique and the ‘Level 1’ material certainly gives you a massive
amount of information in terms of understanding it all.

 

But ‘energy’ is the single factor you can bring to the table
each and every time.

 

It’s what makes the difference between a good coach and a great
one.

 

Challenge yourself to bring the energy each time you’re in front
of your athletes.

 

Better yet – bring it one day and not the next.

 

See for yourself how much differently your athletes respond to
you and how much more involved they become in your training
session.

 

More than the ‘x’ and ‘o’ factors, my friend…

 

Brian