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
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
But BE an artists.
Learn how to implement these successful and developmentally-
sound training programs so that they are optimally received by
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
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…
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
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
More than the ‘x’ and ‘o’ factors, my friend…