Archive for “Training Session” Tag

What Is The Best Youth Speed Training Drill

 

Youth Speed Training

By CJ Easter
 

One of the #1 questions that I get from coaches is “What is your favorite youth speed training drill?”
 

And I always give the answer that everyone hates, “It depends.”
 

But this is not a cop out because it really does depend. Speed is a total body, coordinated skill. So the “best drill” depends on what exact skill that we are trying to develop and the skill level of our athletes to properly perform that drill.
 

“That drill looks cool” should not be the deciding factor when putting together your training session. The deciding factor should be what is the simplest, most time-efficient drill to work on the desired concept.
 

One of my favorite coaching quotes is “Coach the kids, not the drills.”
 

Does it matter what the drill is if all the kids are doing it wrong and not developing the desired skill…
 

OR if we cannot demonstrate or coach this drill properly, so we have 50 kids moving “just like coach showed me” (which isn’t always pretty)?
 

When I first started coaching, I made those exact mistakes. I tried to take all the drills that I learned at Stanford and use them on my younger athletes. The classic “this is what I did, so you should do it too” coach.
 

My athletes not only weren’t developing the movement patterns that I wanted, but they were also losing confidence because they didn’t look and feel coordinated.
 

That’s when I made a huge realization…
 

College and professional coaches are probably the worst sources for youth and high school coaches to get drills from because they work with superior athletes.
 

Athletes don’t make it to that level without a certain level of coordination, so at the highest levels, the job description is mostly “don’t screw the guy up”. Our job as high school and youth coaches is to completely develop or restructure a coordination. I am not assigning value to either job, but they are definitely much different tasks.
 

So the “best youth speed training drill” is the drill that is done correctly to develop the skill that you want to address.

 

Here is a general template on exactly how I coach concepts and skills regardless of the youth speed training drill:

 

1. Introduce the skill/concept and the drill:
“This drill is called X. We are doing this to improve concept/skill X.”
 

This helps build a mental bridge for your athletes. They might not always like the drill, but at least they know and understand how it’s going to make them a better player.
 

2. Demonstrate the drill and explain key coaching points as you are demonstrating.
 

In the social media era, the majority of our kids are visual learners, so proper demonstration is necessary. Explaining the coaching points as you go also addresses auditory learners.
 

3. Demonstrate what you DON’T want to see and address common errors.
 

This aligns with John Wooden’s coaching style of “Do this, not this, do this.”
 

4. Demonstrate it correctly one more time, reinforcing the correct movement pattern.
 

5. Have your kids do a walk-through rep or if it’s an extended drill, do a mental walk-through. This addresses kinesthetic learners.
 

This process will take more time than just setting up the cones and saying “do this drill”, but you will definitely see improvement in the quality of your youth speed training drills and the development of the desired skills.
 

 

Cueing Athletes

 

Athletes Respond To Cueing

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Cueing is a big buzz word among fitness and performance coaches right now. Cues are an extremely efficient way to demonstrate some essential piece of technique to assist in the completion of an exercise.
 

A cue could be a set of words that concisely convey the result you would like to see: “brace the core” comes to mind for nearly everything. A cue could also be something more visual, like the imitation of “getting tall”, so often used at Force fitness and Performance when doing ½ kneeling movements. A third type of cue could be from palpation of a body part or region, to set the athlete in the correct position.
 

Stumbling upon, or discovering a new cue for an exercise can be a really cool thing. It can lead to technical breakthroughs, and lead to a cool blog post or a youtube video where you show your new toy off.
 

Cues then are a great tool, but what is the real value of one cue?
 

A particular cue may only work with 1 client and to that client, and to that training session, one particular cue may be extremely valuable. Use of this cue is able help them achieve the right position or make the right corrections to form so that the particular exercise can unleash its full potential. For this type of instance I keep a record sheet in every client’s binder to record things that work.
 

For the athletes on which this cue does not work, this cue has little value to them. In fact it is nearly worthless, but to you it remains a valuable part of your arsenal.
 

The real value of cues lies in the accumulation of many cues. No singular cue is the hammer and no singular problem is the nail, sometimes a cue is a screwdriver and the problem is a screw, and sometimes the problem is a 5mm hex bolt and the (oh nevermind you get the analogy). Problems take many forms and need many different tools. Having a toolbox is the important thing, not having the coolest hammer.
 

Being ready with the right cue at the right time is important, but the more important part is being WILLING to try all your tools until the problem is corrected. I see younger coaches getting frustrated when their “go to” choice of words doesn’t have the effect they anticipate with athletes. Although what they are coaching is correct and effective with many athletes, that cue does not work right now.

Patience and determination is key, a willingness to discover an athlete’s preferred learning style is necessary to create successful athletes.

 

By all means film your successes and share with others, they help other coaches equip their toolbox, but remember that you must be ready and willing to be diverse in your coaching ability.
 

 

Stretching Young Athletes with Bands

 

Young Athletes and Resistance Band Stretching

 

By Dave Schmitz
 

What age is good to start band stretching?
 

Is it appropriate to stretch young athlete ages 10 to 13 with Bands?
 

Are there precautions when stretching young athletes with bands?
 

As a band expert I have never felt doing band stretching with athletes younger than 14 was an effective way to improve passive mobility because of the hypersensitivity of the nervous system to passive over pressure stretching. Anytime I attempted to introduce band stretching to this age group, I met with a great deal inhibition and compensation. Passive overpressure stretching of young athletes for years seemed to be very noxious to the neuromuscular system which resulted in kids just putting their body through unproductive stress that the body was not mature enough to handle. The key word in this sentence was mature or from a functional standpoint integrated.
 

Band stretching is like any other movement skill, it must be integrated progressively which means eliminating inhibition by introducing the movement skill in a progressive manner. With band stretching that means:
 

  1. Using the correct band strength that provides the young athlete with enough resistance to initiate a contraction but does not put their muscle under inhibitory causing stress
     

  2. Providing a manual training stimulus using your hands and verbal cueing to guide them through the movement patterns
     

  3. Stressing the importance of opposite side stabilization and manually assisting with this so they can feel the impact of locking out the opposite arm and maintaining a solid foot contact against the wall
     

  4. Not overwhelming them by showing all stretching positions in one training session. Start with hamstring stretching first and then gradually introduce hip rotation, hip flexor/quad and ankle on subsequent sessions
     

    Other important keys to remember are that many of these young athletes are going through abrupt growth spurts which disrupt their neuromuscular control and coordination instantly. Lever arms are lengthened which in turn challenges dynamic stabilization. Also with this added length neural tissues become shortened leading to neurotension restrictions which are best addressed with rhythmical dynamic stretching versus using a static stretching approach.
     

    A Case Study
     

    My son Carter was 13 years old, 135 pounds and 5 feet 1 inch tall going into 8th grade school year. Carter moved very well for his age but had recently gone through a 3 inch growth spurt over a 2 month time frame which dramatically increased his hamstring and hip rotation tightness. Carter played soccer as well as football. He had become very interested in becoming the kicker for his 8th grade club football team. In watching Carter kick during the summer prior to his 8th Grade year, he was not able to get effective hip flexion with knee extension during the follow through of his kicks which had decreased both his power as well as accuracy. In accessing his Straight leg Raise (SLR) Test, Carter demonstrated only about 30 degrees of hip flexion with full knee extension.
     

    Up until this time, I had never implemented band stretching with Carter but decided to do a 3 week trial. For the first three 15 minute stretching sessions, I manually worked with Carter to insure proper movement and stability during the movement. I did not apply any overpressure but rather allowed Carter to create that with the band. My role was simply to guide the movements and assist with stabilization. After the first 2 sessions Carter started demonstrating very good neuromuscular control using a Red Small band and was able to perform all hamstring and hip rotation stretches effectively without my assistance. He stretched a total of 15 times over a 21 day period with each session lasting about 12 to 15 minutes. Many of the sessions were done prior to practice or before going out to play with his friends.
     

    After 3 weeks of band stretching, Carter’s SLR Test increased to 75 degrees and his kicking accuracy from 30 yards was 90%. After 6 weeks his SLR Test was 90 degrees and his accuracy was now 90% at 35 yards.
     

    Obviously after seeing this incredible change in Carter’s hip flexibility, I quickly started to adjust my opinion on band stretching for younger athletes. One of the other factors that I realized while going through this experiment with Carter, was level of muscle stiffness maturity he was experiencing. Carter’s tissues were stiff but not to the degree of an individual in his 20’s or 30’s Therefore by applying the correct stretching stimulus Carter’s tissues quickly adapted and lengthen which explained the dramatic improvement but also provided a stronger support towards instituting band stretching sooner than later in young athletes.
     

    Recommendations for stretching young athletes with bands

     

    Here are a few recommendations for starting a band stretching program for ages 11 to 14.
     

    1. Begin by using a red band before considering any stronger level band. Very important to not over tension their muscle tissue and make them struggle getting into the correct positions.
     

    2. As their coach or parent, you need to help them learn the movements and positions. They will need manual guidance and verbal cueing for at least 2-3 sessions before they can be allowed to stretch on their own.
     

    3. Start with 1 or 2 stretches and gradually implement the others as they master the initial stretches. Again keep in mind, this is not fun stuff and the motivation to train flexibility will probably not be there initially. Until they begin to feel functional improvement, getting young athletes to stretch effectively will require coaching patience.
     

    4. Stretch slowly but actively. 2-3 second progressive holds while performing at least 90 seconds of rhythmical movement in each position is important. Progressive holds are defined as maintaining increased tension for 2 to 3 seconds while still attempting to push further into the range.
     

    The video below will take you through what stretches I feel you should start using with young athletes.

    It should be noted the hip flexor- quad stretch is not performed but should be added into the routine once hamstrings and hip rotation stretches are mastered.
     


     

     

     

Multi-Planar Warm-ups with Young Athletes: PNF in Your Movement

 

PNF Warm-ups With Young Athletes

Young athletes PNF movement

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Ask coaches what their program should include and invariably the answer sounds like this “Strength, speed, agility, power and oh yeah warm-up“. The warm-up is always tossed in there, but not with much enthusiasm.

 

All too often our warm-ups occur in singular planes of motion, typically sagittal or frontal, and for certain joints this will not do. The hip and shoulder, in particular require motion that does not only go through these single planes, and in truth requires more than just the addition of motion through the transverse plane.

 

A great solution to this is to use PNF patterns of movement to truly warm-up the athlete. In using PNF patterns we are able to use patterns that efficiently recruit the most relevant muscle.

 

PNF or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, is commonly thought of as only a type of stretching pattern done by athletic trainers but is actually an entire system of movement.

 

In the great book Supertraining, Mel Siff described PNF movement patterns in this way “The importance of these patterns cannot be overestimated, since they can enhance the effectiveness of any training session.”

 

While the unloaded movement of a “warm-up” cannot satisfy all the necessary pieces to be considered PNF the important foundations of PNF which must be considered are as follows.

 

-The motion must use spiral and diagonal movement patterns

 

-The motion must cross the sagittal midline of the body.

 

-The motion must recruit all movement patterns including, flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and internal/external rotation.

 

To use the techniques of PNF in our warm-up we use a lunge matrix and corresponding “reaches”.

 

Lateral Hip Rotator Lunge w/ Contralateral Reach

 

Have the athlete stand perpendicular to a start line, flex at the hip and knee with the lead leg. First internally rotate at the hip, move towards external rotation with the lead hip as they step outward as far as possible. Once the lead foot reaches the ground they will raise their opposite arm overhead and come across the midline of the body to reach the instep of their lead leg, the young athletes should follow this movement with their eyes until completion.

 

 

 

Reverse Lunge w/ X Reach

 

Have the athlete make a reverse lunge movement (that part is simple). While in this split stance they should reach with one hand to their opposite front pocket, move this arm across the midline of the body to an overhead position and rotate the torso. Again the athlete should follow the movement of their arms with their eyes. Do the same movement with the opposite arm and then reverse lunge with the other leg.

 

 

These modifications on traditional lunges will add multi direction skill and a more complete neuromuscular warm-up to your young athletes programs.

 

 

Making Your High School Athletes Better

 

High School Athletes Programming

 

High School Athletes

By Wil Fleming

 

Recently I gave some thought to how many questions arise when putting
together programming for high school athletes. Questions about general strength
training practices, how to prioritize training goals, and what to do for speed and
agility are all important, but the most basic of questions that need to be asked by
any coach is:

 

 

What should be included in the program for your high school athletes?

 

As coaches we are all probably very familiar with the elements of a successful high school program in their entirety, but what are the finer points that can take your program for high school over the top?

 

Allow me to share with you the best ways to differentiate your program from all the others by looking at each phase of a high school training session:

 

SMR:A place to impact the health of athletes

 

A pre-workout program should do the job of preparing the athlete for the coming training and to some extent helping them recover from their prior training or practices. Foam rolling or other form of self-myofascial release should be included and should be mandatory prior to beginning that day’s session. High school programs and other coaches are doing SMR as an afterthought, by clearly laying out expectations for your athletes they will get more out of this part of the workout and be healthier.

 

Warm-Up:Continuity creates a great environment

 

Continuity in warm-ups creates the atmosphere at AR Bloomington, so
we stick with one for 2 months or so before altering it. In this way athletes
have very clear expectations of them and nearly all are able to achieve
some level of mastery within the warm-up period. I have also found that
a consistent warm-up is one of the single best times to create a fun and
exciting environment for the athletes through lively and interactive conversation.

 

Specific Mobility:Individualization

 

Specific mobility and activation should be differentiated by sport, position,
or athlete. We should take into account common movement patterns within
the sport, assessment results and injury history when designing this for each
athlete or group. No matter the size of the group, it is important that this time
be differentiated to keep athletes healthy, this touch of individualization even
in a large group goes a long way to insuring your athletes know that you took
into account their needs

 

Dynamic and Explosive Training:A difference maker

 

Dynamic and explosive training should consist of plyometrics and medicine
ball throws. This is a time for athletes to train their nervous system and train
fast twitch muscle fiber. In a lot of settings dynamic training gets thrown together
as an afterthought and sometimes looks like no more than “box jumps”. Smart
programming with progressions moving from: single response, to multiple
response, to shock, and unilateral work can greatly improve results for your
champions.

 

Speed and Agility:Basics first

 

Training for speed and agility can be the biggest opportunity for your AR to
be successful but so many programs go about it in the wrong way. Remember
that as with any other form of training, a foundation of technique should form
the basis of your training. Running mindless drills with no foundation will not
lead to success for your AR. Start with static drills, move to dynamic, and
finally move to randomization. Equip your athletes with the knowledge of
how to sprint, and how to change direction and they will be far better off than
any dot drill can make them.

 

Strength training:Choose to be different

 

Typically our high school athletes will be training with us concurrently with
a program run by their high school so we must take this into account. At most
high schools, athletes are trained predominantly through pushing movements
(squats, bench press etc), like the bench press and squat leaving their entire
posterior chain at a deficit to their front-side musculature. Balance your athletes
out by programming more “pulling” than “pushing”.

 

Energy Systems Training: So much more than just running

 

Athletes are very familiar with running mile after mile or “gasser” after “gasser”.
Exposing athletes to innovative energy systems training by using different
implements e.g. kettlebells or medicine balls, and by using exact intervals to
elicit particular responses, shows creativity on your part, allows you to use
your space more efficiently, and will make you a savior to your champions.

 

Flexibility:A final time to teach

 

Whether from the coach or the athlete flexibility gets a bad rap. Although
not as buzzworthy as mobility, training athletes for flexibility will undoubtedly
be to their benefit, if only for its use as a cool down. As a coach the time for
flexibility is a time for a wrap up of the days events and reminders for
upcoming events. It is your final time to connect with athletes in that given
day. Use it well.

 

Using this framework for how you approach the programming of your
high
school athletes will help you get them more invested and excited to be a
part of your High School Athletes, and make them better.
Remember that we are here to Change Lives!

 

 

 

 

 

Transition Game For Young Athletes

 

In this video Dave Jack shares a great Transition Game that he uses   to help his young athletes make the transition from school or wherever else   they may be coming in from into their training session.

 

This is a superb way to get the young athletes focussed from their outside stressors.

Young Athletes Transition Game

 

 

Deliver Your Best Youth Training Session Ever

Youth Athletic Development: Deliver Your Best Youth Training Session Ever

In this video, IYCA expert Dave Gleason reminds us to meet our young athletes where they are to develop a physical culture and encourage youth athletic development.

Find out how Dave facilitated one of his best youth training sessions ever.

 

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Impact Training: The key to youth fitness and performance success

 

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by Ryan Ketchum

 

The title of this blog might be a little misleading.  I am not going to talk about ground contacts, high impact training exercises, or anything related to movements or programming.  I want to discuss the impact that we have on the youth that we work with and the effect it has on your business and, more importantly, their lives.

 

I always tell our staff that we have a profound impact on the perception of this entire field every time that we work with a client or athlete.   This is something that I have used to make sure I give the best in every session for the past 6 years, and built a thriving business because of it!

 

Think about dentists, doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and any other service profession, if you know someone that has had a single bad experience they automatically have the perception that all others in the field must be the same.   Do you ever want to be the cause for someone thinking that youth fitness and sports performance coaches are anything but exceptional people that have a high level of knowledge and skill? 

 

I shudder at the thought of giving someone the perception that all coaches were terrible at their profession, didn’t care about the clients/athletes, and got people hurt.

 

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Kettlebell Training For Youth Questions Answered…

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I asked Jason C Brown and Pamela MacElree to answer some on kettlebell training for youth questions…

 

A ‘No-Charge’ Kettlebell Exclusive for you…

 

Listen right now:

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Youth Sports Training Technique: Part 2

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Group One, Group Two & Group Three youth sports training classifications… But what else?

 

Here’s Part 2:

 

How efficiently an athlete learns the technical skills of a sport, strength training exercise or movement is determined by several variables –

 

Age – Complex skills are often understood and comprehended better by more mature athletes (although individual exceptions certainly apply).

 

Emotional State – Relaxed and easy-going athletes tend to learn and reproduce new skills better than athletes who are uptight and self-critical.

 

Motivation (more…)

The Training Template Secret

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It’s great to watch a video or DVD and see what a quality training session is supposed to look like.

 

I always enjoy having exercise photographs at my fingertips with a visual representation of what each rep should look like along the way.

 

I also adore being able to read key information about what the Coach or Trainer was thinking when they designed a particular training program, or what philosophies and concepts they feel are important with respect to Speed, Strength, Coordination, Mobility, Flexibility and Injury Prevention.

 

And I especially love being given ‘sample programs’.

 

A literal “here, just do this because it works” roadmap for success.

 

You get that and every ounce of the information mentioned above inside my ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system.

 

But do you know what my favorite part is?

 

 

The fact that I took the time to create and develop a Training Template for you.

 

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Young Athletes & Coordination – Part 3

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Young Athletes & Coordination Series

Here is the third and final portion of ‘Young Athletes & Coordination’:

 

(3) Teenage Athletes Are ‘Too Old’

 

Now, while there is truth to the matter that many of the sensitive periods for coordination development lay during the preadolescent phase of life, it would be shortsighted to suggest that teenage athletes should not be exposed to this type of training.

 

Firstly, much of the training of coordination takes the form of injury preventative.  Any sort of ‘balance’ exercise, for example, requires proprioceptive conditioning and increases in stabilizer recruitment.  With ‘synchronization of movement’, large ROM and mobility work is necessary.  ‘Kinesthetic differentiation’, by definition, involves sub-maximal efforts or ‘fine-touch’ capacity which is a drastically different stimulus than most young athletes are used to in training settings.

 

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Kids Fitness: Top 3 Reasons to Play Simon Says

Kids Fitness

I’ve just released a very special video of one of my favorite presenters in the world of sport and  kids fitness training, Lee Taft.

 

kids fitness

http://iyca.org/dvds/lee

 

It’s from the 2010 IYCA International Summit, where Lee started off his presentation by playing Simon Says for kids fitness with the entire audience – all 300 of us!!

 

But it wasn’t all fun and games as he made some incredibly valid points before he took us through the game:

 

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How To Shape Speed Training – Part 2

 

 

Speed Training

A coach or trainer must possess a firm grasp of applied pedagogical science and have the ability to convert that knowledge into its practical art form.

 

Gone are the days of the ‘one size fits all’ approach to working with athletes. You cannot assume nor expect a given group of athletes, with their varying personalities and temperaments, to relate and respond to a singular style of coaching.

 

The aristocratic and authoritarian coaching style, long considered the most effective means of handling a group of athletes, is in actuality, a surefire way to negate the potential benefits of a lesson or training session.

 

From an ease of coaching perspective, it would be a wonderful scenario for us to only to work with those athletes whom were supremely motivated and exceptionally gifted, but in reality, this is seldom the case.

 

In any given group setting you have to accept the notion that your athletes will be divided in terms of both ability and motivation, and represent an eclectic cross-section of the following potential personalities:

 

– High Motivation/High Skill
– High Motivation/Low Skill
– Low Motivation/ High Skill
– Low Motivation/Low Skill

 

Each one of the sub-classifications above represents an athlete in need of a particular coaching style in order to gain and retain your speed and movement shaping lessons optimally.

 

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When Do You Train Young Athletes?

 

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Train Young Athletes Correctly

From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden:

 

"All sports require high degree of skill for superior performance. The major emphasis of a (youth athletic) training program should be skill excellence. For skills to be developed, learning should occur in non-fatigued states… It is advisable to schedule auxiliary training sessions either after a (sport) session or at some time that allows complete recovery from its execution so that no residual fatigue is carried over".

 

I’ve never mentioned this in literature, but have advocated it several times through lectures and seminars. Learning how to create appropriate training sessions is crucial to working with young athletes. If you are forced to have the technical practice AND the training session within the same day (as is typical), make sure that the training session comes AFTER practice. This keeps the body and CNS rested and for skill acquisition and demonstration during practice.

 

Ever notice that the "science" of strength, conditioning and fitness is more
complex than many realize?

 

Train Young Athletes

It’s really got nothing to do with just throwing some exercises together and
counting sets and reps.

 

Does speed training come before or after strength training?

 

When is it best to train the "core"?

 

Where does flexibility training fit into the daily picture?

 

Getting the most from your young athletes and truly making them the very
best they possibly can be means knowing as much as you can about how
to train them properly.

 

It’s not a day-by-day concept or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants situation.

 

It requires a system.

 

A complete and comprehensive system that is internationally proven to be
successful and can be implemented by you TOMORROW with ease.

 

A system just like this one…

 

strength training for young athletes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part One

 

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Kids Coaching teaches us

Blake came to me as a quiet, shy and terribly uncoordinated
8th grader.

 

13 years old and quite tall for his age, I knew the second I saw
him that I was going to like the kid.

 

He never said much and certainly had a great deal of difficulty
learning how to perform even the most basic of exercises, but
he was steadfast in his work ethic and always brought a good
energy to the training center.

 

I learned a lot over the years from kids coaching and from Blake.

 

Mostly, how to enjoy and appreciate the very small things in life.

 

His last training session with me was on a humid and sweaty
Chicago-style, August afternoon.

 

Walking into my facility, I noticed an unfamiliar bounce to his
stride and a larger than usual, ear-to-ear grin on his face.

 

"What’s goin’ on, my friend" I greeted him.

 

"Why such a perky smile?"

 

"Tomorrow, football tryouts start and I’m geared up!" he replied.

 

I tend to get tunnel vision as the summer months dwindle down.
I have dozens upon dozens of college athletes returning to play
fall sports and even more high school kids phasing up for
football and basketball.

 

"That’s right! What position you trying out for? You expecting
a ton of playing time, I assume?" I asked.

 

"Don’t care to be honest. Just looking forward to strapping on a
helmet and being part of a team"

 

His answer struck something in me that I didn’t quite understand at
the time, but would be overwhelmed with a few short months later.

 

Fast forward.

 

Late September, same year.

 

Blake was attending the same high school that I served as Head
Strength Coach at.

 

Great bunch of kids all around.

 

Dedicated, hard working and a Coaching Staff that truly valued the
kid inside the athlete.

 

And I’ll be honest…

 

I ADORED Friday nights.

 

I got to patrol the sidelines.

 

Home games especially.

 

There is just something magical about high school football in the cool
autumn air.

 

So there I was.

 

Patrolling as usual.

 

Laid back as I am in my daily life, I get ultra-serious and intense when
it comes to competition.

 

My own or my athletes.

 

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Overtraining Young Athletes – Part 1

 

 

Young Athletes

I have long supported the notion that the zeal many Trainers and Coaches show with respect to conducting high intensity training sessions with young athletes is akin to the unsure actor who feels a need to "over-do" his or her role in a given appearance for fear that the audience may disapprove of his acting ability.

 

Almost like a "they paid for it and now I must deliver it" mind set.

As a Coach, you sometimes feel as though you must have your athletes walk away from a training session dripping with sweat and barely able to open their car doors. After all, if they don’t feel as though you are ‘training them hard enough’, they may opt to go and seek the services of a different Coach.

 

The problem is that overtraining syndromes are not hard to develop with adolescent athletes and must be recognized as an issue with respect to programming.

 

For ease of explanation sake, let’s just say that if your athlete walks into your training center at what would constitute a normal biological level, and if your training stimulus was at an intensity that would enable the athlete to dip below this normal biological level, but not be too much so as to not be able to ascend into a level of super-compensation, then, well… that would be good.

 

But there are energies in the world that effect an athletes recoverability from a training session (you know… recovery… that’s the part of the training routine during which your athlete’s body actually makes improvements and gains).

 

For example:

 

– Nutrition
– Emotional Stress
– Sleep

 

Let’s examine those individually for a second.

 

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The Biggest Problem in Youth Sports Training?

 

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Youth Sports Training Mistakes

The most common problem facing Trainers & Coaches today with respect to developing young athletes over time is the ability to plan long-term. The personal training and coaching professions are most typically based on a session-to-session consideration – clients pay per session most often and Trainers create training programs one session at a time. The same is true for coaching sport – most Coaches script out one practice plan at a time, rather than create a relative flow for an entire month or even season.

 

Limited Plan… Limited Gain

 

The problem with this industry standard as it relates to youths and adolescents is that this type of shortsightedness serves to limit the potential gains made by a young athlete. It is not unlike running a business or corporation – when business owners take the time to organize their objectives and action steps for a given month or year, they almost always are successful at implementing the plan. Far too many business owners, Trainers and Coaches feel as though their actions during a sales drive, training session or practice is what will lead to positive change, when in fact it is the planning that occurs before these actions that accounts for the true gains

 

Become and Objective Monster

 

No one can learn how to create 6 or 12 month Youth Sports Training plans in a day.

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It takes time and diligent effort to acquire this skill, but your ability to get better over time will have a direct and positive impact on both your young athletes’ success rate as well as your businesses ability to attract new clients. Set an objective for yourself to create a system or plan that allows you to develop long-term and wide-focused agendas for your young athletes. Take several days or weeks if need be to create a system that is streamlined and easy to implement – although your are looking for a comprehensive system, the more basic you make it, the more easy it will be to adhere to.

 

Action Steps

 

Start simply. Take a piece of paper and write out where you want your young athletes to be in 4 weeks. Create headings and then just fill in each category. For instance, what skill sets are you working on now? To what degree of competency do you want an athlete or team to be able to demonstrate that skill set in 1 month’s time? This can also be applied to elite adolescent athletes. Are you working on squat or power clean totals right now? If so, where do you want these numbers to be in 4 weeks?

 

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Youth Sports Training: Do You Confuse Your Young Athletes?

Youth sports training with kids

You could open an interesting debate with respect to teaching sporting skills to kids.

 

I did last week during a presentation I gave to area basketball coaches.

 

Some trainers and coaches have decided that the skills required to achieve a certain task should be taught from the beginning.

 

Others believe in the concept of motor patterning – allowing the young athlete to find his or her own way of achieving a task.

 

The debate gets even trickier when you factor in the varying nuances and therefore objectives of different sports.

 

For example, in basketball, if the ball goes in the hoop, it doesn’t really matter how it got there.

 

But in diving, you know going in that once you jump off the platform, gravity will pull you into the water – the style in which you get there is all that really matters.

 

Where do you sit on this debate?

 

I asked the coaches in my audience the same question.

 

Should you teach or over-teach a certain style of execution to young athletes from day one, or should you allow the young athletes to learn the relative motor patterning via exploration and natural refinement?

 

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