Young Athletes and the qualifications needed to train them
I started my career by training nothing but Olympic Champions, National Team Competitors and Professionals Athletes.
But what I came to realize is that none of those experiences made me qualified to train young athletes. Neither would I be qualified if I had an Olympic Medal around my neck or a Super Bowl ring on my index finger.
We constantly mistake ‘big names’ or ‘big credentials’ as qualified.
Let me put it this way… The most impressive and decorated mathematician at NASA is a literal genius with the topic of math, but would you really think them qualified and ideal to teach your 7 year old son how to multiply?
Success in sport or at the highest level of Coaching doesn’t mean that one is suited to understand and be fluent in the unique sciences of youth sports training. Seek experience and education pertaining to the specialty at hand – not glitz and glamour.
Please, comment below… We truly want to hear your thoughts on this!
Most professional Trainers, be them Fitness Gurus or Sports Performance Experts, may not ever take the time to realize that much of what we hold true and dear in our pursuits of enhancing both the health and ability of young athletes, also translates to the world of business and life as well.
Perhaps this lack of ‘connecting-the-dots’ between the two is more than just something that has been overlooked – it’s because the values on which we pride our work with young athletes is far too limited in scope to be accurate.
Let me explain that.
Our industry holds strong to the notion that short-term, ‘work ’em hard’ training situations that involve high intensity on everything and a slow, methodical infusion of skill on nothing, is what best serves young clients in their need to get better (faster, stronger etc) now.
But how often does this gun-slinging approach to life or business prove successful? And can we take lessons from that as it relates to developing young athletes in Youth Sports Training?
How many times do we become handicapped by vein, unplanned and quick attempts to overhaul our businesses or restructure our lives in short periods of time?
Think about it. How many New Year’s Eve goals for the impending year have you set (be them business or life alterations) only to find yourself exactly where you were in November come March?
What is the purpose of the warm-up? Why do we warm-up? How do we warm-up?
The majority of coaches and athletes will perform some form of warm-up prior to training or competition but how often do we actually take the time to think about:
:: What we need to do to warm-up appropriately
:: Why we do what we are currently doing to warm-up, or
:: Wow can the warm-up be conducted more effectively?
In my previous article I discussed a goals – principles – strategies – activities approach to developing your coaching philosophy and system. So, applying this system – what does this mean for warm-ups?
Earlier this week I was asked to consult with a local youth football organization.
Ordinarily, these types of consulting services include me conducting conference call educational seminars with as many as 30 – 40 coaches at one time.
I present on the topics that they have requested as they listen and follow along with a Power Point presentation that I email to them prior to the call starting.
At the end of my presentation, we all enjoy a round-table discussion in which they are free to ask me anything they want in reference to how my ‘Grasso Methodologies’ can fit specifically into their league and respective practice schedules.
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.