[wpfblike]Youth Fitness Rules to follow
When I look around the industry, I find myself becoming more and more discontented with the view. It seems that there is a never-ending litany of new, innovative and advanced techniques in the field of strength and conditioning that are, in essence, just re-fabricated models and methods that have proved tried and true for literally decades.
This is especially true at the youth level where we tend to walk the fine line of wavering between dummying down adult-based prescription and creating ‘novel’ schemes of building the same results that can, and are developed through the standard basics.
When working with young athletes (aged 6 – 18) I implore you to resist the temptation of thinking too far outside the box and instead concentrate your time and effort on both pondering and answering these 3 specific questions:
- Is this Concept vs Cool?
- Is it Recipe vs Chef?
- What’s the difference between Athletes & Non-Athletes?
Let’s examine ‘Concept vs Cool’ today…
Concept vs Cool
Do we really need another 90 minute seminar that teaches Fitness Professionals ‘150 Awesome Exercises on the BOSU Ball’?
Or a certification that has 80% of its content based on sample programs for the specific demographic in question?
Our industry has become a ‘cool’ extravaganza. The more daring, off-the-wall, dazzling and ‘neato’ an exercise or training system is, the more popular it becomes. Ironically, the less effective it more often than not is, as well.
Lost in the sex appeal of watching fitness models slathered in man tan parade as ‘fitness gurus’ and performing the newest stunts on unstable surfaces (because that evokes a proprioceptive response and burns more calories, you see) is that we seem to have ditched our sense of ‘concept’ as it relates to exercise and performance gains.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s mesmerizing to watch an incredible display of athletic skill being performed and that the symptomotolgy of the training program in question often seems worth the potential (i.e. beads of sweat pouring off one’s head as proof of the exercises difficulty and subsequent effectiveness). But as Fitness Professionals and youth fitness Specialists who have stood up, raised their hands and declared themselves worthy of the task of caring for a population in such desperate need of a clarion voice, it’s disconcerting to know that we fall prey to this circus show time-and-time again.
In the ‘Concept vs Cool’ argument, I want nothing more than for you to use common sense when determining value and worth of a training program or exercise:
- It looks cool, but what’s the concept behind the suggested benefit?
- Although I’ve never considered science the linchpin of anything in fitness, are there any research conclusions that can back the claims?
- One exercise or sample program does NOT a training system make… Where does this fit in? Can it work with my young athlete’s life and honor what they need from a growth, development, long-term and tertiary life considerations?
- Does the risk-reward equation produce a sum that’s favorable?
Check back in on Wednesday for 3 rules of youth fitness Part 2…
Would you like to understand what it takes to become a Youth Fitness Specialist?
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