How Young Athletes Are Portrayed In The Olympics
I’m actually a big fan of the Olympic Games.
My favorite part is watching the Opening Ceremonies and
seeing the athletes from lesser known countries glow with
child-like enthusiasm as they walk into the Olympic arena.
But every four years, I find myself feeling uncomfortable
with what I am seeing and hearing while watching the Games
Because I know the sensationalized aspects of the Olympics
are creating more and more confusion and ignorance among
many young athletes, Trainers, Coaches and Parents worldwide.
Believe it or not, I believe that the Olympics are actually
a horrible influence on youth sports.
And while watching the Opening Ceremonies last week,
I got a glimpse of exactly why I feel that way.
“It’s the Struggle, Not the Triumph”
That was the ‘catch phrase’ being repeated by athletes
as they talked into the camera.
And while it sounds good, serves as a wonderful ‘TV sound
bite’ and showcases a majestic feel about the Games
themselves, it sends a very disturbing message to young
athletes and all those who participate in the world of
Sweat, Blood and Tears.
Effort Conquers All.
And that all sounds good, doesn’t it?
It displays the majestic nature of sport.
And it’s an absolute lie.
Maybe not for elite athletes, but certainly for kids and
The danger is in the fact that most Coaches, Trainers
and Parents think and act like their young athletes are
elite – and end up being influenced by statements like
the one I mentioned above.
“You have to work harder, Johnny”
“If you’re not sore, you’re not working hard enough”
“Did you hear what Micheal Phelps said? You’ll never
get to the Olympics if you don’t push yourself”
What a crock.
With youth sports and young athletes, it really isn’t
about the struggle.
And the destination truly doesn’t matter.
It’s about the journey.
The process of getting from A – Z.
We actually believe that ‘working kids hard’ every day and
beating the living crap out of them without having a
developmental system in place is the answer.
And it isn’t.
It just isn’t.
In fact, it’s the main culprit for why so many kids are
Dropping out of sports.
And disengaging from being physical at all.
We just don’t understand the process of what it takes to
And that remains our worst and most damaging error when
it comes to working with young athletes.
I hear horror stories everyday about intense training
sessions, over worked young athletes and the general
lack of knowledge that so many Trainers and Coaches have
when it comes to working with this demographic.
And the Olympic Games are making that worse as we speak.
“It’s not the Destination, It’s the Journey”
Words to live by.
Are you prepared to find out what you don’t know and
truly become a leader in the realm of youth sports
Or are you content to just keep plotting along without
a solid direction or path?
I think your young athletes deserve the best.
Why don’t you decide to become the best right now?
The IYCA Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist will give you
the tools you need to become a world-class Athletic
Maybe it’s time to start your own journey…
Click Here Now and Find Out What You Don’t Know
I just got the 3rd edition of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning by the NSCA and in my excitement I flipped through each chapter skimming to see what changes were made between the 3rd and 2nd edition.
As I was skimming I came across the term “overreaching” which is related to overtraining but the difference being that overreaching is a planned phase of training for ELITE athletes under very specific cercumstances. Overreaching can quickly become overtraining syndrome if the the training is not monitored.
How many coaches or trainers out there can realistically utilize a technique like overreaching in their youth program? I only get one hour a week with many of my kids, and I am suppose to run them into the ground and then claim that’s a technique or worse cite the NSCA for the idea? NO! Many of my kid’s soccer coaches are already drilling them into the ground in many cases, and that takes no foresight, thought or education.
This article really strikes at the heart of what we as youth conditioning professionals are all about. The Olympics is a fantasy land where the top percent of althetes compete. Then they tell our kids and parents over the TV the Cliffs Note version of their periodization program. The reality is those athletes don’t reflect the majority, what works for them is just as unique as the athletes that compete in the Olympics.
At the very least this is an opertunity to educate those that do not know any better because I have to believe that everyone, even the parent-coaches wants the best for our kids.