Young Athletes Development
“It takes God a hundred years to make an oak, but it only takes Him two months to make a squash.” –President James Garfield
In our results-now, win at all costs, sports-crazed society, many athletes, coaches, parents, and professionals seem to have lost sight of the goal of sport and physical activity for growing young athletes. What is currently widely marketed as “athletic development” by individuals across the country is, in many instances, quick-fix training designed to show immediate results. While results are great, young athletes and their parents and coaches must be certain that such short-term improvements don’t compromise long term outcomes. The following represents an incomplete list of potential warning signs that may indicate that programming may be too short sighted in nature to be optimally effective.
1. Heavy emphasis on measureable assessments to demonstrate progress. Developing children will usually improve no matter what type of stimulus is introduced; the key is finding the optimal training approach. Testing eight year olds in the 40 yard dash or in the vertical leap may be acceptable, but developing an entire training program around such testing is laughable. Competent professionals are more interested in mechanics and the acquisition of steadily improving motor patterns rather than showing stunning improvements in “measurable” early on.
2. Short-term programming. Six and eight week programs are popular and certainly have their place in contemporary athletic development facilities; however, the main utility of such programs should be to introduce athletes, parents, and coaches to the long-term athlete development model. Beware any facility that does not offer long-term training plans, as it is impossible to effectively develop a young athlete with such a myopic approach.
3. Pro-level programming. Young athletes are not miniature versions of professional athletes, no matter how skilled or advanced they may appear to be. While it may seem tempting to place a young athlete in the training program used by the hottest, most explosive and talented pros, it is inappropriate and dangerous to do so. The overwhelming majority of young athletes simply are not ready for such training, particularly early in their developmental process.
While it may be tempting to progress a young pitcher to be a dominant force or a train a young runner to be relentless and untiring, the athletic development professional must be cautious. Squash develop quickly, but are gone within a season. Oaks grow slowly over many years and with time become strong and deeply rooted. Which would you prefer your young athlete to be?
– Dr. Toby Brooks
– – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The ‘basics’ are easy.
The philosophy makes sense.
But how does it work and what does it look like?
If you had a reference that showed you everything you needed
to know and even gave you sample programs to use that are
guaranteed to work in your unique situation, how much would
that be worth to you??
Complete Athlete Development has been called, more than once, “The best and most incredible bargain on the market today…“:
:: Sample Programs for 6-9, 10-13 and High School Athletes
:: Field Tested on More Than 15,00 Young Athletes Worldwide
:: 3+ Hours of DVD Footage
:: 100+ Pages of “Quick Reference” Material
:: 100+ Exercise Photographs
:: Speed, Agility, Strength, Flexibility, Mobility, Power
Everything you need to know about training young athletes in one complete package
“We made it to the State Quarterfinals for two consecutive years – This had never been done before in school history.”
– Coach Joe Sanchez (Barrington Broncos Football)