Youth Fitness Stepping Stones
by Toby J. Brooks, PhD, ATC, CSCS, YCS-2, PES
Director of Research & Education – IYCA
Owner – www.nitrohype.com
I am in the midst of a huge move. My family and I are in the process of boxing up everything in our modest home, loading up a truck, and moving over 1000 miles west to Lubbock, Texas. I am excited by the possibilities and opportunities that await us there, but the whole process got me to thinking…
And when I get to thinking, like my wife says, watch out.
I am an expert packer. Eleven moves, six of them 400 miles or more, in 12 years will do that to you. I am also pretty tight fisted with money. That means I’d rather pay less for the smaller U-Haul. Not only is it cheaper, it gets better gas mileage- both of which save me cash.
I am known across my family as a master of using every square inch of rental truck space to cram all our stuff in the smallest cargo area possible. The secret to my technique is simple. Priorities.
I figure out where to put the big stuff first. Couch? Big. Table and chairs? Big. Refrigerator? Big. If you get that stuff loaded and secured, then you take the small boxes and fill in the space left all the way to the roof. Not only does everything fit, it is tight and won’t shift during transit. That makes for a better effort all the way around.
Now then, what would happen if I tried to pack all the small boxes in first, then tried to put the big stuff in place? It wouldn’t fit. I have to prioritize my packing in order for it to be efficient and effective.
Oddly, training a young athlete is remarkably similar. If you plan long term with the “big” items first, it is remarkable how the smaller things tend to fall into place.
Fostering Youth Fitness and young athletes to experiment with movement and learn what their bodies can and can’t do is far more appropriate (and effective!) than boring them to tears with coaching about hip angles and hand posture while sprinting.
Long story short, when developing your long term development plan, you’ve got a lot to pack in. Just make sure you put the big stuff first, or some important things will end up getting left behind.