Many Trainers still hold true to the notion of isolated body parts and standard 'adult' styles of training.
Many Parents still believe that their kids (at 8 years old) need to be on sport-specific and periodized conditioning routines in order to develop optimally.
Many Coaches still view their role to be about providing strength and conditioning programs that reflect the sport they coach and nothing more.
And you know what, Schann, I don't really blame those people.
They're a product of our society. They get influenced by media, magazines and 'know-it-all' professionals the way we often do as well.
So when I embarked on this career of mine a decade ago, I knew that what I needed to become was an influencing factor.
The voice of reason that countered the 'mainstream pundits' often loud opinions related to training and developing young athletes.
And it's been an uphill climb to say the least.
One guy -- one voice.
Now, I know without question that I am making a significant dent in terms of changing hearts and minds.
But every now and again, it's REALLY great to get confirmation about that!
This is an email I received from a subscriber. It came to my in-box just yesterday:
"I coach athletics (track and field) to school kids, and many of my athletes are 100 & 200 meter runners who do not have to change direction or quickly decelerate and then immediately accelerate.
"I understand that in other sports, the fastest kids are those who can decelerate and change directions the quickest, but I don't see how these abilities transfer into track sprinting events.
"I am thinking about teaching some of my younger sprinters about the deceleration techniques that you outline in your Complete Athlete Development system. Some of my fellow track coaches think that I will be wasting my and my athletes time with these non-transferable exercises, but the way I see it, most of my
young athletes play other sports and always seem to hurt themselves usually during 'decelerating' or 'changing direction' at speeds because they don't know how to safely and effectively do so.
"In my eyes, by teaching my track sprinters these easy to learn techniques, I believe I will be reducing their chance of injury - plus the kids will enjoy something new... after all, they're kids!!!
"So Brian, do you think I'm on the right track?"
STOP THE PRESSES!
My heart is skipping beats over here.
My message is really getting through to A LOT of people it appears!
Here's what I have to say to James (the subscriber who wrote me that fantastic email):
- Yes... teach your track athletes how to decelerate. As much as we all want to see our young athletes succeed and win RIGHT NOW, we have to appreciate that our job is to develop the best possible athlete. Especially when we are coaching pre-high school kids.
- If you notice in my Complete Athlete Development 'Training Templates', the 'Movement Technique' portion of my sessions comprise 5 - 10 minutes worth of time as part of a non-specific warm-up. 5 - 10 minutes is not much of a sacrifice when the return is a better and more injury resistant young athlete.
- There are several indirect methods of improving sport-specific ability and more people need to understand that. Especially with young athletes the Nervous System is configured in such a way that any sort of enhancement to general coordination bleeds into producing a better, more fluid and athletic organism (athlete). The argument that training stimulus is 'non-transferable' with young athletes is a myth. It is based on elite, adult-oriented training habits that don't apply to children or teens. More over, the 'specific' quality of training even elite athletes is often incredibly misappropriated. The only specificity at the elite end that I have ever seen make sense is specific training for either injury concerns and energy systems directly related to a given sport or position. As athletes become more elite, the training programs shouldn't become more specific, just more complex. 80% of your training program with athletes should be general, with only 20% being specific. Good principle to remember.
I am overjoyed beyond words right now.
You decide on a course of action, stick to a path and weather it through think and thin.
It's nice to see that people are starting to pay attention!
Complete Athlete Development can show you exactly how to train young athletes for any sport and of any age.
It's not just a 'training program'.
It's a system that works every time.
I don't care if you're training or coaching football players, baseball players, soccer players, figure skaters, volleyball players, basketball players or any other type of athlete.
The 'rules' for training and developing successful and injury resistant athletes are set in stone.
I'd love you to take a look and see what Complete Athlete Development can mean to you and your young athletes.
'Till next time,
Teaching Non-sport-specific Skills To Athletes
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