Monday, July 28, 2008

Functional v. Impressive

As a developing athlete function is more important than impressive.

Trust me, I have the ankles, unfortunately, to prove it.

At least physically. Mentally, well, we all would like to look

I am more concerned with the ability to take what an athlete has
learned and apply it to the field of play. And young athletes need
the basics established first. The impressive will then be that much
easier, and therefore more impressive. Because you made it look easy.

I've run into this with my athletes who have been run four hours
during their practice. Impressive? Maybe.

But could they stop on a dime? No. If you want to be impressive on
the field, track, court, then you need "change of direction" speed.

What do you think the most important first component of that is?

Seems like a no brainer. Yet, have you been taught how to stop
Parents: How about your kids?

When stopping is coached and the athlete is able to change
directions faster than anyone else, then you have an incredible
advantage over the competition.

I recently enjoyed watching a local basketball tournament. Know
what impressed me? There was one athlete who, despite their
considerable size, was quicker than anyone else on the court, at
any size.

Now that was impressive!

But (I can hear it now) standing on a swiss ball looks impressive
in the gym.

So what?

Does it translate to the court? That should be gauge for the
training program.

Especially for developing athletes!

And that is what I want for my athletes. To have the skills to be
the best possible athlete they can be now and for the rest of their
athletic journey.

State of the Industry

It's incredible to me that this is still happening.

Kids being trained like adults.

I regularly see young athletes who don't have enough basic strength yet being drilled hard on the field of play.

The basics need to be addressed and a solid base of skills, strength and balance needs to be fostered before being drilled.

And don't even get me started on trainers that think the workout isn't over until someone has vomited. Seriously? this is still going on?

Think about that when choosing a trainer. Are they their for the betterment of your young athlete or to make themselves look good. Pick the one that chooses the high road: Functional over impressive.

Just a beef to pick today. More coming down the pipe.

Have a great day.

In health,


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why am I here?

I'm guessing you didn't sign up for something quite so esoteric as the title might suggest but a little background never hurts.

I come from an athletic background. I've experienced good and bad coaching.

Not just bad as in yell-at-em, but also bad through omission. Omitting the coaching (which is not yelling) or positive reinforcement. Assuming that kids "get it".

Kids want to hear good things, just like anyone else.

Young athletes are still developing physically and mentally. Yelling at them or running them "until they puke" is not going to foster an athletic lifestyle.

I'm sure that bad coaching is not what they set out to do. It's possible they think that whatever was done to them will work just fine.

Being negative works for a little while but soon performance becomes something about avoiding mistakes than taking it to the next level.

That's what hurts the most.

I've had good, bad and everything in between. But my first coach (hockey) was not at all helpful.

Here is the sum of my memories from playing hockey when I was 6 years old.

Getting yelled at for icing. I was 6. I do believe I quit hockey shortly thereafter and I haven't played a game since.


Fortunately I moved on to basketball a few years later and had a pretty decent coach. Better yet, he was a good person. I learned to respect that and it made me want to play hard. And guess what, it was fun to.

This is a major factor in my involvement in coaching youth athletes now. Because I still see the bad. Believe it or not, some misguided coaches in my daughter's U6 soccer league won't even play our team, or the 2 other teams for that matter, because they are not "ready".

Ready? They are four, five, and six years old. They are ready to play and have fun at the drop of a hat. That's all the "ready" that any coach should be worried about at that age.

So why am I here?

I want to change the way kids are coached for the better. Take into account how mature they are, mentally and physically, and make it positive experience that will influence them and their success in life.

It's why I joined the IYCA and became a Youth Fitness Specialist.

It's a lot of fun and working with kids who want to be there. I want them to have a good time, and learn to become healthy active successful adults.

Is that too much to ask?

Enough about me. Some more fun stuff is coming your way soon. We'll chat later.

Have a good one.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

ACL Injuries - how to prevent them

Occurrence of ACL Injuries in Youth Sports Hits All-Time High

More than 70% of injuries are preventable with proper training

More than 20,000 high school female athletes suffer a serious sports related knee injury each year in the United States.

Female athletes are up to six times more likely to experience a knee injury than male athletes of the same age.

Long considered a contact-based injury in which colliding athletes undergo a knee trauma due to the impact, recent research has shown that has many as 70% of ACL injuries are actually non-contact related.

This means that the vast majority of ACL injuries in young athletes are due to strength deficiencies or improper jumping and landing mechanics.

Well-designed strength and conditioning programs have shown to be the number one preventative agent in reducing the incidents of ACL injuries in young athletes.

The International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA), through which I am a Youth Fitness Specialist, is a sport training association that works specifically with young athletes on strength and conditioning programs intended to reduce the risk of injuries incurred in sport as well as dramatically enhance the performance of on-field or on-court play.

My Youth Fitness Program, which is currently available to you in the HRM, currently trains local young athletes ranging from high school basketball and football players to recreational athletes.

Serving young athletes for 5 years, the athletes I've trained have experienced no ACL or other related knee injuries. Injury rates among IYCA trained athletes are significantly lower than other young athletes.

More than 50% of sport related injuries have been prevented by IYCA training programs.
For more information on the training program closest to you or training programs for your teams or young athletes, please call Todd DeWolf at 902-219-0072.