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.

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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Olympic Effort

It's about time. This is a great time to pick up the slack in your program. There is something so inspiring about the effort these people put in. Look at the 41 yr old Dara Torres. Any age people. You can make it happen.

naturally we need to temper our efforts with a wee bit of reality. We may not make the olympics but you can certainly get strong enough to impress family and scare the neighbors. Perhaps this will be the kick you need. Draw off the energy of the competitors. Even from here. I don't imagine we'll be able to make it to the Olympic venues. It's too much of a drive for me, at least.

I use the Tour de France to get my bicycle time up. The scenery and the ability to lose yourself in the race will help you perform at levels you wouldn't have expected from yourself.

So get your butt in front of the tv. Take a skipping rope, a matt, a couple weights and start moving. A little bit goes a long way. Recover your form and energy. Show the family how it's done.

And don't forget to scare the neighbors.