Training Content Guidelines For Coaches of Young Athletes
Coaches need to be guided by some core beliefs, philosophies and principles for their program to be strong, consistent and effective. Having these “pillars” provides clarity to your program and content parameters for you to work within. It helps you to decide exactly what activities you will include in each session.
Four of the principles that have for many years guided my coaching of young athletes are:
High cadence activities of short duration (less than 10 seconds) should be emphasized prior to puberty. E.g. Short standing or flying sprints (5-40m), shuttle relays, games requiring short bursts of speed, “quick foot” movements, and other activities that require rapid movements of the feet, legs and arms.
Prior to puberty, athletes should participate in general aerobic endurance activities of moderate duration that the child can accomplish without their technique breaking down. Use running games, aerobic circuits, etc, rather track work for endurance at this age.
Anaerobic Lactate Training
Activities that result in the build up of high concentrations of lactic acid should not be a part of the program for pre-pubescent children. Training should never “hurt”.
Training Bias – Technique
Coaches of young athletes should concentrate on fundamental movement skills, some sport-specific skills and strength development through challenges, games and fun activities.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Do you agree? What are some of your core beliefs about coaching young athletes? What “pillars” guide your coaching? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the contact details below.
Recommended Reading For Coaches: “Conditioning Young Athletes”
Complete Youth Training by Athletes Acceleration
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Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Anchor or via email.