No doubt over recent weeks you may have seen the number of young gym goers we have been working with at The Athlete Centre, some in our Athletes Academy others National Level competitors and some looking to improve general well roundedness. I wanted to share with you what it is we are doing and why. A few months back Will Harvey and I had a brain baby together and came to an agreement that we needed to start working with young children and teenagers because of the experiences we had had so far in developing the motor skill and strength capacities of a few young athletes. Coupled with our passion for youth sport and my complete fascination with the ability of young children to absorb skill and replicate it, we set out on a rather crazy few weeks of brain steering.
Winning seems to be at the forefront of everything we do, and it is even more evident in youth sport today….winning at the expense of long term skill acquisition. Long term skill acquisition is an integral pillar of ATHLETESTRONG and the foundation with which we progress our current Academy Athletes onto more skill demanding concepts in their physical preparation training.
As the development of young talent becomes an increasingly fast-paced industry there is ever increasing pressure on children to perform at higher and higher levels of competition. With young athletes and active children in mind we have developed a training system to aid them in their physical development with particular focus on their physical conditioning in light of the fact that youth athletes are developing more and more traumatic injury in the sporting arena whether this is practice or competition. Whether your child decides to pursue a sporting career or a healthy life style there are certain elements to the success of those two paths that need to be considered and nurtured.
In my experience I have met very few P.E. instructors/teachers with real first hand high performance sporting experience/coaching, yet they are teaching children to squat, run and jump?? You don’t get a software engineer tending to your car engine at the garage do you? However, injuries are all too common, caused by incorrect sprint training and a lack of understanding around the delicate nature of developing a young child’s speed and agility.
While only a tiny percentage of athletes advance to the university level or higher, the other 99% will enjoy and stay in sports for life if they can improve their skills and have a positive experience.
In 2014 research in New Zealand showed 28% of youths aged between 15-19 years of age will suffer a sporting related injury. This remarkably high statistic highlights the growing issues facing young athletes today. They are over-training and over-committed in the sport they love. The Athlete Centre is grounded in the best coaching practices and latest research to ensure that young athletes are training smarter and not necessarily increasing their workloads.
Below is a short overview of what the initial levels of ATHLETESTRONG contain. Each level of the system contains certain objectives that we aim to achieve over the delivery period along with a test and retest process to assess the objectives below:
- FOCUSING ON DEVELOPMENT OF ATHLETIC TRAITS IN THE ABSENCE OF COMPETITION.
- DEVELOPING A WIDE RANGE OF MOTOR PATTERNS AND PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES.
- MAXIMIZING EXPLOSIVENESS AND NEURAL WIRING.
The next level up will take the prospective participant into more intermediate to advanced training regimes to continue the development of their physical and mental capacities.
- FOCUSING ON DEVELOPMENT OF OVERALL BODY STRENGTH FROM THE GROUND UP
- DEVELOPING SPECIFIC STRENGTHS, PEAK POWER AND SPECIFIC CONDITIONING
- AWARENESS THAT OUR ROLE IS MAKING THE CLIENT BETTER PHYSICALLY THROUGH STRENGTH, SPEED, POWER AND AGILITY NOT ENGAGING IN SPORTS SPECIFIC SKILLS
- GUIDANCE ON NUTRITIONAL PROGRAMMING FOR LEAN MASS GAIN AND FOOD CONSUMPTION FOR OVERALL HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE
As a parent of a developing athlete it’s important to see and understand the importance of these progressions, and why jumping too far ahead too soon could be the difference between a child’s sporting success and failure and between health and injury. We see it all too often that schools and parents are perfectly willing for their children to undertake high impact sports like Rugby, however they cringe at the idea of them attending the gym.
As previously mentioned, a high percentage of young athletes aged 15-19 have sports related injuries, and we believe that through the application of the systems we have outlined, this can be reduced significantly.
To find out more about the ATHLETESTRONG programme or how you can get your child involved simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org