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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Youth weight training

Posted by on in Youth Strength & Conditioning

Iron deficiency is a condition resulting from too little iron in the body.  I’m not talking anemia, hemoglobin, red meat or oxygen transport; I’m talking about barbells, dumbbells, and free weights.  I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with parents who are concerned that young 13-year-old Tommy who plays hockey, one of the most physically intimidating, bone crunching sports in the world is concerned that weight training may cause adverse effects.  Never mind that young Tommy is built like a coat hanger, can’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag and that the organized chaotic demands of hockey stress a young body far more than a well organized, structured strength and conditioning program.  This leads to a condition I refer to as Iron Deficiency.  Iron deficiency is a dangerous condition where the musculoskeletal system is not prepared to meet the demands of the stress imposed on it.  It affects a large majority of the youth population who spend the summer’s playing Nintendo, running long distances, and engaging in non-external resistance training such as boxing, MMA and Insanity.

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

I wish I knew fifteen years ago what I know today.  Not just pertaining to my craft as a Strength Coach, but the valuable life lessons I learned along the way during my career as an athlete!  The importance of realizing inner potential, the necessity of utilizing all resources to their utmost capacity and that “intangibles” are just as important as physical attributes in the journey to success. In fact, the more I look into the process, the more I envision one big assembly line producing specialty vehicles.  The assembly workers (Coaches) ensure that all parts are strategically placed in order for the car (Athlete) to run effectively and efficiently with minimal pit stops.  Each car is different so each worker (Coach) has an important job in the final construction.  Care, concern, and attention to detail are just a few qualities of a good line worker (Coach).  Nobody wants a car that constantly breaks down, is missing an engine or won’t start. 

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

The older I get, the more I realize that attitude and work ethic trump talent and natural ability. How we react to the cards that are dealt is more important than the hand it represents, and that character outlasts fame, money, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. There is nothing worse than the sight of wasted talent. I have played with some Junior/College hockey players that should be making millions in the NHL, and I have coached youth athletes that have struggled to reach their inner potential with the preconceived notion that the world owes them something. It was never about goals and assists, penalty minutes, weight lifted or one rep max totals. It was and still is about attitude! It’s about being on time, never being outworked, honesty, integrity, embracing the grind, pushing your teammates and relentlessly perusing a “One Day Better” mentality. As my older brother would say, “It’s about being an “Everydayer”.

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Posted by on in Programming

Another summer of programming is officially in the books at DSC. This year we had four full capacity Athletic Development programs with 50+ athletes. It’s always rewarding as a Coach to see both tangible and intangible results that our athletes’ have attained. It’s also a time to reflect on program design, results and areas of improvement for next year. Below are 5 new concepts/ideas that we implemented into this summers Athletic Development program.

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I miss the good old days! A time where hard work, commitment, discipline and positive attitude were expected, not rewarded, failure was not final and earning meant sacrifice. These lessons have stood the test of time. Growing up in Canada, I never played AAA hockey, I got cut from most of the teams I tried out for. I knew at an early age that hard work; desire, dedication and discipline were the keys to success. My father never responded by formulating a new league, moving across town, getting involved in “politics” or buying me something to ease my self pitied state. By doing so, he taught me a very valuable lesson that would pay off later in life: In the real world not EVERYONE GET’S a TROPHY.

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This is just a quick note from me that may not make sense to you until many years down the road. The word “Coach” is synonymous with responsibility. It is a privilege to Coach: to help shape lives, breed character, and expose an “inner potential” that may otherwise lie dormant in the shadows of self-doubt. Beyond the grind, sweat, iron, chalk, and calluses, I hope you found time to embrace the journey. For it is the quality of the effort that true success is found. I hope that you enjoyed the experience and not only became stronger, but learned to seek improvement each and every day of your life: to live with a “One Day Better” mentality. To embrace the grind!

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It’s amazing how much math I’ve forgotten over the years. Basic algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, geometry and advanced statistics has left my mind faster than when it entered. It seems the quantitative information that I don’t weave into practical application on a daily basis gets weeded out and forgotten. The beautiful part of being a Strength and Conditioning Coach is that our math is easy! Easy and practical: two qualities that lie at the foundation of our practice. Below is the basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, and multiplication) of strength and conditioning.

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If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years training youth athletes’ it’s to NEVER take anything for granted. Just when you think something is too obvious to be addressed, it reaches out and smacks you right between the eyes. I know that over the years I’ve learned from these encounters and now take every step necessary to avoid the “obvious” mistake of not addressing the obvious (I know the word obvious was used several times over the last few sentences, it’s obvious). Below are three Tips from the Trenches and experiences that I have learned from along the way. Hopefully this can allow you to learn from my mistakes. 

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Program design fascinates me!   So many unique elements make up the system that seeks to elicit results for various client populations. It takes years to master and is continuously under construction. As the saying goes, the best program is the one that you’re not currently on. Coach Boyle wrote an excellent article last year called “Should You Stick to the Recipe?”   This article is perfect for young, intermediate coaches who seek to build their own programs/recipes. The evolutionary stages of cook, sous-chef, and finally head chef are excellent analogies pertaining to learning the science of program design. Another important element is the menu. Once the recipe is mastered, there needs to be a menu set in place for your customers. What happens if a certain customer doesn’t eat red meat (they can’t squat) or is a vegetarian (had shoulder surgery)? Menu planning is an art. Here are the three stages of designing your own strength and conditioning menu. As Coaches, our goal is to design a menu that fits the needs of our customers.

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There is an evolutionary process in the strength and conditioning field that when nourished provides growth, insight and direction. This “growth” not only comes in the physical form (bodybuilder phase, power lifting phase, functional training phase), but also from our mental and personality traits. Unfortunately, this is an area where most coaches fail. I’m not suggesting that we meet with Dr. Phil to iron out our issues, but what I am suggesting is that many of our attitudes need adjustment (including my own at times).

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