Archive for the Youth Training Category

Coach James Leath on Playing Time

Posted in Guest Authors, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on May 26, 2015 by mboyle1959

This is a great piece. Please don’t credit me with writing it!

At times I have been accused of playing my favorites. Let me be very clear:

Yes, I do play my favorites.

Here is the reality. I am a youth coach. Before you stop reading let me also say I believe it is very important everyone plays in youth sports. But this is not the NBA and I do not have to play my best players in order to keep my job. A benefit of coaching youth sports is there is less pressure to win, and as a coach I can focus on player development without worrying about getting fired. Ask the average youth athlete why they play sports and I bet they would say because it’s fun. Maybe they will say because they get to hang out with friends. Maybe they like the coach. Rarely will they say it’s because they like to win.

If I have a win-less season as a 5th grade football coach and every athlete wants to play again the next year, was I successful? That actually happened to me. In 2013, we lost every game; we were defeated. And we made sure every player played in every game. Every Monday the whole team showed up ready for another week. At the end of the year party, I was brought to tears. I asked the team who was going to play the next year. Every single athlete raised his or her hand. I just happened to run into one of those athletes last weekend at his lacrosse game. (I am not coaching, but I hear a whistle and I cannot resist). You know what we didn’t talk about? Losing every game. I asked him what he remembered about the season and he said, “It was a lot of fun, and you let us play tag at the end of practice.” He thought it was fun. He played a lot and yes, he was one of my favorites. Keep in mind we lost every, single, game.

At the beginning of every season I hold a parent meeting where I present my goals for that season. They include character development, skill development, tons of encouragement to take chances and lots of high-fives. Notice: winning is not on that list. It doesn’t need to be. When you keep things simple and kids are learning and improving every week, winning is a by-product. And let’s not fool ourselves; the scoreboard at a youth game is for the parents and the coaches, not the athletes.

So yes, I play my favorites.

Here are six things I look for in an athlete to be on the starting roster:

Punctual:If a kid is late to youth practice, it’s the parents’ fault. Being a parent is tough and getting all their kids to practice on time is just not always possible. I’ll never punish a kid for being late to youth practice, as long as when they come in they jump right into the drills and get to work. However, if a high school kid is late to practice, it’s the athlete’s fault and that athlete is running.
Committed: I appreciate when an athlete is trying to juggle two sports, but most of the time it is unnecessary. When a player shows up to practice, I expect them to be ready to practice, not exhausted because they just got done with travel ball practice. When you commit to a team for a season, see it through. I do not believe a young athlete should specialize, a subject I have written about before here and here.
Adaptable: The game is on Saturday and I get a call Friday night that a kid got in trouble at school and they won’t be at the game the next day. Now I need someone to play a position they may have never played before. Being adaptable is an indispensable attribute for an athlete.
Aggressive: As a coach I do whatever I can to keep game assignments simple. I tell an athlete, “This is your position, and these are your two options. Pick one and go all out. If you pick the wrong one, it’s okay, just go all out.”
Growth Mindset: This TedTalk by Carol Dweck talks about how what someone believes about their ability to learn actually affects their ability to learn! She contrasts a growth mindset with a “fixed mindset” and proves that anyone can learn something new if only you believe you can and then work smart about it.
Confident: Confidence is something that builds over time. If my team is in week-three of basketball practice and my athlete is still afraid to shoot the ball, then we have a problem and we need to fix it. It’s okay, it’s youth sports and it will take time to build confidence. However, if the athlete is afraid to shoot the ball because her parents will be disappointed that she missed, then I have a problem with the parent and that is a whole other issue. Don’t mind me, I’ll be on the sideline ecstatic that she shot the ball regardless of the result. You know what that does? It shows her it’s okay to shoot and she will most likely shoot again. She is bound to make it eventually.
These are the attributes all coaches look for in an athlete. Ultimately they are developed or under-developed because of the parents. Teach your kids to have these six attributes by modeling them yourself. Remember, most kids do what they see us do, not what we tell them to do.

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Until next week…
James Leath
San Luis Obispo, Ca
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Mike Boyle Interview on Off-Season Hockey Training

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , on May 16, 2015 by mboyle1959

Jamie McDonald did a great interview with me for Mass Hockey on off-season training

Mass Hockey: Is there a specific mistake that even well-meaning parents are making?

Mike Boyle: As parents, we think that the way we get good at something is the way they get good at something. As an adult, if you’re a writer, you can get really good at writing. But to learn to be a writer, there are a bunch of things you need to do first. Your parents wouldn’t start you out writing a book.

It’s the same thing with sports. People are saying, “I want my kid to be a good hockey player, so I’m going to put him in hockey, in all the summer camps, in summer tournaments, 100 games a year, three different teams.” And the reality is that those kids tend to not be the ones who succeed. They tend to get bypassed in their team by the kid who played lacrosse or baseball and did some martial arts or tumbling. That kid’s a better athlete.

And then you get in to the on-ice game. The amount of time a kid actually experiences a puck in a youth hockey game is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 seconds. If a kid plays 100 games, he gets 15 minutes of puck contact. If you think about how long it takes to get to 100 games, driving to a rink and back, you realize you’ve spent 300 hours to accumulate 15 minutes. You could do that in one good skill session. Parents don’t always see it that way.

TO read the entire interview go to:

http://www.mahockey.org/news_article/show/514682?referrer_id=662793

Upcoming Certified Functional Strength Coach Events

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on May 8, 2015 by mboyle1959

Our Certified Functional Strength Coach courses are really taking off. We have five courses coming up this summer. The reviews have been amazing:

Thank you everyone for an amazing workshop! Each MSBC coach had rave reviews, without exception. …. The students’ feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Many have said that it was their favorite continuing education experience/certification/workshop yet. We are definitely hoping to host another in Q2/Q3.

It means a lot to Crunch and lot to me to be able to have a relationship with MSBC and to be able to provide our trainers exposure to some of the best training methodologies in the field, as well as direct time in the trenches learning from 3 of the top coaches in the game. We are looking forward to our next opportunity to work with you all again.

Thank you.


Best Regards,

Mike Spiegel
District Fitness Manager
New York | Miami

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I’m an official graduate of the latest Certified Functional Strength Coach class on April 11, 2015! It was an incredible day of hands on learning with the MBSC guys. They are brillant coaches with a great sense of humor, and they are clearly passionate about what they do. I’m looking forward to using what I learned on Saturday to take my personal training career to the next level. Thanks Marco Sanchez, Kevin Larrabee, and Kevin Carr!

Erika West

_______________________________________________________________

Next certification classes are June 7 in San Francisco:  to sign up go to: https://www.certifiedfsc.com/register?campid=26

June 20 in New York City: to sign up go to https://www.certifiedfsc.com/register?campid=25

We are also doing three CFSC courses, one at each Perform Better Summit on pre-con Thursday. To sign up for those go to : http://www.certifiedfsc.com/performbetter

Hope to see you at a CFSC this summer.

Is Your Child’s Stick Too Long?

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, MBSC News, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on May 7, 2015 by mboyle1959

Here’s a great post from Coach Peter Russo about stick length. I’m a hockey parent like many of you but, never played. I know nothing about lie, flex, or proper stick length. Read this you might know less than you think.

Is Your Child’s Stick Too Long?

Stacking a Team?

Posted in Hockey, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on April 15, 2015 by mboyle1959

Parents always fall into this trap. I love the U14 dads who are trying to stack a team to win the U14 Nationals. Guess what, that may be the wrong approach if your goal is for your child to advance to the highest level.

Jamie Rice, Head Coach at Babson College had a great point

“If they’re competitive, they’ve probably had adversity. That resilience, that elasticity is really important. That gets back to growth. We want kids who are winners not because they played for quote-unquote winning teams. They’re winners because they’ve pushed themselves, they’ve challenged themselves and they’ve overcome something. They’ve lost and then they’ve won.”

Being on the team that never loses is bad for kids. Losing is good. It builds character. It creates resilience. It creates drive. I have never sought out strong teams for my kids. What I do want is for them to play in competitive games. In truth, I could care less who wins or loses as long as the game is well played.

Thoughts?

Why We Don’t Squat?

Posted in Core training, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , on April 14, 2015 by mboyle1959

I’ve unfortunately become famous ( or infamous) on the internet for my views on lower body training. A friend asked me if I could briefly explain my thoughts so I wrote this up. The question of why we don’t squat has both simple and complex answers. The simple reason is that we found the back squat and front squat to be the primary causes of back pain in our athletic population. At any point, in any season, approximately 20% of our athletes would be dealing some kind of back pain that was either caused by squatting or exacerbated by squatting.

The problem was finding an alternative that would allow similar loads. The answer came in three steps.

Step one was actually a picture of one of Joe DeFrancos athletes doing really heavy rear foot elevated split squats ( I think it was with 120 lb dumbbells). That picture opened up my mind to the idea that we could use really heavy loads in unilateral exercises . My first thought was “wow, that would be 480 for reps with two legs”. As a result, I reevaluated and added heavy rear foot elevated split squats to our programs.

Step two was an article by sprint coach Barry Ross. In the article Ross talked about how deadlifts required the use of more muscle mass than squats and were in truth a better total body exercise. As I sat and pondered, I had to agree. Grip work and back work were certainly a feature of the deadlift absent from the squat? I disliked deadlifts because my memories of the deadlift were the ugly ones I did in 1980’s powerlifting meets. Again as a result we added Trap Bar Deadlifts to our program.

The last step was beginning to look into the concept of bilateral deficit. The bilateral deficit research ( actually not new) supported what we saw. What we saw in the split squat was that our athletes were using proportionally heavier loads than they had used in the squat. In fact after one year we saw that our athletes split squat and front squat were equal.

As we progressed in our always experimental programming we saw the change that we desired. We had more healthy athletes. As I have always said, healthy athletes are goal 1, better athletes come second. What we found is that deadlifting gave us a bilateral, more hip dominant choice that seemed to decrease back pain while rear foot elevated split squats actually gave us both higher loads and unilateral, sport specific loads.The only thing wrong was that we were rejecting the sacred cow of squatting.

My thoughts have always been controversial but, always rooted in what was best for the athlete. Unfortunately the detractors ( haters is the popular term now) don’t want to think. They simply want to do what they have always done.

This brings me to one of my favorite quotes from Lee Cockrell in his book Creating Magic:

“What if the way we had always done it was wrong?”

Food for thought and fodder for debate.

PS- We have added front squats back with our young athletes to teach the clean catch and we do some goblet squats with beginners but, you won’t see any athletes with big loads on their shoulders in our facilities unless they are required to do that for a college test.

Hockey Specific Training

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on April 1, 2015 by mboyle1959

I’ve been saying this for years, going so far as to talk about sports general training vs sports specific training in my first book Functional Training for Sports.

Pretty good take from Andrew Davis

Hockey ( Too) Specific Training?

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