Archive for the Youth Training Category

The Evidence is Overwhelming

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on January 6, 2016 by mboyle1959

I keep posting these articles in hopes that parents will realize how foolish they are to have a child that only plays one sport.

Joe Nieuwendyk was a two sport star in college. The article talks about how Nieuwendyk’s  lacrosse skilled helped him become a Hall of Famer.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=601349

How Strong is Strong?

Posted in Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on January 5, 2016 by mboyle1959

This is one of my favorite articles…

It’s interesting, ask a strength coach what a good bench press is for a 200 lb male and chances are you’ll get a good answer. Maybe everyone won’t be in agreement but, everyone will have an opinion. Ask a good strength coach what constitutes good single leg strength or good vertical pulling strength and I don’t think you’ll get the same level of agreement or, if everyone will even have an answer. The answer might even be something like “what do you mean?” Last spring and summer I set out to answer both questions. How much single leg strength and upper back strength are actually possible? I think if you are going to train, you need a goal. If we are going to train for strength, we need to know what strong is. The four-minute mile is a great example. In 1957 Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. On that day he broke a twelve year old record. By the end of 1957 sixteen runners had also broken the four-minute mile. It’s amazing what someone will do once they have seen that it is possible. Twelve years to break the record and sixteen followers in one year. My goal is to raise the bar on both single leg strength and upper back strength by telling the strength and conditioning world how strong strong might be….

to read the rest click here

Agility Ladder, Speed Ladder, Warm-up Ladder

Posted in MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on December 30, 2015 by mboyle1959

I’m not sure what prompts people to write the things that they do but, periodically the old “ladders are useless” post pops up on Facebook or Twitter. I need to be honest, if you think getting good at ladder drills makes you quicker or more agile, you are probably wrong. However, if you think ladders are useless and a waste of time, you are definitely wrong. Ladders are great for kids as they can help improve coordination and brain-muscle connections. For higher level athletes they are simply a great tool for multi-planar warm-up.

Take a second and read this article I wrote for my StrengthCoach.com site a few years ago:

A couple of threads on the StrengthCoach.com forum got me thinking about the question of foot speed and athletes. I can’t tell you how often I hear a parent or a coach ask, “How can I improve my son’s/daughter’s/ athlete’s foot speed or agility?” It seems everyone always wants the shortcut and the quick fix. The better question might be “Do you think you can improve foot speed?” or maybe even the larger question, “Does foot speed even matter?”

to finish reading, click here

Are Box Jumps Even Plyometrics?

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on December 21, 2015 by mboyle1959

Box jumping has been the subject of the week. I’m amazed that a simple post could generate so much interest. The truth is that box jumps are just that, a jumping exercise. They lack the reactive component that distinguishes a plyometric exercise from just jumping. Here’s an article that will get you thinking and learning about plyometric training.

Plyometric Training

Numerous articles have been written about plyometric training for athletes. Very few have detailed progressive programs that take into account the need for a system of training that can be applied to a broad range of athletes. Although the works of Chu, Radcliffe and Gambetta were outstanding at the time of their writing, very little has been written in the last ten years that connects our current knowledge of functional training with how to design and implement a system of plyometric exercises. In order to fully understand plyometrics, we must look at basics like terminology, volume and frequency.

Terminology:

The first area that needs to be addressed in the area of plyometric training is terminology. The language of plyometrics must be universal so that any coach or athlete can view the program of any other coach or athlete and understand the exercises without photos or video. The discrepancies in terminology were first brought to my attention by Mike Clark of the National Academy of SportsMedicine. Clark pointed out in a 2000 lecture that many coaches currently used names to describe plyometric exercises that were not properly descriptive of the movement. Clark went on to detail the types of exercises and the specific actions:

to continue, click here

 

Great Stuff From the Guys at Changing the Game Project

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Injuries, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on December 16, 2015 by mboyle1959

I DID NOT WRITE THIS. It is from the guys at Changing the Game Project. However, I do agree. My daughter went from town sports, to a select hockey team at 12 to a full college scholarship at 15. What these guys say works. My daughter did not play in a summer hockey tournament until the week before her 13th birthday. She had never been to Canada to play etc. However, she had excelled at town hockey, town soccer, and local summer swimming and diving. In addition, she had won a state judo championship. My 10 year old son plays hockey, baseball, lacrosse, flag football and rec basketball. Most of these are very inexpensive and provide great fun and great competition.

5 Ways Youth Sports gets the Math All Wrong

 
1.Youth Sports Costs Way Too Much, Way Too Soon: We are creating barriers to entry to sports that should have very few. Soccer, for example, needs a round object and some space to play. Instead, we have tryouts, “elite” clubs and travel teams for 6-7 year olds. Author Mark Hyman phrases it perfectly in the title of his great book about the cost of youth sports, The Most Expensive Game in Town. It costs thousands of dollars plus travel for some kids to play a sport that could almost be free. I am not saying that tryouts, travel, and high-level, long distance competition do not have a place in the game, but not before age 12 at the earliest. Local play and town leagues are disappearing. And worst, we have ramped up the pressure on parents to pay, coaches to produce, and kids to perform. As former NFL punter turned college professor Travis Dorsch has found in his research, our kids are acutely aware of the money we spend on sports, and it adds pressure, and takes away enjoyment for them.
2. Youth Sports Makes Poor Use of Our Kids’ Time (and Ours): Let’s compare the average day of pickup games/free play to today’s hyper-organized sporting scene. In other words, lets look at the return on investment in time.
In a pickup/free play environment, a child might walk 10 minutes on a Saturday to the park or pond to meet with friends. They organize teams and play, taking breaks every once in a while to change teams, get a drink, eat, etc. Six hours later, the child goes home. His 6.5 hour investment yields about 5.5 hours of child directed sport.
Now take our highly organized environment. A child gets in the car at 9am, and drives ninety minutes to his travel game. He arrives a minimum of one hour prior to kickoff, and a warm up commences 30 minutes prior to game time. He plays a 60 minute game, and for arguments sake he plays 40 minutes (a hockey team with 3 lines might yield 20 minutes of play or less with a coach who does not think every kid needs to play.) The coach/team spends 30 minutes changing and debriefing after the game, the player grabs a bite to eat, and he arrives home two hours later. A 5.5 hour investment of time, for one hour of play.
In a nutshell, instead of spending the vast majority of his day at play, making rules, calling fouls, playing fearlessly, and involved in self-directed learning, our kids spend most of it in a car (and so do we). We pay a lot more for a lot less time on task.
3. Ratio of Games vs. Training: Games and competitive matches certainly have their place, but our overemphasis on competition, especially at the youngest ages, is detrimental on two fronts.
First, our current environment yields a ratio of one game for one practice in many sports, which is not ideal. A well run hour of baseball practice might get every player a few dozen swings, and dozens of attempts at throwing, catching and fielding. A one-hour game might see him get 8-10 swings, and depending upon position, 3-10 additional touches of the ball. I cannot think of a sport where an athlete does not get more reps in training. Yet, at the critical ages of development, where kids need as many touches and attempts as possible, we are choosing to play competitive games that give them very few, instead of practice that will help develop technical mastery. Why do we play so many games? According to former NBA player turned youth sports advocate Bob Bigelow, “Adults want to win; kids want to play. That’s the difference. The more adult needs you add to these sports, the more adult vision, the more adult needs have to be met.”
Second, and I think this is critical; our massive emphasis on tournament play is developing slow players. Three-time World Cup soccer coach Raymond Verheijan, one of the world’s experts on periodization, training and injury prevention, first stated this idea to me. “Think about it,” he said. “In your first tournament game, everyone plays full speed, 100%. But your second game of the day, you are at 90% because of fatigue. Your third and fourth game of the weekend, you are at 80% speed. If you make the final, everyone is tired, sore, carrying injuries, and playing 70-80% of full speed. Not only are your players increasingly susceptible to injury, but in four out of your five games, they have played at a slower speed due to fatigue. Your players are rarely playing at maximum pace or making maximum decisions per minute. In a mental game like soccer, they are learning over and over to play slowly.”
4. The Age of Specialization is Way Too Young: I have written articles on this subject, and the book “Is it Wise to Specialize” so if you want more on this topic click the links. Until there is compelling science, and not simply outlier, one-in-a million examples like “look at Tiger” to show that early specialization is a better path for player development, I believe the science shows that the multi-sport pathway prior to age 12 gives your child the best chance of long term success. Outside of female figure skating and gymnastics, playing a single sport prior to the age of 12, especially when it is the decision of the parent or coach, and not the athlete, only serves to decrease ownership, enjoyment and intrinsic motivation, while increasing the risk of burnout and injury. Let your kids play multiple sports, and help them find their passion instead of trying to determine it for them.
5. Talk About College Sports Starts Too Young: As evident by the letter I received from the mom quoted above, too many coaches and parents are talking about scholarships at an age they should be talking about love of the game and developing excellence. As the mom noted, her daughter had no idea what she wanted to study, where she wanted to go to school, and likely had been to very few college campuses, yet she was being told “commit soon or else.” I have yet to meet a college coach, especially on the women’s side where the problem seems exacerbated, that likes this current system of evaluating and recruiting middle schoolers, and committing scholarships to kids 3-5 years before they will ever step on campus. Yet they also feel powerless to stop. As a result, we have a generation of college athletes heading to schools that are not the best fit, majoring in subjects they have little interest in, and transferring at a very high rate.
Its time to get the math right in youth sports. don’t you think? Here are a few steps to do so that will make it better for our kids, and better for the adults as well:
Do not force, or be forced, into having your child specialize too early. The evidence supports a multi-sport pathway.
Have your child play one sport per season, and play it with full effort and commitment.
Do not be in a hurry to get on the team that travels the farthest, or collects all the best players as soon as possible. Save your money and time until your child’s ability and desire demands it, and your family and finances can support it. Performance prior to puberty is not a great indicator of performance after it.
Find local free play opportunities, take your child and friends to the park, and let them play. Have your kids play futsal, or 3v3, do tumbling and martial arts, and build those hours on task through more efficiently through child-centered fun.
Look for quality of competition, not just quantity. Don’t be mesmerized by the coach that tells you about all the games they play, and all the tournaments they go to. Find a coach and club that talks about how much they practice, and how much every player gets to play and how they develop on their own time frame.
Stop talking about college sports too soon. Worry about your child becoming a good player, and developing a burning desire to play. College sports are hard, and demand a ton of time;, if sport is a job and not a passion, they won’t make it. Yes, some schools and sports want early commitments, but they also want great players. If your child is good, and patient, chances are she will find a school that is a much better fit then one she was in a hurry to commit to 3-4 years prior.
Let’s hit the reset button, and get the math right. Let’s start investing our precious time wisely, and our precious dollars in the right things, and at the right time. We can make the math work.
Our kids need us to.

Stop The Box Jump Stupidity

Posted in Injuries, MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Youth Training with tags , on December 11, 2015 by mboyle1959

Here’s my second repost of the same blog. Obviously not seen by enough coaches yet!

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The top box in the stack is either a 36 or 42 inch plyo box.

If you have one, please put it away. In fact, unless you are training some great athletes, put your 30 inch box away too. I have dubbed the big plyo boxes “Idiot Boxes”. Idiot boxes are jumped on by young men ( it is always young men) looking to show off. I have begun to refer to them as “skin donors”. I can tell you something for sure. If CSI showed up and dusted the high plyo boxes for DNA most of these boxes would test positive. There was a time when my athletes and I were foolish just like everyone else and did these foolish exercises. After coaching a few “skin donors” I realized that what mattered was the movement of the center of mass, not the height of the box. I no longer own a 36” box but, own lots of 18’s, 24’s and a few 30’s.

Our rule is simple. Jimmy Radcliffe said it best; “jump and land from the same position”. This means that take off and landing should look identical. If you jump from a ½ squat, land in a half squat.

I could post a few videos but, don’t want to get sued. Just Youtube “box jumps” if you want to see foolishness in action.

And please, don’t stack up a bunch of stuff to jump on. That’s even dumber. I just saw an article with a multi-million dollar athlete jumping on a collection of boxes and plates. Try to explain that during your deposition.

AromasFGBBox3-th

Remember, jump and land from the same position.

Changing the Game Project Books of the Year 2015

Posted in Guest Authors, MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on November 28, 2015 by mboyle1959

This is a great list. I’m happy to say I have almost all of them. Sadly, I haven’t read them all yet.

Changing the Game Project- Books of the Year 2015

Who Should You Take Advice From?

Posted in Hockey, Injuries, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on November 21, 2015 by mboyle1959

I wrote this piece for my StrengthCoach.com site a few months ago and thought I’d share it with a wider audience.

Brian Carrol wrote an interesting piece called Five Reasons Your Not Getting Stronger. It was pretty good and to the point.

I thought I’d analyze this part though:

Qualify the person you’re taking advice from using these 5 questions I learned from Dave Tate of Elite FTS:

1. What is his/her education and background?
2. How is/was this coach’s performance in the particular sport they’re coaching?
3. Who have they trained?
4. Have they been able to make athletes better than they were before training with them?
5. Do they practice what they preach?

If I score myself, I do pretty good on number 1- Education and background.

2. Performance in the particular sport they are coaching? I was not very good at anything. In fact, my best sport was swimming. I played and liked lots of other stuff ( powerlifting, basketball, football) but, performance? Not so much. Surprisingly, I have a baseball worlds series ring ( played from 8 years old to 12 and stunk) and two ice hockey national championship rings ( never played). By the way, my dad won a few state championships as a basketball coach and never played organized basketball. Also, in most team sports, great players don’t make great coaches. In strength and conditioning most of the best coaches I know either weren’t very good, had a career shortened by injury or both.

click here to finish reading

Mike Boyle Seminar December 12th in Providence, RI.

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on October 27, 2015 by mboyle1959

This summer I read Simon’s Senek’s book Start With Why. The book began a thought process that will become a full day seminar on Saturday December 12.

From 8 AM- 3:30 PM I’m going to explore the “whys” behind the MBSC programming.

Think about “why do we stretch”, “why do we roll”, “why do we do the lifts we do”. Most seminars focus far too much on what we are going to do and far too little on why we do it.

In addition I’m going to cover “how” we construct a program.  We’ll take an in-depth look at the periodization scheme that has allowed MBSC to flourish for almost twenty years.

There are only 50 seats available and we anticipate a rapid sellout so please reserve your spot early. A dozen spots are already gone and there has been very little advertising.

To register click here.

How Strong is Strong?

Posted in Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on October 23, 2015 by mboyle1959

This is one of my favorite articles…

It’s interesting, ask a strength coach what a good bench press is for a 200 lb male and chances are you’ll get a good answer. Maybe everyone won’t be in agreement but, everyone will have an opinion. Ask a good strength coach what constitutes good single leg strength or good vertical pulling strength and I don’t think you’ll get the same level of agreement or, if everyone will even have an answer. The answer might even be something like “what do you mean?” Last spring and summer I set out to answer both questions. How much single leg strength and upper back strength are actually possible? I think if you are going to train, you need a goal. If we are going to train for strength, we need to know what strong is. The four-minute mile is a great example. In 1957 Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. On that day he broke a twelve year old record. By the end of 1957 sixteen runners had also broken the four-minute mile. It’s amazing what someone will do once they have seen that it is possible. Twelve years to break the record and sixteen followers in one year. My goal is to raise the bar on both single leg strength and upper back strength by telling the strength and conditioning world how strong strong might be….

to read the rest click here