Archive for Training kids

Size Matters

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Injuries, MBSC News, Media, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on August 25, 2014 by mboyle1959

This is awesome. Watch the first video at least. Thanks to my friend Michelle Amidon.

Size Matters

Another Parental Must Read- A New Type of Cross Training for Kids

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Media, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on August 13, 2014 by mboyle1959

Read this piece from USA Hockey with a new take on Cross Training

All Played Out

Posted in Guest Authors, Injuries, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , on August 7, 2014 by mboyle1959

This was sent by a former athlete of mine. Another really good perspective. Please note, this is not my writing.

All Played Out


PORTLAND, Ore. — PARENTS and doctors may have disparate views on the goals of kids’ sports. I know how disparate because I happen to be both. As a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and the dad of a kid who loves sports, I see this world from both sides.

Recently, I told a teenage boy, whom I’ll call Lucas, and his parents that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament (A.C.L.) in his knee. The matching soccer jerseys worn by the entire family were a hint as to how the conversation would go.

“You don’t understand, this is his life!” Mom said.

“We need this fixed — he’s in the Olympic Development Program! He’s elite,” said Dad.

Lucas is 13. The next 40 minutes of what had been a 20-minute appointment were spent trying to reset expectations. Lucas would need a minimum of six months to heal the reconstructed graft. On top of that, his bones were still growing, so the surgical technique would have to be altered to a trickier and less tested procedure. And the harsh reality: Any knee that has had a major injury will never be 100 percent “normal.” His parents were furious and left for the inevitable second opinion.

These visits are exhausting and more common every year. The question is why.

One reason is that our very young kids play harder, and for more hours, than ever before. As a collective, we, the parents, have bought into a new and lucrative paradigm. Our kids no longer play sports; they are youth “athletes.”

The landscape of youth sports has changed markedly in the last 20 years. Free play, where children gather after school, pick a game and play until called in for dinner, is almost extinct. Highly organized and stratified sports have become the norm. Time, place and rules are now dictated to our kids rather than organized by the kids.

Granted, the stigma of being picked last by neighborhood captains still weighs heavily on some of us, so maybe a neutral “adult coach” is just what’s needed. But these paid coaches need to earn their keep and feel pressure to go for the win, so many kids are excluded from even lining up, or they’re relegated to the “Wreck League” (a derogatory reference to the kids who just want to play for noncompetitive recreation).

Eight- and 9-year-old children are often pressured to choose a single sport and to play it all year or risk showing a “lack of commitment.” Kids are “invited” to play in extra-seasonal leagues, but the invitation comes with a caveat. The implicit message is, show up or don’t expect much playing time during the regular season. Kids sense the pressure and sometimes it seeps out in unexpected ways.

More juvenile athletes are coming in with repetitive stress injuries (both physical and, in a sense, emotional) that were once rare. Now children show up in my office repeatedly with vague aches and pains, usually in different locations and hard to diagnose but often relieved with a few weeks of rest. By the third visit, I catch on and ask whether they truly enjoy their full-time commitment. If given the emotional space, the kids will often reply no. They just want a break.

As parents, we want what’s best for our kids but we’ve abdicated our parental rights and duties to the new societal norm. Youth sports have become big business. Millions of dollars flow to coaches, leagues, equipment, road trips, motels, tournament fees — and the list goes on. We give in to the herd mentality along with our confounded friends so that our kids won’t be seen as outliers.

We buy the hype about scholarships to college, but the numbers don’t support the athletic route to money. Despite what your “professional coach” tells you about your child’s athletic prowess, it isn’t possible to tell if your 12-year-old has the right stuff to be a college athlete. Very few scholarships are full-ride packages; most don’t come close to covering the cost of college. But when I tell parents that their kid’s chance of scholarship money is less than 2 percent, they shake their heads in sympathy for the other 98 percent.

I treated two teenage sisters who had career-ending knee injuries in the same year. Fifteen thousand dollars of their father’s annual income had been going to three different elite traveling softball teams. His goal was a college scholarship. Now their knees and chances at athletic scholarships were ruined. But $15,000 a year would have been a great D.I.Y. college fund.

Lucas will be fine. He’ll learn how to navigate adversity and that, in and of itself, is a valuable life lesson. In the future, he’ll make decisions for his own kids. Maybe by then we will all have relaxed a bit.

NHL Players Began Specializing Later Than You Think

Posted in Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on April 27, 2014 by mboyle1959

If you are a hockey parent with a 10 year old who played 80 games last year, take a look at this?

Age of Specialization Chart

Late Bloomers

Posted in Hockey, MBSC News, Media, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , on February 4, 2014 by mboyle1959

Is your young athlete a late bloomer? Great article from USA Hockey

Kids Just Need Play

Posted in MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Youth Training with tags on April 30, 2013 by mboyle1959

Kids just need to play. I know this sounds simple but as adults, we want to organize play. We want structure, and coaching. All the things we crave as adults. Kids don’t need or want much of this. To paraphrase Cindi Lauper, kids just want to have fun.

This is why I love the TPI Cyclone Circuit idea. I call it the ADD Olympics. My son loves it. We often go to the gym in the winter  and pass a tennis ball with a cut down hockey stick, then we play off-the-wall, then we kick a soccer ball, then we make an obstacle course with jumps, sled pushes etc. He thinks it’s fun.

I never coach. I simply let him “play” and as he plays, he develops multiple motor skills. As coaches we see that a kid needs mobility, strength etc and we start coaching and teaching. However, this is like watching a kid do his times tables and saying “he needs more Algebra”, “he can’t do Algebra” . Any intelligent teacher would say “he/she is not ready for that yet”. I think we sometimes miss that part in the fitness and strength and conditioning worlds.

Kids just need to move and develop a wide range of basic skills. They don’t need “coaching”. They need a wide range of experiences that touch a wide range of areas. Experience is king, competency comes much later. You can’t refine a skill you don’t have and attempting to do so just turns kids off to activity.

How much is too much? Your kids will let you know. When my son say “lets kick the soccer ball now” we do.

A Good reason to Turn Off the TV

Posted in Media, Nutrition, Random Thoughts, Training, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , on January 20, 2013 by mboyle1959

Even though this might be really obvious, read it anyway. Kids that watch lots of TV end up fat and slow.