Applied coachingYouth strength and conditioning

It's not you, it's Gordon Ramsay…

Imagine you are dining in a nice Michelin Star restaurant. You enjoy a delicious starter, followed by a great main course and a decadent dessert. You have had a fantastic experience and your tastebuds have been sent into overdrive. It’s a brilliant experience and you’ve thoroughly enjoyed yourself. You thank the chef and the service staff as you slowly exit the restaurant, not wanting the experience to end…
Now the following weekend, you are reminiscing about the great meal you had and decide you are going to have a crack at it yourself. You have recipes for each course, all the necessary cooking utensils and have purchased all the ingredients.. How confident are you that you can replicate that Michelin star chef in creating the meal?

Athletic Evolution
How confident are you?

Now I want you to make the following swaps:

  • change “recipe” for “training program”
  • change “cooking utensils” for “equipment”
  • change “ingredients” for “exercises”
  • change “chef” for “coach”

See where I’m going with this???
I regularly get asked by parents and coaches for a “training program” for an athlete or group of athletes. Worse still is when a parent/coach simple copy and pastes the program of a senior elite level athlete and gives it to a junior developing athlete! The assumption is that you can simply get a copy of the “recipe” and the sports coach or parent can implement it exactly, simply based on me providing the exercises and the sets/reps. This couldn’t be more wrong. You see the issue is it isn’t the recipe that’s the most important component, it’s the chef, or in this case, the coach! It’s the knowledge, experience and insight of the coach that influences the success of the program!

It’s not the tools, it’s the knowledge

There’s far more to program than simply the exercises/sets/reps. It’s also the:

  • specific technical coaching points
  • physical demonstrations
  • progressions/regressions
  • individualised feedback to each athlete

I am often reluctant to just give a sheet of exercises with sets and reps, with little to no additional information or communication to a random athlete I’ve never seen or met before.
Wait a minute – don’t you sell online programs?
Yes I do! So how does this add up? Well, I’ve tried to circumvent as many of these issues as possible by providing:

  • the specific coaching points I would use when coaching
  • video recordings of the physical demonstrations from different angles
  • a systematic program that uses simple and slow progressions/regressions built in to avoid overloading athletes too soon
  • the options on how to implement the program as a warm up or a complete session

Effectively, I’m trying to empower the grassroots coach/parent with as much of the information I have in my head about the program to allow them to replicate me as best as possible and get similar outcomes or results that I would! I still need to get around the individualised feedback component, but given that all coaches coach human movement of some sort, then given an example of the correct movement along with the criteria, they should be able to spot the differences and intervene!
Simply handing over a list of exercises or copying a written workout from a website will not do that! So keep that in mind next time you’re looking for the silver bullet of a training program to produce the next (insert famous athlete here)…
If you are interested in our online training programs which are designed to equip grassroots coaches to deliver effective fundamental movements training, you can view them here.
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