Young Athletes and Seashells

When I write educational content for various fitness educational organizations, one of my primary goals is to encourage thought amongst the coaches and trainers who are exposed to it.  The following is an excerpt that was distributed to Athletic Revolution franchise partners.

I am sharing this with you too in an effort to give you even more insight as to why we do what we do. The method behind the madness if you will.


When we are educating prospective parent members about the value of long-term athletic development we often use very poignant and effective analogies.  This is paramount in guiding parents to a better understanding and, at times, a paradigm shift as to the optimal way to train their child(ren).

Once more, it is imperative that our parents as well as our athletes comprehend the inherent risk of early specialization in sport… and the 6-week “bigger, stronger, faster” quick fix.

A common analogy that has proved advantageous to these efforts is that of our educational system.

We can quickly draw a parallel between the progressive and cumulative effect of our school systems while explaining that learning physical skill sets is no different.  We speak to building a solid foundation before specializing in any one subject.  We offer the example of not excluding other subject matter because a child has an affinity or increased aptitude in one particular subject.

“If Trevor was brilliant in the subject of math in 1st grade we certainly would not skip to 7th grade algebra”.

As coaches we need to take heed as to how we observe our athletes from a standpoint of skill acquisition and movement economy.  More importantly we must pay close attention to each athletes well being from a humanistic perspective.

I often offer this analogy to think about how you may become a better coach and mentor to the young athletes in your program.

One shell at a time.

When walking the beaches of the south shore in Massachusetts I have often collected seashells.  Far to easy to pick up the shell that catches my eye because of its outstanding shape, size or varied colors.  The thousands of shells I have walked passed without a second thought.

Half buried.

Pale in color compared to the shells.

Jagged and unpleasing to look at.

How many shells were by passed that were in fact the most unique and wonderful shells on the beach?

What have I missed as an observer and collector of shells?

How does this relate?

What have we missed as coaches?

What kids have we looked past to see the athlete who is the “better” athlete?

What child needed to be picked up so we could see the true value of them?

As coaches and trainers we are all on a greater mission to change the way young athletes are coached and trained.  This is why we will continue to set ourselves apart from others in our industry.  THIS is why will we change lives…one athlete at a time.

Thanks so much for reading and taking such an active interest in the long term well being of your young athlete!

Not a member yet? Click here to register for a 2-week trial so you and your young athlete can experience what we do, you can see how our schedule fits yours and we can communicate who our programs will benefit your young athlete!


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