Champion Athletes Rise Up

This past Friday we had our 15th Testing and Promotion Event. Pride is an under rated term when referring to what we witnessed.  The following young athletes have ascended to the new levels of achievement:

Level 1 Phase 1

Tyler Gould
Madison Gould
Owen Lynch
Abigail Manning

Level 1 Phase 3

John Ennis
William Hoban

Level 2 Phase 1

Sam Goodman
Caroline Manning

Level 2 Phase 2

Coleman Earner
Jayne Howe

 

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Plyoboxes, agility discs and pushups…

In this short video, head coach Dave Gleason gives some tips on how to utilize some common training tools to teach the push up to younger athletes.

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Training athletes from the back forward

Most training programs for young athletes focus all of their attention on the big pushers and fancy drills.  Bench pressing, squatting, high speed treadmills and the like are the mainstay of many sports performance center.  These ways of helping a young athlete become better are ill advised and not optimal.

The posterior chain is a term that describes the series of joints and muscles on the back side of our bodies.  The glutes, hamstrings (back of the thighs), lower back and upper back to name a few are all a part of the posterior chain.

What is so important about the posterior chain.

Most non-trauma related injuries to athletes (all athletes, not just young athletes) are due to poor braking mechanisms.  Most of the structures on the back side of the body are designed to help athletes put on the brakes.

Examples of Braking mechanisms in sport:

  • Slowing down, stopping and changing direction quickly
  • Slowing down or braking the throwing motion
  • Landing from a vertical jump

All this being said….a young athlete still needs to have fun.  This video depicts on of the many ways we train the posterior chain to increase injury resistance and improve performance:

If you have never experienced the difference at Athletic Revolution and want to take advantage of our 2 week free trial just click here and we can get you started!

 

See you soon!

 

Coach Dave

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Balance Training for 10-13 year olds

Core strength and balance are important components of successful sports performance.  Training these elements in young athletes can be fun and challenging or boring and time consuming.  Static and dynamic balance can effectively be trained by partnering young athletes together and using an implement to “battle” for balance supremacy.

At Athletic Revolution I will use ropes, balls, resistance bands and even PVC pipes (usually utilized for teaching bar skills) as the implement.  As a coach you can regress or progress depending on the skill and aptitude of your young athletes.

Some rules or boundaries you can easily layer in are:

  • First person to put their other foot down loses the match
  • One hand hold only
  • No hopping allowed
  • Eyes closed
  • Two feet

BE CREATIVE!

Here is an example of this activity in action…

 

This game is can also be a great equalizer of strength and a terrific example in teaching young athletes the difference in absolute strength vs functional strength.

See you soon!

Coach Dave

 

 

 

 

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Speed Training For South Shore Young Athletes

Here at Athletic Revolution, we place an emphasis on making sure your young athlete is as fast as they possibly can be.

Speed and Agility are very important to the success of any young athlete…

… But most Coaches and Trainers make mistakes when it comes to training for speed.

Here’s what I mean:

It is customary to see young athletes being taught and drilled on how to run as fast as possible in a straight line.

Coaches spend hours teaching the mechanics of ‘linear speed’.  Arm drive, hip drive, ankle push, forward lean – all the usual suspects.  Whether on a high speed treadmill, gymnasium floor or football field, anywhere you go, you’ll likely see Coaches teaching the techniques of running fast in a straight line moving forward.

High Speed Treadmill

Now, I don’t really have any fundamental issue with respect to this style of training.  I could (and will) argue that virtually every sport is played in a non-linear format and so spending time on the mechanics of an exercise that a young athlete won’t typically ever need in a sporting situation is paramount to a large waste of time.

But young athletes (as you will read later) need to be exposed to as much training stimulus as possible – in all formats.  In that, no training style should ever be considered ‘not worth the time’ when we’re talking about preadolescent or high school aged athletes.

But the fact that linear speed training is both taught and drilled INSTEAD of more functional and useable styles of speed and agility work is where I draw the concern.

Football, baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball – you name the sport.  Very seldom does a young athlete need to sprint forward with proper form; and they almost never hit ‘top-end-speed’ for any length of time.  If you look at any of the sports from a positional standpoint, that reality is even less likely.

Sports are multi-directional and varying in speed.  Young athletes must be taught how to move efficiently and quickly at angles (not just forward) and be ingrained with the knowledge and ability of how to decelerate (stop) and shift (change directions) as fast as possible.

Sport speed isn’t about straight lines.  It’s about angular quickness and the ability to re-accelerate.

Come on in and enjoy a complementary ‘2 Weeks Free’ of training at Athletic Revolution in Pembroke and see just how much faster your young athletes are going to become.

Call me directly today – 781.312.7808

~Coach Dave

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Young Athletes

Just arrived!

Winter Hats…Just $20

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Custom Sweatshirts
Name on the Sleeve
AR Logo on the front
ATHLETIC REVOLUTION on the back

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ONLY $60!

These are hot!

Order by Monday 12/13 for Christmas (Sweatshirt only).

Email Andrea:  andrea@athleticrevolutionsouthshore.com or call 781-312-7808

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Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries in young athletes continue to be on the rise and in my opinion can be avoided.  Recently I posted a Youtube video on this subject for the IYCA.

It is an honor to be the training advisor and columnist for the only organization that specializes in youth fitness and athletic development.

Although this video is intended to teach other youth fitness professionals – it is great information for anyone.

Take a peek at this video and let me know what you think!

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Athletic Development and Youth Performance Assessments

If you have not seen the video or heard the feedback about our recent testing day, I have a very special treat for you.

Matt Travis is a Physical Education Teacher and a Certified Youth Fitness Specialist in Massachusetts. Matt attended our testing day as a bystander and someone who is also looking to make a positive difference in the lives of the next generations to come.  His passion is unparalled.

I tell you this because Matt wrote a letter to me that I would like to share with you.  I captures how we assess our young athletes far better than I could ever imagine.

I know the merit our programming and testing system holds for young athletes.  I understand our role in developing not only young athletes into robust movers and shakers but as human beings.

The following is Matt’s description of what he witnessed, from the view point of an educator, a professional and as a human being.

Thank you, Matt for sharing in our day – and thank you for this letter:

 

I recently visited Athletic Revolution for their second testing session that happens quarterly throughout the year. Upon arrival I knew I was going to observe something special. From the moment I entered the facility I saw a wonderful family atmosphere that was decorated with professionalism. The black and orange balloons commemorating the special day, the happy birthday sign for one of the athletes, the baked goods, warm smiles and greetings from Dave and Andrea, the owners of Athletic Revolution, created a contagious energy that encouraged success. The stage was set for a plethora of talent and athletic ability. 

A calm excitement filled the room before the testing began.  The athletes’ families took their places in the many chairs set up along the perimeter of the turf, with their cameras ready to catch this triumphant occasion. Dave introduced the event by explaining the uniqueness of the Athletic Revolution teaching system, the extensive time and effort the athletes have given to be chosen to participate in the testing session and a loving thank you to his wonderful wife Andrea.  Dave’s superior coaching ability really shined as he took a moment at the end of the introduction to recognize important events in two of his athlete’s lives. He commended one athlete on earning the citizenship award at his school and led the singing of happy birthday for another athlete on his extra special day.  He continued to explain the order in which the athletes would perform the testing protocol starting with the 6-9 year old discovery athletes and ending with the 10-13 year old exploratory athletes.

The testing began with the youngest athletes working towards their white arm bands, the first level of achievement for the 6-9 year old discovery athletes and continued with the athletes attempting their orange and black arm bands, the second and third levels of achievement. The testing finished up with the 10-13 year old athletes working towards their white and orange arm bands at the exploratory level of achievement. 

As a physical educator, coach and level 1 youth fitness specialist, I was absolutely amazed at the endurance, balance, motor control and agility of each athlete. The confidence exuded by the athletes as they performed solo in front of an audience was extraordinary. Each child went through a challenging mix of balance, rhythm, reaction, agility, speed and endurance skills that created a collage of functional athletic ability.  Compared to the traditional non-functional fitness assessments that my allotted curriculum requires me to perform, this testing session was a breath of fresh air.  It was a rewarding experience to see each athlete’s face light up when they saw their hard work pay off and heard the explosive support at the conclusion of each of their own tests. I was so caught up in the excitement and proud moments of these athletes performances that I found myself blurting out cheers for these athletes like they were my own children.

One student was Athletic Revolution’s first exploratory athlete in franchise history to earn an orange band.  I consider myself to be in great shape and have proficient athletic ability, but I am not sure that I could have completed the tough endurance filled coordination challenge that he accomplished, at least not with as much grace. I felt honored to be an observer of this emotional transformation from willing students to confident athletes. It was astounding to see these athletes intrinsically motivated to take a chance and shoot for a high level of athleticism.  The most rewarding part that I observed was the respect each athlete gave to one another while they were testing and the family like reception they gave to each other when they each finished.  Athletic Revolution isn’t just creating spectacular athletes; they are fostering and empowering incredible human beings, and changing lives one child at a time. I look forward to experiencing another testing session because it was one of the most pure forms of youth athletic success I have ever seen. Thank you Dave and Andrea for inviting me to witness this athletic revolution!

Sincerely,

Matt Travis, P.E., YFS        

 

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3 Myths of Coaching Youth Sports

Here is an article that I wrote that was just published in the Pembroke Mariner & Reporter:

 

3 Myths of Coaching Youth Sports

How to Coach Your Team to Success

 

Being a coach of a youth sports team puts you in a position to make an indelible impact on the children you are coaching.  This is true if you a good coach, or a poor coach.  Here are 3 myths in relation to coaching the young athletes you are lucky enough to be in charge of 2- 3x per week.

 

1.       The LOUDER the better!

Considering that young athletes are making nearly 2-3 decisions per second on the court or field – “helping” make those decisions from the side lines does not produce the affect we are often looking for.  Limiting situational teaching to controlled scrimmages (at the end of a practice) or during a dead ball situation will help the children you coach make an informed decision the next time around. 

 

Also keep in mind that depending on the age of the young athlete, conceptual ideas such as passing the ball are literally not on their little radar screens.  6-9 year olds, for example, are egocentric in nature so thoughts of giving up the coveted ball or puck will not happen until their developing brains have reasoned that scenario out.

 

2.       Using exercise as a punishment will teach them.

Never.  Kids play sports because they are fun.  Our role as coaches and mentors is to set them up for as much fun as possible in the hopes that they play again next year.  Young athletes will become adults.  The experiences they draw from their childhood will play a major role in whether or not they choose to be active or not later in life.  Being driven into the ground with exercise because of lack of performance or behavior should be avoided.  A monkey can make a child sweat.  It takes a coach to help them become better.

 

At the beginning of your practices make sure you take 3 minutes to lay out what the expectations are for practice including behavior.  Outline what you will be doing and what you expect.  Ask each athlete if they agree so there is no misunderstanding.

 

If a situation does arise, ask them if they remember the expectations they agreed to, tell them they need to adhere to those expectations and continue practice immediately.  If there is a second occurrence have the player sit in a designated spot and continue practice.  You will be amazed at how well this technique works.

 

3.       Correct technical mistakes as soon as possible.

Common sense tells us this is a true statement.  The fact is a young athlete possesses a brain and central nervous that is far and away smarter than we are.  A young athlete inherently knows when they do not perform a skill correctly…especially when we a.) Don’t give them an accurate demonstration of how the skill is supposed to look and b.) Have not taught them the correct way of doing it with set guidelines.

 

If you ask a young soccer player to dribble through a set of cones with no teaching of the skill or guidelines and the player does so – Praise and encourage them EVEN THOUGH it might not have looked the way you envisioned it in your head.   Doing so will avoid goal confusion and foster confident, creative players on your team.

 

What are your thougths on the subject?

I want to know!

~Coach Dave

 

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