Questions to Ask About Your Youth Fitness Program

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Nov 24

What do you do for your team’s conditioning?

If you’re a youth coach of any sport team, you’re concerned about all aspects of your team’s fitness. How do you approach it?

Here are some questions you should be asking…

  • What fitness and conditioning areas are most important for the team’s success?
  • Where is the team behind?
  • How long is the season?
  • Do the kids do other sports?
  • What exercises should you focus on?
  • How much time do you have to work on fitness?
  • Do you isolate the fitness components from the instruction or combine them?
  • Should you do fitness/conditioning at the beginning or end of a practice?
  • What part of the season is it? Preseason, early, post season? Each one would have different requirements.
  • Are there injuries and over-use injuries the team has or is predisposed to getting?
  • What are the ages and developmental levels of your athletes?
  • What has worked in the past?
  • How hard do you make them work? How many days a week do they work hard vs easy days?
  • Is there any current research or ideas about fitness and conditioning that can be adapted to your program?
  • What are the components you should work on?
    • Lateral Speed
    • Agility
    • Straight ahead speed
    • Muscular endurance
    • Cardiovascular endurance
    • Reaction Time
    • Core Strength
    • Upper/Lower body strength
    • Injury prehab/rehab
    • Coordination
    • General Athletic Skills
    • Specific Sport Skills
    • Vision drills

That is one hell of a lot of areas to work on!

On top of that, you’ve got individual and team skills and tactics. Plus, you should throw in some social skills such as sportsmanship, team building, mental toughness and goal setting.

It’s a whole bunch of stuff to teach kids.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t think there’s a perfect way to do it. But I do have some tips to follow:

  1. Plan ahead. Answer as many of those questions above as you can.
  2. Experiment. Play around with them and see what happens.
  3. You don’t have to be perfect. Kids are remarkably resilient and many of the categories work together. Hit one and you’ll be getting to three or four more.
  4. Once you have your plan, stick with it. Make your changes at the beginning of the next season, not in the middle of this one.
  5. Remember you’re working with kids. They won’t work like adults, don’t develop like adults and have different needs than adults. The pro model can be learned from, but don’t keep the whole program.
  6. Fitness and conditioning is an integral part of a team and child’s development. It is not the only one. Don’t focus on fitness and conditioning and eliminate all the other crucial parts to your program.

What do you do for your team’s conditioning and training? It would be great to get different ideas from various sports and ages.

 

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