Young Athletes. The Key is Communication, Friend.

March 19, 2011

The second letter in our acronym, ‘O’, stands for simply this – Open
to Communication Variances.

The ‘Lombardi-style’ coaching system doesn’t work.  You can’t just bark
orders and think that every young athlete you train is going to be listening.
With coaching, one-size DOES NOT fit all.  Just like physical ability, size,
relative strength and potential, they way a young athlete needs to be
communicated with is specific to that child or teen.

Now, I’m no fool.  I’ve spent nearly 10 years in the trenches and know full
well that when you have a group of kids (say 20 six year olds) getting to know
them well enough and being able to provide individual attention to them is
challenging to say the least.  But that doesn’t mean individualized communication
isn’t possible.  It just takes a system.

Over my years working with kids, I have found that every one of the young
athletes I’ve trained fits somewhere into the following category:

  1. High Motivation/High Skill
  2. High Motivation/Low Skill
  3. Low Motivation/High Skill
  4. Low Motivation/Low Skill

A brief overview of the template that shows how to communicate with each
of these young athletes is as follows:

  1. Delegate – Look to get this young athlete involved in the training and
    planning process.  Have them lead warm-ups for the group.  Have them
    create the warm-up within the boundaries of your system.  If they are
    older, have them help you co-coach your younger groups.  Keeping this
    young athlete engaged is a critical part of keeping them excited about
    the training process and provide a perfect communication scenario.
  2. Guide – This young athlete doesn’t require more motivation – they need
    to enhance their skill.  Rather than trying to incite them positively (because
    they’re already incited!) slow them down and guide them through the
    process of skill increase slowly.  Breakdown complex exercises into specific
    stages and teach them in a whole-part-whole method.  Communication
    will be automatically improved.
  3. Inspire – This young athlete is great at everything, but lacks the necessary
    motivation to produce consistent effort (likely due to pressure from other
    coaches or their parents).  Don’t ‘ride’ them or even ask them to work
    harder – they will tune you out quicker than you can say TRX!  Instead, talk
    with them about what inspires them.  What gets them excited?  We all have
    a switch on the inside that can turn on when the situation is a quality and
    inspiring one for us.  Find where there switch is and help them turn it on.
  4. Direct – Don’t put this young athlete on the spot – even in a positive manner.
    They crave autonomy and the ability to just ‘blend in’.  So give it to them.
    Provide instructions for the group at large and then quietly be sure that they
    know what is expected of them in the up-coming exercise or drill.  Once they
    realize that your communication with them will be non-threatening, they will
    deem your training environment a ‘safe’ one and start to open up.  That’s
    where the fun will start!

Stay Tuned for Part 3…

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 30 DAY YOUTH ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT TRIAL THROUGH LIVING SOCIAL FAMILY EDITION.

ONLY $40!!! TO GIVE YOUR ATHLETE THE EDGE OVER THE COMPETITION!

CLICK HERE TO CATCH THE DEAL NOW!


 

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