Ever since growing up in sports I can remember parents, coaches, and even teammates who may have criticized other teammates explaining how person “A” was born with a certain level of talent, speed, quickness, strength, etc…Some would give more excuses than others but the general consensus was something similar to what we hear about speed. “You cannot teach speed.” Basically, what you’re born with is what you get. In my opinion, everyone has a certain level of speed (or other qualities) but they all can be improved upon no matter who the person is. We are not simply going to make those who play parks and recreation ball into superstars but moving better, getting stronger/faster/powerful, and decreasing the chance of injury can be attained for any individual. By the way, we can teach speed and make athletes faster, just saying. Looking back at the job I did as a track coach up until what I have learned so far, there was a large amount to be improved upon and one in wish I would have known what I know now with regard to soft-tissue work, dynamic warm-ups, removing restrictions, conditioning, and strength training. All of which would have improved the athletes to a significant degree.
Since it is the last month of Endeavor’s off-ice training with the Team Comcast organization, I can whole-heartedly say the improvement we have made with the young kids is encouraging considering they have never had any basic training outline before. Hopefully, it will continue to be as fun for them as it is for me. We kept things simple but some of the major goals were to…
- Warm-up effectively
- Perform linear and lateral sprint progressions effectively
- Learn how to perform basic broad and vertical jumps correct (landing technique)
- Fun: Play a game in the middle or end of session (forward/backward crab walk relays, sprint relays, split squat hold competitions, bear crawl relays etc..) : During a split squat hold team competition yesterday, two 10 year olds held a damn near perfect split squat for 1:30! It was unreal. They’re also are the hardest working young athletes I’ve seen.
- Learn how to do basic core movements: front planks, glute bridges, side planks–>progress to marches with these movements
- Learn bodyweight reverse lunges/walking lunges/bodyweight squat (or goblet squat)
The youngest teams have either gone 1-2x/week for 1 hour depending on the week. For the 12-year-old team, we have progressed to doing goblet reverse lunges, suspended rows, light farmers walks, DB SLDL, slideboard hamstring curls, incline push-ups, DB bench presses, and their anti-core movements (whatever progression we may be on)..
The underlying message here is that every single one of them has become better at training, independent of the skill on the ice. Even if we only have 30 mins for a training session, they got better. Talent only takes you so far, it is what you are willing to do with it that counts.
“Teachability expands your talent: Teachability is not so much about competence and mental capacity as it is about attitude. It is the desire to listen, learn, and apply. Talented people can be the toughest to teach because they often think they know it all. It’s a problem of pride.”