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FUEL ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT


MOTIVATION


WHEN TO TRAIN


And how to know when the time is right for your kid BY JAY DYER


While perusing my Facebook feed, I came across a video of Russian youth hockey athletes’ off-ice training program. Social media provides the opportunity to stay connected, but it can also feed into the desire to be certain your kids are keeping up with the Jones’ (and the Russians).


My concern after viewing the video was how many parents commented, “I need to get my kid training like this” or “my kid already has a training program more intense than this.” The reason for my concern: The athletes were 8 years old. While some components of the training were applicable to the young athletes in the video, many of the drills were performed incorrectly and there did not appear to be a coach anywhere in sight. (We’ll assume the coach was fi lming.) Our program prefers to wait until an athlete reaches middle school to start training. We focus on speed development, change of direction, coordination and strength training.


SPEED DEVELOPMENT A major component is correcting mechanical fl aws that


reduce effi ciency. STRENGTH TRAINING


This program consists of bodyweight resistance, utilizing TRX, push-ups, squats and exercises for core strength.


CORE MUSCLES


While abdominal training is included, our coaches defi ne the core as the muscles posteriorly and anteriorly between the base of the sternum and the top of the kneecap. If the goal is to build a foundation for the athlete, core strength is imperative.


The youth hockey athletes were performing a number of simple and complex movements. Some displayed profi ciency and others demonstrated the need for training regressions to build toward profi ciency. They demonstrated insuffi cient core strength, coordination and improper mechanics.


CHECKLIST


Parents often ask when their athletes should begin training. Gauge their


interest, readiness and appropriateness with these items:


• The athlete expresses an interest and desire to train.


• The program is designed and implemented by certifi ed strength and conditioning coaches. • The program is built on short- and long-term athletic development.


• Training frequency is determined by total amount of athlete activity. We recommend our middle-school athletes attend no more than two sessions per week.


JAY DYER OF MEDSTAR SPORTS MEDICINE AND JDYER STRENGTH AND CONDI- TIONING IS THE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH FOR THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAMS PROGRAM.


USlaxmagazine.com


May/June 2017 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE


25


©JOSH ROTTMAN


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