When I was young all the way up to the age of 15 I played just about every sport from soccer, basketball, judo, tennis, track (300 m, long jump) while also trying to participate in every activity that included a competition or a challenge. I would regularly go skiing, swimming, hiking, etc. with my family and friends and I would spend most of my time outside either practicing a sport or doing some sort of physical activity with my friends (sometimes this activity also got me in a lot of trouble).

I fell in love with basketball at the age of 9 but I still loved playing other sports (and I still play and train other sports). Why am I bringing all this up? Because I still can’t believe how kids (and adults for that matter) barely participate in any activity or sport nowadays. Many of those kids that do, are targeting a specific sport from a young age and training countless hours in that one sport to become the next sports superstar. The sad thing is a large part of this phenomenon is influenced by parents and/or coaches.

Here is a guy that knows how to train the youth - Brian Grasso

There is a problem with both. The first issue doesn’t need much description as it’s one of the reasons that close to 70% of Americans are overweight (with an incredible rise in youth obesity!), while the Wii Fit is actually being considered as a form of exercise?! The second issue is the reason for kids burning out from a specific sport and hating it, as is the highest injury rate among youth, where we are starting to see overuse injuries at a young age (while they USED to be 30+ year old athlete injuries).

I went of on a tangent a little but it was necessary.

Kids should experience as many different types of movements as possible and participate in many different sports and activities as they will develop into better, more proficient athletes, prevent burnout, injuries, and avoid the pressure of being the next “insert sport” superstar. This way their development will be much better long term, and when the time comes they will be able to decide which sport to pursue (I know some sports require an earlier commitment but it’s a exception rather than a rule).

I could go on for quite a while on the topic of what’s wrong with today’s youth training mentality (and I will in a later post) and how to change the culture of it through following the people that know how to train kids – the IYCA, but I will transition into talking about how much improving movement can help all athletes in general.

No matter what sport you play, even if some sports require really specific movements, you will benefit from performing different types of movements and having your body move through all ranges of motions. The majority of assessments I perform with athletes show lack of mobility, flexibility, stability, faulty movement patterns, inability to perform any other sports movements other than the sport they play, etc. These issues lead to overuse injuries and/or just a lesser quality of life for the general population.

Incorporating movement training with advanced ab training

Every session with our athletes starts with mobility work (preferably also self myofascial release with foam rollers) and flexibility. We will then do movement prep going through running drills, agility, bodyweight warm ups, animal movements, gymnastics movements, boxing or martial arts drills, games (ex: single leg tag), low level parkour drills, basketball drills, mini soccer, reaction ball drills and games, etc. If we have a chance to be outside then the options really become endless. Not only is it a good warm up but it also fun and the athletes get a lot better at moving (I will have the athletes do things that are different from their sport). This has been a great addition to our warm ups and it has improved performance and decreased injuries.

 I regularly go to the park, especially in the warmer months (I live right next to Coulon Beach Park), and I will go through tons of different bodyweight exercises from sprints , broad jumps, push ups, animal movements in the sand, to playing around on the monkey bars with pull ups and climbing. When the water is warm enough I will do sprints and jumps in the water as well as other exercises. If you’ve never done it then you need training like this, then you need to start. Which brings me to a video I came across last week that shows MovNat, a certain type of training that resembles what I was explaining…..and it is all in nature.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Netvouz
  • Technorati
  • DZone
  • ThisNext
  • HealthRanker
  • MisterWong
  • Wists
  • LinkArena