Hybrid Sports Science Meet-Up: Training Adolescent Athletes

It was great to have the opportunity to speak at the recent ESSA Special Interest Group in Adelaide, where I presented on ‘training adolescent athletes’ alongside other great practitioners including Charlotte Matthews (St Peter’s College) and Fabian Garcia-Byrne (SACA).

The key aspects of my presentation centered on the dot points below:

  1. Think back to the time you were an adolescent athlete? What did you need, miss out on or not know about?
  2. As the coach, where do we start with each athlete?
  3. You are going to need an overall philosophy? Speed, strength, sport… You must speak the language.
  4. These are mine for strength… Dave Tate, Stu McMillan, Bryan Mann, Frans Bosch, Mike Boyle, Dan Baker, Louie Simmons.
  5. These are mine for speed…Charlie Francis, Tom Tellez, Loren Seagrave, Stu McMillan, Dan Pfaff, Peter Fitzgerald, Paul Young, Jim Bradley.
  6. Do you fit the System to Athlete or Athlete to System?
  7. Meet the athlete where they are ‘at’. Youth athletes don’t need elite training methods.
  8. Fill their buckets with the right stuff… Also, don’t be a bucket dipper!
  9. Too much of anything is not good.
  10. You are only a bus driver for a short time… take them on a nice, joyful ride. They will have a new bus driver soon.
  11. Bang for buck. Do just enough!
  12. What is the impact on the clock? Results matters.
  13. People have been running fast a long time. There are no secrets.
  14. What scope does the athlete have?
  15. Never play all the cards. ESD is like a Royal Flush.
  16. When to start resistance training?
  17. Sport specialization? Should we do it?
  18. How are athletes (and their parents) influenced by social media?
  19. Vanilla is best. Youth athletes don;t need rainbow flavoured ice-cream.
  20. Get them to training. Compounding interest.
  21. There is talent everywhere. Rich/poor background, private/public school, elite/avg facilities. Crème always rises to the top in spite of coaching.
  22. Coaching matters. Coach the heck out of the athletes.
  23. Always keep sight of what’s important.
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