Too many times I get asked how do you keep up with setting and accomplishing team strength and athletic goals.
The answer is... I don't have all the answers, and I may be wrong. But it works for our program.
Establishing & Accomplishing Team Strength Goals- INTRODUCTION PHASE: Beginner/New Comer
FRESHMAN! Some say the worst word in S&C. I disagree. There is 100% with out a doubt a lot of frustration that comes from training new athletes and/or freshman in your strength programs. I LOVE IT! I love it because you get a blank slate. Other then what they may have seen on TV, You Tube, or magazines, in some case they are shown by a relative, or sibling how to "bench"... they truly do not have a clue. That's where the art of a strength coach comes in.
We start with a parent meeting. We always; normally in the spring, and also before fall camp have a semi-mandatory parent & coaches meeting. This meeting is for a few reasons. One for parents to put names to faces. Coaches to put parents with athletes. It allows the head coaches to cover any of the pressing issues or expectations for the parents of that sport. It is also the time I get to address the parents as a group. We use this time to make sure that parents know we are here to improve their son or daughters athleticism, prevent injury, and stay in overall good health. We explain to the parents that we may not know everything, we do know what we want in our strength programs, and that is the standard we expect. I have been lucky to work with head coaches that incorporate a student, parent commitment contract. That basically covers the "commitment" it takes to be a student athlete. Parents need to understand that they can say what they want to say to Jimmy at dinner... But the next day in my weight room... It's our way!
Never ever forgetting they are STUDENTS first, ATHLETES second.
Once we have covered the parent meeting we greatly encourage the students that will be attending out school that next year will come to spring workouts. The rule in the FHSAA says that incoming 8th graders can participate in off season conditioning programs, but must do so willingly, and may not practice with the varsity athletes of that sport. We call this our Freshman development program.
Simply put, we peel the onion back to the core. We first start in our approach to stretching, both static, and dynamic. The biggest issues with HS athletes no matter the age is their mobility. You need to remember the large majority of these young men and women are still in their growing stage of physiology. So they will have restrictions in mobility. But hindsight is that starting early will allow more time to improve flexibility and mobility... Get them while they are young.
RULES RULES RULES... It is a must that you not only go over the rules of your weight room, but you also enforce them. Here is the deal: a weight room with 65 athletes at a time (I don't care how big the weight room) has a lot of moving parts. BB generating speed, chains being lifted, cleans being caught... There is a lot that could go wrong. Our #1 goal is to ensure the safety of our
We start them off with simple body weight movements. We will spend the first 20 minutes of a 60 minute period warming up dynamically, and 10 minutes cooling down statically. We will introduce, demonstrate and develop all the proper techniques. We also ensure the kids can speak the language. I look at this as one big science class.
Below is a middle school plan I put together for a friend of mine who was just taking over at a new high school and wanted to incorporate a developmental approach to the middle school athletes. While it is not the entire workout, it is a good example of what should be covered and when.
|Tuesday April-26th||Thursday April-28th|
|Hip Mobility||Shoulder Mobility|
|Static Warm Up||Static Warm Up|
|Proper Stance/Hand Placement||4-Points of Contact Bench Press|
|NO WEIGHT/BB OR DOWEL ONLY||Hand Placement/Speed Ratio|
|Front Squat||NO WEIGHT/BB OR DOWEL ONLY|
|Free Fall Hamstring/GHR||Push Ups|
|T, Y, W|
DO NOT BUILD ON A LIFT, OR ADVANCE A LIFT UNTIL THEY HAVE PERFECTED THE FOUNDATION (PHASE) BEFORE IT!