10 General Truths


When it comes to training middle - high school / low-level athletes, often times it is the simple concept of “more is better” method that is stock piled onto the athletes.  While having a lot of money is better than having a little, this concept isn’t efficient when dealing with training athletes.  Too much of anything can interfere greatly with the growing and adaptation process.
There seems to be a split in the road when it comes to athletic development in our country: Old-traditional mentality of  “need more intensity”, “mental toughness workouts” and “feeling the burn”, while attempting to make the athletes vomit.  Coaches that say, “well this is the way I trained, so this is the way I’m going to train my athletes.”  Egos rule over science and research because they are committed to existing dogma.
Then on the other end you have new innovative gimmicks, 3minute at home workouts, 5-second ab’s, new equipment, and new tools.  These are thrown at athletes in order to keep their attentions and persuade coaches/parents/ athletes that their facility has the “latest and greatest.” 
"The public usually feels far more comfortable with cerebrally undermining mantras and fast food solutions than with far more accurate, more complex methods.  That is a major reason why many fitness figures write as they do and market their catch phrases simplistically as they do - society has been processed by the mass media to behave like that and they usually do not want to be forced to think too deeply or to have their convenient current beliefs questioned, because that entails a serious threat to their psychological safety. Humankind has always been like that and they receive what they have been processed or educated to want." - Dr. Mel Siff
           
What I am hoping to do with this series of articles is spark some critical thinking and healthy conversation with strength and conditioning coaches that work with youth and low-level athletes.  The first thing I would like to do is put together a little list of 10 general truth’s about training youth and low-level athletes that we all should be able to agree with, then throughout the series of articles discuss each general truth.

First general truth:
Physical preparation coaches goals when working with atheltes:
-       Get atheltes better at their sport(s)
-       Decrease likelihood of injury

Second general truth:
There are 3 reasons for athletic injuries:
·      Acute – sudden onset (example: concussion, car crash, electric shock, gun shot)
·      Poor mechanics (running, throwing, cutting, jumping techniques)
·      Poor physical abilities (strength, flexibility, endurance, ect.) as they releate to the mechanics

Third general truth
Proper mechanics will:
-       Improve efficiency of movement
-       Improve speed of movement
-       Improve conditioning
-       Decrease the likelihood of injury

Forth-general truth:
Youth and low-level athletes:
-       General means/methods will improve sporting indicators (10yrd & 40yrd sprints, vertical jump, broad jump, ect) and sporting performance

Fifth general truth:
Low-level athletes are weak and have poor mechanics

Sixth general truth:
Low-level athletes need to develop / improve all motor abilities (strength, speed, quickness, jumping, reaction, flexibility, ect.)

Seventh general truth:
Strength is the easiest motor ability to improve

Eighth general truth:
Practice, competition and training is stress on the body

Ninth general truth:
-       In order to form an adaptation, we must place stress onto the athlete above his/her homeostatic level

Tenth general truth:
There are 4 ways of applying stress to an athlete
-       Intensity
-       Volume
-       Novelty
-       Exercise execution