Top 5 Tips:
Taken from the DVD ‘Creating Athletes: A guide for Parents, Teachers and Coaches.
1. Play as many sports as you can as a child-
Ironically the most advanced skills of a particular sport seem to be more easily learnt if the individual has first developed a broad base of skills developed from practising a variety of sports at a young age. The sport specialist may actually find it more difficult than the multi-sport player to learn some of the advanced skills without this broad movement vocabulary.
2. Emphasise training over competition-
Like the pupil studying for an exam the athlete needs time to accumulate the learning from the training known as a ‘training effect’ and should use competition as a way of testing their enhanced athleticism rather than a means to obtain it!
3. Training adaptations take time-
Any component of fitness needs at least 3 sessions a week and 3 weeks of consecutive training to start to see gains in that component.
4. Don’t believe everything you read-
Before carrying out a training programme or acting on any advice you have taken from the internet check that it comes from a trustworthy source, and ideally that they can provide testimonials and proof of qualifications. There are a lot of pretenders out there and if in doubt seek professional guidance from someone who comes with a personal recommendation.
5. Understand windows of opportunity-
With so many methods of training it can be difficult to know where to start. A lot of research conducted has concluded that children need to develop fundamental movement and fundamental sports skills at a young age. This time immediately before puberty is a key ‘window’ in which to develop coordination and is known as the skill hungry years. Save it until after puberty when the musculoskeletal system is ready before going after more intensive forms of weight training, plyometrics and sprint training.