I was recently at my local park on the Gold Coast having a BBQ with my family. The burgers were probably my finest, even if I say so myself! A father was coaching his 2 daughters next to us. He had the agility ladder out, along with markers placed in different patterns. I could tell from his commitment to the task, that he had his training session planned out to a tea.
I really applaud this father for going to the effort to take his Daughters down to the local park to polish up on their skills. And for taking it the next step further with having all the equipment as well! But what I couldn’t help to notice was a few critical things that he was doing wrong. Obviously, I’m not going to interrupt – that would be wanky and not my style! A few of the things he was getting them to do – simple things - were undoing the gains that his daughters would have got out of his training session.
It made me think about the commitment that, we as parents have to our kids, and how much we want to help them succeed. Most of us would do anything it takes, this is especially prevalent with elite young athletes who I’m surrounded by every day of the week. These parents are gold – early morning drop offs, special diets, and even working a side-hustle to pay for their kid’s extras. Well done Mums and Dads!
I’ve come up with 3 tips to help parents get the most out of their training sessions with their kids.
Both recovery time between reps, and training sessions, are critical in the improvements your child will gain from your training sessions.
With reps, ensure that your child has fully recovered before performing the next rep. Full recovery will ensure that your child is technically performing each rep correctly and that they are able to perform each sprint at a high intensity. High intensity is the prime environment for speed growth.
Allow at least 48 hours between speed training sessions. This will give the body the time it needs to fully recover and enable it to perform at 100% during the next training session. Recovery will also reduce the risk of injuries.
2. 100% EFFORT
You know the old saying ‘train hard, play hard’? What you do at training will transfer onto the field. Ensure that your child performs each sprint explosively and with 100% effort. Also ensure that they don’t slow down until they pass the designated distance. For example, if your child is to perform 10m sprints, make sure that they sprint explosively and with 100% effort for the full 10 meters, not 9 or 9.5meters that way they will gain the full benefits from each rep.
[One of the young athletes training his speed at a recent workshop of mine. Look at his form]
3. ORDER OF EXERCISES
The key to getting the best bang for your buck out of your training sessions is to ensure that you structure each exercise in the correct order.
Okay, so what I mean is that the drills you do must be in the correct technical order so that your body is fresh to get your fast twitch fibres firing. Always schedule your speed and power training after your warm up. Schedule high energy exercises like strength and fitness training towards the end of the session.
Wrong scheduling of exercises will result in not gaining the full benefits of each exercise. For example, if your body is tired from strength training and you perform sprints straight after, your body won’t recruit the appropriate amount of fast twitch fibres, and there will be no speed gains.
There you have it - my 3 tips to getting the most out of every speed training session with your kids. As usual feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.