Here’s what IYCA Member Paul Clarke had to say in response to my question about the biggest problem in youth fitness and sport training:
“The major problem as I see it is coaches that advocate and live the mantra of working harder instead of smarter. Invariably this leads to a quantity over quality approach.”
I couldn’t agree more with Paul.
It’s being popularized in a different circle right now, but for roughly ten years, I’ve been saying…
Any fool can make a young athlete tired, but it takes a real COACH to make them better.
My first job out of college was as a Performance Coach at a training center for professional, Olympic and National Team athletes in Canada.
We also did a lot of work with young athletes.
One of my first meetings as a staff member at this facility is a moment in time that I will truly never forget.
The Head Performance Coach was suggesting that we needed to work a touch harder as a group in order to “beef up our v-factor points” for this coming month.
Being new and open to learning as much as I could, I naturally inquired about what that meant (figuring it had to do with some sort of super secret training system!)
“Shocked” and “confused” are the only two words I can think of when I was given the definition.
A “V-Point” was something that each of us Coaches were awarded when we trained a young athlete hard enough so they puked.
You get my point.
But the truly disturbing thing is that here in 2009, a full decade and change later, there are many facilities and Coaches that still live by that mantra.
Disgusting isn’t the word…
But Stupid comes to mind.
Blunt, I know, but if we aren’t prepared to advocate for kids and teenagers than what exactly are we doing this for?