Tips for Teens and pre-Teens. The Kind You Don’t See in Running Magazines!

Steve Weiler said 5 months ago
Tips for Teens and pre-Teens. The Kind You Don’t See in Running Magazines!

Throughout the track season coaches Brant Stachel & Steve Weiler will publish a weekly series of youth training tips for coaches, parents, & runners designed to set athletes up for a lifetime of activity.

Week #1 (May 14th)
Encourage Multi-Activity and Multi-Sport – Part 1
When coaching high schoolers, be flexible and supportive of athletes’ other interests, be it sport, music, academic, etc. Don’t make practices so frequent that they cannot participate in any other activities during ‘your’ season.

Feel free to use these tips as a starting point for related discussion on youth development.
Steve Weiler said 5 months ago
Week #2 (May 21st)
Encourage Multi-Activity/Multi-Sport Part 2 - Elementary school:
1) include large breaks between seasons;
2) limit frequency of training & racing so kids can participate in other activities in-season;
3) discuss involvement in other activities with both the kids & their parents
Reply #1
Steve Weiler said 5 months ago
Tips for Teens and pre-Teens - Week #3
Athletes, no matter how talented, are still in a pathway of development. As a coach, always look at where they are coming from sporting wise and where they are going.
There should always be something more that can be added in training as they age/develop. Don't get stuck in the trap of exhausting all training modalities to have age group success at the risk of long term development.
Reply #2
Steve Weiler said 5 months ago
Week #4
Treat kids like kids, not ‘little elites’. Avoid sending mixed messages that add pressure to specialize or expectation to excel in a single event/sport. Young athletes are still learning what they enjoy in sport; current preferences often change as they mature.
Reply #3
Steve Weiler said 4 months ago
Week #5
More Isn’t Necessarily Better Part 1: Training Frequency
As a coach, be sure to consider why you offer as many workouts as you do: is it to better serve the athletes current needs? To justify your membership fees?
’Training’ for young athletes can and should include both structured and unstructured play – not everything needs to be controlled by an adult. Limiting workout frequency allows room to grow through other activities, including unstructured play.
Reply #4
Steve Weiler said 4 months ago
Week #6
More Isn’t Necessarily Better Part 2: Racing frequency
Young athletes should race less frequently and become proficient at the process and learning to love it. This can be accomplished by racing regionally in smaller races more often than big championships and seeking out fun learning opportunities in races.
Reply #5
Steve Weiler said 4 months ago
Week #7
Include Game Play!
When coaching pre-teens, be sure to include game play, which can include both physical and social elements. For example, include a Name Game at the first session after a long break to help everyone get to know each other.
Reply #6
Steve Weiler said 4 months ago
Week #8 - Mix It Up!
Encourage early teens and pre-teens to try a variety of events over the course of the outdoor track season; avoid specializing in a single event until your late teens or even later.
Reply #7
Steve Weiler said 4 months ago
While it deals with a different sport, I encourage people to read this entire thread; here's a brief excerpt:

'In short, youths are specializing in basketball and playing it all year long from ages as young as seven or earlier. By the time some reach the NBA, their bodies are simply worn down, many experts say. As one researcher told me, “Kids are broken by the time they get to college.”'

https://twitter.com/Baxter/status/1149330396321996800
Reply #8
Steve Weiler said 3 months ago
Week #9: Final tip - HAVE FUN!
It’s important that athletes (of ALL ages) enjoy the process and not just the outcome. HAVE FUN on your Endurance Odyssey!
Reply #9

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