Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Ranges of Training Modes and LTAD
Ryan Muñoz, B.S., M.S., C.S.C.S.
Pillar 7- LTAD Pathways should provide all youth with a range of training modes to enhance health and skill related components of fitness.
Youth athletes are constantly growing and developing at different rates. Further, their sport demands change as they progress through various levels of competition. It is up to strength coaches to provide training based on these needs. A broad spectrum of training tools will allow athletes to develop safely and properly while leaving them physically ready for the demands of many different sports regardless of the level.
While strength training is a huge part of what we do at MAD, it’s not the only mode of training we utilize to keep our athletes healthy and performing at their best. We focus on multiple aspects of movement training. The most important part of our training is our trunk progression. All sports directly load the spine in some fashion.
Thus, athletes of all levels must be stable and mobile through their spine. Strength Coach Dr. Stuart McGill said “Proximal stiffness promotes distal stability and athleticism.” In layman's terms, a strong stable spinal column will allow athletes to achieve greater levels of function in their extremities.
MAD always begins its workouts with breathing exercises in order to help athletes center their minds and bodies for that day’s training session. After participating in trunk work and a dynamic warmup, MAD athletes then engage in sport specific balance work. Without proper balance an athlete cannot perform well regardless of his or her field of play.
Agility training is great, but without balance there is no agility. More importantly, a large amount of lower extremity injuries occur because an athlete is changing direction off balance. Thus this mode of training enhances performance and prevents injury.
Additionally, MAD utilizes jump training to improve athletes’ speed and power. Again, MAD focuses on both the mechanics of sprinting and jumping in order to teach our athletes how to properly perform such tasks and to do so at their highest level. MAD coaches pay close attention to an athlete’s volume of jumping and sprinting as well as to his or her technique of movements. Athletes who are in-season will perform far less volume of jumps and sprints than off-season athletes.
Our MAD training also incorporates Olympic weightlifting variations partnered with traditional resistance training in order to improve strength and rates of force production. These movements are tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Thus, a 10 year old basketball player who has just started training will perform different Olympic variations than a 17 year old football player who has been training for 4 years. However, the desired training adaptations are still the same - improving full body strength and power. This leads to a healthier and more explosive athlete.
Finally, MAD ends its training sessions with 10 minutes of flexibility exercises in order to allow the athletes to cool down. This transitions the athlete's body to a recovery mode. Flexibility will help restore muscles by returning them to resting lengths, removing metabolites from the workout, and turning on the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the branch of the central nervous system (c.n.s.) that helps with recovery, and we want to activate this part of the c.n.s. post workout.
With regard to skill training, MAD respects the purview of the coaches of each sport. MAD coaches remain in communication with the various sports coaches in order to monitor each of our athlete’s needs. By maximizing the athletes’ overall health, strength, and conditioning, MAD provides the sport coaches with a solid foundation from which they can guide athletes to achieve peak performance in their respective fields of play.