WOD’s are not Sports Performance Training.
With the incredible growth of Crossfit and Box gyms, Sports Performance has been thrown into that bucket. I have great respect for adults training and using various modalities to achieve their fitness goals. But for athletes, especially youth athletes, they need proper programming.
Programming must include teaching, progressions/regressions and an emphasis on movement patterns. Those patterns must be repeated with intensity and attention to detail. The most challenging aspect of teaching movement patterns is when someone has been moving incorrectly. Having to “unlearn” an incorrect movement pattern is many times more difficult than learning a brand new one. It takes between 300-350 repetitions to build a new motor or movement pattern. However, it can take 3000-5000 repetition to “re-train” the proper movement.
In our case at PSS, we make changes in movement (i.e., speed, learning how to strength train and athletic movement patterns). It amazes me that so many trainers/coaches want to continually change the exercises every session.
Exercise is not training. Athletes are not working out.
We don’t work out; we train athletes.
If you look at any high-level program, they repeat, repeat, and repeat some more with great coaching and feedback. If there were anyone who wants variety, it would be a higher-level athlete.
Since we are at the start of baseball season, look at what hitters do to prepare for the season. What do they do every day? They HIT! Starting with tee work, then soft toss and then live batting. Track sprinters follow very similar to our training plan – ADW, drill work and then Sprint!
If you are looking for variations, play games at the end of sessions, create challenges, use stopwatches/tape measures instead of weights.
Your coaching should be judged on the progress of your weakest athletes.
About the Author
Lead Master Performance Coach
Having worked for Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn and Morris Plains, N.J., for 15 years as a performance coach and program director, Steve now owns his own franchise location in Sparta, N.J., and assists the franchise corporate team. He holds multiple professional certifications and has years of coaching experience.
Steve grew up in Hawthorne, N.J., where he was a three-sport varsity athlete. Realizing sports was his real passion, Steve majored in Exercise Sciences at Northeastern University and graduated with a degree in Sports Management from Centenary College.
This is a great article. Clear, concise, and absolutely spot on! The fun part is making these points with parents, but once their child becomes stronger and moves and plays better, it all comes together. Thank you for writing this, and please keep spreading the message!