A Tale of Two Training Sessions

October 5, 2009

Let’s start up another week of blogging shall we!!

Yesterday morning I was doing some off-site training with a couple groups of 7-8 year old hockey players, but the kicker was that I had one group for 1 hour and 15 minutes while the other group would work with me for half an hour. (Just to let you know they were not the same group/team) Regarding training time with this age group, I consider 1:15 WAYYYYYYYYY too long! One, they don’t need a training session to last over an hour (frankly I believe that 30 minutes is closer to optimal) — these kids were flat out gassed by the 45 minute mark  from low level plyos and basic bodyweight movement drills and I had to keep them going.

Two, it is unreasonable to expect this age group to remain focused for so long; if/when they get bored from this long of a training session it is not their fault, it is because they are 6,7,8 years old! We can’t expect them to behave like mature adolescent (or older) athletes because they aren’t!

Three, training at this age promotes adaptations to the nervous system. Like I mentioned in this post from last week, their bodies will be putting together information while they are performing the drills, but the nervous system will assimilate and refine the in-going and out-going information when it is resting and recovering. Unlike the muscular system, the nervous system a) gets fatigued much more easily and b) needs quality to be the focus over quantity (arguably to a greater degree than the muscular system).

Fortunately that first group managed to keep focus and putting forth effort very well considering their age and how long they were with me, however I was relieved for them when the session was over!

The second group which I had for 30 minutes went very well on the other hand. We did some low level plyos, bodyweight movement exercises, and got in some tug of war (which ended with a me vs them battle to the death!) which resulted in good focus by the athletes as well as everyone having a lot of fun and feeling good at the end.

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