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Periodization for Teenage Athletes: Part 2

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:54 -- admin
Written on October 12, 2017 at 3:50 am, by Eric Cressey
This is part 2 of Cressey Sports Performance coach John O'Neil's look at periodization for teenage athletes. In case you missed part 1, you can check it out HERE. -EC
When assessing a youth athlete, the most important information we can gather isn’t the only the specific or general movement-based assessments we run. The importance lies in the questions we ask and our ability to judge what kind of training program for which the athlete is ready. If we assume too simple, it’s easy to still see progress and transition to a more advanced program. Conversely, if we assume too complex, we’ve not only stalled progress, but we’ve potentially caused a host of issues – both physically and psychologically – that we will have to address. The industry is full of people using overly complex methods with people who haven’t earned them yet. Don’t be that guy.
Here are the main points I focus on in making this distinction:
Age
Actual age: If they’re under 16, it’s definitely going to be a concurrent program, and 16-18 year olds maybe approached the same, based on the answers to the following questions: Biological age: How physically mature are they? Do they present like their actual age? Training age: Have they trained for any period of 6 months – or multiple 3-month periods? Athletic Skill Level
How far off from being an elite athlete are they? In our setting, throwing velocity for pitchers is often the determinant of this question. At what level do they compete athletically? Chances are that your middle school, freshman, and JV level players don’t need anything fancy. Personal Maturity
This one is much harder to quantify, but a typical fail in this category would include the kid who has his/her mom do the talking for them, or, someone who has no quantifiable goals and has no idea why they’re training. Will they follow a program to a “T?” Or, is this an individual who’ll cut corners and omit the items he/she doesn’t enjoy?
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