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Sunday morning having to get your brain into gear. This morning was spent with other coaches and athletes learning more about plyometrics how you can incorporate plyometrics into a session and how effective plyometrics can be for athletes both just starting out in sports and those more advanced, UKA tutor and coach from Leeds Beckett university Jamie French put together a great session getting both athletes and coaches engaged in the session looking at matches and mismatches in jumping techniques, how to simplify for new athletes and make more difficult for the more experienced athletes, understanding why plyometrics is important in and out of competition time.
I worked with an athlete I had never met before I didn't find it difficult however what I did find difficult is the fact that she had been training for hurdles for 3 years, her balance and conditions was extremely poor and muscle strength wasn't great either her knees turned inwards when she jumped and her arms always tucked into the sleeves of her jumper. With this young lady I went back to basics using small jumping movements to help correct the knees which she said help, this also helped with balance correction. Other the hour I assessed her she became more confident and stable throughout the movements performed however 10 minutes before the end she started to have knee pain, I asked her if she has had it before she said yes mum said she has been having hip problems. I advised the athletes to rest and stretch and not take part again unless she feels 100%. I felt that even though she wasn't my athlete she still needed much work and maybe go back to basics introduce plyometrics and some body weighted strength training to help build up her muscles. I would have loved to have worked with her more.
Do you use plyometrics in your sessions? If not why.
How much do you know about plyometrics
At what age do you feel you should start using plyometrics?
Sounds like a useful day.
I have found a lot of coaches treat plyos as something of a dark art and possibly overthink it.
Sprinting is a hugely plyometric activity yet I've never heard anyone ever ask how old someone should be before they sprint.
As long as it is done within the limits of the athlete's capabilities (as you did by going back to small jumps etc) then I think any age is fine. I do think coaches need to be careful when programming it though bearing in mind the different recovery times between energy supplies, muscles and tendons - I've seen plyo work included on active recovery day ("they're not really getting a sweat on so it's an easy day") which means the tendons arent getting sufficient recovery.
Thanks for your reply, it's amazing how many coaches are unaware that you can use plyometrics and of course understand plyometrics. When you look at most of the plyometric exercises they are actually in our day to day training. I know coaches that believe you shouldn't be using plyometrics until late teens, as a coach I believe plyometrics can be implemented at any age as long as you don't over train athletes. If you use a yearly training plan plyometrics can be incorporated into a plan.
I wanted to see how many coaches on Cc uses plyometrics and how old there athletes are and what point in a training session they would incorporate plyometrics.
I also wanted to find out how many coaches don't use plyometrics with athletes and why.
This is an important topic. Within Athletics the National Coach Mentors for Physical Preparation include a lot of plyometric exercises (and indeed multi-throw exercises) in the material they are developing for coaches. For example, there is a series of Movement Skills workshops that have been roled out, targeted at coaches even in the early stages of their coaching career, that include these elements.
Nice post Emma. As a gymnastics coach, I am involved in a highly plyometric sport. I agree with the points that providing there is sufficient rest, and the athlete is physically strong enough to tolerate plyo training, it can start at any age. In gymnastics, kids are running, jumping, hopping, rebounding right from the very first day they walk into our gym. We are fortunate to be able to use a variety of different surfaces within our training environment and therefore can use these accordingly with athletes of different ages, and robustness.
As a rule, I like to run specific plyo sessions twice a week at the start of a training session, integrated into the warm up. A large part of this work is spent coaching 'body stiffness' in order to benefit from the elasticity of the apparatus. There is a lot to be gained from teaching an athlete to run, jump/land, rebound and hop correctly. It doesn't have to be rocket science (I feel many coaches are over engineering this), but it does need to be technically accurate, as these movements underpin everything our athletes are doing. Would love to discuss further!
Thanks for your reply, it's great to hear other coaches views on this subject, as you say some coaches will over complicate plyometrics when really it doesn't need to be. My main sport is athletics however I'm also a multi skills coach and basketball coach, I believe that multi skills should also be incorporated into a training session as this underpins all actions of running jumping, throwing as well as ABC, unsure about gymnastics but England athletics have a great informative book called athletics 365, I have been using this for years, it concentrates on the ABC, as well as gives coaches great plyometric and strength training exercises for beginner athletes through to the more advanced athetes, I was told 2 years ago by a much older coach not to use the 365 as it wasn't very good, however being a stubborn person I didn't listen, now the 365 is being promoted to help coaches coach plyometrics, strength and Abs with better control and knowledge of what too how too.
Hope to hear more coaches views.
Emma I've gone to 365 as a point of reference on occasion and think it's a great resource - for a newbie it can form something of a syllabus and for the experienced coach it's a useful sense check.
I'm sure many others have experienced resistance to new things from other coaches, who are often quick to tell you how experienced they are! When I was starting out as a coach someone gave me a great piece of advice: know the difference between a coach with 20 years' experience and a coach who has one year's experience 20 times over.
Love this Andy and will keep this in mind.
Its really good to see taht the workshop has generated some really positive discussion. I guess one of the main points I intended to get across is that there are many types of plyometric activities which are a lot less intense than teh rebound depth jumps that a lot of coaches fixate on. Low level plyometric activities can be used with virtually any athlete that can perform the movement patturns in a controled and safe manor. When loading becomes that high that movements are compromised, then something needs to be done, irrespective of chronological age. 365 is a great resource to help identifiy these correct movement patturns.
Keep on talking!
Hi Emma, I delivered a workshop recently that explored 'physical prep for youth athletes' as you can imagine plyometrics formed a significant part of the delivery and questions.
The workshop resource provided a scientific update that I have made available here for members to download. on our website, scroll to the last item and click download pdf http://www.learsports.com/#!resource-sharing-downloads/cph2
As the handout states plyometrics start in the playground and everyday play with children so the easy answer is yes they are safe. As an athletic trainer I pay careful attention to detail when progressing athletes from these everyday plyometric movements to more advanced plyometrics. For example, one of the last exercises I introduce to new or untrained athletes is the depth jump, it could be as long as 18 months training before we see this in our program.
We also work to some very basic principles such as the work rest rule of 1:10, so if a plyometric set takes 20secs to complete then we rest for 200 secs. Furthermore, we carefully select the types of plyometric training applied during the different phases of a season, what you apply preseason may not be considered appropriate during a competition phase.
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