Creating environments for an athlete to “self-organize” (e.g. try, fail, recognize failure, try a different way…) can be a powerful motor learning strategy.

Particularly in group settings, having strategies that allow the coach to teach without speaking frees up the coach to work with individuals/exercises that require a more hands on approach.

This is an example of one “passive coaching” strategy. The plate is not intended to load the movement; it’s meant to provide feedback to the athlete on how they’re controlling their hips/torso through the movement.

As the athlete gets better, you can UNLOAD or completely remove the weight to allow them to perform the movement WITHOUT an external cue.

Feel free to post any other comments/questions you have below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. For more information on in- and off-season program design, training and reconditioning for injured players, and integrating sports science into a comprehensive training process, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

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The athletes that SUSTAIN success commit themselves to doing the little things right, consistently.
They warm-up with intent before practice. They train regularly in-season. They hydrate, eat, and sleep with purpose, with a performance mindset.
Often times, these acts are monotonous. They’re repeated on a daily basis for months in a row.

The best athletes do them anyway. They commit to the process. They EMBRACE the monotony because it lays the foundation for consistent, long-term success.
And that means more to them than the perceived loss of the small sacrifices along the way.
These are all simple decisions, completely within the athlete’s control.
Make the right choices. Embrace the monotony. Succeed.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. One of the areas where “embracing the monotony” is especially crucial is nutrition. Fueling for health, performance, and recovery requires making good choices, consistently. If you’re interested in highly effective sports nutrition strategies, check out this manual from renowned nutritionist Brian St. Pierre: Ultimate Hockey Nutrition

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Today marks the release of Mike Boyle’s newest product: Complete Youth Training

When I ran Endeavor Sports Performance, much of the way we designed our programs for youth athletes was guided by things I had learned from Coach Boyle. In short, he’s had a profound impact on how I view the training process.

This is a great resource (for coaches, sports training professionals AND parents) that addresses many of the most impactful misconceptions of training youth athletes, and how following popular advice will absolutely lead to blunted long-term performance.

Given his 25+ years of experience training kids, I asked him to put together a quick post highlighting the three most common mistakes he sees in training youth athletes. Check out the article below:

Click here for more information >> Complete Youth Training

Top 3 Mistakes in Training Youth Athletes by Mike Boyle

A friend asked me to try to sum up what I considered the top three mistakes in training young athletes, so after giving it some thought, here goes:

Mistake 1- Seeing kids as mini-adults. 

I’m amazed at how many trainers will write or email and talk about the troubles they are having getting into the youth strength training market ( think 11-14 yrs old).  I always say something along the lines of “what does your program look like” and I constantly hear back about all the latest ideas. Breathing, corrective exercises, screening etc.

My response is always the same. Kids don’t need that stuff, they need the weight room basics. Much like elementary school is about reading, writing and math, training kids is about throwing, sprinting, jumping and lifting. I love the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stu_ _ _.

Kids want to move and have fun. Breathing, screening and corrective exercises are neither fun, nor particularly useful for kids.

Mistake 2- Not Seeing That Practice Covers a Lot of Bases

I was discussing agility with Jim Kielbaso from the IYCA the other day and my comment was “we don’t do much agility.” As coaches, we have to remember that most of these kids are practicing 3-5 times a week, but get no strength work, no power work and no speed work. We need to, as I like to say, fill the empty buckets. The agility/change of direction bucket is getting filled at practice, but the strength, power and speed buckets are usually empty.

In addition, practice takes care of conditioning. I think there is no need for conditioning with kids, and that lots of what we try to do just makes kids slower.

Think speed. Read Tony Hollers Feed the Cats.

Mistake 3- Thinking that Talking is Coaching

Kids don’t want to hear you talk. I have a ten second rule. I don’t want coaches talking for more than ten seconds. I really like the John Wooden idea:

Do this, not this, this.

Show them what you want them to do, don’t tell them. Show them what not to do and then, show them the correct technique again.

Then, let them do it. Kids learn through doing, not through listening. That’s tough for coaches to hear, but it’s true.

The best teacher is a great demonstrator.  The best learning comes from doing.


Click here for more information >> Complete Youth Training

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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Get Ultimate Hockey Transformation Now!

Year-round age-specific hockey training programs complete with a comprehensive instructional video database!

Ultimate Hockey Transformation Pro Package-small

Get access to your game-changing program now >> Ultimate Hockey Transformation

“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University