IYCA International Summit

Posted: March 26, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

I have been training athletes in some fashion essentially since I started training/coaching in general and I have been contemplating starting a specific youth training and conditioning program for quite a while now as there is absolutely a growing need and I have a passion for it.

So when I had the opportunity to go to the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA)’s annual summit last weekend, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn from some of the best youth conditioning minds in the world and see if it was a route I wanted to pursue.

It was definitely a great time, filled with a ton of information from a great lineup of presenters. Here is the rundown…

Day One

Day 1 started with Eric Cressey who kicked off the event with one of the best overall presentations of the weekend. He presented on “Mobility In Athletic Development Programming” and mainly emphasized considerations for the hypermobile athlete/client. He noted how these clients don’t need to and shouldn’t stretch in the traditional sense (even though they tend to love to) because the focus should be on their ability to stabilize through a natural range of motion, rather than the excessive one they already have.

The main takeaways I got from this was his screen (called the Beighton Score) for testing hypermobility as well as reinforcing the fact that “tight is a garbage term.” Just because someone describes what they are feeling as “tight” doesn’t actually mean the muscle is tight or needs to be stretched. Having trained a lot of females who are more mobile than they should be, (as well as scoring a 5 out of 5 myself on his hypermobility screen) there was a lot of key information here for me.

Next up was Wil Fleming and his presentation on “Explosive Power”. I was already familiar with his product, “Power Evolution” so this one was a lot of reinforcing of material but it was definitely worthwhile to see how he tied everything in and uses “non-traditional” tools and power exercises as well as the “standard” ones like the barbell and Olympic lifts (the clean and the snatch).

As someone who in the past hasn’t been a fan of teaching the Olympic lifts to the younger population this presentation was good both for showing me that I probably should be doing those variations more as well as having the ability to have alternative exercises and variations for those that aren’t ready for them, have sport specific considerations or injury considerations.

Next up was Toby Brooks and Evidence-Based Practice. This presentation focused around applying research to influence programming. One of the take home lines was “statistics never lie but statisticians do.” He talked a lot about how to evaluate research and how not everything out there is credible and ways to be able to see that.

Dave Gleason followed with “Evaluating and Assessing For Maximum Results.” I had heard of but wasn’t too familiar with Dave before this presentation and he is definitely one of the guys in the industry where there is absolutely no doubt where his passion completely is. You can just tell he loves what he does, making kids healthier and better and it comes off in everything he does.

He talked about his methods for evaluating and assessing his youth clients and enforced that everything they do is an assessment and needs to be evaluated. “As soon as they walk in the door you start assessing, body language, movement, everything.” He emphasized the importance of the need for the client/athlete to feel successful as well as having events to show how much they have developed/improved and where they have progressed to.

By this point in the day, lunch was setting in as was all the knowledge and ideas running through my head and I didn’t know how much attention I had left but the last two definitely had my attention. Next up with Jim Kielbaso and “Making Speed and Agility Training Useful.” The presentation focused around bridging the gap between what the athlete does in training or practice and what result they get on the field or in life from it.

He emphasized how speed, sprinting and movement are skills that need to be trained and taught. Clients’ just getting better at a drill doesn’t necessarily mean they move any better when it comes to game time. The biggest takeaway from this for me revolved around him going in depth on acceleration and sprint mechanics and the progressions used to get to a full sprint. Just having people sprint and move quickly isn’t enough, they have to learn what to do and how to do it well and I’ve overlooked that in the past.

Last presentation for day one was the “Band Man” Dave Schmitz with “Resistance Band Training for Speed and Power”. I’ve seen Dave a couple of times before and he is always a great time and just radiates energy. The passion he has for fitness and for resistance bands cannot really be summed up in words and is something you have to see in person. He went over speed drills in general first and then how to use resistance bands to increase the effectiveness of them. The best part was how he incorporates deceleration training using the bands.

Athletes and clients don’t get hurt when they are moving, they get hurt when they stop or change direction and deceleration training and injury prevention is one of the most important parts of strength and conditioning and the methods he uses to train them are extremely effective and Im looking forward to incorporating them into my athlete’s training.

Day Two

The morning of, there was a bonus workout with the “Band Man” Dave Schmitz. He put the group through a band warm-up followed by a speed and agility workout and emphasized partner resisted band training. It was definitely a fun change of pace from how I’ve been lifting lately and even though I’m no longer an athlete, I will be incorporating some of the things he taught us in my workouts in addition to my athletes workouts.

Day 2 changed it up a little from Day 1 in that there were choices for presentations rather than only one presenter per time slot like Day 1 had. First up was Melissa Lambert with “Enhancing Mental Performance in Athletes” and Ryan Ketchum with “Scoring Triple Digit Athletes.” I usually like to catch the business presentations when I can so I chose Ryan.

His presentation was based around a blueprint with the goal of having 100 athlete clients in your business. He emphasized the importance of leveraging your network as well as taking advantage of clinics and academies to bring people in and give them a taste of what your long term athletic development programs are all about.

For someone thinking about starting up a structured youth program, this presentation was extremely beneficial and one of the best presentations of the weekend.

Next up was Corey Taylor with “The Art of Coaching” and CJ Easter with “The Truth About Speed.” I chose CJ because I wanted to know more about speed and sprinting after seeing Jim Kielbaso’s presentation and wanting to know more.

It was good I did because his presentation was full of progressions needed to teach sprinting and the proper drills to teach the mechanics as well. He went over progressions and exercise for speed mechanics, dynamic speed development, bilateral and unilateral stability, bilateral and unilateral explosive exercises as well as speed endurance exercises. Lot of take home information in this one.

Next up was Pat Rigsby with “7 Game Changers” and Pam MacElree with “Kettlebell Warm Ups and Conditioning.” The first two decisions really were no-brainers for me in terms of who to see, but this one had me thinking for a little bit. I’ve seen Pat before and he always has great business ideas and always gives at least one big take home that resonates and leads to a lot so I didn’t want to miss him, so I chose his. Since I’ve been working with kettlebells a lot lately, I thought Pam’s would be great as well and wanted to see her but went with the business side again.

Pat defined a game changer as “something that if missing and implemented will have a major or profound impact.” A couple ideas, I’d heard or read him talk about before and have already implemented, but there were a few that I hadn’t that got some ideas going.

My main take home from his presentation was during his “Marketing and Selling Effectively” game changer. He said “Don’t let someone (a potential client) go to an inferior product/trainer because you are lazy.” Recent events in the gym I work out of hit home directly for me and made me realize how I’ve been dropping the ball on “marketing” lately. He emphasized you can’t only market when things are going slow and neglect it when you are busy, it is a constant.

Next up was Ben Bruno with “Program Design for Large Group Training” and Chris Mohr on a nutrition topic, I don’t know the name of. This makes it obvious that I chose Ben’s presentation. I’ve known Ben for a while and didn’t want to miss his first speaking opportunity, plus it is a topic that is definitely where the industry is going. He had technical difficulties with having his presentation show up but he still gave a good talk.

He explained his template for his athlete’s group training sessions, his reasoning and his top give group friendly staple exercises. It was a solid foundation including tri-sets consisting of a coaching intensive exercise followed by a simpler exercise that doesn’t involve as much coaching (think pull ups, inverted rows, goblet squats etc) and finished with a core stability or mobility/corrective exercise.

Last up for the weekend was a stand-alone presentation, “Complete Athletic Development” by Mike Roberston. Mike talked about his “R7 Approach” to athletic development which included release, reset, readiness, reactive, resistance, regenerate and recover and all of the details. Mike emphasized the need to own your knowledge and stay in the scope of what you know and what works. He told a story of a presentation he was at where the clients issues were a result of his eyesight and fixing his eyesight solved his movement issues.

He said this was an ah-ha moment for him in that he knew all he needed to know to help people the best he could and things like a person’s eyesight causing their dysfunction was something unrelated for a strength and conditioning coach or trainer to focus on.

There was a ton of great, take-home information over this weekend and an absolute no-brainer for anyone who is interested or already trains the youth population. My main take homes were to start a general youth conditioning program for younger “athletes” not just my competitive high school athletes I’ve currently been training as well as details and intricacies of sprint mechanics and speed and agility training that I’m looking forward to implementing with myself and clients. Stay tuned for both, I’m looking forward to it.

Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts in the comments or on Facebook.

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