LTAD

Speed characteristics of elite female soccer players: The FAIM Study

Speed characteristics of elite female soccer players: The FAIM Study

The physical profile of an athlete can distinguish between elite and non-elite status, independent of technical ability. Elite athletes are clearly identifiable in adolescence by higher levels of endurance and greater speed. A sizeable body of research continues to validate this hypothesis, however most of it is concentrated on male athletes. In professional soccer, little(…)

Strength training recommendations in front & back squat for elite youth soccer players

Strength training recommendations in front & back squat for elite youth soccer players

There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the positive effects of both plyometric and strength training for youth athletes. A little earlier this week, we posted that plyometric training in youth soccer players improves many physical performance indicators including, speed, strength & peak power. And a more recent study by Keiner et al. (2012) has demonstrated(…)

Plyometric training induces performance gains in pre-adolescent boys

Plyometric training induces performance gains in pre-adolescent boys

We received a great reaction to our post on resistance training in children, as the CSEP position paper affirmed the benefits of strength training for pre-adolescents. A popular belief among parents is that strength training can stunt growth in pre-adolescents, but there appears to be little research to back this claim. A recent paper published by Michalldis(…)

Motor-skill training U8 – U12

Motor-skill training U8 – U12

We have written a little about LTAD, however we haven’t yet posted on motor-skills training for U8 – U12. Motor-skills training should target (static & dynamic) balance, reaction time (using visual, audible and physical cues), speed & agility (preferably non-predictive), upper/lower body co-ordination and dissociation, strength (full body weight), leg & hand speed and proprioception. Moreover, I(…)

LTAD, “windows of opportunity” and athlete development

LTAD, “windows of opportunity” and athlete development

The LTAD model proposed by Balyi & Hamilton (2004) outlines a framework for the development of motor-skills and physical skills which run parallel to a chronological age profile of an athlete. It is an ambitious project that attempts to explain the physiological development of a young athlete all the way to adulthood. It has been(…)

When should an elite youth athlete transition from skill to strength training?

When should an elite youth athlete transition from skill to strength training?

Few guidelines exist to inform the coach when a youth athlete is ready to transition from motor-skill training (e.g. co-ordination, agility, balance, reaction-time) to strength training (force-velocity training, strength and power). Naturally, both are important and desirable qualities in any athlete, but a time does arrive when the emphasis switches from one to the other.(…)

Early specialization v multilateral development II

Early specialization v multilateral development II

The effect of early specialization on long-term athlete development is evidenced on physical and psychological levels. Harre et al. (1982) compared the major differences in athletes who specialized early v those who had a multilateral development: Early Specialisation v Multilateral Development 1. Quick performance improvements v Slower performance improvements 2. Best performances aged 15-16 years(…)