Windows of Trainability

Why So Serious About a Game?
At CompleteAthlete, the things we take most seriously involve protecting our players from the ravages of ignorance and time-worn teaching embedded in the youth-pro ranks of this great game. That often means coaching our Coaches, Parents and Players on what and when to train, and helping them understand the long journey from child to self-sustaining leader as it relates to on and off the field performance.

Using our performance science models, we spend our waking moments developing and refining the information and training templates required for Long-Term Athletic Development* (LTAD) as we focus on specific “Windows of Trainability” for players ages 8-22.

Sports scientists have reported that there are critical periods in the life of a young person in which the effects of training can be maximized. They have also concluded that it can take anywhere from eight to twelve years of training for a talented athlete to achieve elite status. When you start that clock is crucial, and that doesn’t mean earlier is better. Research has shown that chronological age is not a good indicator for which to base athletic development models for athletes between the ages of 10 to 16. Within this age group there is a wide variation in the physical, cognitive and emotional development.

To help understand best practices and identify the best “windows,” our research shows that sports can be classified as early or late specialization, i.e. how early in life the athlete has to focus, and train exclusively to that sport (think gymnastics). Team sports (baseball) require a six-phase late specialization model:

  1. FUNdamentals
  2. Learning to train
  3. Training to train
  4. Training to compete
  5. Training to win
  6. Retirement &/or Retainment

Parents and coaches should work together to find the athletic model that identifies and develops the appropriate training aim that can match each stage of an athlete’s physical and mental/emotional development.

So, knowing that Billy, (200 lbs/6’/nice-mustache for a 12-year-old) is different than Ryan (87 lbs dripping wet and endless energy) doesn’t take much science. Knowing how to meet their emotional and physical needs in terms of training, development and esteem? Well that’s where the Certified Coaches and Trainers of Complete Athlete come in and help balance play, work, fun and focus  for individual needs. We teach it in every Certification Course and Performance Symposium, and it’s why Parents, Players and Coaches must attend.

To plan for, register and attend the next Performance Symposium see our Events Section here. To read our complete Windows of Trainability white paper, and participate in discussions online, become a Member today. This is the good stuff … the info that will protect your son or daughter by making them stronger and self-sufficient enough to avoid bad advice or coaching as they go on to reach their potential as complete athletes.

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*There are curriculums within CompleteAthlete for LTCD and LTPD for Coaches and Parents as well. If you’re already a Member, you can access this content online. If not, join us today, or or email us and we’ll share some info.

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