In our first blog of the 2020/21 academic year we will summarise the five conference posters that we successfully submitted to the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association Poster Week 2020. The aims of this blog will be to disseminate our findings and sharing insights into the profile, development and wellbeing of pupils (and coaches) within our domain of practice. In this blog we will press pause and consider some broader take home messages from our projects.
From the analysis our of 2020 conference posters, this is what we think we have found:
• Considering the in-season load of a school based rugby programme, alongside the academic and pastoral demands of a boarding school environment, we can maintain acceleration, body mass and momentum in a school rugby union programme through a 15 week in season phase. The regular exposure to strength training and speed training during the season within this cohort may be advantageous for maintaining such physical qualities – Maintaining Mass in Motion
• With youth athletes, specific range of motion interventions may be required according to sport category, chronological age and gender. As such, efforts should be may to individualise range of motion interventions depending on the needs of the youth athlete – Better to Bend than to Break
• The early and deliberate preparation, effective communication and alignment of expectations may assist in the development of movement skill and competency through a talent pathway. As such, efforts should be may to support the long term development of these physical qualities for all youth athletes – Working Together to Make Youth Athletes Move Better
• A holistic and general physical preparation programme may reduce the risk of lower limb injury irrelevant of age or playing position within the context of youth netball – What’s Good for Them is Good for Us
• To facilitate job satisfaction in early years strength and conditioning coaches, organisations may consider providing high quality supervision, a sense of community and opportunities for successful and independent coaching practice – If Success is Satisfaction, What is Satisfaction?
In summary, consistency in approach with physical preparation in youth athletes across a range of physical training aims may provide the best platform for successful athletic development moving forwards. However, practitioners may consider the individual context of youth athletes around range of motion interventions. To support the next generation of strength and conditioning coaches, employers should ensure technical and personal supervision meets the needs of the early years coaches and the environment is supportive of opportunities for independent practice.