Sports performance coaches come in all different shapes and sizes and each has their own style and philosophies guided by their experiences and knowledge. At the end of the day the “right” performance coach for your teenage athlete is the one that he or she responds to and wants to work with on a regular basis. However there is definitely the “wrong” performance coach who can ultimately do more harm than good. This person relies on gym science, YouTube videos and flashy marketing to convince you and your teenager they are the right answer. Here are 5 reasons that totally awesome performance coach might actually be the wrong choice:
- Leg Day is a Thing: Doing body-part days is specifically for gaining muscle hypertrophy (size). Some professional athletes and bodybuilders definitely benefit from increased muscle size. And frankly, so might your teenager. Here’s the thing: science shows immature bodies gain almost no hypertrophy through weight lifting. However it (science) does show doing body-part-specific exercises and days can cause strength imbalances which could lead to injury, especially for young athletes.
- We Just Need to Push Through the Pain: No. Unless your teenager is trying out for the 1964 Alabama football program he or she needs to listen to the pain and respond accordingly. Young bodies are pretty good at distinguishing between being sore and pain. Should we push through muscle soreness? Probably. Should we push through joint pain? No. If a teenage athlete is experiencing actual pain it is likely the result of overuse, improper form, too much weight or some combination of those things. Acknowledge the pain, adapt the program and live to fight another day.
- The Coach has a Shaker Bottle in Hand at all Times: Ah, the vaunted shaker bottle. The go to vessel for meal replacement, pre-workout and post-workout sludge. The shaker bottle contains foods (loose term) easily dissolved in water. In addition to protein of questionable background the list also includes: very highly refined carbohydrates, and refined sugars. No true professional (or mom) on this planet thinks highly refined carbohydrates and sugars are good for your teenage athlete. Ever.
BONUS: The coach encourages your young athlete to also carry around the Vessel of Sludge.
SUPER DUPER BONUS: The coach can provide sludge to your teenager at great expense to you.
- The Coach Offers Great Discounts and Free Workouts: Hey, I am all about finding a bargain. I buy all of the floor mats for my 1999 Ford truck on sale. I never pay full price for a pair of cargo shorts. But you are leaving your child with this person for an hour or more, in a potentially dangerous environment, and expecting them to actually improve some aspect of their life. Is this really where you want to do your discount shopping?
- The Coach Wears Clothing that Does Not Fit: I am a big guy. And yet I am somehow able to find clothing that fits me and is still gym appropriate. My shirts do not cling to my body. My shorts are always, always, the appropriate length. Who exactly are these people trying to impress? Likely it is just more flashy advertising and says nothing about their ability to train or relate to teenagers.
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