In the age of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Vine, Yelp, Angie’s List, and the rest of the social media realm; it has become very easy to find advice (good AND bad) in perfecting sporting skill; nutrition; and sports performance training. The likes of Cross Fit, Warrior Dashes, Gladiator Fitness, and Insanity have banked on the social media and internet platform in order to take this country’s fitness goals by storm. Trainers are popping up for just about everything, but how do you know which is legit and which is not?
In an age of the smartphone and weekend fitness certification programs, the waters have become muddied in selecting a qualified sports performance coach for your youth volleyball athlete.
As a sports performance professional, former club, and current college coach, I have seen a marked increase in youth volleyball players (male and female) sport performance coaches in order to “gain the edge” in sport metrics, such as vertical jump and agility. While this is a positive momentum in moving our youth forward in training, there are some important items to research BEFORE selecting your sports performance coach.
Qualified professionals have gone through years of schooling and internships in addition to holding a Nationally Accredited certification, which requires continual education and demonstration of mastery of knowledge related to training athletes in the current day. While there are exceptions to this, they are few and far between. The best out there have been trained at the highest level to be the best.
Here are a few easy guidelines to follow in making sure the marriage between your athlete/s and their sport performance training coach is the right one. Happy Training!
1.) Does this person have a certification from a “gold standard” organization – one that requires extensive knowledge and applied background to maintain? (Note – the NCAA now recognizes the CSCS certification listed below as a MAIN requirement in those hired to train athletes.)
- National Strength & Conditioning Association Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach (http://www.nsca.com/CSCS_Certification_2/)
- USA Weightlifting Certification (http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Weightlifting/Coaching/Certification-Requirements)
2.) Has this person worked with athletes at multiple levels, from low to high? (high level athletes are those who have continued on the club or college platform where participation is highly selective)
3.) Does this person have knowledge of volleyball-related metrics? (Note – in other words, do they understand the sport of volleyball and basic metric requirements)
4.) Does this person emphasize workout programs that have “injury prevention” as the primary goal and metric improvement as the secondary goal? (Note – sport performance professionals understand that in order to get better at sport, the main method is by practice/playing it at a high level; therefore, the first and foremost goal is to address specific sporting needs that build core strength/ basic strength/ power/ flexibility to keep athletes injury free; good coaches understand and value programs that take this into account)
5.) How much does this person charge?
I’ve seen rates from $12/hour -$100/ hour. The best plan is going to be a program that lasts at least 3 months (for those that commit fully, this number is higher) and requires training at least 2x per week. Depending on training schedule, it should address speed/flexibility/agility/power/strength over a period of 10-12 classes. What most people get caught up in regarding pricing are the “toys” and the “gym” that the training occurs. Get knowledge first about WHO is doing the training. One can have the most expensive work-out facility, but if the person doing the training doesn’t know what they’re doing, then you’re paying for poor quality. Some of the best sports performance training is done at the highest level with very simple equipment.
Article written by Marie Zidek - Assistant Volleyball Coach at the University of San Diego - Marie is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist - see more articles and videos from Marie here - MARIE ZIDEK CONTENT - Read her bio here MARIE ZIDEK BIO