We can complain about it as much as we want, but the decline of physical education and the rise of early sports specialization are trends that are here to stay. We might not be able to change the system, but we can still actively work to help athletes at an individual level. Jeremy Frisch has taken that challenge upon himself to reinvent training for the kids he is working with by bringing in varied influences from physical education, speed training, motor learning, strength and conditioning, and more. What is even better is that he is sharing his experiments with the world on social media. He joins this week’s episode to discuss where his approach came from and how it has evolved.
Notes and quotes
Jeremy Frisch is the owner of Achieve Performance in Clinton, Massachusetts. He also previously worked as a strength and conditioning coach at Holy Cross, where he assisted a variety of sports from basketball to track and field. He has develop a loyal following on social media for his frequent training videos showing how he approaches training kids. We start off the episode by talking about how this area of training became his specialty, key points in training children, integrating play and games into training, filling the gaps in physical education, and more.
Training for kids
- 4:30 – Frisch’s career progression and developing a passion for training youth.
- 8:30 – Resources for learning about youth training.
- 13:30 – How much do the details matter if athletes are having fun?
- 16:00 – Unplanned play: “If kids come in and I have nothing planned, 1 of 2 things happens: they play tag or they wrestle. I just let it go. Sometimes they just need the right environment and permission to play. “
- 18:00 – Fun activities for kids vs. adults. “It doesn’t have to be a game, it doesn’t have to be sold to them. If it’s put together well and interesting, you’ll engage kids. ” “One of the biggest issues in S&C is that it is so regimented. Every set and rep is written down. ” “You can always see the best athlete when you play tag. They may not move perfectly, but they figure it out with a wide bandwidth of movement skill. That’s why I try to incorporate chaos; I want to see who can figure things out. “
Dealing with the decline of PE and rise of early specialization
- 20:45 – What are some of the key elements lacking in physical development today? “Kids go directly from doing little to signing up for organized sports. They often just skip over that period of free play to build the bandwidth of movement skill. They’re either not doing enough or doing only one thing. “
- 27:00 – Putting crawling in context and working on the ground.
- 31:30 – Dealing with a specialized world and examples of training early specialization athletes.
- 35:30 – Examples from Nick on athletics development sessions for club teams.
- 39:30 – Rudimentary needs of youth athletes.
- 45:00 – Getting early success. “Coaches try to break down agility training into parts but it’s hard to teach that way to children. The best thing you can do is create a task-oriented drill. What you’ll see is great technique in most kids as they find the right position. “
- 48:45 – Creating chaos: “If I just say run a sprint, they run. But if I put them in a more chaotic racing environment they try harder. “
- 51:30 – Common issues with creating games and obstacle course. “When you make an obstacle course, sit down and think about where the bottleneck will be. You need to figure out the flow so that you don’t hold kids up. They need to keep moving. “
- 54:00 – Changes in obstacle courses for older athletes.
- 55:30 – Linear vs. natural progressions and examples of natural progressions.
- 59:30 – Training continuity.
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on our site, including past episodes of the podcast, our article archives, video library, and more.
- This month the site theme is the young athlete and we’ve already put together new podcasts, articles, and premium videos on the topic for members, including a video on physical education with Greg Thompson and a lecture on long term athlete development by Steve Myrland. We can also recommend our last Episode 197 with Thompson, as well as an article about his approach to putting together games for training.
- You can find Frisch on Twitter (@JeremyFrisch) and Instagram (@achieve_performance). You can also find out more about his business on their webpage.
- Frisch also contributes over on the SimpliFaster webpage. Two great recent articles are on inspired warm ups and what strength coaches should know about PE.