Energy Systems (Part 2)


I want to begin part 2 of this series by stating I did not intend to cause any confusion with the volume in the workouts for the youth athlete of which I am not prescribing that as their workout. I’ll give some thoughts on workouts for a later article.

But what is important is a solid foundation, similar in erecting a building or building a relationship, be that relationship coach/athlete, husband/wife, parent/child, etc.

As you consider your foundation as a track athlete you must ask yourself where do I start? What type of foundation am I looking to lay, this is for both coach and athlete, but with respect to the youth athlete, this is more toward the coach, as the athlete will be looking, trusting and relying upon the coach to provide this.

Because the youth athlete is still a work in progress, still developing both physically and mentally, physiologically as well, as the coach you have to monitor their progress very carefully and closely.

Because their bodies are smaller and heart and lung capacity is smaller, you have to again be aware of this with respect to the workouts and monitor it accordingly. Recovery is such a huge component in this equation, so certainly have your finger on the pulse in this crucial area. When I speak of recovery and I am talking across the board, before practice, during practice and certainly after practice.

If you already have workouts designed and certainly all of you as coaches should and do, you have to know how the recovery impacts the energy pathways used and how the workouts impact those same energy pathways. This is a key to having both a productive and successful practice session and ultimately having a productive and successful competitve season.

This will entail having and maintaining a notebook, logging and tracking your athletes, so YOU know how things are going and again this will help YOU as the coach monitor each athlete and your team as a whole. Now I know depending upon the size of your team and/or the number of athletes under your charge, this can becoming time consuming. But please understand this, you have decided to coach, you have made a committment to those athletes, you expect committments from them, so as a coach, their coach, you owe to them to give them very best opportunity to succeed. Plus this will make your life easier as a coach, when you are three weeks later into your cycle of workouts and you don’t recall what you did 3 weeks ago.

For your upper echelon athletes, you surely want a notebook on them. You have to have individual specificity, again it will be more on your plate, but again you’re the coach and try as much as lies within you, to give your athletes as many tools possible to succeed and achieve.

So getting back to the energy system, explain to your athletes the what, how and why of what they’re undertaking and what your expectations are. When an athlete understands the what, how and why, they will have a much better time at accomplishing and doing the workouts.

Coaches it’s crucial your understanding of the energy systems used for your prescribed workouts and that you design them to have the most effective workouts, recovery as possible. Certainly depending upon where you are in the season, be it pre-season, early season or around championship season, that will dictate obviously your workout load and that actually get’s into a seperate discussion which I’ll address in part 3, that being how to manage your workouts for your upper echelon/star athletes (point producers)…Much Success to everyone!!!

Coach Rashad Allen

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