My career has been a blast so far. I've trained pro athletes, been around Olympians, and watched as kids I trained went on to NCAA scholarships. The world has changed in that time. Sport has very little to do with play any more, and that's sad.
That's not what this article is about. This article is about fixing a different problem. The crazy parenting man hours that go into making sure an athlete is able to compete. It needs to change before parents self destruct.
It's a tough time to be a parent these days. Young athletes are being tested daily mentally and physically, and it's up to the parents to provide proper preparation for their young athlete to succeed.
Why is it tough? Because for years, parents became chauffeurs for their kids. Practice was at one place, workout at another, Nutrition consults and seminars at strange hours and again at a different location.
It's not like that for the professionals, so why is it like that for our children?
At a professional level, teams practice, play (home games), train, get nutrition and mental coaching at the same place. It just makes sense. Less hours of travel, mean more hours of relaxing and recovering. It also means a place where the best in the business can get together. Not only to work with your athlete, but to stay in contact with each other and work face to face, not over e-mail. There is nothing that will ever replace top level professionals brainstorming in the same room.
The beauty of the above philosophy is that it is becoming a reality. It's also something I'd like to see more of. In Winnipeg, my home town, The Rink was the first place to bring this all together. The focus is on hockey. Both Men's and Women's, but the effectiveness of having top level strength coaches, yoga instructors, nutrition minds, and mental conditioning coaches under one roof ensures parents of all sports have less travel time in their lives.
You can tell an athlete who trains in this facility, or setting. They are educated, focused and less stressed than their counterpart. Not to mention, usually dominant in their sport of choice. What parents have forgotten of the years, and as sport science developed, is that for every great new training modality that comes along, there is travel time and less rest to effectively use it. Sure your young athlete was doing all the right things, but without rest, there are no results.
So as the future of sport continues to evolve, and as science begins to take athletes to the next level, don't forget the simple basics. Rest, low stress, and time management allow for the best results possible. The right high performance environment also breeds success.
Facilities like "The Rink" will continue to dominate the single modality gyms for results. The environment, and the time athletes actually spend improving not travelling is impossible to match. So to all the parents out there looking to make their life a little easier, take a page from the pro's. Find a spot with one roof, and all the best in the business in your area. The results will speak for themselves.