NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Episode 81: Long-Term Athlete Development with Joe Eisenmann, Rick Howard, and Tony Moreno

by Eric McMahon, MEd, CSCS, RSCC*D, Joe Eisenmann, PhD, Rick Howard, MEd, CSCS,*D, FNSCA, and Tony Moreno, PhD, CSCS,*D
Coaching Podcast June 2020

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The NSCA Long-Term Athletic Development (LTAD) Special Interest Group (SIG) Executive Council Members, Joe Eisenmann, Rick Howard, and Tony Moreno, sit down with the NSCA Coaching Program Manager, Eric McMahon, to discuss LTAD as a framework for the field of strength and conditioning, and the importance of establishing physical literacy in athletes.

Find the Long-Term Athletic Development Special Interest Group on Facebook: NSCA Long-Term Athletic Development SIG | Find Eric on Instagram: @ericmcmahoncscs or Twitter: @ericmcmahoncscs

Show Notes

From NSCA's Coaching Podcast Production Team: The NSCA Coaching Podcast strives for the utmost quality in producing each podcast episode. Due to technical difficulties, we apologize for the noticeable interference on the host audio feed in this episode. We hope you will enjoy the insight and information on Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) from our knowledgeable panel of experts.

“We just want to make sure that things are not only done right, but into the right hands of the right people that are dealing with kids, whether it be in a community recreation setting, a school setting, or a club sports setting. We just want to make sure that it's good material, and it gets in the right hands.” 10:55

“But I think we really, really need to emphasize how critical physical education and community recreation are in really defining the participation pathway. Because you look at this crisis now that we're in, and I'm just looking out my window right now. And I haven't seen any kids outside doing anything. Maybe once or twice in the past week riding a scooter for 10 or 15 minutes, and they run back in the house.” 28:39

“…we have a lot of parents and youth coaches trying to microwave young athletes. And we're really skipping those early stages of fundamental movement skill acquisition…” 32:05

“And along those lines is also this tendency that we see of over competing and undertraining. Where you sign up for AAU basketball, and you're playing six to eight games in a weekend or youth baseball, and you're playing five, six, eight games in a weekend. And all you do is compete, compete, compete. But physically, you're not really ready for the demands that are going to be placed upon your body and to proficiently execute some of those sports skills.” 32:53

 

Transcript

[00:00:00.72] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast, episode 81.

[00:00:04.65] We have a lot of parents and youth coaches trying to microwave young athletes. And we're really skipping those early stages of fundamental movement skill acquisition.

[00:00:17.43] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strengthen conditioning coaches about what you really need to know, but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:27.93] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast, I'm Eric McMahon. And today, we have members from our long term athlete development special interest group executive council on the podcast, Dr. Joe Eisenmann, Rick Howard, and Tony Moreno. Welcome to the show, guys.

[00:00:40.48] Thank you, Eric.

[00:00:41.32] Thanks for having us, Eric.

[00:00:42.39] Yeah, so I want to get right into this topic. I want you guys to just share a little bit about your special interest group and what makes long term athlete development a unique focus within the NCAA and the surrounding conditioning community.

[00:00:56.26] That sounds like a Rick Howard question.

[00:00:59.72] All right, yeah. I'll field the first one. I'm sure you two will chime in as anticipated. Thanks for the question, Eric. Actually, the Long-Term Athletic Development Special Interest Group started off in 2004 as the Youth Special Interest Group. And we had partnered and talked extensively with the High School Special Interest Group and other special interest groups within the NSCA. We didn't want to create anything new if something was already in existence.

[00:01:24.33] But we found that there was really a need for educational materials and camaraderie among NSCA members who actually worked in a youth population, whether that was age 6, age 16, or 36. So this has kind of expanded from that period of time. It was officially renamed the LTAD Special Interest Group, I think two or three years ago now, to better reflect that we really are a cradle to grave special interest group, but we're working with people from the start of their time being physically active all the way through the life course with their physical activity.

[00:01:55.12] So we kind of touch upon all the other special interest groups within NSCA and all the NSCA membership. But I don't think that a lot of people really recognize that yet. But the stretch from calling it youth kind of helped us to expand beyond just what it was working with children and adolescents.

[00:02:10.70] Yeah, absolutely. I was introduced to long-term athlete development in the early 2000. I think it was 2005 would be Canadian Sport for Life. LTAD resource paper came out, and that whole cradle to grave concept was really inspiring. I remember I was working in professional baseball, and it was-- it just-- you read it cover to cover, and you-- it makes you think, wow, I could have this facility and really work with kids, and just develop these phenomenal athletes, go through their entire careers, and then kind of circle that back into the lifespan and just overall wellness.

[00:02:54.47] It is a really interesting kind of underpinning in the field. And sometimes, maybe not the most well understood as it relates to physical education, physical literacy, also trainability and developmentally appropriate training practices. Where does strength and conditioning fit in long-term athlete development? I don't know which one of you guys wants to answer that question. I'll let you guys kind of just jump in where you want.

[00:03:24.57] I think all three-- obviously, all three of us can address this one. But another great question-- and as we speak, the three of us are kind of in the midst of trying to get all the other players on board and on the same page. And as Rick always likes to say, oars in the water, but rowing in their same direction.

[00:03:44.67] Because we owe other players, besides strength and conditioning-- I mean, think of all the major organizations and major stakeholders who have an interest in youth physical activity and physical activity, physical fitness, and athleticism across the lifespan. We talk about American College of Sports Medicine. We talk about all the other sport medicine groups like orthopedics and physical therapy and athletic training. And then even getting into physical education with the SHAPE America.

[00:04:19.21] So right now, I think the NSCA and the NSCA LTAD Special Interest Group are in a really good position to lead this charge. And I'm going to take a half a step back because it's not necessarily leading. Because this has to truly be a collaboration. And the other thing that we're really trying to push-- and, again, thanks to Rick and kind of spearheading this idea and concept with our group-- is collective impact.

[00:04:52.23] We have to get all these major players, major organizations-- again, it's top down, but it's also a bottom up. Like think about going into a community, or even going into a school. And all the different major players and stakeholders within that school building or soccer club, whatever it is. Again, the athlete has to be essential. Health and well-being of that young athlete-- and maybe we should take another half step back and define who we mean by athlete.

[00:05:21.67] You were talking about pro ballplayers, but we're all athletes. Everybody should be proficient to some level in physical exercise and sports skills. So it's really all student athletes, all young people, all people across the lifespan again. But I think getting back to your question about the role of strength and conditioning, I think right now, we're positioned really well to steer, head, lead, and be a key organization, and being key people as well.

[00:06:01.51] And if I may just have just a couple more minutes, I know my friends here are waiting for me. I've been given a talk over the last couple of years. And I talk about long term athlete development. And at the end of this talk, and Tony and Rick have seen me give this talk. At the end of the talk, I have a slide that says, we're in the echo chamber. Everything I've said about long-term athlete development, everybody knows, everybody understands in this room. Most of the time, strength and conditioning coaches are in that room.

[00:06:33.41] And I put a charge to them. Your role as a strength and conditioning coach should be to get out in your community and lead these efforts. You know fundamental movements. You know skip, hop, run, jump, throw, catch. And you know the major underpinnings of solid programming for exercise prescription or strength and conditioning. Get out and lead the charge.

[00:07:01.68] That's powerful. I think that is the message. You know, when I hear you guys speak-- and we've connected over the last few months in individual conversations-- about the special interest group, and you guys are so passionate about this topic. What got each of you involved with this and inspired by long-term athlete development? I think a lot of people look at the strength and conditioning field, and don't always take it to that deeper level.

[00:07:37.00] And this is a good example of a topic that that underpinning concept of LTAD is reflected in all areas of our field and all of our special interest groups, from professional athletes all the way down to youth, our personal training audience, our tactical audience. What kind of engaged you guys with this as a sort of a mission to promote this topic?

[00:08:09.26] Well, maybe I'll just jump in. My cue, I guess. I can speak for myself, and I think I'm sure Rick and Joe can chime as well. But I think a lot of this starts from our own personal backgrounds. We're all kids. We all enjoy playing various types of sports and activities. Rick's still the strong man. Joe [AUDIO OUT] out there doing his sprinting. I'm coaching lacrosse and playing pickup basketball. We all have this passion to be physically active.

[00:08:35.08] And as academics, as all of us are, we have a curiosity. How does one learn how to become a better mover, or stronger, or more powerful? And from a performance perspective and from a safety perspective, we have this curiosity. And it's this curiosity that leads you down so many different roads, growth and maturation, strength, agility, speed, balance, power, all these attributes that go into what makes a person, quote unquote, "athletic."

[00:09:09.04] For us, also coming from different perspectives and backgrounds, there's this mix of what you find in sport, but also the issues being in academic institutions of increase overweight obesity, a decline in physical activity, physical illiteracy. And so all these things just to make our culture more of a movement culture, because right now, it is not.

[00:09:32.65] And how can we do that? And I think I've known Joe for quite some time as a student at MSU, and I've run into Rick, and I've seen Rick's name in many places as a member of the NSCA. I've been a member of NSCA for a long, long time. And when you find people, and you listen to people-- and Joe and Rick are two of these people in my view that I've listened to their views, and read their things and their materials. And we have shared and common interests.

[00:09:59.52] And I think the most powerful interests that we all have is that we all have passion. I think that's our most powerful tool. We're ambitious. We're passionate. And the last part of it is we're trying to get some purpose behind this, as Joe alluded to, and Rick has called collective impact. We're trying to get everybody to work together.

[00:10:16.57] But speaking for myself, I started as a volunteer in a weight room at Long Beach State University. I've worked in health clubs. I've done everything you could do in a health club, from greasing guide rods on a Nautlius machine to owner-operator. I've worked as a graduate assistant. I've been an academic, and so I have this broad background.

[00:10:37.75] But I've also had kids, and my kids play sports. They play club soccer. They play club lacrosse. I've listened to parents. I've dealt with coaches that come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. And I just want to make sure that it's done right. And I think Joe and Rick from their experiences-- and they'll share with you-- the same thing.

[00:10:55.03] We just want to make sure that things are not only done right, but into the right hands of the right people that are dealing with kids, whether it be in a community recreation setting, a school setting, or a club sports setting. We just want to make sure that it's good material, and it gets in the right hands. And it's disseminated so that we can all move together to try to institute some type of change culturally, as it relates to movement and best practice in the realm of strength and conditioning.

[00:11:30.10] Eric, one good thing about the three of us is usually when one person talks, they speak for all three of us.

[00:11:36.45] I was noticing that. Yeah.

[00:11:37.94] Yeah, Tony-- Tony nailed it, no doubt.

[00:11:43.03] Yeah. Yeah, no, that's great. I can tell you guys have maybe done a few of these podcasts before and worked together on this project for a long time. Give us some examples of long-term athlete development in action, maybe some success stories from U sport school all the way to recreational settings that can kind of put this into context so people have a little better understanding of LTAD.

[00:12:15.60] We just did a what we call LTAD chat this morning. We've been doing it on Twitter, and now, we came live on Zoom. I'm going to give that one example, then I think we'll just pass the ball around here. Because we've also been doing something called LTAD playgrounds, where the three of us host a one day grassroots implementation workshop.

[00:12:41.39] And we have several great stories from that as well. But getting back to this morning where we really see LTAD in action is in the Premier League Academy system. Obviously, the resources there are fantastic. I mean, we had a multidisciplinary team on this morning, head of sport coaching, the head of sports science and sports medicine, one of the physiotherapists, and then one of the applied sport scientists as well.

[00:13:11.22] But the way that they integrate and have their program aligned vertically and horizontally as these kids go from the U8 all the way up to the first team is incredible. And I think it's one thing that we can do in the United States is look to some of those really gold standard programs, and make it big time where we are.

[00:13:43.22] We can't have somebody at a small school district in the middle of Kansas or wherever say, ah, yeah, we can't do that here. We don't have all those resources. We still have the framework. We still have the blueprint. And if there's a will, there's a way. And I think we're seeing a little bit of that with COVID right now, aren't we? With some of the things that people are doing without a lot of resources in their backyards, in their garage. And we're seeing more unstructured play as well.

[00:14:14.27] So I'm going to point to that as really a gold standard kind of model for long-term athletic development in action. But, again, I'm going to pass it off to these two. Because we've had other individuals who are in less resourced environments, and they've been showing some great programs as well.

[00:14:40.65] I'll share one from one of our LTAD playgrounds. Not to toot his horn, because now, he's actually an NSCA board of directors member. But Darnell Clarke had actually invited us down to his school so that we could have the conversation. And Darnell was able to organize the administrators in the school of the athletic programs, teachers all the way from the system through elementary, middle, and high school, the coaches and the strength and conditioning staff to all commit to a Saturday together to figure out how they could implement long-term athletic development within their entire program.

[00:15:15.73] So not just within strength and conditioning-- that's one of the conditions that we're trying to work on a little bit, is that there are so many strength coaches who work in silos. And what they see is that the one place where they are. And what Darnell was able to do was to be able to showcase how the strength and conditioning program had a huge influence on the elementary education, on all of the sports teams, and on the long-term success of the students in the building. Their athletic trainer was there as well.

[00:15:45.57] So it really showed strength and conditioning in the limelight, and how it affected elementary, middle, and high school, and how it could be integrated into the curriculum horizontally and vertically, so among all the different subjects as well as up and down the curriculum. So I thought that was a great example.

[00:16:00.88] Yeah, we also had two middle school and high schools on our LTAD chat this past weekend, one from Farmington, Minnesota led by Scott Meyer, and the other in Traverse City, Michigan led by Doug Gle. And those are two other great examples along with the one that Rick mentioned. And there's several others across the US. I just think we need to get this message out and help others build these type of programs as we move forward.

[00:16:33.92] And in my case, Eric, I'm president of a local youth lacrosse league. And we serve grades three up to eighth, both boys and girls. And so I deal with predominately volunteer parents that serve as coaches. And they don't have the same background as most of us in the sports sciences, or exercise science, or physical education. So we have to take this framework, this LTAD framework, and we have to make it digestible for them, so that they can understand what this framework is all about. Put it very simple.

[00:17:14.86] And then the second part is the implement. How do we get everybody, parents, coaches, kids, league directors-- how do we get them all to buy in to the benefit of an LTAD framework? And so I share some of the experiences that I take away from some of our playgrounds and communities and things of that nature with our coaches. So that ultimately we get buy in, and we collaborate with our high school coaches.

[00:17:44.02] We're not connected to our high school, but we've created a community framework where what we do in a community recreation setting compliments what will take place now at the high school setting. So it's little things like this that can be done in communities that are strapped for resources. But whether they be physical or educational or facility, whatever they might be.

[00:18:06.76] But to get it down there so that people can create their own frameworks that fits their community. Every community is unique in terms of geography, diversity, socioeconomics, and things of that nature. So that's really the challenge. And I agree with Joe. I think it can be done. But it's good to look at these high-level models, as we had earlier this morning on our LTAD chat. And how do we make that so that we can use it at the least common denominator in terms of what's happening culturally in the United States?

[00:18:47.18] I have a lot of follow up questions on what you guys all just said. But what came to mind-- who are the leaders in promoting long-term athlete development? It's such an opportunity for strength and conditioning coaches with the training that we have to kind of step up in this arena. Going off of what you said, Rick, with the physical education teachers, sport coaches, athletic trainers.

[00:19:14.95] And it is such an opportunity. And it is a powerful message within strength and conditioning. So Joe, you mentioned that kind of that ideal or that Premier League model. And if that is the ideal or the well-integrated model of long-term athlete development in sport, what are some of the other challenges we have right now in striving towards that model? How do we get there, and what's it going to take?

[00:19:52.60] Leadership, both from an organizational perspective and getting everybody on the same page, and also at the local level leadership. And I guess there, I'm speaking about athletic directors and sport administrators. So Tony was talking about his community lacrosse program. Well, Tony's the president. So he's the leader. He buys in, and he educates, and he implements.

[00:20:21.96] And then the last piece, accountability. Because, again, we have enough educational materials. The three of us always say we know what to do. We're just not doing it. And then people get educated, and they begin to implement it. But then there's nobody perhaps above them to hold them accountable. So there becomes-- there's a phrase in long-term athletic development that it's athlete centered, coach driven, administrator supportive, supported.

[00:20:56.79] So making sure that we have great leadership both within top-level organizations like the NSCA and some of the other big brand organizations related to our field, but then again, also at that local level. And sometimes, it doesn't have to be a sport administrator or an athletic director at a school. Because we're just looking for a champion within that school.

[00:21:22.02] Obviously, it's much easier when you do have the person who the buck stops here, who's on board. It makes it so much easier. I think another barrier in American sport culture that the head sport coach has so much power. It becomes a very coach-centric environment. And we know that we have these silos, and we know that we have these head butting contests between the sport coaches and then the strength and conditioning and athletic staff, or athletic medicine staff as well.

[00:22:00.19] So getting the sport coaches to buy in and understand and align is another challenge and barrier that in some situations is really holding up the show for it to be implemented properly. But, again, I'm going to go back to leadership. Because if you have a strong leader, that strong leader steps in and says, hold on a minute here. This is the right thing to do. This is best practice. We all need to get on the same page to do this.

[00:22:33.60] I'm going to just give one quick example about with a school district that I worked with where they did have a very strong athletic director. And this was at a high school. Made sure all the coaches were at the initial meeting to talk about the framework and the implementation of it. Made sure that all sport coaches reported to me what times they were available to have their kids come into the weight room, and/or meeting my staff to come out to practices and help with dynamic warm up, or on field strength and power development, speed development.

[00:23:07.17] But the story is one day, he steps out of the school building. And he surveys all of the courts and the fields that he can see. And the soccer coach wasn't out on the pitch yet. And the boys-- as boys, high school boys will do-- we're goofing around. You're in dynamic warm up going through the motions. He gets on his golf cart, drives across to that field, takes off his jacket and his tie, and leads dynamic warm up. That was the athletic director.

[00:23:42.14] That's cool. Yeah, I mean, that's buy in right there, when filling that void and stepping in, and doing what's right and setting the example. And I'm sure the other coaches that they may have come in late on that scene, that that sends a very powerful message. So this, I think, is a-- when we talk long-term athlete development, it's very closely related with a lot of the concepts that are in physical education.

[00:24:17.86] And a lot of blurred lines there. And not all strength coaches have physical education backgrounds anymore. But talk about what are the similarities and differences of physical education and long-term athlete development? Or is that not how we should be thinking of it, as separate fields?

[00:24:42.14] Well, there's the classic can of worms question right there. Interestingly, the physical education national standards start off with the phrase, a physically literate individual will-- and it goes through the five different things that person should know and be able to do and demonstrate. So physical education is perfectly poised to be a leader in this area.

[00:25:05.19] But one of the problems we have-- and Joe alluded to it earlier when he told us what the definition of athlete is. A lot of times, if you have athlete in a sentence, people will turn off because they feel, no, everybody is not an athlete. They equate athlete with elite athlete only. So sometimes, what we're trying to promote and do kind of gets dismissed. So we're talking about the education and the leadership that are essential.

[00:25:27.84] Part of what we really need to do-- and Joe mentioned earlier that all three of us are big on this collective impact idea. The idea we all know what we know, and we do and we do, and we do it well. But if we really want to advance what we're talking about with long-term athletic development, we all have to share with one another all of the positive resources that we have to really help this grow.

[00:25:48.81] Physical education knows developmentally what kids should know and be able to do at grade level sometimes. At least to have some curriculum element instruction behind that supports what we do in the strength and conditioning realm. And in the strength and conditioning realm, we have a lot of useful information that hasn't really been implemented in a physical education setting so much as how do you actually effectively warm up?

[00:26:11.49] I worked in the school district of Philadelphia for a number of years, and we would go visit schools. And some of the things we saw that was passing as a warm-up was deplorable. The students were walking around in the street clothes reading a newspaper to slow pace with their headphones on for 5 or 10 minutes, and they called that the warm up.

[00:26:27.12] It's no wonder the kids are so disengaged with physical activity. Strength and conditioning coaches have a great way of making it relevant to our athletes. And a lot of physical education teachers do that as well, but not always. Because I think where they're coming from is somewhat different. And I think what we're seeing right now in our current situation is that physical education might not come back the same way as we've known it to be.

[00:26:51.03] And that's probably a good thing. I think we get all of us all on the same page and really look at LTAD and its impact not just as the strength in conditioning or a fitness issue, but really a social justice issue. I mean, I know most strength coaches go, the heck's he talking about now? But if we really started looking at it from a more global view, it strengthens all of our professions to be on the same page moving forward, rather than working in our silos saying, well, as long as I'm in the gym, I'm happy. Well, yeah, you're happy, but we're really here for the athlete and for the student. So I think phys ed and strength and conditioning could do a lot more together.

[00:27:26.35] Just to follow up with what Rick said, and he started answer to his previous question correctly and state that this is a very large issue and question to answer. When we think about the LTAD framework, there's a performer pathway and a participation pathway. And by far, the vast majority of us are going to follow the participation pathway.

[00:27:55.17] So it's really a great opportunity when we talk about this collective impact for physical education. Because every child has to go to school. And so that's the venue where we can reach the most children. The next path is community recreation. So physical education, community recreation-- we're talking about reaching the largest volume of children in the United States.

[00:28:19.88] And then, of course, we've got the club youth or club model, which is a pay for play type of framework or model which reaches the fewest number of kids. Yet much of our conversation starts with what's the path for my child, or my daughter or son, whoever to get that college scholarship, or that grant aid, or whatever it might be.

[00:28:39.19] But I think we really, really need to emphasize how critical physical education and community recreation are in really defining the participation pathway. Because you look at this crisis now that we're in, and I'm just looking out my window right now. And I haven't seen any kids outside doing anything. Maybe once or twice in the past week riding a scooter for 10 or 15 minutes, and they run back in the house.

[00:29:05.76] And I've even read of issues of parents trying to get their kids to do something, to move. What does that speak to how we are for lack of a better word, physically educating people to want to move outside of something that's structured? Nobody knows how to play anymore. And so that's what I alluded to earlier. We are literally physically illiterate in the United States for the most part. And so we need to generate or create opportunities where we need to, as a Rick would say, get back to a new normal, I guess. What is the new normal going to look like? Because the old normal just wasn't cutting it.

[00:29:46.69] Yeah. You lost me when you said you weren't only being happy in the gym. I mean, I kind of tuned out right there, but no. Just kidding. Are we up against-- from an athletic standpoint, are we up against kids grow up that identify as athletes. They searching for that scholarship, or they want to be in the NFL, or they want to go to the big leagues.

[00:30:14.62] Is that that push for competing at the highest level, making that varsity team? Is that the toughest message that we have to be combating with long term athlete development early on? What's some of the language you guys associate with educating parents, athletes, coaches on kind of the right strategy towards pursuing athletic success?

[00:30:47.58] If that's the kid's dream, then that's fantastic. But oftentimes, it's the parent's dream and not the kid's dream, so it's not being rooted correctly. I've never heard anybody say to a student who wants to excel in math, no, you can't do that because nobody is going to become a high-level mathematician. But when we look at sports for some reason, we look at it completely differently.

[00:31:07.36] And I think if we can say that it's the kid who wants to do that, our job is then to provide those resources. It may or may not happen, but it's not in our realm when they're in 7, 8, or 9 years old to say, no, it's never going to happen. I think our job is to give all kids the tools that they can be the best they could possibly be.

[00:31:24.63] They might not go pro. And we need to educate people that not everybody is going to be the best of the best. That's why they're the best, though only a small percentage of us can actually get to that level. But we need to be able to provide the kids the tools at every age of development so that they can continue to develop to the best of their ability.

[00:31:41.76] Eric, I want to answer that a little bit differently. When I heard you talking, I think you were talking more about the competitive or performance kind of pathway. And a lot of young kids may have aspirations of playing collegiately or professionally, and attaining high marks in athletics.

[00:32:04.85] And another thing that we always talk about and the analogy that we use is we have a lot of parents and youth coaches trying to microwave young athletes. And we're really skipping those early stages of fundamental movement skill acquisition, and laying a good base and a good foundation to do more advanced things as they grow into adolescence and play high school sports and whatnot. I mean, we all know the case of these kids who come in as freshmen, and they can't even do a bodyweight squat. But yet, they want to load? So it's taking that slow cook approach to athletic development as well.

[00:32:53.31] And along those lines is also this tendency that we see of overcompeting and undertraining. Where you sign up for AAU basketball, and you're playing six to eight games in a weekend or youth baseball, and you're playing five, six, eight games in a weekend. And all you do is compete, compete, compete. But physically, you're not really ready for the demands that are going to be placed upon your body and to proficiently execute some of those sports skills. And hence, the reason why we end up with some injury as well.

[00:33:34.09] So taking that now, and what we know in this education initiative of long-term athlete development. I asked this question a lot on the podcast to coaches to be able to share kind of their perspective too, as many of our listeners are young coaches getting into the field and wanting to learn. What advice do you, each of you, have for young strength and conditioning coaches that are learning the craft and, in your opinion, would be better served by integrating long-term athlete development in their practice? How do you propose they do that?

[00:34:13.06] I'm just going to give one quick response here. Read the NSCA position statement on long-term athletic development word for word very slowly. Like read it word for word. In giving some of these presentations, I asked the audience. And oftentimes, even at NSCA events, and there's S&C coaches in the audience.

[00:34:38.97] Number one, have you ever heard of long-term athletic development? No. And then the next question obviously is a no as well, and that's they've never even heard of the position statement from the organization. They may be practicing and training young athletes as well, so get in and read that statement. And obviously, that's just the educational aspect. And you have to hone your practical skills as well, and understand youth. And the ability to work with youth is really important. But get in and read that position statement.

[00:35:09.98] So what, for our listeners, what's the best way to connect with you guys in the special interest group or just personally?

[00:35:17.67] Well, for the special interest group itself, we actually have a Facebook page, which is pretty active. So they could look at the NSCA long-term athletic development special interest group page. They can connect with us there. They can connect social media through the NSCA. You could help reach out, or if you want, Eric, I'm more than happy to share information. And afterwards, you could share with everybody of how to reach out to any of us. And we're more than happy to connect. We do the LTAD Playground, so if somebody is interested in having us come to their community and talk more about it, we're happy to go do that or whatever we can do to help.

[00:35:52.30] So related to that and finding more information-- right now on the back end of my personal website, I have information on the LTAD Playground, and then also these LTAD chats that we've been talking about. It's a great way to get involved and start to interact with people in the space as well. So yeah, my personal website is ironmanperformance.org. And then yeah, they can just go to the backslash LTAD chat LTAD playground, and they'll find that information as well.

[00:36:25.78] Well, great. I just want to say thank you, Joe, Rick, and Tony for being on the podcast. We will share your contact information as well as information about the long-term athlete development special interest group on the show notes for this episode. We also want to thank our sponsors Sorinex exercise equipment. We appreciate their support. And yeah, thanks again, guys. Really appreciate having you on.

[00:36:48.72] Thank you.

[00:36:49.20] Thanks for having us. We really love sharing the message, as you can tell.

[00:36:52.48] And if you're engaged on social media a lot like me, you'll also need to check out NSCA's Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And to all of you listening, we appreciate your support. Again, if you like the podcast, make sure you subscribe wherever you download your podcasts from, write us a review, and keep listening in. Thank you, and I look forward to talking with you all soon.

[00:37:10.08] This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

Reporting Errors: To report errors in a podcast episode requiring correction or clarification, email the editor at publications@nsca.com or write to NSCA, attn: Publications Dept., 1885 Bob Johnson Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Your letter should be clearly marked as a letter of complaint. Please (a) identify in writing the precise factual errors in the published podcast episode (every false, factual assertion allegedly contained therein), (b) explain with specificity what the true facts are, and (c) include your full name and contact information.

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Eric L. McMahon, MEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D

Strength & Conditioning Coach, NSCA Headquarters, Colorado Springs, CO, United States

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Eric McMahon is the Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager at the NSCA Headquarters in Colorado Springs. He joined the NSCA Staff in 2020 with ove ...

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