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How to be a Winner in Youth Football

Pop Warner Football Player Loves Scoring Touchdowns!

 

One of my patients is a coach for a local Pop Warner football team here in town. His name is Coach Greene, and his 12 year old son was hoping to become the starting running back for the team.

The competition was tough, even for his age group, and Coach Greene was looking for ways to make sure his son got his share of the playing time.

However, even though he was the coach, he wanted his son to earn this position. He wasn’t just going to give it to him because of his special relation.

Having been the coach on this team for several years, Coach Greene is no stranger to the stories, and perhaps the grumblings and murmuring of complaints by parents where one child is getting more playing time than another during a game or even where one child is being shown more favor than another even on the practice field.

He has no doubt had to deal with this each and every year and according to him, it’s just part of the game within the game.

Now I can tell you first hand that Coach Greene is an extremely upstanding individual with nothing but the highest set of morals and values.

To give you an idea of what kind of man he is, he has been actively involved in the foster care program here in Columbus, Ohio, for years, having had as many as 10 needy children in the area be fortunate enough to call his home their home.   And, just recently, he and his wife legally adopted one of these children, and now this child bears his last name as well.

So naturally, when Coach Greene asked me if I would like to make a donation to his team so they could meet their budget for things like football helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys, footballs, etc., I was happy to do so.

The story could have ended there and both of us would have continued on as they were.  I would get my weekly summary from him on how his team did over the weekend, while he was receiving treatment for a torn rotator cuff injury in my office.

But, whenever the opportunity presents itself in my office to train the children of some of my patients about speed training, I take it.  I don’t always like to do this as my first priority to them is about them and their health, but having known Coach Greene long enough, our visits became more than just providing him with treatment.

There was a friendship that was also established, and it was this friendship that paved the way for me to present him with the information contained in my RUN FASTER with Isometric Training program.

The moment he expressed his desire to make sure that his son earned the starting running position on his team was the only opening I needed.

I told him to have his son, Jamal, come in to my office sometime during the week, and I would train him personally on how to get faster.

Like most people, including coaches, Coach Greene had some questions about the speed training program. There were questions like: “Can he do your training while still practicing football?”  “Can he do your program in the middle of the season? “How long will it take each day to do your program?”  “How long before I see results?”

I get these types of questions all the time. But my favorite question is this one, “Is my child old enough to start to do the exercises in your program?”  The reason why this is my favorite question is because while parents are worried about their child getting hurt with an exercise, they have completed overlooked the fact that their 10 year old or 12 year old is involved in what can only be described as a collision sport, where all the protective padding and helmets are worn in order to minimize or prevent an injury.

So my usual response to this question is if a child is old enough to plays sports, make tackles, fight through blocks and survive an occasional chop block, late hit or clipping penalty, then they are more than likely old enough to start doing these exercises.

So, this was the case with Coach Greene’s son, Jamal.  He came in to my office  and was at first mildly interested in learning something new.  Perhaps it was the setting he was exposed to, my doctor’s clinic, that caused a bit of apprehension on his part.

Who could blame him?  But with his father, Coach Greene by his side, Jamal was receptive to give this a try. (I think his father was also a bit curious as to what he was about to learn next.)

Now I must say that I have not met many younger kids around Jamal’s age, 12, that were really interested in having a good hard work-out in the gym.

With computer games and perhaps even iPhones at their age, all competing for their attention every second of the day, it’s been my own personal experience that getting a child to practice for a sport is not as much fun for them as the actual playing of that sport.

There may be exceptions, but this has been my own personal observation.

So, one of the first things that I tell a child before I start to train them is this, “If you can give me just 3 minutes extra per day to start to do the exercises I am about to show you, I can make you faster”.

While this is not the total length of time that it takes to complete the training in my program (it’s normally around 15 minutes), 3 minutes is all I need for them to see an immediate change in their running speed in just a few days.

Yes, it can and has worked that fast, but I will admit, getting someone to believe it is no easy task.  I can’t tell you how many people were skeptical before starting my programs.  In fact, I would say that most of them were and this includes, I believe, Coach Green and his son, Jamal.

So, let me get right to the point that I hope will get you past any skepticism you may have about your son’s or daughter’s ability to start running faster in just a few days with just one 3 minute exercise, and take you to a point of belief.

What if I were to tell you that in spite of all the exercises you may have had your child doing trying to get faster, all the training and hours of coaching you may have invested in them, and all the products you may have bought in the past with the hope of increasing their running speed, that your child has unwittingly neglected to train upwards of 50% of the muscles in their body that are necessary to run faster?

And, if that were true, and if your child were to start training all 100% of their muscles involved in getting faster, would you then start to believe that it might be possible for them to get faster in just a few days?  I believe you would.

Allow me to introduce to you the hip flexor muscles. There are seven of them on each side of the body. Don’t worry about memorizing their names, although I feel obligated to at least give them to you here: Psoas, Iliacus, Sartorius, Vastus Rectus, Pectineus, Adductor Longus and Adductor Brevis.

These seven muscles form the longest and arguably the strongest muscle group in the body.  They are responsible for running, walking and controlling your posture. In spite of their incredible and inherent strength, they are still found to be extremely under-developed in most athletes, including professionals.

Now, the reason for the lack of training of one’s hip flexor muscles is because not many people have ever heard of them by name or paid any attention to them or where they are located in the body.  How do I know this?  When was the last time you heard anyone say they were going to train their Iliacus muscle?  See what I mean?

Now combine this with there not being any real good equipment in the gym to train them with and you can see why this muscle group has been completely ignored and is just lying dormant in your body.

The good news though is that each and every one of us who has never trained these muscles before has a huge reservoir of untapped muscular energy just waiting to be released!  This is what Jamal and his father, Coach Greene, learned that day in my office.

They learned that even one simple 3 minute isometric exercise using resistance bands on Jamal’s hip flexors was going to jump start his athletic performance immediately. And it did.

He scored two touchdowns in his next game after I showed him the exercise.

He then returned to my office the next week eagerly wanting to learn the rest of the exercises in my program.  He wasn’t as quiet, shy and unassuming as he was the first time I met him.  I also noticed that he didn’t have his GameBoy with him like he did when we first met.  This time, he was “all ears” as they say and couldn’t wait to do the exercises.  What a difference a week makes. What a difference a 3 minute exercise makes.

With his new sense of athletic confidence, Jamal ultimately earned the starting running back position on his father’s team.

He went on to lead his team and the entire division in rushing and touchdowns that year.

I was fortunate enough to get some video footage of one of his games.  In this video clip, the first play of the game, 12 year old Jamal took a handoff and raced 70 yards downfield before being tackled at the 10 yard line.  He came out for a quick breather and returned 2 plays later.  His team hadn’t gained a yard on those two plays when he was out and on 3rd and goal at the 10, Jamal faked right and out ran the entire defense by what looked like a ‘country mile’ to the corner of the end zone!

Imagine the excitement for Jamal?  Imagine the excitement for his team?  Imagine the excitement, and perhaps relief from his Dad who would have to answer to the parents who may have felt Jamal was receiving preferential treatment?

So my question for you is this, “Does your son or daughter have at least 3 minutes extra per day to start doing some of the exercises in my RUN FASTER program to make them faster?

Thanks for reading and all the best to the parents, children and coaches involved in youth football programs!

Video: Youth Football player uses ‘secret weapon’ to lead division in touchdowns and total yards.




 
Always glad to help!
Dr. Larry Van Such
 
 

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