The best training methods for younger athletes are exercises which challenge the basic movements associated with speed and agility. Short, simple exercises are most affective in building good fundamentals for younger athletes.
The Youth Kbands Wall Drill is an excellent resistance band exercise for young athletes to help build on fundamentals and form. Young athletes will be challenged and see greater results in a shorter amount of time by incorporating resistance into the exercise. By utilizing resistance exercises young athletes will be forced to concentrate on the path of their knee as the resistance forces the hip flexors to work harder than they would during a non-resistance exercise.
The Youth Kbands Wall Drill is an extremely efficient and simple resistance band exercise. To begin the resistance exercise young athletes will need a set of youth Kbands (beginning with yellow and progressing to red bands), a parent or coach, and a sturdy wall, door, or fence.
To begin the resistance band exercise athletes will securely attach the Kbands just above the knees and place both hands on a wall. Young athletes will want to maintain a good 45 degree angle off the wall with high hand placement and high arm base. Young athletes should keep good posture and running form throughout the resistance exercise and should not allow shoulders or back to roll forward.
After proper starting form is achieved athletes will begin to drive their knees up working off the balls of their feet. Young athletes need to stay underneath their shoulders or armpits and focus on knee drive, not allowing the knees to cross the mid-point of the body. Coaches remember to remind your young athletes to push through the resistance and not let the resistance control their leg movements.
The resistance band exercise should be performed for short bursts of 8-10 seconds, providing 90 seconds to 2 minutes of rest between sets. The resistance exercise should be performed for 3-5 sets depending on the young athletes age, conditioning level, and overall athletic development.
Once your athlete is able to properly perform 3 sets of the resistance exercise, coaches or parents may perform the final sets of the resistance band exercise without resistance. This switch from resisted to resisted sets will allow young athletes to achieve complete muscle activation and enhance the effectiveness of the resistance exercise. Coaches and parents can also increase the resistance of the exercise by switching from yellow to red bands, once the athlete has mastered the resistance band exercise with yellow bands.
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