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Does anyone have any good links to information I can pass on to my 15-18 yr old players (and possibly parents) about how to manage the pressures of study and regular training/competitions?
I don't have any links, but essentially this comes down to organisation, planning and commitment. Athletes need to be committed to undertaking studies, the most important aspect, whilst competing, which requires them to be organised by having a detailed weekly plan that sets out times for everything in their life, a plan that they must stick to. The most difficult aspect of this is the acceptance that there will probably need to be some compromise in regard to general social activities. It can all be handled without undue stress and compromise to study, with a bit of thought.
I agree with Bob.
Once kids get to S4 (4th year of high school) they tend to drop out of teams and comps. They may still do one school club but can't commit to more.
Compromise is best. They will have 'peaks and troughs' eg close to exam cut back on training nights.
Lots of coaches drop kids from teams if they don't commit to multiple nights of training. When in reality if they have studies and a pt job they will not have time.
Tonight i coached my school' mtb club and there was a school football team playing.
Both groups were under 14s. So not doing exams or have other school pressures.
Why not let them feel they can come to training when they can make it and not feel bad or under pressure if they can't?
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Here is how one coach set up a day for his athletes:
5:45am – get up, run playfully 10km on road or trails
7:00 am – shower, light breakfast
8:00 – 1pm classes
1-1:30 5km with easy accelerations
1:30-2:15 very small lunch and 15min of rest, lying down
3:30-4 – 5km jog, closing with 2x500m @ 1500m race pace
4-5:15 – studying
5:16-6 – personal time or reading
6-7:30 – 10km run on roads, trails or track, finishing with 1000m @ 70% effort and shower
7:30-8 – dinner 8-10 – studying or concert, theatre, etc
10:30-11:15 – 7-8km jog on the roads, followed by reading to 12am Exhausted?!
This was provided by a German coach Ernst Van Aaken in the early 1970s and was meant for a 1500m runner aiming for 3:20 or 5k in 12:45. I would like to see more sleep in there, and if the athlete doesn't need that volume of training, you can probably swap some running for some sleep, but I hope it gives you some ideas on how it can be achieved.
Another coach’s timetable:
6am – get up, jog round the oval, have a cup of tea,
6:20 – 8:20 study
8:20-4pm bit of a break before first class.
After each class, go over your notes, don’t waste any time sitting around talking so you’re working the whole time
6:30-7 – break
7-9 – studying
This schedule was provided by Percy Cerutty to Don Macmillan in 1949. Don followed Percy’s advice to the letter and passed all his Uni exams with flying colours. In 1950 he won the Aust Championships in 4:15.8 (an Australian record).
It all comes down to priorities (facebook vs sleep vs study vs training) and organisation.
These priorities can change month-to-month and year-to-year. For example, during the Summer holidays, social activities can replace study. During University study needs to take a higher priority. Post university, study is replaced by work, etc
It isn't easy, but if they're wanting to achieve something big, they have to understand it won't come easy.
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