Strength and Performance Training

Sport Management Company Belmont CA

Training Platform Belmont Ca

12U: Learning 2 Train

12U athletes, according to the Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) Model, experience what is called the "Learn to Train" phase.  During this stage, the objectives are to develop overall athleticism while working on specific sport skills.  As a result, athletes are encouraged to play multiple sports to avoid the adverse effects of early youth sport specialization.  Research has shown that specializing in a sport too early can develop imbalances in musculature and set the athlete up for inevitable overuse injuries.  Ice Hockey is a late specialization sport and contrary to the "10,000 hours of practice" ideology, developing efficient movement patterns with a solid athletic foundation is far more important.

  Long Term Athletic Development Model (LTAD)

Long Term Athletic Development Model (LTAD)

Psychologically, there are two keys to achieving the phase objectives:

  1. Developing healthy training habits 
    • warm up/cool down routine
    • proper nutrition
    • movements and technique
  2. Learning to appreciate a healthy lifestyle
    • value of education
    • healthy social life
    • healthy habits in sports

Fun Fact - Most players in the NHL don't enter the league with more than 5,000 hours of hockey practice.

Athletes can attain overall athletic skills through  playing multiple sports and developing strength, flexibility, endurance and speed through training.  The train ability windows typically include an emphasis on speed and the beginning stages of aerobic stamina.  In addition, it is also important to monitor growth spurts as they can last between 18-24 months.  Because of the sudden changes in the body during a growth spurt, monitoring flexibility in the hamstrings and lower back is equally important.  

Selecting ambidextrous sports such as: gymnastics, swimming, wrestling and martial arts are very effective in the construction of the overall athlete.  From personal experience in coaching, the best players on my younger teams were always the multi sport athletes and not the players who necessarily spent the most hours training on the ice.  

Here are some exercise tips specific to the 12U age.

Flexibility

 Hamstring hurdle stretch

Hamstring hurdle stretch

 Towel stretch

Towel stretch

During growth spurts, it is important to emphasize flexibility in the hamstrings and lower back

 Lower back and hip flexors

Lower back and hip flexors

 Seated spinal stretch

Seated spinal stretch

Strength

Core strength, upper and lower body strength can be developed using the athlete's own body weight, medicine balls and swiss balls.

 T push ups

T push ups

 Bounding

Bounding

 Inverted Row

Inverted Row

 Two leg lateral hops

Two leg lateral hops

 Front and side planks

Front and side planks

 Glute March

Glute March

Speed and Agility

Ladder drills, short bursts of sprints and hurdle jumps are just some examples.  There is myriad of exercises to train speed and agility.  

Sample Workout Plan

Dynamic Warm Up

Ladder Work

  • Hop Scotch
  • Zig Zag Shuffle
  • Zig Zag Crossover Shuffle
  • Ski Jump

A1) 5 yard reactive start (tennis ball drop) 3 x each side

A2) 5-10-5 Lateral Agility 2 x each side

B1) Medicine Ball Chest Pass 3 x 6

B2) Squat Jump 3 x 6

C1) Inverted Row 3 x 6

C2) T Push Ups 3 x6

D1)  Glute March 2 x 8 each leg

D2) Front/Side Planks 2 x 20 seconds each side

Static Stretch

Focus - Speed/Power, Balance/Coordination, Flexibility