Liverpool College partner with AFYA

FullSizeRenderLiverpool College a leading North West Academy School and Nuffield Health are delighted to announce that in partnership with AFYA Sports Training they will be running sports camps over the Summer starting 11th July 2016 at the school.

AFYA Sports Training is a leading provider of sports coaching and education and the courses will include England and international coaches and players from The British Lions, GB Judo, England Netball and Cricket as well as coaches from South Africa and Australia

The camps are both Multi Sport for children aged 5-13 and include all of the above as well as Tennis, Fencing, Athletics, Street Dance and Speed Training to name but a few.The Multi Sports Camp will run from 11th July- 26th August.

AFYA will also run Sports Specific camps for Rugby and Netball on 22nd-24th August for 8-11 and 12-16 year olds with Mark Cueto (England & British Lions) and 25th-26th August with Alice Travis (England Netball & Manchester Thunder) for 9-13 year olds.

To see more details and or book visit www.afyasportstrg.com/trainingcamps or email bookings@afyasportstrg.com

AFYA to deliver Strength and Conditioning Training

The Problem

Due to modern lifestyles the children of today have become less mobile, more unfit and weaker than children of previous generations. Recent findings published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica showed that arm strength in children fell by 26% between 1998 and 2008; leading to fresh concerns about the impact of modern living on the health and wellbeing of today’s children whether they engage in sport or not.

Increases in litigation, as well as constant reduction of physical education in the national curriculum has steadily reduced the amount of physical activity in young people.

“Falling off a branch used to be a good lesson in picking yourself up and learning to climb better. Now fear of litigation stops the child climbing in the first place.”
Tam Fry of the Child Growth Foundation

Additionally, the mystique of fitness training, coupled with the sometimes poor practice of some coaches has led to a misunderstanding of what contemporary strength and conditioning aims to achieve.

In contrast, strength and power is vital for success in most contact sports and although strength itself is not a measure of sporting ability it is believed to represent performance characteristics of playing potential (2). Moreover, it has been suggested that possessing high levels of strength is the most important factor influencing power production (7,9,15,20), which encompasses movements such as sprinting, jumping, changing direction, throwing and kicking and therefore applies to the vast majority of sports (8).

There is an increasing demand of strength and power in rugby players of all levels since the advent of professionalism in 1997 (16). A recent study illustrated increases of 3-5% in upper-body and 5-15% increases in lower-body strength between 2004 and 2007 (19). Furthermore, strength and power have been shown to be discriminating factors between playing levels (2–4) and have been shown to differentiate between playing standard of professional, college, high school and junior players (4).

In conclusion, we are living in an age where the youth of today are becoming weaker, slower and less fit than our predecessors, and yet many young athletes are entering an arena that requires an increasing need for the very same physical characteristics. Attempting to square this circle is fraught with danger as players try to build on shaky foundations as they endeavour to chase their dream of becoming a professional athlete. Sooner or later this will end in injury.

Further Information

There were once doubts that strength training held any benefits for children and it has traditionally been viewed as risky for maturing children due to fears it could stunt growth and lead to injury. Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence that children and teenagers can benefit from appropriately designed and professionally coached training programmes.

In fact, injuries associated with weightlifting and weight training are lower than any contact or team based sport in this country and the benefits of strength training during youth and adolescence have far-reaching health benefits, including:

Other health benefits of physical activity also include:

Strength training in particular has been shown to have enormous benefits for athletes as it serves as the foundation for all other physical attributes. Qualities such as speed, agility, balance, mobility, anaerobic capacity and even cardio vascular endurance are underpinned by strength and therefore it is a key component of any AFYA training programme.

The most recent meta-analysis, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that children who engaged in strength training one to five times a week, for about 40 minutes per session, improved their strength by 20 to 40 percent. In addition, those who trained a few times a week also saw more improvement than those who limited their strength training to once a week. These findings line up with the most recent, updated exercise recommendations from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), which now recommends children incorporate strength training two to three times a week. It has been clearly shown that exercising during your youth has a long-term beneficial impact on your health.

Unfortunately, many still make the mistake of equating weight training out-dated bodybuilding or military training styles. Please understand that contemporary strength & conditioning is not about “looking good” or simply “getting a beasting”, but is designed to develop well-rounded athletes by focussing on fundamental movement skills and progressive strength development by using safe techniques utilising evidence based training methods.

The Solution

The AFYA training plan employs a five-step approach;

Pre-Test

This testing session is the most important session in the AFYA training plan as all subsequent training sessions are based on the results from the initial testing session. It briefly comprises of:

  1. Anthropometric assessment This includes height, weight, body fat and muscle girths. Regular testing can also inform coaching on maturations status which may guide future coaching sessions and exercise selection.
  2. Functional Movement Screen This is the foundation from which all training programmes evolve from. Put simply it assesses the movement capacity of the player and provides the coach with vital information about how the player moves and, perhaps more importantly, where movement dysfunctions lie. This in turn guides future coaching.
  3. Strength Basic upper and lower body strength testing. All scores are expressed in absolute and relative measures which is important in maturing athletes.
  4. Speed Acceleration, speed and momentum are measured over specific distances. Speed timing gates will need to be provided.
  5. Aerobic/Anaerobic capacity General aerobic (from which future training plans can be designed) and/or sport & position specific anaerobic fitness tests

Distance Programming

Once the testing has taken place and the results have been analysed players will receive a training programme based on their general need and ability. There will be 3 sessions per week over a 12-week period.

Coach Led Sessions

Further sessions will be provided and led by a qualified, experienced strength & conditioning coach. There will be 3 sessions per week over a 12-week period. Players will be split into 2 groups to increase the player to coach ratio.

Educational Lessons

In order to enhance the training programme so the players get maximum benefit there will also be 3 educational lessons consisting of general nutritional practices, nutrition for performance and how to recover from training/playing. However, if there are specific topics that you would like to cover this can also be arranged.

Post-Test

The post-test emulates the pre-test and checks the effectiveness of the training programme as the results can be compared.