Our first TEEN Summer Camp was a great success. I joined efforts with Narbeh Ebrahimian, who recently completed his 2nd and final basketball season at San Diego State University. For OH-Wellness, it was a natural fit to welcome Narbeh to our summer camp, as he grew up within the Homemenetmen “Ararat” organization. I have known Narbeh for several years now and have spent extensive time speaking with him regarding his experience as an “Ararat” athlete and what he felt could have improved his athleticism and skills in his developmental years. Together we developed our first TEEN Summer Camp. As I focused on the foundation of health and fitness, Narbeh’s focus was to apply the foundation to achieve Optimal Performance on the court.
We had 38 participants that were divided into two categories, 11 – 14 years of age and 15 – 17 years of age. Of those, we had 3 girls in the younger group and 2 girls in the older group.
We spent our first day doing assessments to achieve a baseline.
The foundation assessments consisted of:
- Push-Ups to exhaustion. To analyze upper body strength.
- Timed Crunches (1-minute). To analyze core strength.
- Timed Jump Rope (1-minute). To analyze speed and endurance.
- Right and Left Shoulder Flexion (Can their fingertips meet behind their back). To analyze shoulder mobility.
- Hamstring Flexibility (Can they touch their toes). To analyze lower back mobility.
Basketball performance assessments:
- Speed Dribble Obstacle Coarse (How fast can they ball handle through the coarse?)
- Defensive Obstacle Coarse (How fast can they move through the coarse?)
This left us Day 2 – 7 for training.
Narbeh and I trained in tandem. One group trained with me for an hour and then switched to Narbeh the next hour. We switched the age groups daily.
I covered the basics the first couple of days, i.e. posture, body alignment, form, confidence in posture and what it represents on the court, basic large muscle group strength training, how to exercise APPROPRIATE to their AGE, and healthy nutrition to feed an athlete’s body for Optimal Performance. Narbeh also covered the basics for basketball training, i.e. ball handling, height and distance jumping, coordination and accountability with partners, explosiveness, and shooting skills. At the end of the week, it was a well deserved stretch class with me and scrimmage time with Narbeh.
This is when the serious training began. Both Narbeh and I bumped the training up 10++ notches. One of the days I trained the teens in the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) format and another day of Tabata training. Narbeh focused on Xtreme Resistance Drills, Parachute Shooting, Triangle Shooting, Star Drills, Ladder Drills, and Hurdles. Week 2/Day 3 was stretch and scrimmage day.
To add, Narbeh was GREAT in always instilling a level of competition in his training where the teens had an opportunity to win a prize independently, or as a team.
DAY 8, THE LAST DAY:
We did our exit assessments on Day 8. We thought the teens would not want to bother with this again however we were pleasantly surprised. They could not wait to measure their improvements. Over 95% of the teens improved in 5 out of the 7 categories. We had posted in the room, a chart of their previous results and after each assessment; the teens would run to the chart to see if they had improved. OK, I have to admit, so did I. I’m a kid that way : )
Narbeh and I both had structured plans to finish our last session however the energy and excitement was overwhelming. It was as if it was the last day of school. At that point, one of my mentor’s and favorite presenter for IDEA Fitness (and recipient for Trainer of the Year) for teen training came to mind. His name is Brett Klika, the director of athletic performance at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego. He specifically specializes in young athletes. He believes that kids should be allowed to be kids and that the programming should focus on the foundation, not sport specific, and to have fun. Our last session ended with a HUGE game of Dodge Ball! Great FUN!
Our Program’s Successful RESULTS:
- Greatest amount of improvement was by a 12-year-old boy who improved his push-ups from 26 to 45 (19 more).
- Lowest: 11-year-old girl who did 11 push-ups IMPROVED by doing 10 more
- Highest: 15-year-old teen boy who did 60 push-ups IMPROVED by doing 13 more
- Greatest amount of improvement was a tie between a 12-year-old boy and a 16- year-old teen boy who improved by doing an additional 26 crunches.
* 12-year-old: 44 to 70
* 16-year-old: 61 to 87
- Lowest: 11-year-old-girl who did 20 crunches IMPROVED by doing 21 more.
- Highest: 15-year-old teen boy who did 74 crunches IMPROVED by doing 8 more.
- Greatest amount of improvement was by an 11-year-old girl who improved her jump roping from 50 to 100 (50 more).
- Lowest: 11-year-old-boy who did 24 jump ropes IMPROVED by doing 11 more
- Highest: 16-year-old teen boy who jumped 209 times. This teen has been foundation training with me for over a year.
Right and Left Shoulder Flexion:
- The oldest of the group, a 17 year old teen boy had the greatest improvement. His right shoulder had a 4 ½ “ gap and the left had a 7 ½ “ inch gap. At his exit assessment both sides met equally! WOW!
- A 13-year-old teen boy had the greatest improvement, from a 7-inch gap to touching his toes. He kept asking me, “how is this possible?” : )
BASKETBALL PEROFMRANCE TRAINING:
- This category is the toughest one to improve, as the development takes more time.
- The oldest of the group, the 17-year-old teen male, had the highest vertical jump, 26 ¾ “.
- The highest hit, was a 15-year-old teen boy, at 120”.
- Most improved was by a 15-year-old teen boy, with a 2” improvement.
Speed Dribble Coarse:
- Greatest amount of improvement was by a 12-year-old boy who improved his speed from 35.5 seconds to 28 seconds (7.5 seconds faster).
- Slowest: 11-year-old-girl who measured 38.91 seconds IMPROVED to 31.27 seconds.
- Fastest: 16-year-old teen boy who measured 25 seconds IMPROVED to 22 seconds.
- Greatest amount of improvement was by a 13-year-old teen boy who increased his speed from 34.4 seconds to 21.71 seconds (12.7 seconds faster).
- Slowest: The same boy above was the slowest.
- Fastest: 15-year-old teen boy who measured 15.14 seconds IMPROVED to 12.4 seconds.
I am incredibly impressed with the results especially in such a short amount of time. Let’s revisit the lesson plan:
Day 1 – Assessments
Day 2 – Foundation Training
Day 3 – Foundation Training
Day 4 – Stretch & Scrimmage
Day 5 – Competitive Training
Day 6 – Competitive Training
Day 7 – Stretch & Scrimmage
Day 8 – Exit Assessments
On a personal note, these results confirm my belief that children and teens lack foundation training. You cannot build a solid house (team) on a weak foundation!
Our next 2-Week Session will begin July 8 – 18th. We are anticipating another successful session!