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I coach a School U14 team and I would be interested in hearing your ideas for initial fitness sessions at the start of the season.
Martin, firstly, I would ask Geoff Poole your former Deputy Head if he's still around, he had a marvelous set of exercises that emphasized fitness whilst working hard on the boys technical skils. I have used them for thirty years - thanks GT. they were very similar to sessions I have observed professional football coaches use to improve skills and concentration under pressure, in this case tiredness.
If you are going to do fitness work then place the emphasis on 'Learning to Train' look up LTAD on the internet. Remember with a group of this age you will have some near ful grown and some who are still pre-puberty.
One of the most effective strategies I used was to run the school cross country club and sign up all the hockey players. They won a number of medals for X/C and four ended up as hockey Olympians.
In the limited time you will have available, I'd place the emphasis on hockey, if the boys are technically reasonably sound I would utilise conditioned games. Dr Karl Stagno has researched the subject and found conditioned games raise the heart rate into the training zone very efficiently.
Players will enjoy playing rather than running without the ball.
"It is not only useful for staff who are experienced but a valuable tool for those subject staff who have to take teams."
The variety of sessions across sports - sometimes we steal session ideas from one sport and use them with another.
As we enter the business end of the competition, we take a look at the remaining eight teams and the key talking points surrounding each side.
Give it a try - it's better in the app