Train to Train 1
- Stage Start
Onset of Puberty
(Approx age: 11-13 years old for males, 10-12 for females)
- Stage End
"Peak Height Velocity" (middle of growth spurt)
(Approx age: 13-15 years old for males, 12-14 for females)
During Train to Train 1, young athletes should be consolidating their basic sport-specific skills and tactics. This is a window of accelerated adaptation to aerobic, speed, and strength training.
During competitions, athletes should strive to do their best (including winning if that is appropriate for the competition), but the major focus of training is on learning and consolidating the basics as opposed to competing.
Because athletes commonly start orienteering as late as this stage, it is important to remember that athletes should have mastered the skills from earlier stages before they attempt to learn the more advanced skills listed in the Train to Train 1 stage. The skills in this stage rely heavily on the foundation laid earlier. They build on the concepts of handrails, collecting, and catching features, as well as foundational map reading skills including keeping the map consistently oriented. Athletes start exploring contours in this stage and begin using attackpoints to simplify and run with more confidence.
At this stage athletes should learn how to use a compass to orient the map and to take a bearing. Athletes should also be introduced to international control descriptions.
The following is a list of key characteristics and habits of athletes in the Train to Train 1 stage to keep in mind when working with these athletes. Remember that each athlete is an individual and will not have all of these characteristics / habits. Group dynamics can also play a big factor in which of these characteristics come out in a group.
- Often displays unpredictable behaviours and opposes the established order (it’s important to note that this is a natural part of the social and emotional development process and helps them explore and learn about social relations).
- Has a tendency to break rules because they believe this is what peers want them to do and because they have a desire to be loved and respected by their peers and are still developing a sense of right and wrong.
- Is very concerned about how they are perceived by others.
- Fun social activities are important and should be included at competitions and training camps.
- Teenagers bodies are undergoing massive changes due to puberty (because of this athletes are particularly prone to overtraining and injury).
- The cardiovascular and respiratory systems are growing rapidly
- Is undergoing an increase in estrogen and testosterone production
- Growth spurts may affect coordination and endurance
- Is ready to take responsibility for their own commitment and respect for the sports they are participating in.
- Is aware of their role and responsibilities to their team, coach, and other players in their sport system.
- Is developing a deeper understanding of ethical issues such as fairness and sportsmanship.
- Enjoys learning from and with peers
- Due to the major and rapid changes involved in puberty, coaches and athletes should pay attention to movement patterns, agility, balance, and coordination, and watch for joint injuries, particularly ACL and PFJ injuries (applies also to boys but there is an additional emphasis for girls).
- Females need to be aware of hormonal disturbances due to poor or insufficient energy intake that may result in irregular periods (oligomenorrhea) or periods stopping altogether (amenorrhea)
- Female coaches and role models are very important at this (and other) stages