Load Management. The importance of parents as "Load Managers"


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How much, how hard, how often? Are our young athletes doing too much - how do we as parents and coaches manage this? In this episode we interview Dr Tim Gabbett - International Sports Consultant. Dr Tim Gabbett has over 20 years experience working as an applied sport scientist with athletes and coaches from wide range of sports. He holds a PhD in Human Physiology (2000) and has completed a second PhD in the Applied Science of Professional Football (2011), with special reference to physical demands, injury prevention, and skills acquisition.

Tim has worked with elite international athletes over several Commonwealth Games (2002 and 2006) and Olympic Games (2000, 2004 and 2008) cycles. He continues to work as a sport science and coaching consultant for several high performance teams around the world. Tim has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and has presented at over 200 national and international conferences. He is committed to performing world-leading research than can be applied in the "real world" to benefit high performance coaches and athletes.

Having a world class professional in this space to talk about his experiences and insights is simply awesome. Standby for a huge number of tricks and tips!

In this episode we cover;

  • What is "Load Management"
  • Loading at the right times, and unloading at the right times
  • Load Management IS NOT about doing less
  • You have to prepare for what you are about to do
  • Your ability to handle training loads depends on what you have been doing
  • Load is lots of different things (physical, mental, school, social media etc)
  • Adaptation occurs in the recovery period
  • The importance of sleep - THIS IS CRITICAL
  • The importance of the discipline of training - it's not just the training session!
  • You don't need alot of money to nail load management and get the best out of athletic performance and well being
  • The parent as the load manager, or performance manager
  • The importance of sampling lots of different sports and avoiding early specialisation
  • Beware if you are competing more than you are training, or there are large spikes in training
  • Key warning signs to look for in the management of your young athlete
  • Tips on how to plan the year to allow for competition, school, social activities
  • An insight from Tim on how he learned to train
  • Helping our young athletes learn how to train
  • Young athletes will tell you how they are coping with their sport(s)
  • What sort of indicators your young athletes will give you if they are not tolerating
  • Give young athletes enough time to recover
  • Young athletes will self select in terms of physical activity
  • There is no such thing as an elite 10 year old
  • Some young athletes are more robust than others

Resources ​ Dr Tim Gabbett


Young Athlete Podcast


Young Athlete Podcast on Facebook


Young Athlete Podcast on Twitter


Young Athlete Podcast on Instagram


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Young Athlete Podcast - Scott Wilson

18 episodes