Young athletes test their skill January 12

How cool would it be if your young athlete could test and know exactly what skills to work on, how to start moving better and getting the most out of practice and training time.

Rancho Santa Margarita has some of the best athletic performance coaches in Southern California, and this Sunday, January 12, they will be meeting kids who are serious about their success in sports.

I asked Nick Tintle, owner of Athlete's Choice, voted OC's premier athletic training facility, what he is planning for this Sunday's Athlete's Choice Sports Combine.

Nick, who is this combine for?

Any kid aged 7 to 14 who is interested in learning the foundation of being successful at sports. You can practice your chosen sport, but you need to excel at many other skills before you can perform at your best! This age is critical, as many qualities important for competitive career are developed now!

What are important athletic skills for a young athlete?

Speed, agility, strength, power. They all build on each another. You can be deficient in one area and that will influence all others. How you express power depends on your strength, etc.

Is there an appropriate age for the development of different skills?

I believe at a young age athletes should play as many sports as possible as they will learn different skills that will help them become and all around athlete. They should be involved in as many sports possible so they can try all of them and then see which they like the best.

Is it enough to practice the chosen sport for a young athlete - should
there be specialized training?

Playing all sports again helps develop an athlete as they will move and learn different skills in each sport. I believe strength and conditioning speed and agility teamed with skill development in a variety of sports helps develop the all around athlete.

What is the optimal length and frequency of training for athletic
abilities? If a kid only has limited time each week, what is the
hierarchy of different skills s/he should practice? More focus on
strength, or speed?

This is a tough question because it depends on the athlete. If speed and agility is something he needs then we can identify that by the AC Sports Combine testing, and if strength is something the athlete is missing we too can identify that specifically through our testing results. Then we can implement exactly what the athlete needs. We save so much time by being exact and oftentimes we can prevent serious injuries. 

What is the biggest mistake you see parents make in the athletic
preparation of their kids?

Specializing in one sports and one sport only. Kids should try all sports and enjoy them. They should not be treated like NFL, MLB, or NBA athletes they are kids and the main goal of sports is to keep kids healthy and having fun.

What is the Athlete's Choice Elite Squad? How does a kid join?

We are looking to find and select athletes that test the highest in athletic ability. It's also a great goal to give young athletes, as they train to achieve high results and join the Squad. 

Even the kids that make the Elite Squad may have weaknesses in some areas where we can focus more on their weaknesses so that they are becoming a complete athlete. For example a kid may be very fast, but have no upper body strength. We can then formulate a plan of action for that athlete to work on his strength and conditioning  more then his speed and agility. It's really a way to implement all the knowledge and experience we have to best help the kids in the community.

Nick, where can parents find out more about the combine?

They can find all the information on our website. 

Thank you for your time, Nick and here is the link for the readers who may be interested!

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