“The ‘bend don’t break’ philosophy kind of came to mind…we have to train harder than these people in front of you, harder, smarter.”

Mike Young

What You will learn

  • The progression of the NWSL over recent years
  • How to incorporate multiple data streams into management
  • “Bend them, not break them.” Learn how Mike maximizes everything.
  • The future of player healthcare for the female athlete.

Mike Young shares his journey from opening Athletic Lab to working with the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL. He discusses his background in track and field and the success he had as a coach in that sport. Mike also talks about his transition to working in soccer and the growth of the NWSL. He shares memorable moments with the Courage and defines the culture of the team.

He explains the philosophy and training standards that have earned the Courage a reputation for fitness and excellence. In this conversation, Mike Young discusses the importance of training control and progression in team sports. He explains how he determines the bend point, or the point at which athletes are pushed to their limits without breaking. Mike also shares his experience in developing a load management system and bringing structure to team sports training.

He emphasizes the need for individualization and the use of machine learning in monitoring and adjusting workload. Additionally, he addresses the challenges of ACL injuries in female athletes and the impact of tournaments and games on player health. The conversation concludes with a discussion on finding small wins for high performance.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

022 | Mike Young: Bridging Biomechanics & Physiology in Soccer

Key Takeaways

  • Training control and progression are crucial in team sports to ensure athletes are pushed to their limits without breaking.
  • A load management system that incorporates various data streams can help monitor and adjust workload effectively.
  • Individualization and machine learning play a significant role in optimizing training programs for athletes.
  • Educating and getting buy-in from coaches and players is essential for implementing effective training strategies.
  • The high incidence of ACL injuries in female athletes may be attributed to the increased number of tournaments and games.
  • Finding small wins consistently and being consistent in self-care and treatment of others is key to maintaining high performance.

episode timeline

00:00 Introduction and Background

02:16 Opening Athletic Lab and Working with Track and Field Athletes

03:14 Opportunity in Soccer and Joining a Pro Club

06:06 Transition to Vancouver Whitecaps and Return to Athletic Lab

08:29 Working with the North Carolina Courage

14:30 Memorable Moments with the Courage

26:23 Philosophy and Training Standards of the Courage

32:17 Training Control and Progression

33:12 Determining the Bend Point

34:18 Developing a Load Management System

35:42 Bringing Structure to Team Sports Training

36:37 Individualization and Machine Learning

38:05 Positional Demands and Fitness Levels

38:29 Monitoring and Adjusting Workload

41:32 Overlooking Training Intensity

41:57 Educating and Getting Buy-In

46:28 ACL Injuries in Female Athletes

47:30 The Impact of Tournaments and Games

54:11 Finding Small Wins for High Performance

Adam Loiacono


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