We provide parents the opportunity to enhance their child's sports performance by providing them a custom Sports Specific workout, which will ultimately give them the EDGE above their competition, all while building confidence in their sport and in life.
I have eavesdropped on quite a few conversation at youth sporting events and heard many topics being discussed among the parents. One recurring topic is “How early is too early for my child to strength training or lift weight?” and “What are the benefits?”
When the question of what age is too young, I like to reference this research article done by ACSM that states, “Generally speaking, if children are ready for participation in organized sports or activities — such as Little League baseball, soccer, or gymnastics — then they are ready for some type of strength training.”(1) All sports require a degree of strength to be able to participate. When you increase strength you are helping prevent future injuries.
Often times the parents are also concerned about injuries. In a study done by the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), strength training caused 0.7% of injuries, while football was at 19%, basketball was at 15%, and soccer at 2%.(2) To limit the possibility of an injury to a youth athlete, it would be recommended to have a qualified instructor or coach with an athlete to coach ratio of 10:1. As for me personally, I like to lower the ratio to no more than 4:1. By doing this, I can focus on proper form and lifting technique.
In a 2012 article, published by the Mayo Clinic it listed the following benefits:
Here are some basic guidelines to follow when training our younger population.
Most of these came from the NSCA “Youth Resistance Training: Updated Position Statement Paper from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.”
These are some basic guidelines. Once the young athletes is comfortable with training we will gradually increase their training load. Slowly transitioning young athletes from basic movements to advance is key to a LTAD (Long Term Athletic Development) program. Being a coaching youth athletes is about helping them reach their full potential.
The popularity of youth sports has grown tremendously over the last few years. It is imperative now more than ever before that we teach the parents and our young athletes the benefits of a strength and conditioning. Our young athletes many not understand why they are strength training and will participate only because their parent or coach told them to. In time the child will see improvements in their performance along with their parents and peers praising them on how much they have improved in their sport. Being able to change kid’s life with training is a blessing.
1.Faigenbaum, Avery, and Lyle Micheli. "Youth Strength Training." American College of Sports Medicine. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/youthstrengthtraining.pdf>.
2. Howard, Rick. "Why Youth Strength and Conditioning Matters." NSCA. Web. 5 Oct. 2014. <http://www.nsca.com/education/articles/why-youth-strength-and-conditioning-matters/>.
3. "Tween and Teen Health." Strength Training: OK for Kids? Mayo Clinic, 18 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 Oct. 2014. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/strength-training/art-20047758>.