Greater in-game improvements come from taking the time to hone your strength and power with proper training routines.
Any coach or trainer will tell you that a well-rounded training regimen is one of the keys to success when it comes to rapid improvement in performance – but strength & conditioning training is specifically where we build our power.
Strength training is defined as the application of agility, resistance, speed training and plyometrics in order to achieve more power and explosiveness from our athletic performance.
A successful strength & conditioning routine will also help athletes to burn more calories, increase metabolism and strengthen their overall health.
From increased endurance, explosiveness and motor skill function to reduced risk of sport-related injuries, any young athlete can begin to see their performance improve drastically with a tailored strength training strategy.
Before we dive into our tips for strength & conditioning training for young athletes, let’s address the concern on every parent’s mind: safety.
Is Strength Training Safe for Young Athletes?
When it comes to sports and athleticism, anything can be dangerous when approached incorrectly.
Strength & conditioning training requires us to observe proper practices when performing different exercises.
The most common injuries occur as a result of misused gym equipment, improper form and lifting weights past a comfortable limit.
This is why it’s so important to find a qualified coach or trainer to help design a strength & conditioning program that is tailored to the needs of each and every athlete.
In short, a proper training program holds no greater risk than anything else – it’s just a matter of being cautious and never over-exerting past our limits.
Now that we’re clear on the safety of strength & conditioning training, let’s dive into our tips for young athletes.
6 Strength & Conditioning Tips for Young Athletes
1. Train With Qualified Supervision
According to researchers, 77.2% of all acute injuries studied could have been avoided with proper supervision from a qualified trainer.
Many accidents that can happen during a strength training regimen simply don’t need to.
Having a qualified trainer to oversee strength & conditioning training will not only help to reduce the likelihood of accidental injury; but the athlete’s workouts will be more focused and productive as well.
2. Focus On Form & Posture
Proper attention to postural alignment during a workout is a key factor not just in preventing injuries, but avoiding them altogether.
As workouts increase in intensity, the necessity for proper form and posture does as well.
A qualified trainer will provide the best insight as to how to achieve optimal form for specific strength & conditioning routines tailored to young athletes & their sport of choice.
3. Start With The Basics & Master Them First
There is a specific process to strength & conditioning training that needs to be observed by athletes of every age group, but especially by young athletes who are still in their formative years.
Starting with exercises that utilize body weight as resistance will help young and aspiring athletes to become technically competent with their own bodies.
Focusing on technique and form from the beginning will also prime the body to safely train with plyometrics and weight lifting strategies thereafter.
4. Add Some Variety to Your Workout Routine
When it comes to training for young athletes, we always want to keep things fun.
Regardless of how goal-oriented the athlete is, we want to focus on creating a strength & conditioning training routine that avoids burnout.
The best way to achieve this is by mixing up routines and keeping things fresh and entertaining, rather than solely focusing on athletic excellence and achievement.
Creating games around different exercises will help young players focus on fun rather than goals, creating a more positive & productive mindset around athleticism that will serve them well for years to come.
5. Make Time For Intervals of Rest
Although young athletes can recover much quicker from fatigue in a strength & conditioning training session, rest intervals should be tailored to the intensity of the workout in order to avoid injury and burnout.
One-minute intervals of rest are sufficient as a starting point and should increase to 2-3 minutes of rest when a higher skill level becomes required to safely achieve the desired results.
6. Commit to Regular Training
Research has shown that participation in regular training periods can lead to a decrease in potential injuries, as well as shortened recovery times for young athletes.
2-3 non-consecutive days per week is generally most appropriate to achieve results without risk of fatigue or burnout.
Train regularly, but don’t forget to train responsibly too!
ETS Whitby: Centralized Resources for Athletes
At ETS Whitby, we’re proud of our full-service approach to athleticism through our unique blend of training, education, nutrition and more.
With a strategic combination of performance testing, fitness programming and nutritional resources, our teams are dedicated to building the complete athlete from one centralized location.
Whether you’re a young athlete or a seasoned professional, our ETS experts are committed to developing only the strongest and most confident players.
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Want to learn more about our athlete training programs?
Contact Kelly Gallant at email@example.com to book a complimentary athletic consultation.