When should a Youth Athlete start a Strength and Conditioning program and what’s appropriate?

Truth is, there’s no specific age recommendation for a child to start resistance training, however once a child is able to follow directions and process information it is believed that a child is ready to begin training. This coincides with the start of organized sports, which usually occurs at the age of 6-8.

As both a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and a Certified Parisi Coach, we at No Risk Sports Performance believe in the Long Term Athletic Development Model and look to what scientific evidence there is on the subject matter. It is widely accepted in the scientific community that parents, teachers, coaches and healthcare providers should recognize the potential health and fitness-related benefits of resistance exercise for all children and adolescents. Furthermore, youth who do not participate in activities that enhance muscle strength and motor skills early in life may be at increased risk for negative health outcomes later in life.

Appropriately designed resistance training programs, like the one we have here at No Risk Sports Performance, may reduce sports-related injuries, and should be viewed as an essential component of preparatory training programs for aspiring young athletes.

The benefits of following a proper Strength and Conditioning program is supported on the proviso that qualified professionals, like us here at No Risk Sports Performance, design and supervise training programs that are consistent with the needs, goals and abilities of younger populations. The benefits to youth athletes are increases in muscular strength, power, cardiovascular fitness, improves motor skill performance, increased young athlete’s resistance to injury, and improved psychosocial well being.

During early stages of athlete development (7-11) we teach proper bodyweight movement such as pushups, bodyweight squats, pull ups, planks, medicine balls and some resistance training with dumb bells. Not all athletes will reach the point of training with dumb bells immediately. This comes with technical competence and with an increase in training age. During this phase there is no such thing as sport specific, we work on developing general athleticism. We teach basic running, jumping, landing and change of direction, balance, coordination,  which benefit all sports!  

If you’re interested in learning more about our Jump Start sports performance (ages 7-11) program, schedule a free trial class today!

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