There are many benefits to youth strength training. Among them are an increase in the muscular strength. By increasing strength the more muscle force can be generated by specific muscle groups. Another is an increase in Power, or how fast the aforementioned strength can be generated. By increasing the strength of muscles, the athlete also increases the endurance of those muscles. Stronger muscles last longer before fatigue hits. By strength training, the body is building connections from the brain to the muscles. Through these connections, the athlete improves motor skills, and their agility, speed, coordination, reaction time and balance. One of the biggest things strength training builds is confidence. When a young athlete feels strong, or moves a weight that they see as heavy, it fills them to the brim with self confidence, which is ever so important in this day and age.
There is an old wives tale that has been perpetuated through the past few decades that resistance training will stunt a childs growth. This is a HUGE Misconception. Strength training will not stunt a childs growth, in actuality, it has favorable influences on growth at any stage of development. Studies have been done which show that resistance training and weight bearing activities enhance bone density in children and adolescents. The stronger muscles pull on the bones making the bones grow thicker and stronger.
There is an increasing rise in youth athlete injuries. Many of these are from overuse injuries of using the same movement pattern over and over as kids are specializing in one sport earlier and earlier. However, research has shown, regular participation in a strength and conditioning program can increase a young athlete’s resistance to injury. A proper athlete development training program like we have here at No Risk Sports Performance, home of Parisi Speed School of RI can play a pivotal role in preparing a young athlete for sports and thereby reducing the chances or decrease the severity of sport- related injuries.
While seeing outcomes on the playing field is the performance goal of any sports performance program, it is not the overall goal. Limiting the results of any program to just seeing outcomes in increasing muscular strength, power and endurance is short sighted. The program needs to be fun, and that training and physical activity is fun. By doing this we are promoting an interest in physical activity which hopefully will be instilled in youth athletes as they get older so they will continue to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle, even when their playing days are over.