I’m sure you have seen it.

The super hard workouts with the 6′ Box Jumps that make your eyes pop out of your head.

Or the intense training style that leaves kids exhausted.

It’s Quite a Thing.

Enough for more followers on YouTube and other Social Media.

Have you ever thought, ‘I want my kid to do that.’

YouTube has a tendency to make super stars out of people that are doing the most outrageous things.

But when it comes to becoming a better athlete, the question is,

“What do they really need?”

The thought process around training youth athletes is, ‘train them long and hard.”

More reps, harder exercises make it difficult.

Wrong.

Training athletes should be challenging and push kids out of their comfort zone, but the thought that we can run them into the ground because they are “young and resilient” is silly.

Right now, we are experiencing significant amount of major injuries such as ACL tears in youth athletes. This has to do with a number of factors, but research shows that appropriate training can significantly reduce the risk of such injuries.

So, What do they really need?

1.  Be Excited About Training

“The only thing that matters when training young athletes is get them fired up to walk into your facility.”  -Eric Cressey

That is the first aim.  Get them to love it. Training shouldn’t be a burden or punishment. If they look forward to training, then they will continue to come.  If  they continue to come, they will see improvements.  If they see improvements, they likely will work harder and that will lead to long term changes that will sustain their success and help them maximize their potential. (And teach them how to succeed at almost anything.)

2.  Master the Fundamentals

“Winners practice until they get it right.  Champions practice until they can’t get it wrong.”

It’s not glamorous, but it works.

Develop the patterns that are used in sport.

Get stronger,

Sprint,

Change direction,

Develop better conditioning,

Jump AND Land.

Repeat.

When you focus on the fundamentals, you have an opportunity to reduce the risk of injury for your athlete, and keep them on the field or court.  The best way to get better at their sport is to be healthy and strong enough to STAY on the field or court.  The best way to stay healthy and strong is to train them with a smart program that is centered on fundamental movements that progressively challenge their abilities.

3.  Progress Appropriately

a.  “Consistency beats intensity 100% of the time.” – Jordan Syatt.

Rather than focusing on a few super intense workouts, athletes need to dedicate time to making consistent and appropriate improvements in training that will eventually add up to big changes in the long term.

4.  Guidance on Training Volume

Training the youth athlete is not what it was 10 years ago.  Very rarely is there an off season anymore.  They go from school team to club team, or one sport to another, generally leaving little to no time for an “off-season.”  Concurrently training at appropriate volumes will make significant differences in a progressive manner will help them continue to improve over time, while taking into consideration the impact of training and their sport training demands.  Kids can’t always be pushed to the max.  They need time to recover.

5.  Find time to be a kid.

Youth sports has become a big business.  Kids play more games, have more tournaments and showcases than ever and have multiple coaches leading them in many specialized formats. Sports can have such a positive impact on young athletes.  It can teach the value of hard work, dedication, commitment and team work, but kids also need time to be just that.  A kid.

These 5 things will help make a significant impact on young athletes and help them to grow over time, become better athletes and reduce the risk of injury.  The better they become athletically, the more capacity they will have to become better at their sport.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we do this, join us for our Winter Athlete Seminar, next Tuesday, November 21st at 7 pm at Movement Fitness Rockford.

For More Information on our program, Click Here