How young is too young to start training?: Part 2
In this second part of our 3 part series on the age at which it is appropriate for youths to start strength and conditioning, we are going to take a closer look at how a youth strength and conditioning programme should look. If you missed part 1, which showed that youth resistance training is in no way dangerous if conducted in a safe and controlled environment, then click here to read it.
Many who think that youth athletes should not undertake strength and conditioning training are also the same people that think that strength and conditioning is all about big lifting and heavy weight.
Regardless of age, and especially in youth strength and conditioning, this is, quite simply, not the case. Let’s take a closer look at why this is not the case…
Importance of Fundamental Movement Skills
Youth strength and conditioning is centred round key movement competencies. Fundamental movement skills are the building blocks for more advanced, ‘sport-specific’ movement patterns. No matter the length of time that a youth has undertaken formalised strength and conditioning, motor skill development should form a crucial part of their training programme .
For example, can a child stand on one leg with their eyes closed? Although on the face of it, being able to stand on one leg with your eyes closed may sound somewhat trivial, single leg stability forms a crucial aspect of any sport in which running is required – the better you are at controlling your bodyweight on one leg, the better you will be at absorbing force at speed (stabilising) on one leg thus meaning you can run faster as less time is spent with your foot on the ground absorbing these high forces (ground contact time).
Importance of Key Movement Qualities