We love helping young athletes progress in their chosen sport. We also love helping young people develop confidence with physical activity. Developing physical performance is just one way that youth strength and conditioning (S&C) can help young people. Delivered properly, youth S&C can develop other capacities in the young athlete that can accelerate performance even further, and have a lasting impact. We call this helping youth athletes to ‘Level Up’
Strength and Conditioning directly helping youth athletes
Most of our young athletes are introduced to us by their parents. Many of them are already talented performers in a given sport, but have a perceived need for additional physical development outside what their current sport programme offers. It can be the sport coach, parent and even the child that perceives this need. The vast majority of young athletes want to improve their movement, speed or strength for sport. The obvious course of action is to follow an age appropriate S&C programme.
Following a planned programme of S&C will improve physical performance. Programmes for young athletes are typically very broad and we see an increase in performance across several elements of fitness. Committing to, and performing, a regular S&C programme over the medium and long term accelerates these physical parameters at a faster rate than maturation alone. Increases in strength, power, endurance and range of motion translate to improved work rate and physical productivity during youth sports performance. Good youth S&C programmes also help athletes to control their movement better – this can have an immediate and positive impact upon performance too.
Improved strength, range of motion and movement control have important health benefits. They combine to reduce the injury risk associated with training and competing. Keeping young athletes doing what they love doing – their sport!
How Strength and Conditioning indirectly helps youth athletes
Its not just what we do that can help. It’s how we do it too. This is the coaching part of youth sports performance. It’s how we relate and communicate to the athlete. Strength and conditioning is the medium we use but the coaching goes further than simple increases in strength and speed. Proper coaching can also have a long lasting effect too. In relatively short time frames, consistent S&C can cement the relationship between the process of training and outcome of performance. S&C is helping youth athletes realise the importance of the process. It takes away the mystique surrounding performance. Hard work pays off.
Committing to this process over periods of time develops mental resilience through a trust in the process of training. Young athletes learn to reflect on progress and navigate detours in training, adapting training to suit lifestyle, progress and performance. Going through this process consistently develops a young athletes self confidence too. And this is where we feel we have the biggest impact. These attributes equip the young athlete for life beyond the sports arena too. More often than not parents of our youth athletes comment on the change in mindset that they see with their children.
When it comes to helping youth athletes there’s no rocket science involved. Our youth S&C support allows us to demonstrate the simplicity of the relationship between training and performance. Youth athletes who have been identified as talented are often very receptive to this and able to adopt this practice for areas of preparation outside of strength and conditioning. This is the process of ‘levelling up’.