How do you approach off season youth conditioning?  Do you have a plan?

We are fast approaching the end of the domestic league season for many youth sports in the UK.  The young modern football, netball and hockey player can boast an impressive season-long fixture list.  That’s a lot of competition, and young people have many coaching and playing opportunities available to them.  Delivered correctly, young athletes have so much opportunity and expertise at their disposal – an opportunity to learn the right techniques from an early age.  Delivered inappropriately, and it’s feasible that a 17 year old could be battle weary from over 10 seasons of competitive sport under their belts!  So how can we strike a happy balance that gives young athletes the best opportunity of realising their potential?  How much sports specificity is required versus generic games and transferable skills?  Off season youth conditioning can play an important role in getting this right.


The modern youth training landscape

The off season used to be a time for young athletes to engage in other sports, as sports changed with the season.  Traditional summer and winter sports developed different skills and gave young sports people opportunity to develop wider sports techniques that complimented the other sports that they play.  Practising many different sports is still encouraged for this reason, especially amongst junior athletes.  It is not coincidence that many elite sports people excelled in more than just one sport.  Melissa Ruscoe of New Zealand has captained both of the countries football and rugby union teams.  C.B Fry played both cricket and football for England as well as holding the world record in the long jump!  So there is a lot to be said for cross fertilisation between sports.

There is still a place for playing many different sports in tune with the seasons.  However, the growth of movement science, pediatric exercise science and youth coaching in recent years has developed our understanding of training young people.  The skills and movements that once used to be developed between different sports have been identified and classified into various long term athletic development plans and guides.  Young athletes and children can now develop fundamental movement skills within organised conditioning programmes.  Our new found knowledge is being put to use within elite youth academies across the world to improve the athleticism of young people.


Youth Training the NK Fitness Way

NK Fitness offer some of the best off season youth conditioning in London, with athletes throughout South West London, Berkshire and Surrey.  When it comes to the off season there are several principles that we feel are important:

  • Fun is at the centre of everything.  Training for young people must be enjoyable.  Why else would they want to keep doing it.  Creative coaching can make conditioning and sports training highly enjoyable.
  • Play other sports.  Whilst the science has moved on, engaging talented young athletes in other sports is still a very effective way for them to develop transferable movement skills.
  • Basics provide the foundation to advanced movements.  So obvious but often neglected.  Use the off season to develop and reinforce basic movement patterns – even professional athletes rehearse the basics.

To give NK Fitness Youth Training a try head over to our contact page for a free consultation.