Training young people and youth athletes has always been a passion of ours at NK Fitness.  Ever since working in elite sport we have been intrigued by what young people can achieve if they adopt the right approach to training.  National governing bodies, and elite clubs have development pathways and models of long term athlete development that guide their talented youngsters.

We have always wondered what might happen if the tier of youngsters that exists just below this elite level were able to access the same levels of support.  At NK Fitness we strive to offer elite level youth conditioning services to young athletes of all abilities. Teaching them the right habits from the ‘get go’.  Doing this properly in today’s world of social media is a challenge.


Challenges of training young people and youth athletes

Many of the challenges unique to training young people and youth athletes are related to processes of growth and maturation.  Young athletes are not mini adults.  However, they quite often get treated as such when you see some of the physical preparation that they get asked to do.  Fortunately, there is growing guidance on what training methods are effective with young people.  Implementing these strategies can be tough for the following reasons:

  1.  Gaining buy in from both parent and athlete.
  2. The right training plan for a young person.
  3. Playing ‘Aces’ at the right time.


Getting it right when training young people and youth athletes

When it comes to training young people and youth athletes we have to be very clear of our expectations.  At NK Fitness we take great care in setting our expectations for training.  It’s very important that both the athlete and their parents / coach understand what we are trying to achive with training.  This is the only way to gain ‘buy in’ from the athlete.  Youth athletes must understand how the current training fits with their overall goals.

As highlighted earlier ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and each young athlete will be at a different stage in their development.  Training young people and youth athletes to understand their individual needs is an important feature of our programmes.  We want young athletes to understand their bodies and how they respond to training.  In turn we help them understand how this is uniquely reflected in their training.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of all comes at doing the right types of training at the right time.  It is so easy for young athletes and parents to see what elite athletes and adults are doing and mimic this.  With the best intenstions in the world, mimicking the training habits of elite athletes too soon can often lead to underperformance and sometimes injury.