Does your junior athlete have dreams of playing a sport in University or College? Maybe even Division I? Compete in the pros? Win championships? Hall of fame? Best ever?
Before I go any further watch one of my latest YouTube videos called 5 Reasons Why Your Junior Athlete Should Start Training TODAY:
If any of those questions, or my video, sparked your mind then your junior athlete better be training and doing a lot more than just their sport. In the athletic community, today, everyone is doing some sort of training on top of their sport. Especially at the higher levels. I train kids as early as seven years old and my own kids already train and they’re four and two!
I’ve worked with junior athletes for years and one thing I’ve noticed is the sooner a junior athlete starts training the better. That doesn’t mean they will be the best at their sport. A lot of the time they will possess more athletic ability, or they’re stronger, than most of their peers because of the time spent training. Using the gym, or fitness, the right way can elevate your potential and skillset at an accelerated pace.
How do I train junior athletes?
Below are four things that I focus on with my junior athletes:
Change of direction and moving quickly are transferable to every sport. Agility drills are very athletic and they’re something I work on with all my clients, not just junior athletes. Ladder drills, line drills, cone drills, hurdle drills and basic change of direction drills will facilitate this challenge and adaptation. Do these drills following your warm up when you’re not fatigued to achieve the best outcome.
2. Basic Physical Movements –
Running, Throwing, Catching, Crawling and Jumping
All of these basic physical movements are very challenging for a lot of young athletes. Depending on their participation, in a variety of sports, will determine if they posses all of these skills. Early specialization is the recipe for one dimensional athletes. Being able to run, throw, catch, jump and crawl are great foundational movements to master before progressing to more difficult tasks in the weight room.
3. Major Movement Patterns
Squat, Lift, Lunge, Pull, Press & Torso
Mastering these patterns and then gradually progressing and modifying them is the way I train my athletes. Whole body compound movements are athletic and they can be applied to any level of athlete. You’re not going to do one repetition rap max lifts, with junior athletes, but you can still perfect these patterns. Lifts and pulls are usually the hardest for junior athletes to master because it requires them to control their spine and scapula. Learning these patterns earlier in life will help you progress to more difficult and sport specific variations quicker.
4. Running and Braking Techniques
I’ve seen so many young athlete’s struggle to run and stop effectively. This is a recipe for a magnitude of injuries. Young athletes are injured from non contact injuries all the time in sports and even when playing around with friends. Learning how to stop is the precursor to going fast and changing directions.
Using deceleration and acceleration drills and learning proper running technique, in training, will transfer to their sport. These drills should be done early in the workouts when athletes are warmed up and not fatigued. Working with a coach can assure proper movement skills that will keep them progressing in their athletic career.
Another great resource that I have for parents and junior athletes considering training is my Junior Golfer Fitness Starter Pack. Click the image to download it.
This free download will set you and your junior athlete on the right path towards success! I discuss and showcase many techniques that I use to improve my junior athletes ability.
If you have dreams of your young athlete competing at the next level then they need to be training now. Balanced programs are a must and junior athletes usually just focus on upper body. Even though their power and athleticism is driven from their lower body. Hire a coach, even if it’s just for a month, or two, to show them the ropes and teach proper form. It will go along way and definitely prevent injuries and wasted time.
In conclusion, start normalizing training with your young athlete as early in life as you can. This will set them up for success in athletics as well as life. I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post. Thank you for supporting CSC Performance Coaching!
From Average to Elite.
Stop misusing your time doing the same thing in the gym expecting a different result! Let me develop a personalized plan to maximize your potential and start living the life you deserve. We will identify your limitations and turn them into your strengths! Take your athletic ability, game, body and LIFE to the next level! Don’t waste another minute. LETS GO!
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Thanks for reading! Until the next one……
CSC Performance Coaching