Young Athletes, Future Stars
YOUTH PERFORMANCE: Risk or Reward?
I hear a lot of parents ask the same question over and over again: "Is it safe for my son/daughter to train?"
Instead of giving the short answer of yes, I would like to give the extended answer.
First, let's define what it means to "train".
For the weekend warrior, it might be throwing around as many barbells, kettle bells, and weights around as possible to elevate the heart rate and feel good.
For the high school athlete, it might be tapping into new ranges of mobility needed for their sport, sprinting, jumping, changing directions, total body power utilization, total body strength, and truly challenging their core.
For the youth athlete (aged 12 or younger), it is nothing different!
All athletes have to train specific athletic qualities: power, strength, rate of force production, rate of force reduction, sprinting, jumping, visuomotor ability, as well as many others.
Regardless of biological age or maturation status, the youth should be involved in some sort of sports performance training, and the research seems to agree with this statement.
Let's dive into the research of training in the youth population.