Junior Athlete Development.
As with preparing any athlete for performance, the approach needs to be holistic in preparing any junior athlete to compete in their chosen sport. Obviously practice and skill acquisition in any sport is critically important, however equally important to performance is muscular strength and power development.
- Reduce injury risk to the athlete
- Increase physical performance / capacity
It’s natural for parents to want to ensure the safety of their children, however, the old school beliefs around strength training for junior athlete is often misleading. Some of the most common misconceptions with junior athletes and strength training include:
Children will injure themselves lifting weights
Research has shown that when children are coached correctly on establishing good motor patterns first and foremost and then introducing weights under the supervision and logical program that the benefits are great and the injury risk is minimal! Quality over Quantity
Strength Training for children stunts their growth
Numerous studies have shown that there is NO negative effect on growth plates from strength training.
Look at it in this context, a basketballer jumping for rebound can experience 4-6 x their body weight through their joints! For a 50kg athlete that’s 300kg! Its easy to imagine the consequences of this repetitive force if this athlete is not strong.
It WILL build a resilient athlete that can cope with force, in turn reducing injury risk.
Strength Training will make kids slower
In fact, it is the opposite, strength training increases the ability to put more force into the ground which equals greater SPEED! Additionally, strength training finely tunes the neural pathways from brain to muscles making them more efficient athletes with improved movement patterns!
Strength Training will lead to issues later in life
In a similar vain to the “stunted growth’ myth, the only effect that strength training will have later on in life, is that you will be stronger, able to compete for longer and have a greater bone and joint health.
We have recently been developing our junior athlete programs and small group classes.
Our junior athlete services include:
- Individualised screening and assessment ahead of entering the program
- Sports Specific Strength & Conditioning
- Injury Prevention Programming
- Small Group Sports Performance