25 Facts for Building Young Champs in Any Sport

Aug 24, 2011

Some of you may know already from connecting with me on Facebook or Twitter that Chelsea  and I are expecting our first child in January.

It’s a little girl and I’m so excited.

It also got me to think about the importance of training for children and youth and how parents could probably benefit from a little more info on the topic.

Here they are:

1. Over 80% of proprioception, balance and agility is built between ages 6-13

2. Parents should focus on exposing their child to a whole range of different sport skills

3. Think agility, speed, reaction time, hand eye, foot eye, balance, spatial recognition

4. Gymnastics will work wonders but soccer, basketball, and playing games is great too

5. Swimming is great but no more than 4 x a week or plateau’s proprioception (awareness of limbs)

6. 8 years old (80% general sport, 20% specific sport) 20 years old (80% specific, 20% general)

7. Progress gradually changing the ratio of general training to specific throughout the years

8. Strength should be started around 13-15 but with body weight or broom stick for technique

9. Lactic acid build up should be avoided in the early years

10. Mix low intensity endurance or short 20-40m sprints are best in early stages

11. Encourage and praise good technique of skill

12. Slow consistent progression over the years creates consistency in athletes in later years

13. Quick progressions creates injuries and inconsistent athletes in later years

14. Progression should manipulate training volume/duration at early ages

15. Short macrocycles are better than long ones (2 weeks med/high, 1 week low)

16. Linear training from early years will improve faster but will plateau in later years

17. General training in different sports in early years will keep motivation strong later

18. Biologically more mature children will do better especially if there born in early months

19. VO2 max is very much genetically determined but there’s a little room for improvement

20. Swimming is a great form of aerobic activity in younger years

21. Aerobics and flexibility work should be a big emphasis of a program

22. Aerobics will help in lactic acid buffering in later years

23. Winning should never be a priority for children, they will quit in their teens

24. Fun should be the priority

25. The right time for serious competition is when they tell you they are ready

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