Youth Training Descriptions
The emphasis for this age group is quality of movement. The body is developing quickly, therefore it needs to be exposed to a variety of stimuli. The majority of time will be spent on dynamic warm up, utilizing different full body movements to develop strength in those positions as well as improve proprioception. Limited weights are used at this age; the athlete’s body weight and bands will function as the primary sources of resistance. The training sessions are shorter and interactive to prevent burnout and ensure that the repetitions completed are done with proper technique to avoid injury risk.
In this age group we can start adding external resistance to certain movements keeping the emphasis on proper technique. It is important for the body to spend time under tension and develop ligament strength to aid in injury prevention. At this age athletes will begin to utilize a variety of loading techniques to teach them to apply force through their body to a secondary object. The sessions will increase in length having a distinct warm up and training component.
At this age, athletes are beginning to specialize in their sport and have matured both physically and emotionally. With progression from previous years of training, athletes can now handle an increased training load in their sessions. Technique remains paramount, despite the heavier external loads and more dynamic movement patterns. Soft tissue treatment and prehab becomes an important part of the training process to mitigate the injuries and tissue damage acquired during training sessions and competition. Building a general strength base will prepare the athlete for the increased force and contact in their games as well as help improve co-ordination and fluidity lost during large growing phases.