Strength Training for Youth Athletes is Beneficial and NOT Harmful

"It will stunt your growth!" "You'll do more harm than good!"

Common misconceptions when it comes to strength training for athletic development. Nothing could be more of a myth.

Possible injuries to youth athletes can occur from bad coaching, improper form, lifting outside of your limits, or lack of motor patterns/mobility.

However, weight training is one of the safest things a young athlete can do when taught correctly, having only a 0.0035% injury occurrence rate according to USA Weightlifting.

In the Essentials of Strength and Conditioning Volume 3 written by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), they talk about the use of multi-joint movements in child resistance training programs. Through various studies they offer proof that multi-joint movements can in fact increase ones HGH and testosterone levels.“Growth hormone is important to the normal development of a child and appears to play a vital role in adapting to the stress of resistance training.”

Even with great coaching, it is possible that some may have trouble picking up some of these movements due to one underlying factor - Mobility. Kids develop at different rates and it is up to us as coaches to be sure to modify the programming for that athlete as they encounter challenges.

In my training sessions, I start with and incorporate hip and shoulder mobilty drills in circuit-style. I teach my athletes proper foam rolling and self-maintenance techniques which will help further speed the learning curve and help prevent injury.

Do you want to give your child an edge over the competition? How about helping them reach his or her full athletic potential? As The Summit's Strength and Conditioning coach, I know the mistakes parents make with their children's athletic preparation because I see it in our incoming athletes. And I am committed to increasing their athletic ability and preparation for their upcoming/current seasons.

Instead of continuing to believe the myths that weight training, do your own research on the recent information and studies that have been published. It will help your child immensely in their athletic progression.