Youth Sports Training Programs for Young Athletes

Youth Sports Training Programs

This video was a feature on the Today Show regarding youth sports training programs.  I have mixed emotions about it.  The take away is that young children shouldn’t be body building, especially at 10 years of age.  I have several problem with the video and they are as follows;

  • The 10 year old’s lifting technique in the video was flat our terrible(as his parents watched).  The experts didn’t comment about that and I’m not nit picking about technique either.
  • The parents were not spotting the 10 year old as he struggle to bench press.  They are watching him execute terrible technique several feet away.   A USC running back almost died a few years back when he “lost” a bench press on his throat.   That happened even with him being spotted by a professional coach.
  • The comments about the growth plate being effected is totally false.  The same expert that says that bodybuilding is terrible for growth plates recommends strength training?? Define strength training?  Regardless of what is done with strength training, it does compress the joint and growth plates.  Up until a few years ago, a study did not exist on weight training effecting growth plates in children in any way. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that an adolescent should be performing extensive weight training.  My concern is spine compression on a growing young athlete.  If the athlete can squat properly with a stick, medicine ball, and a kettle bell I might progress them to a weighted bar(10-30 pounds).  The bar would be something that would be done occasionally as a reward.  My concern is the amount of volume of spine compression over the week and month.  Again, none of this is weight training would ever be heavy for the athlete.
  • The physician doesn’t explain the need for sports performance training or strength training by getting specific at all.  All he had to mentioned was strength training focusing on relative strength(body weight strength).  A mention of gymnastic would’ve been great and something that those watching would have understood.
Sorry, I couldn’t post the actual video so you will have to go to the Today Show’s site with the link below.