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How To Train Young Athletes

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Learn how to train athletes in the 10-12 age range for strength via the use of bodyweight exercises, plyometrics and stretching.

Bodyweight exercises build strength.Many of you on the internet are fathers of young athletes that may be interested in making your child a better athlete.  I am going to discuss the best ways to train a child and this means children from ages approximately 10 to 12.  These athletes are too young to start lifting heavy yet you want to keep them active throughout the year.

Athletics are becoming more and more competitive at younger ages, so give your athlete the edge they need to be the best.  Keep training fun, and your athlete will fall in love with training as many of us have already fell in love with the iron game.

Bodyweight Exercises

Children of all ages can perform bodyweight exercises and the best for an athlete are pushups, pull ups, and sit ups.  These exercises will help young athletes build a strength base so they can safely transition into a successful weightlifting career.  I suggest doing sets of 10 for each of these and once that is too easy slowly increase the amount of reps or the amount of sets.

Make this into a contest or a game; give rewards to the athlete that does the most pushups. You need to keep this sort of training fun, many young kids do not care how strong they are but they are competitive. Use this to your advantage; athletes want to win, so this is a great way to make training fun.

Plyometrics

Plyometrics are also great for building strength and also flexibility.  Use plyometrics to focus on athletic skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination.  Jump training is the best way to help your athlete build strength and speed, this is true an athlete of any age.  Some good exercises for this is jumps onto a box, squat jumps, lateral hurdle jumps or lateral jumps onto a box.

Squat focused movements are very important to athletes; this is how you can build lower body strength and increase speed and lateral quickness. Sprinting is also a key in athletic development, at their young age they do not need to do as much endurance training.  Sprinting will also build the lower body muscles while improving athletic abilities.

Using a medicine ball for various throws is also an effective to build strength while having fun with your athletes. One way would be to do a chest pass with a medicine ball, or throw across the body then switch. This will hit the core and other upper body muscles.

Stretching

When athletes are young it is a great time to teach them the value of the warm up and cool down.  Stress this every time you train your athletes and you can reduce their risk of injury throughout their entire career.  Before each workout take a short jog with them and do other activities to loosen up their bodies.  At the end of workouts make sure that they stretch for at least 15 minutes so their bodies develop into athletic machines.

Whether you are a coach working with your entire team or just a parent trying to make your child the best these methods will be very effective.  Not only to you get to spend time with your child, performing these exercises could help your own exercise career.  The key to training any young child is to keep it fun, make things into games and reward the athlete when they improve.  Children are spending too much time watching television and playing video games so get them out there and get them on a fun exercise program so they can live a long healthy life.

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    Average: 3.3 (12 votes)
  • About The Author
    Jeremy Wood is a natural powerlifting and strength trainer who recently competed in the IPA.
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