As a coach, my goal is always to develop a complete athlete, so when it comes to training young kids, I like to begin with the end in mind.
The goal isn’t just to get them stronger, faster and more powerful but to give them a movement foundation that they can utilize for the rest of their lives.
Sure, there are sports which do require earlier specialization but most kids need to do more movement training than they do specific training! Here are some activities that young kids need to be doing regularly:
- Stopping and Cutting
- Mobility and Flexibility Training
So when a young kid comes in to see us wanting to improve their strength, speed and agility we don’t just load them up with some heavy squats and deadlifts. The foundation of their program early on is body weight exercise and barbell lifts performed with a PVC pipe or broomstick.
We focus on skill acquisition, body awareness, and most importantly, the development of connective tissue in the body.
Below are 7 basic movement patterns that we work on with all our young athletes:
- Knee Dominant Pattern: Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat, Goblet or Front Squat
- Hip Dominant Pattern: Hip Hinge Pattern, Single Leg Deadlift
- Horizontal Push: Push-up Progression
- Horizontal Pull: Inverted Row Progression
- Vertical Push: Overhead Press
- Vertical Pull: Pull-up Progression
- Core Strength and Stability
Exercises that integrate the entire body and develop trunk stability are critical for developing athletic potential. To improve trunk stability I like to throw in offset versions of any of the above exercises. Instead of a goblet squat, try an offset Sandbag/Kettle bell Squat. I also really like to get the kids doing carries with a dumbbell, kettle bell, or sandbag. The video below shows part of a workout I did today with Tom King ( 15 year old fast bowler) that I have been working with for the last 18 months.
I hope you understand that trunk and core stability is not just important for sport but it will give every kid the ability to control ANY movement they make on and off the field.
Every young boy or girl deserves the chance to improve the way they move, which will give them that extra bit of confidence to get stuck in to playing sport/games and activities that their friends are all doing without feeling like they are not good enough to get involved.
For more info on our specialized strength and conditioning services please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org