Strength and Conditioning for Pre-Pubescent Athletes: Impact on Fitness, Performance and Growth

Strength and conditioning training for pre-pubescent children has always been a topic of controversy. For a long time it was thought that any form of resistance training would result in stunted growth. Many uninformed individuals continue to believe and perpetuate this myth. Another myth associated with training adolescents is that they will not derive significant …

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Which is faster, the “false step” or “forward step”?

Observe a young athlete accelerate from a standing still position. In my experience, the vast majority of these athletes will “false step” to initiate the movement. The false step involves a quick step in the opposite direction of which they wish to accelerate before the first forward step. The false step takes advantage of the …

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Do Changes in Squat Strength Correspond with Changes in Sprint Time?

Since most team sports consist of intermittent, short distance sprints with rapid changes of direction, the ability to accelerate tends to be more important than maximum velocity speed. It is quite rare that an athlete reaches maximum velocity during a competition without any interruption caused by a deceleration or direction change. Therefore, our efforts in …

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Training Vertical and Horizontal Force Production

Many traditional lower body strength exercises prescribed by coaches primarily train vertical force production. Olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts and their respective variations are perfect examples of movements that develop vertical forces. A common criticism of only utilizing these types of exercise is that it neglects the development of horizontal force production. There is great debate …

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