Effect of varying training frequency on performance in elite youth soccer players

Strength and conditioning training does not necessarily make an athlete more talented or skilled at their sport. It does however enable an athlete to perform their skills while accumulating less fatigue. More over, basic physical qualities such as strength and power underpin numerous athletic performance tasks such as jumping, sprinting and changing direction. An important …

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Showering before bed improves sleep quality in youth athletes

For the unenlightened coach, sleep hygiene is a serious issue with today’s athletes. While sleep has always been regarded as a key part of the recovery process, only recently have young athletes been given access to the major distraction that is the smartphone device. How many athletes are actually attempting to go to sleep after …

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Resistance training improves performance markers in youth athletes

A common misconception regarding resistance training is that it is unsafe and ineffective for youth athletes. Provided that the training program is implemented and supervised by a qualified coach, the risk of injury is actually quite minimal. Additionally, while it is true that young athletes are unable to build substantial amounts of lean body mass …

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Greater risk of injury among specialized youth athletes

Traditionally, sport participation revolved around the academic year where student-athletes could play a seasonal sport. For example, football would be played in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball or track and field in the spring. This format exposed youth athletes to a variety of movement demands and skill acquisition. In more recent times, …

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Lack of sleep and poor nutrition increase injury risk in elite adolescent athletes

There’s nothing more heart-breaking for a coach than witnessing a young athlete suffer an injury. Therefore, a proactive approach to mitigating injury risk is a top priority for parents and coaching staff. There are a variety of things that coaches can do to reduce injury risk among youth athletes. For example, programming thorough warm-ups, ensuring …

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Concurrent Training in Youth Athletes

The interference effect states that combined strength and endurance training (i.e., concurrent training) will impair gains in either parameter due to fatigue accumulation and from the opposing qualities that each training type aims to develop. This poses a problem for coaches of virtually all team-sport athletes that require high levels of both aerobic fitness and …

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Combine vertical and horizontal plyo’s for optimal performance

There are two major components to power: force and velocity. It’s been suggested that prior to a young athlete hitting his or her growth spurt, velocity of muscle contraction is primarily responsible for the expression of power. However, subsequent to an athlete’s growth spurt, increases in force production end up being the major factor in …

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Injury incidence differs based on biological age in adolescent athletes

Most youth sporting organizations have age classifications for most sports programs. For example, an organization may break their age categories into the following: Category Age Minor Novice 8 Novice 9 Minor Atom 10 Atom 11 Minor Peewee 12 Peewee 13 Minor Bantam 14 Bantam 15   This classification system uses chronological age to separate youth …

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Olympic vs. Traditional vs Plyometric Training in Youth Athletes

When in position to program and plan the training of adolescent athletes, what training methods should one chose to elicit the largest improvements in physical performance? Are the Olympic lifts safe and appropriate for this population? Are traditional resistance training methods a better way to go? How about plyometric training? A new study conducted by …

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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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