Sports training has become a vital weapon in the arsenal we have today to get your child to the next level. Despite all of the improvements we can make, there are mistakes being made when training our youth. Let’s look into some of these errors, how to avoid them and get your child to the next level.
Mistake #1: “My child’s trainer was a professional so they’re getting the best training.” This is something we all hear very often. Not all professional athletes who become trainers or open their own gym are bad or do things wrong, but there is a chance they don’t have the education other trainers possess. There is a big difference between having athletes train based on their needs, imbalances and the scientific research, and training them based on what you did while you were playing. Every child has different strengths and weaknesses which a trainer must be able to understand. Understanding these imbalances will help in designing a training regimen for your child to follow to bring them to the next level. When finding a trainer or gym for your child, research what types of education and certifications they possess. Also, inquire about other professionals they may have on staff such as athletic trainers, physical therapists, etc. which assist in the evaluative process.
Mistake #2: Specified Overtraining. Everyone’s heard the quote, “practice makes perfect”. Yes, practice helps to develop skills specific to that sport, but overtraining can lead to overuse injuries and physical imbalances. Training specific movements repeatedly will cause certain muscle groups to become stronger than their antagonists. With an increase in strength, an imbalance will occur if you are not working the opposing muscle groups. When there is an imbalance, a higher risk of injury is present. Children need to rest their bodies, strengthen opposing muscle groups, and increase their flexibility in order to help decrease the risk of injury and improve performance. Partaking in activities such as strength, agility, plyometric, and speed training with a qualified trainer helps to keep your child balanced and healthy. Children need to decrease the amount of time they spend practicing their sport and supplement other activities in order to let their body recuperate and make gains.
Mistake #3: “My child is too young to work out with a trainer”. There is a stigma that being in the gym means lifting heavy weights. There is a time and place for heavy lifting but it’s not at a young age. Strength training involves much more than weight lifting like bench pressing, back squatting, and other lifts. For youth, building strength pertains to learning the correct form of body-weight exercises. Once correct form is maintained over multiple repetitions and sets, only then should they advance to the next progression of that exercise. The last progression they should make is adding additional weight. As stated earlier, there are many components that work together to increase performance on and off the field. Agility, speed, acceleration, strength, and flexibility are just some of the physical components. Working with a child’s on these components at an early age and progressing helps to enhance your body’s natural proprioceptors. These proprioceptors, located in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and inner ear, detect motion and when trained properly help to keep your body in correct form while moving. When trained using the various components, your child will decrease their risk of injury and enhance performance due to their enhanced movement patterns.
Even though there are risks when participating in athletic training, when done properly it could be the deciding factor whether they make it to that next level or not. Research your trainers and get your child started today.