How to Start a Training Program

April 11, 2012

Must See Training Videos

Many misconceptions exist about youth athlete training—notably, the idea that young athletes should not participate in any sort of sports performance program. Studies have shown that athletes as young as seven years old can derive benefits from non-weight bearing sports performance training. Under the supervision of trained professionals and with the use of correct exercises, young athletes can see improvements in their overall health, sports performance and confidence. The key is choosing the correct exercises, adhering to strict form and making it enjoyable.

Bodyweight Exercises
Before beginning any type of training program, young athletes must be cleared to participate by a doctor and evaluated by a strength coach or trainer to assess strengths and weaknesses and identify an appropriate starting point. If you don't have access to a strength coach or trainer, start with bodyweight exercises, like Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Squats and Lunges. You must master your own bodyweight before beginning to lift weight. Doing so will allow you to develop the solid base you'll need for improved sports performance. It will also prepare you for more advanced lifts as you increase your strength and coordination.

Prevent Injury
Improving sports performance is only one major goal of a successful sports performance program. The other is injury prevention. Injuries often occur in training not because of the athlete's age, but because of incorrect form or instruction. When beginning a training program, you must master each exercise's correct form. If you ignore form, you can set yourself up for injury and reduce  the effectiveness of your workouts.

Have Fun
Finally, it is important to remember that workouts don't have to be all business. For young athletes, especially, they should be fun. You should be lively in the weight room and encourage your friends and teammates to perform their best. Add a competitive element. Use games like "Tag" or a relay race as speed or conditioning drills. Games are entertaining, and they keep the atmosphere light.

Photo:  stlouisrams.com

Colin Quay, CSCS, CCS, is the owner of Elite Athlete Training Systems (Washington, D.C.) and has trained thousands of the area’s top high school, college and professional athletes. He is an expert contributor for THR, a SPARQ certified trainer, a regional director for SPARQ Junior Football Combine, an Under Armour C360 trainer and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 sports performance coach. He graduated from Western Maryland College (McDaniel College) with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and kinesiology.

THR College Planning
- THR College Planning is one of the nation's premier recruiting and placement programs. THR specializes in leveraging financial opportunities in the educational market. Academic development,...
THR College Planning
- THR College Planning is one of the nation's premier recruiting and placement programs. THR specializes in leveraging financial opportunities in the educational market. Academic development,...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,229,623
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 8,008,240
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 29,796,331

Featured Videos

James Harden Resisted Euro-Step James Harden Resisted Euro-Step Views: 27,251
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 22,312
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,074
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,792
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,870
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,228,339
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,469
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 890,413

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

WATCH: D.J. Williams' Endurance-Crushing Towel Plank Walk

WATCH: D.J. Williams' Endurance-Crushing Towel Plank Walk

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

SURVIVING SEALFIT: How Not to Hurt Yourself (Like I Did)

SURVIVING SEALFIT: How Not to Hurt Yourself (Like I Did)

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

All of the Football Positions, Explained

All of the Football Positions, Explained

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

Building Elite Soccer Players

Building Elite Soccer Players

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

WATCH: A. J. Green and Justin Houston Pushing a Truck

WATCH: A. J. Green and Justin Houston Pushing a Truck

YardBarker