How Parents Can Train the Next Great Athlete

May 3, 2013 | Allen Langford

Must See Training Videos

You can breed an athlete. One of my college teammates (now with the Cleveland Browns) is 6'7"and 315 pounds. He is married to 6'3" former collegiate basketball player. Do you think their kids are going to be tall and athletic?

Genetics play a heavy role in the makeup of a youth athlete. Genes influence strength, muscle size, muscle fiber composition (fast or slow twitch), anaerobic threshold, lung capacity, flexibility, and, to some extent, endurance. (For more information, see The Role of Genetics In an Athlete's Strength Potential.)

However genetics is not the only factor that make an athlete. Yes you can breed an athlete, but you can also train one.

When coached and developed properly, young athletes can improve their skills. Just regularly maintaining an active lifestyle (meaning playing outside and not inside) will help children naturally acquire and develop many of the skills necessary for sports.

If you want your genetically matched, or simply your much-loved, children to reach their full athletic potential, you must start when they're young and receptive to information. It is more difficult to start trying to build muscle and correct lifelong bad technique habits during their high school years.

Some of the best athletes were made from running and jumping around outside. The best technique for getting kids to train, whether it's for sports or recreation, is to make it fun. Reward them for their accomplishments, offer variety, and keep reminding them that it takes time to get better. Encourage friendly competition. (Read Understanding and Improving Motivation for Sports Success.)

The benefits of a strength and conditioning program for youth athletes include improving muscle strength, increasing bone mineral density, honing body composition, enhancing cardiorespiratory fitness, and developing motor performance skills. (See: 3 Questions To Ask Before Starting a Youth Sports Training Program.)

If you can get your 8- and 9-year-old kids to train like they were preparing for the NFL Combine or an NBA draft camp, how well do you think they'll do when they're old enough to perform in those events?

 

Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 30,082,922
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 6,488,387
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 7,969,646

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,015,900
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: 15,235
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 69,996
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

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,659
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,294
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,576,462
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,938
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,992

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenging Core and Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises for That Competitive Edge This Fall By Jim Carpentier, CSCS Athletes can never underestimate the...

Building Elite Soccer Players

Building Elite Soccer Players

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

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

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

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

All of the Football Positions, Explained

All of the Football Positions, Explained

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

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

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

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

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

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

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

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

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

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

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

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

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

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

YardBarker