Are children young adults?
They might sometimes think that they are because they have an answer for everything you throw at them, but children are not young adults especially when it comes to training!
So many times I see a child looking at his favorite sport hero in a magazine and aspire to be that star. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what happens most of the time is that the child will follow the exact program that his hero is currently doing. A lot of the magazines out there give you “Ready Made” Programs, but is not designed for a child or even the general public it is geared towards professional athletes.
The same applies for coaches that just take a program off the Internet and apply it to his young athlete. The chances are good that you will see and improvement in your athlete because to be honest if you throw anything new at say a High School athlete you will see an improvement. By doing this you are not following the LTAD Principle (Described in one of my previous articles) and your athlete will have a very short sporting career because of injuries.
Let me give you a good example:
The other day I went to an International Rugby Conditioning Seminar with some of the best Conditioning Coaches in the business. It was an absolute brilliant seminar that provided the attendees with a wealth of new information on conditioning and coaching strategies. You could see that these guys new exactly what they were talking about.
So what’s the problem you might ask?
Well 95% of the attendees were High School coaches and the speakers were all involved with Super 14 Rugby (The best provincial rugby tournament in the world).
See the difference? School coaches versus Professional coaches.
You might think that there is not a big difference between the 2, but unfortunately there is a HUGE difference. The Super 14 players do this for a living while the schoolboys still have to develop and do their dreaded homework.
To get back to my point, I can bet you all my money (it might not be a lot) that 99% of theses school coaches are going to apply the exact same training conditionings/principles to their training sessions at school.
It is your duty as a coach to improve your knowledge every time you get an opportunity and it is great to attend seminars like the one I did, but you have to consider whom you are training.
Would you give a little petit lady of 50kg the same training program as a 120kg professional rugby player that needs to improve speed, agility and explosive power?
Then why do it to a child?
All the Best!