Sports Specific Training for Kids

Sports Specific Training for Kids

At Catalyst Health we specialize in training athletes at all levels of sport along with a wide variety ages!

Training children for sports specific purposes is a situation that parents and coaches often approach with trepidation for a variety of reasons. Parents often fear their child will get injured or that their growth will be stunted from excessive use of heavy weights.
When it comes to training kids, it is prudent to use the chronological and developmental age of the children as markers for how to approach the training scenario. We train "kids" from as young as 6 years old to 17 year old teenagers for sport specific purposes at Catalyst Health.

Ages 6 - 12: At this point the child should be involved in several sports and activities, ie: gymnastics, soccer, figure skating, etc and not begin to hone in on a specific sport of interest! The more exposure to a variety of sports allows the athlete to develop and strengthen the entire body by providing a multitude of stimuli from several different sports. At this stage we aim to increase the coordination and what we call "body awareness" of the child. We work with the body weight of the child, putting them through exercises/activities that challenge hand-eye coordination, balance and body control.
Ages 12 - 16: At this stage, the athlete generally begins to focus on a specific sport or 2 that he/she excels at. A strength and conditioning coach should begin to train the athlete with sport specific intention. By incorporating movement patterns commonly used in the sport into the program, the athlete will begin to strengthen areas of the body needed to excel at a high level.

Ages 17 - 21: If the athlete is serious about pursuing sports at the next level (college, university, etc) generally they are focused on that sport alone at this point. The body is typically ready for some weight training, while still being cognizant that some teenagers develop at different stages.  Special attention should be given to the athlete's training schedule regarding practices/games/training days as to not overload the athlete leading to potential for injury and burn out!

At Catalyst Health we work with kids that excel in sports ranging from swimming, rowing and ice hockey.  

Tune into my blog next week for some sport specific hockey exercises for kids!

Dr. Adam Reynolds 
Catalyst Health


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