Training Young Athletes
Training young athletes is one of the specialties of the Stronger and Faster program. For our young athletes, we focus on fundamentals of movements, consistent improvement, and positive reinforcement. The overall goal of our training is to improve relative strength of the athlete which will transfer directly to improved sports performance.
Every athlete is different and while the structure of the training program may be the same for each athlete, the training progression differs from individual to individual. During our intake assessment, we focus on the athlete’s past training history, current training regimen, and injury history. Our initial focus is to identify faulty movements patterns by testing on the six functional human movements of push, pull, squat, hinge, rotation, and loaded carry. Faulty movement patterns can indicate dysfunction which is a clear indicator of impeded performance and potential for injury.
Our expectation for each athlete we train is for us together to set short and long term goals and structure a strategic plan to achieve them. In most sports, especially running, there needs to be a short term and long term goal for each training season. At SAF, we break the training season down into 3 distinct modules: recovery/off-season, pre-season, and in season.
Our off-season training is stability based with additional movement instruction. We focus on single leg balance and strength movements along with introducing proper movement pattern training for the six functional human movements of push, pull, squat, hinge, loaded carry, and rotation. Ideally, our off-season training is comprised of two full sessions per week.
Our pre-season training includes both stability and strength training with a focus on compound movements (movements that use more than one muscle group). Compound movements are the basis for our pre-season training. As running is a compound movement, we strength train the same way. Building full body strength is the most economical and efficient way to train. Ideally your pre-season training is comprised of two full sessions per week.
Our in-season training module tracks your increased mileage by building on the previous two phases of training, while increasing muscular endurance and power. With increased muscular endurance and power, running speed will increase. The goal of the in-season training is not only to continue, but also to build strength and supplement your running training with increased strength and power production. With your increase mileage leading to your racing events, ideally your in-season training is one full session per week, along with a short hip/glute workout once per week.
For our young athletes that want to improve performance, we want to introduce and re-enforce good training habits, rest, and recovery. Training while tough should be rewarding. All SAF workouts are challenging with a direct link to improved performance. Every athlete is not blessed with natural talent or speed but through hard, structured training we can improve athletic potential.
Improved performance always comes down to execution. If the athletes prepare properly, (nutritionally, mentally, and physically), trust and embrace their strength training, they will achieve their goals. Control what you can control. You can control effort. Always.
Stronger Runners, Run Faster.