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Early Youth Speed Training


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Lately I have been working with alot of young athletes. The age at which youth are beginning specialized training has slowly declined since I began strength and conditioning athletes 20 years ago. What I propose is get your son or daughter to work with a coach who is qualified and avoid situations which your athlete is taught incorrect techniques which they have to relearn later. A good way to avoid this is to check referrals and ask the coach what their experience with youth training is. As far as speed development is concerned beginning at an age of 8 can be beneficial in order to catch the youth before they hve been taught incorrectly. What types of activities can be done at an early age to insure proper speed building blocks. Firstly, having athletes at an early age play games that utilize acceleration and agility while competing. These types of games prepare the child plyometrically in their feet to rapidly plant and stride with their foot contacts which is essential for good speed mechanics at a later date. Start the athletes with simple drills such as wall drills which empahsize proper stride position and slowly incorporate moving activities. As the youth developes more sophisticated activities can be utilized but not until the child is ready and has reached important milestones. Take each athletes case seperately and avoid cookie cutter routines because each child is different.

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