Participation in youth sports is one of the best ways to promote a healthy and happy lifestyle for your child.
But in order for your child to stay healthy in sport and reach their full potential, they will have to do some extra training outside of practice.
As your child grows, they will experience a number of hormonal and structural changes, which can impact their sports performance and put them at an increased risk of developing sports-related injuries.
Your child doesn’t want to get held back by injury or cut from the team because they “can’t keep up”—which is why strength training is essential.
Research has shown that any child over the age of seven can benefit from strength training.
Our Fort Myers sports performance programs clinic has helped children reach sports goals that they never even thought possible, avoid sports injuries, and express greater self-esteem due to strength training.
Here are some of the reasons (backed by scientific research) that your child needs strength training to enjoy better success in sport and better overall health:
It’s the Best Way to Prevent Injury
Perhaps the most important reason why your child should strength train is so that he or she can avoid sports related injury.
Time and time again, studies have revealed the injury prevention benefits of strength training in youth.
Most sports injuries are a result of weak muscles. Your child is much more prone to pulling a hamstring or developing a stress fracture, for instance, if the supporting muscles in those areas are weak.
Many young athletes also have muscular imbalances that go unrecognized until an injury occurs.
Children who play soccer and kick primarily with their right leg, for example, may develop more strength in the right side of their bodies than the left. This lack of symmetry can increase the risk of injuries on the left side.
Your child’s coach most likely does not have the background to identify muscular imbalances (unless the coach happens to be a certified athletic trainer or physical therapist).
Strengthening all major muscle groups in the body using body weight resistance or light weights can reduce your child’s risk of injuries caused by weak muscles or muscular imbalances.
It Will Help Your Child Make the Team and Crush the Competition
Youth sports are becoming increasingly competitive, and strength training is one of the top ways that your child can get the edge and make the team.
As soon as your child reaches middle school, he or she may need to try out for a sports team. Some sports, such as soccer, require higher levels of mastery to make the team than others.
Whether your child simply wants to make the team or aspires to be the star player, strength training is proven to improve sports performance.
A scientific analysis of strength training in youth indicates that strength training enhances youth sports performance for most young athletes. Some of the benefits include increased muscular strength, power, endurance, agility, speed, balance, and coordination.
Certain sports are particularly challenging for middle-school aged boys, whose bodies are growing rapidly as a result of hormone fluctuations. Strength training is especially helpful for this group and has proven to significantly increase motor ability and aerobic fitness.