Weight Training for Youth
Strength Training Builds Confidence
Strength Training for Kids
Anything that involves physical activity has a possibility of injury. Weight training for for kids is no exception. When done without trained supervision there is a an increased chance of injury. Kids should not train as adults do. They are still growing and often lack the mental maturity to perform exercises correctly. Lifting weights that are too heavy may cause incorrect form and add to the risk. All of this may cause you to believe I am against weight training for anyone under age 16 or 18. This could not be further from the truth! Weight training has many benefits for kids. I do believe that a physician should be consulted before beginning any weight program.
Safety Beliefs on Youth Strength Training
Is supervised strength training safe for ages 12-16?
Self Esteem Gains
I have seen tremendous strength gains in young athletes I have coached and in my own adolescent children. They have been supervised and instructed by both myself and other qualified coaches. Best of all, weight training has provided tangible results from hard work. Setting goals and achieving them is easily recognizable in strength training. The self esteem gains are off the charts. I can not count the times that a young person believed they were not capable of performing a strength exercise. After several weeks of hard work they were able to do what was not previously possible.
The same young people that I see engage in strength training, later draw on their success to overcome other obstacles. Telling a youngster they can do it has some obvious benefit. When they routinely set a strength goal and achieve it, it has tremendous benefit. Each time we achieve what seemed challenging, we fill our "bucket of courage." Whether it be school. sports, or a challenge in the life of a young person, they draw on that bucket of courage to push through.
Stronger Means Better
General Physical Condition
Stronger muscles mean less opportunity for injury during sports practice and games. Young athletes that are stronger can shoot or throw a ball further, swing a bat harder, and run faster. There certainly are limits to the impact that you will get, but the results are real. It is important to begin slow and focus on correct form. The results in competition may not be drastic for a young athlete, but it can create an appreciation for training that carries over as they get older. Performance gains coupled with self esteem gains make strength training something to strongly consider.