#1 Common Question From Parents of Young Athletes


Young Athletes and secrets to success

young athletes

Do you do ‘Sport-Specific’ Training”?


Well, let me give you the cold hard facts… It doesn’t exist. Especially not with young athletes.


When working with preadolescent and high school athletes, the undeniable reality is that we are tending to an organism that is in the process of growth.  And that fact is something that we cannot do anything about, nor cause disruption to the process of.


What a growing and maturing body needs in order to remain injury-free and develop optimal athletic skill is variety. With respect to training, this amounts to NOT having a hyper-focus on making a young athlete a better football player by only doing exercises in the gym that the NFL players would do.


The strongest and fastest athletes in any sport are the ones who had the greatest diversity of training while they were young.  And believe it or not, this means that the training program for a female soccer player shouldn’t deviate that much from a male baseball player.


In time, yes, more specific training programs will be necessary to maintain or improve upon the strength and power needs for a specific sport or position – In time being the operative point.


As a general rule, throughout high school, roughly 70% of a young athletes training program should be based on general fitness and athletic ability.


Have a look at the IYCA’s “Youth Speed & Agility Specialist” certification to see how you can improve the speed of ANY young athletes for ANY sport…


Click Here Right Now —-> http://youthspeedspecialist.com/



19 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    I like this philosophy and will follow it, but in soccer I’m not sure it applies. It seems like virtually all the top players are in year round soccer specific training from a young age, the players coming out of Ajax, Barcelona etc. have been doing nothing but soccer from 9 or 10. Is soccer an exception, becuase skill matters more than other sports?

    For soccer-crazy coaches to believe this, you’d need some examples of great soccer players who did well-rounded athletic training as kids. (I don’t mean a Messi, but good players in top leagues.)

  2. George Maoury says:

    Great post Brian. Hopefully this way of training and athletic development will catch on. What makes it a challenge is when A local paper does a story on a local athlete that has just received a scholarship to play ball at a big time college, and he is also considered 1 of the top five recruits for the year.
    In the article they interview the young athlete and parent and they both report that he has been playing that sport his whole life, and practices and trains for that sport everyday since he was 5. The rest of the community reads this and then believes this is how it must be done for my son or daughter to make it big.
    I know that it is up to us to re-educate the puplic, and it has started to work, in slow stages, but it makes it a battle when articles like this appear every changing sport season. G-

  3. I totally agree with the article and glad you made those comments George. My struggle is trying to educate the parents to see the big picture. I can understand it is hard for them to look years ahead of the young athlete, as more than likely they didn’t have the same competitive upbringing as their child. They had opportunities to play unlike todays children which enabled them to stay healthy for the most part.

  4. I agree that the best athletes are cross training and/or playing different sports.

    I see it time and time again that the best or “more trainable” athletes I see are indeed involved in other sports and activities.

    I run both youth soccer training courses and adult classes too. And, there are a couple adult gals who have a background in dance who move and learn much quicker than the main group.

    Why? Cross training, better proprioception, balance, coordination, movement skills, etc.

    I actually have a “Soccer Specific” niche for my training – not because I believe “Sport Specific” is the be-all-end-all by any means, but because of the time constraints involved in training youth soccer.

    We take soccer specific movements and match them with already proven speed ladder patterns and movement drill, add other speed techniques into the activities and move them into a functional setting as quickly as possible.

    But, everything starts from the basics of how to move first, how to build speed and fitness first – and then we point it in the direction of our chosen sport…


  5. Rick Daman says:


    I get that often. I usually come back with an answer that won’t offend them. Something like “99% of the athletes that start training here can’t do 10 perfect push-ups and 10 perfect pull-ups”… “We want to work on the little things before we worry about getting to crazy into what we see on TV etc… Then they are most of the time on the same page… Awesome post.. Thanks for the post!! RICK DAMAN

  6. Great post, Brian. I have battled with this topic on many occasions. I really don’t like the term “sport-specific” as you said, it does not exist. The most specific it gets is the sport itself! If more athletes and parents focused on the general preparation side of the spectrum, we’d see a whole lot less injuries and better athletes.

  7. Well, I agree but…! As we all do, I see too many parents, hockey, soccer, dance etc. wanting to accelerate their youngsters rise to glory, when it is patient development we need to move forward with. However, Sport Specific Training helps even young athletes understand that they should train with objectives in mind and not just as their fav Hollywood / sports star do, six pack not withstanding. Just don’t train kids as if they’re just little adults and miss out on the basics.

  8. I agree!!
    The key is cross-training! I sort of think of it along the lines of a college education. You have to take some classes that are totally unrelated to your major to hopefully make you a more well-rounded person. Cross training does the same thing. It keeps the athlete active while allowing a specific set of muscles to rest and adapt to a different workout. The variety helps the athlete become more well-rounded, as well.
    Overtraining is an injury waiting to happen!

    Thank you for your wisdom!

  9. Dr. Kwame M. Brown says:

    I would go one step further and say it’s not just about cross TRAINING, but cross PLAY. Training still denotes an effort to get a young athlete to do something and learn skills in a specific way. Play is an exploration, and “explorers” always gain more understanding than “doers”. Free play is also essential in this equation. Playing sports with friends, exploring new rules, making games up, using the imagination, are all parts of a whole that should be included in the development of a young athletes. Yet another important factor is rest and decompression. Time away from “training”, away from competition, away from scheduling. That’s why society has things called vacations!

  10. Larry Seljevold says:

    4 days a week, 5 hours a day is the gymnastic practice schedule for some local girls, Not an uncommon schedule for many gymnasts in the area and state wide.
    These great athletes never get to try other sports and may have excelled in something else if they would have been given the chance.
    Any ideas on breaking the mindset of many gymnastics coaches regarding the time demands they believe is necessary for success?

  11. Phil Hueston says:

    Just got to read this post today. Great one!

    I always point out that the athletic body moves in a series of natural patterns; push-pull, level changes, multi-directional running & walking and rotation. ALL sports are comprised of one or more of these patterns.

    So what, then, IS sport-specific training?

    I also remind parents that today’s soccer midfielder may be tomorrow’s shortstop. Kids “love” of their sport can change in an instant!

    My own son tried soccer and little league baseball before deciding on…MARCHING BAND! He’s now in Culinary School and has no desire to play sports, unless you count frisbee!

    So, I ask again,what IS sport-specific training?

    Of course, I also point out how what I do will help the child in question perform better in the sport(s) they are currently involved in. Once parents get to SEE what we do, they QUESTION it less and BELIEVE in it more…

  12. […] play. Realistically, ask yourself whether it’s your need that’s getting met or the need of your Young Athletes. If you coach a high school team and have practice the week of finals, be attentive to their […]

  13. […] Complete System for Training Young Athletes That Gives You All The […]

  14. […] Psychological – Many young athletes do not possess significant amounts of mental toughness (but they’re kids so why would they?) […]

  15. […] to gain their trust and acceptance is worth it to get the opportunity to impact more new High School Athlete […]

Leave a Reply

Comment using: