When Do You Train Young Athletes?




Train Young Athletes Correctly

From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden:


"All sports require high degree of skill for superior performance. The major emphasis of a (youth athletic) training program should be skill excellence. For skills to be developed, learning should occur in non-fatigued states… It is advisable to schedule auxiliary training sessions either after a (sport) session or at some time that allows complete recovery from its execution so that no residual fatigue is carried over".


I’ve never mentioned this in literature, but have advocated it several times through lectures and seminars. Learning how to create appropriate training sessions is crucial to working with young athletes. If you are forced to have the technical practice AND the training session within the same day (as is typical), make sure that the training session comes AFTER practice. This keeps the body and CNS rested and for skill acquisition and demonstration during practice.


Ever notice that the "science" of strength, conditioning and fitness is more
complex than many realize?


Train Young Athletes

It’s really got nothing to do with just throwing some exercises together and
counting sets and reps.


Does speed training come before or after strength training?


When is it best to train the "core"?


Where does flexibility training fit into the daily picture?


Getting the most from your young athletes and truly making them the very
best they possibly can be means knowing as much as you can about how
to train them properly.


It’s not a day-by-day concept or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants situation.


It requires a system.


A complete and comprehensive system that is internationally proven to be
successful and can be implemented by you TOMORROW with ease.


A system just like this one…


strength training for young athletes











4 Responses

  1. Dale Lewis says:

    As the coach of a swim club I don’t think this is always an appropriate method. In a continuous sport as swimming they must be able to perform the skill when tired. Therefore some of the best results I have received come from teaching the skills after a training set. Many times a typically sandwich my technique work between training sets as it allows for recovery.

  2. Dr. Tim says:

    I have come to the same conclusion ,partly from reading Charley Francis’s book on sprinting- a straight ahead sport like swimming.Doing the motion correctly ,better skill.Fatigued, worse skill.
    In cutting sports I belive it’s even more important,fatigue (CNS & muscular)=injury.
    Certinly the physical maturity and skill level of the athelete is important.
    Dr. Tim

  3. Brian Grasso says:

    I understand what you’re saying, Dale, but the ‘I’ve had good results with’ argument is a tough one to wage. It’s not the absence of science necessarily (but we could point to the lack of a control group, context etc), it’s more of the coaching art Dr. Tim mentioned. It’s the same kind of thinking that many soccer coaches make – because a soccer game is lengthy and a given player may have to run a great deal during the course of the game, we must indulge in a great deal of aerobic training. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The sport of soccer is quite anaerobic and requires such training stimulus to be played at an effective and injury-free level. Any sort of skill-based training (doesn’t matter what sport we’re talking about) is optimally effective when done in an un-fatigued state. Skill is a product of appropriate application of kinematics which creates a neural memory of the motion. Through appropriate conditioning, the energy systems are trained and enhanced in order to lift the swimmers ability to perform that skill-based technique while under duress (i.e. a fatigued state). This is especially true with young athletes. In the Level 1 YFS certification, Dr, Kwame Brown and I discuss the importance of ‘Neural Plasticity’ and the critical aspects of learning skill early in life. Skill-based work should seldom (if ever) be used as a conditioning method. Thank you so much for your post. Your passion for what you do is quite evident!! For more information on our Level 1 YFS certification, click this link —> http://iyca.org/dev/fitspecialist1.html

  4. kenneth says:

    I am soccercoach and former soccerplayer.I am begining to realize that we reallly never have been training pure speed in soccer.I have never been giving it a second thought because i have always been the fastest on the field.But now from a coach point of view i see fast players,but i feel that it is something missing there is just no sharpness in the running.My problem is as a coach that i can run very fast,but i just do not know how to teach it to my players.So help someone that is fast despite of his training to help young players become as good athletes as possible.It is time to evaluate the old soccer training schedule.

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