(Note: Youth athletes here are defined as elementary athletes.)
Training youth athletes on a day in, day out basis is wonderful. It allows for us to impact a very impressionable group of young minds in a very positive way.
That being said, it isn't always easy...however it can be easy to do it wrong.
When it comes to coaching youth athletes, there are a few considerations that have to be made in order to allow that athlete to get the most out of any training program:
1. Youth athletes are not simply younger advanced athletes! Some coaches and trainers use a “watered-down” program they use for older athletes. This is flawed- youth athletes need to have a completely different program. For the youth athlete, basic athletic skills and positions need to be taught before anything else. A solid foundation is the key to any good house.
2. Not all youth athletes develop at the same rate, and therefore athletes cannot be expected to progress through athletics at the same rate. By focusing on the foundation of athletic skills and positions, every athlete is free to grow and progress at their own pace.
3. Keeping things fun and energetic is the key to keeping youth athletes from getting burned out too early. Athletics are suppose to be fun, and while it is important for the youth athlete to learn good technique and better him/herself, it has to be fun to keep the athlete engaged.
Some coaches and trainers do not take all of these into consideration when building a youth program, and it can affect the development of the athlete.
At Noonan Sport Specialists we consider all of these when building our youth athlete program to make sure each athlete is given the very best opportunity to grow as much as they can (and have fun doing it!).
We are currently enrolling athletes in our Summer Athlete Program