Young athletes benefit from resistance training in many ways
By Matthew Taffe, MS, CSCS
With increased awareness of the many benefits of strength and conditioning programs, there has been a steady rise in the number of young people taking part in them. Resistance training is a tool often used to increase strength in athletes. When considering the potential benefits of resistance training, it’s important to first understand what it is. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, resistance training is a specialized method of training involving the progressive use of a wide range of resistance loads and training modalities designed to enhance health, fitness and sports performance.
A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can provide the following benefits to the young athlete:
- Enhanced muscular strength and power
- Better developed, positive exercise habits
- Improved motor skills leading to enhanced sports performance
- Increased sports-related injury resistance
- Boosted psychosocial well-being
- Decreased serious health risks, such as heart disease
- More fun
While it’s common knowledge that exercise is beneficial for the overall health and wellness of people at any age, education of young people is still vitally important. Teaching the next generation the specific benefits, techniques, risk factors and importance of resistance training will stop the development of bad health and wellness habits. Armed with this education and training, young athletes will decrease their risk of injury and increase their sports performance and longevity. Young athletes experience success and develop abilities to overcome challenges. In doing so, they gain self-confidence they can carry not only into their sport, but into their daily lives and social interactions.
Most of all, participants will find the joy in being active. Young athletes have a desire to improve, but they want to have fun doing it. They can do both through these kinds of physical challenges that push them to succeed.