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6 Benefits Of Starting Athletes In Strength & Conditioning From An Early Age

6 Benefits Of Starting Athletes In Strength & Conditioning From An Early Age

Jan 04, 2023

Perform HQ



You could ask a 100 athletes in their 20s and 30s to look back on when they started the gym, and ask,

"What would you do different?"

9/10 are going to wish they went down the route of strength and conditioning earlier to get them started on their athletic pathway. 

With the heavy influences from gym and fitness content on social media. They can get caught up in skipping steps 1-5. Trying to do the fancy stuff and trying to get way ahead of where they need to start. Losing the chance to realise that with starting at step 1 and progressing at the ideal rate, they'll end up being further ahead than most their age who rush this process.

Here we wanted to break down a list of 6 benefits for getting started early within Strength & Conditioning, and doing it the right way.

1. Build The Base Wide

Majority of sports requires large varying degrees of physical qualities to compete well. Different forms of fitness, strength, speed, power, co-ordination and so on.

The wider we build the base in the early years of physical development. The better this will set us up for a higher peak in the following 10-15 years.

The kids that tend to miss certain elements of the above qualities mentioned. Seem to have to start developing these qualities during years they should be more focused on skill. Just to keep up with the growing demand of their sport as they get older and older.

2. Build At The Pace Your Sport Demand Is Increasing

From year to year as kids get bigger, faster, strong. The pace and demand of their games increase with it.

It becomes more relevant around the 13-16 years of age as they hit puberty where things start to ramp up. Genetics and previous training exposure start to show within these young athletes. There is a good chance by having a few years of strength and conditioning competency prior to this time. It can help them a lot to have their physical qualities match these rapid changes.

Giving them the chance to put much more energy and focus into their foundational skill development areas. 

Especially as they get around that age where sporting commitments make a large jump! 

3. Learn To Move Their Body

I love the example i had when a 26 year-old semi-professional player came to me to complete field sessions in preparation for his upcoming season.

What we quickly found was at 26 years of age. I had to re-teach and re-pattern how he moved. 

"Why wasn't i learning this 10 years ago."

At a young age it's the perfect time to teach them how to move, co-ordinate their ever growing limbs and control their bodies.

At an age where we don't need a lot load on the system to adapt and change. We can dedicate a lot more time to areas such as how they ideally need to move through the main strength lifts. But, also areas of how they move their body while they run, jump and change direction.

Win, win!


4. Learn The Right Way, The First Time

I'm gonna put my hand up here and say i personally wish i had this phrase thrown at me!

Sport requires the body to move through varying planes of motion.

Unfortunately having an exercise database of Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Curls and the lucky Squat here and there. Led me to be in a position i was not ready to tolerate the demands of my sport. And ending up with a shopping list of injuries.

It's not these exercises directly themselves that was the issue. It was the lack in movements missing through those other planes of motion to help build my base much, much wider.

All of our coaches has had similar experiences to a degree. We didn't start the best way we could have. A reason why we're so passionate for kids to get this done right, the first time.

5. Positive Relationship With Training 

We've mentioned how kids can go in on their own do it wrong. But, there's the other side of the story where they're seeing a professional, a trainer or even just their local coach who isn't completely up to date with strength and conditioning.

Driving young kids to the furtherest elements of fatigue, thinking this is what's needed for them.

Unfortunately, we've heard many stories from young kids being looked after by people within each of these categories and it having a large hinderance on their relationship with training.

It goes from a hobby to a chore. And it genuinely starts to effect their day to day energy. Creating a resentment against training. 

Training being a massive part of their ability to take their sport far.

By utilising an approach that understands they are kids. Let them be kids!

We can most certainly build, develop and challenge these young athletes to progress. But, it doesn't mean we sacrifice their love for training with their friends.


6. Have Fun 

Just mentioned it above.

But, again. 

They are kids, let them be kids. 

They just want to enjoy doing activities with their friends. Creating that environment where they can turn up, build their strength, build their character, build their confidence all while having a smile on their face. That's the goal!




Here Adam showcases the perfect example of this. His year of working with Youth athletes he's been able to create a large database of variations to create engagement and fun. Meaning they start the session with much higher energy and focus levels.

This is what creates a positive relationship with their training to keep them engaged for years to come.

Written by Isaac Davidson.