COMMENTARY

Is sport-performance training important for young athletes?

September 13, 2013 

I started playing football and baseball on a year-round basis when I was around 9 years old, and I dropped baseball to focus on football midway through high school when I realized I enjoyed football more and was better at that sport.

While participating in sports growing up, there wasn’t an expressed need to do any ‘training’ outside of practicing the specific sport skills required for both football and baseball. The idea of strength training or speed training wasn’t of particular interest to me, or my peers at that time, primarily because it wasn’t available outside of the weight bench and maybe some dumbbells in the basement. When I went in to high school, strength training was a big part of the football program’s schedule, and my infatuation and joy of training specifically for a sport developed.

Skip forward to after college, where I got a degree in Physical Education and Sport-Science, and I began training for football tryouts/combines with my training partner. We researched and evaluated training philosophies and studied the science behind these programs to try and formulate the best approach for my training, specifically as a quarterback.

This process fully developed my interest in training other athletes, especially younger athletes, as I began to wonder what my sports experience would have been if I had received quality, specialized training instruction and programs designed to enhance my strength, agility and power. How would this have made me a better quarterback and overall athlete?

I created my training business, Complete Strength Development, here in Lee’s Summit with a mission to create training programs that are specific for athletes of differing ages/abilities that go beyond the scope of general sport practice, or even the high school strength program. I asked myself the question, “How can I provide the training for these athletes that I wish I would have had when I was younger?” I have spent the past nearly five years refining my training philosophies and approach to creating and building programs to help athletes improve on their God-given athletic ability.

Athletes of all ages, and especially young athletes in their teens, can benefit greatly from a well-structured, science-based training program designed to improve general and specific strength, speed, agility, balance, nervous system function, injury-prevention, etc. My version of Sport-Performance Training takes each athlete as an individual, and addresses four ‘questions’ of interest: What is the athlete’s training/playing experience and age, What sport and what position within that sport does the athlete predominantly play, What is the structure of their particular sport, and What are the athlete’s goals within their sport? I can then develop a program based on all these factors that will be best suited to help the athlete improve, stay injury-free, and develop the important characteristics found in their chosen sport.

Placing athletes in a properly structured training program can create a foundation for future training, and aid in the development of muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments as they are growing. It can enhance the general physical qualities found in sport competition and aid in the longevity of the athlete by decreasing the susceptibility to injury. Sport-Performance Training can develop a young athlete and prepare them for future success in sports.

Bryan Marlborough received his Strength & Conditioning Specialist certification in 2008 and founded Complete Strength Development, a private training facility in Lee’s Summit, where he is the Director of Sport Performance. He has 15 years experience playing, coaching and training quarterbacks in football and has worked with over 100 different athletes. He also serves as the Strength & Conditioning coach for the Kansas City Shock women’s soccer team. bryan@livestrength.com 816-591-8853.

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