As everyone in the program would be aware, it’s Planning Season in for Squash Tigers. In a discussion of the 5 trainables of the sport, the benefits of strength and conditioning training have frequently come up, drawing my attention to the need to explain some of the basics for those not particularly familiar with this aspect of the sport. As always, happy to talk through any aspect of the program, including our S&C program.
In brief, strength training for young athletes has been a topic of much discussion in recent years. While there is some concern about the potential risks associated with strength training at a young age, the consensus among experts is that properly designed programs are safe and effective, leading to improvements in strength, power, speed, agility, and overall athletic performance.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Strength and Conditioning Association both recommend strength and conditioning training for young athletes. According to the 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association position statement, "youth resistance training is safe, effective, and can improve the muscular fitness, athletic performance, and overall health of young people." It is worth noting that Coach Jamie is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and very much aware of best practices, recommendations and guidelines.
The 2014 British Journal of Sports Medicine consensus statement on youth resistance training also highlights the benefits of appropriately designed programs for young athletes, including improvements in strength, power, speed, agility, and overall athletic performance, as well as a reduction in the risk of sports-related injuries. The authors note that strength training can be especially beneficial for young athletes who participate in sports that require explosive movements, such as rapid change of direction, jumping or sprinting - all of which have some place in competitive squash.
Long story short, properly designed strength and conditioning programs can be safe and effective for young athletes, leading to improvements in strength, power, speed, agility, and overall athletic performance, as well as reducing the risk of sports-related injuries. The final aspect of this, the prevention of injury, lies at the heart of much of our Squash Tigers S&C philosophy.
As always, happy to talk through what this may mean for your child’s squash development… see you all at the club.