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Youth Conditioning

Posted by chrisproulxdc@gmail.com on August 30, 2019 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

We are entering the competitive season for youth sports in the school systems, as well as other organized events (although some never stopped), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to make some comments. I have been involved in and created several youth programs revolving around conditioning for youth sport performance. Here is a page I began several years ago when we started Blackbird Strength and Conditioning: https://www.facebook.com/Youth-Sport-Performance-and-Fitness-142965999113444/" target="_blank">http://https://www.facebook.com/Youth-Sport-Performance-and-Fitness-142965999113444/


This was a short video spot on the local television show and good friend Acea Theroux: https://www.facebook.com/acea.theroux/videos/1545640034794/UzpfSTcwNzYxMDA1NToxMDE1Njk4OTYwNzk5NTA1Ng/?comment_id=10157196118915056&notif_id=1566951253437782&notif_t=feed_comment" target="_blank">http://https://www.facebook.com/acea.theroux/videos/1545640034794/UzpfSTcwNzYxMDA1NToxMDE1Njk4OTYwNzk5NTA1Ng/?comment_id=10157196118915056¬if_id=1566951253437782¬if_t=feed_comment



Why did I do this? Well, several reasons, one of which is to add some expertise in the community surrounding a important topic, health. Of course strength and conditioning has a premise of improving sport performance, however a reduction in injury may influence ones future as injury may be involved in adult joint degeneration. There is a great review by Punzi et al 2016 that describes the overview of the concept, but the statistics are 20-50% of people experience post traumatic osteoarthritis and this is 12% of OA patients. That translates to $36B/yr spent on this group alone, based on the CDC estimate of overall $300B/yr spent on OA.


Sports themselves have benefits in life long choices of being active, however that may not influence the here and now. What I mean is that not all sports have a great deal of activity that stress the important systems to developing health promoting effects, especially if the child is a one sport season athlete (as opposed to the one sport athlete who plays the same sport year round, out of season). When instilling the notion that conditioning is a year round event to not only support the sport in which the young athlete plays, it also promotes further health benefits. Due to the decline in physical activity of youth, preseason conditioning has taken on a different effect on preseason preparation, ie they are not entering preseason at a level of preseason, and may be sedentary.


Youth community programs can be an excellent opportunity for many. First and most obvious, the youth will benefit from having qualified conditioning to enhance the various aspects of sport, performance. Certainly related to both performance and maybe later on in life is injury prevention. It also instills a new found area of physical activity. We have gone back and forth on promoting “exercise” in place of skill and imagination based physical activity, such as playgrounds, “going outside to play,” etc but for some, it may a great opportunity. In fact, given the extremely low risk of organized condition programs, its also one of the safest. We also approach things a little differently nowadays and even have some competitive “exercise” type opportunities that may improve motivation, eg Crossfit, Spartan Races, etc. I personally have also experienced the performance conditioning programs for youths as sort of hub. Where otherwise some kids may drop out of a program as they realize their skill abilities will not get them to the next level, eg freshmen football to JV, I have identified opportunities for you athletes in other areas. For example, I worked with football player with exceptional performance stats (power, speed, strength) who was a running back, however was just not that great on the field from a player ability perspective. However, this kid made one heck of a 100m/200m sprinter. Ive also seen many young people gain confidence through success in training, attaining various performance goals such as vertical jump height or non goal related effects such as weight loss.


These programs are not done on their own, so the community centers/schools who may host them can utilize what may not be otherwise used space such as a field or multipurpose room in the offseason. It may even generate some revenue to support the programs and facilities. We were able to purchase new equipment. In my case, it created a connection between the college and the community, including a place where students could perform internships to enhance their learning and experience. Also, it may even be a revenue generating opportunity for a local professional, while doing something good for their community!


P.S. I will be reviving the Youth Sports Conditioning page, so stay tuned and Like!