Should young athletes lift Weights?
(from Coach Jimmy Lamour with Lamour Training Systems)
Kids are a lot less active now that technological advancements have changed the way they play. When we grew up, it was not uncommon for us to spend most of the day outside jumping fences, climbing trees, chasing our friends, or playing tag. The only time we’d willingly go back inside was to eat or drink. Now, most elementary schools only have P.E. classes maybe two days a week. And kids spend more time surfing the web, playing video games, or texting than ever before. Consequently, it has caused many kids to be obese and lack proper movement skills.
The biggest question raised by parents whose athletes we’ve trained is about speed. How can little Johnny get faster? The best solution is to teach your young athlete to develop certain qualities that will ensure his or her speed development. These are coordination, nutrition, speed drills, conditioning, mobility, etc. While these tools aren’t a secret, it is very rare that parents are informed about a system that will teach their athlete how to go from point A to point B. We have solved that problem by developing a system that progresses as the athlete masters different abilities. It is very important we teach our athletes how to become stronger and faster to ensure that they enhance their performance as well as prevent injuries.
Are we saying that 8 year olds should be lifting weights? No, but we are saying that there are different bodyweight exercises they need to master to strengthen their bodies and prepare it for sports. All athletes have different strengths and weaknesses. A skilled professional must be able to watch the athlete perform the movements and make adjustments as needed to ensure success. If young athletes cannot do a push-up, they can do iso-hold push-up or use bands until they are strong enough to perform a quality push-up. Patience with the development of the athlete is essential because it allows the body to develop at its own pace to handle the stress and allows the athlete to master the movement.
Don’t confuse strength training with weightlifting, bodybuilding or power-lifting. These activities are largely driven by competition, with participants vying to lift heavier weights or build bigger muscles than those of other athletes. This can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons, and areas of cartilage that haven’t yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.
What are the benefits of strength training for kids?
Done properly, strength training can:
• Increase your child’s muscle strength and endurance
• Help protect your child’s muscles and joints from injury
• Improve your child’s performance in nearly any sport, from dancing and figure skating to football and soccer
And strength training isn’t only for athletes. Even if your child isn’t interested in sports, strength training can:
• Strengthen your child’s bones
• Help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
• Boost your child’s metabolism
• Help your child maintain a healthy weight
• Improve your child’s self-esteem
Jimmy Lamour is a former Guilford College in Greensboro, NC All South Defensive Back. He set the record for interception return yards at the school. Upon Graduation, he tested numerous philosophies on strength and speed through seminars, self-study, conversation with renowned strength coaches, and training of hundreds of athletes. This led him to develop the 4.30 40 Speed System a system that helped him improve his 40 yard dash from a 4.66 to a 4.30, which gave way to many professional football workouts. He later developed Lamour Training Systems with the help of his lovely wife Charlene to help athletes improve their performance and receive knowledge he missed out on as a child. He continues to consult with several division 1, prep schools, and high school coaches. LTS has helped many football athletes play at the D1, D2, and D3 levels. He believes that his passion to see young men become all God intended them to be and provide knowledge of the defensive back position which will allow young athletes under the tutelage of Pick 6 Academy to flourish. He is currently certified as a Youth Fitness specialist, 7on7 Performance Director, and High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Also, Coach Lamour is a devout Christian. He has two children Camdon (19) and Micah (12).Sign up for his newsletter to receive his free speed report at http://fastyouthathlete.blogspot.com/ on For more information, call 336-257-9151