Youth athletes


I just wanted some advice. How do you all deal with athletes that are performing years ahead of their age group? Lets say a youth sprinter that is running good high school times. How do you train them with in thier ablities but not give them too much too soon? How do you keep them from become another wash out before they hit 20 years old? There are so many amazing athletes in the past that perform well then you never hear from them after HS (remember Obea Moore?).

I know there are things like being careful of things like special endurance distances and developing general conditioning but what else?


Most important thing is to make sure they are injury free and that they have fun. Nothing makes young promising athletes drops sports faster than those two things. Overspecializing in sports to early is a big problem as well…

great post,simple and straight to the point. :cool:

If I could go back in time, what I would do differently with my early developing athletes is make sure their competition is competative, but not to the degree that the athlete’s get stressed out and tense up. This sort of tension in race situations is hard to undo. In fact, I would keep them with their own age group as much as possible. Of course you have to guage the athlete according to their individual personality, so if they can handle tougher competition, then give it to them. If they need an ego boost all the time, then keep them winning.

Good info from everyone. Thanks! I totally agree about pressure. My 8 yr old hates pressure but she always PRs under pressure (7 seconds in 200 and 2 seconds in the 100) . I get worried she wont want to compete any more when I see her huge ego get bruised. (hmm I wonder where she got that from :smiley: ) I tend to mix it up for her. I will take her to tough meets. After a few 4th place finishes, I let her smoke the older kids at the local meets just to keep her happy. She only works out 2-3 times per week on the track the other days shes in the pool so that helps the boredom of track work. The pool is great for kids if they are doing other sports.

At that age 2 training sessions and one comp. meet a week is more then enough. She will be fine for few more years. Keep it light. Pay more attention when she is 12-14 y.o. If still in athletics I would give her one season off the track comp. but still train her and would let her play other sports for fun. The reason why - he needs a break and also she would get hungry again. 5-6 years with non-stop training will have effect on her, trust me. Only one year [break] makes a big difference. It will be harder for you [emotionally] then for her. She will come back better then ever and still will be very young!

Growth spurt and the rest that comes with it will make her tired, so light training during that period will help a lot.

At 14-15 3 training sessions a week are good. 16+ they can commence for real. That is 8 yrs. away. :slight_smile:

yeah i totaly agree, athletics is not enjoyed by all kids. Lets say you are a parent, who has a overwieght young child. You are not going to take them down to a athletics club. The kid won’t enoy it, because its the type of sport, you can only enjoy if your at a certain level.

I can remember as a kid, when i took part in my sports days. Kids on the starting line with me, breaking down into tears. People scared to run the 40meters sprint race.

The kid should be allowed to play other sports, like team sports, because it rounds them more. When the kid is about 15, maybe then an start training again, but not too serious.

But if a kid wants to suceed in athletics, they gonna have to get serious some time in there life.

you don’t play athletics.