… They don’t spend enough time developing an overall base of strength.
With physical education programs slowly fading away, and an overemphasis on playing games, young athletes are not ready to meet the physical demands.
I have worked with hundreds of young athletes that do not have the ability to perform basic movements with proper technique or control, yet are being asked to play competitive sports almost year round.
Whether it be push ups, pull ups, squats, planks or lunges, many of them lack the stability, or even the body awareness, to perform them properly.
It’s no wonder why so many of these athletes fall short of their potential or spend half of the season injured.
A lack of physical preparedness can lead to several types of injuries as games and repetitions accumulate. By asking the body to do more than it’s capable of, you are asking for potential problems, things that can become severe over time.
Did You Know?
That the body is totally connected in some form or fashion from the toes to the tips? A breakdown or lack of mobility/strength in one joint forces the body to compensate by asking another joint to take on the burden and increased workload is a….REASON FOR SO MANY INJURIES.
THINK About This: Your Son recently rolled his ankle at practice and you go out an buy him an ankle brace. He begins to wear the ankle brace religiously for fear of re-injuring it. In the meantime, the ankle is very limited in mobility. So guess what takes on the absence of mobility in the ankle? The Knee!
The knee is used primarily for stability in the lower body. However, once the ankle (mobility) cannot function properly, the knee is being asked to carry the burden.
It’s true that youth baseball players are not playing with the same velocity or intensity as a mature, high level player. However, they are still twisting, bending, running , swinging and going through many of the same movements.
The sport doesn’t change, just the speed and level it’s played at!
Because of this, young athletes need to make sure that their body is stable enough to perform these activities. Shoulder, knee, and low back injuries, just to name a few, can all be prevented through proper training from an early age.
In the beginning, performing body-weight movements several times per week, and then eventually progressing into loaded movements is sufficient for the athlete to become a better player. I wouldn’t move forward until an athlete can properly perform these 3 basic exercises.
As they become stronger, and more stable, you will see an increase in the potential for power, as well as lower injury rates. (Watch this video, you’re gonna like it 🙂 )At the appropriate time, additional exercises can be added, but not before they have mastered the basics.
In the end, the key to developing the athlete properly is through an honest assessment of where the athlete is and then programming appropriately.
A 14 year old player is not ready to follow the programming of Alex Rodriguez or Justin Verlander. An athlete’s development can be stunted by progressing them too quickly or not making sure that all exercises are being done correctly, down to the smallest detail. If you would like to see the complete interview along with the exercises your son should be doing check this out.
Remember that the magic is in the movements you perform. If you don’t perform them correctly then you can’t expect to get the benefits.
Leave a comment or question about your thoughts on the subject!