I was sitting at my office desk the other day and sensed a change had taken place. A quiet, peaceful change, both here and at home, and wondered what it could be. Then it hit me; the kids are back in school. Hallelujah.
I’m kidding, I actually like the sound of kids more than quit. So, speaking of kids; for many of them, it’s back to cheer, baseball, football, water polo, track, etc., etc… Most, if not all, sports require a balance between cardiovascular fitness and strength conditioning, with one more prevalent depending on the specific actions required. Today, I would like to touch on the strength component and how it applies to our young athletes. For practical purposes, it would appear somewhat obvious that in the majority of sports, the stronger the individual, there will be a proportional increase in athletic performance. I realize this isn’t the case in every sport, but for the majority, we can assume a consistent relationship. Also practical is the relationship between strength and injury prevention. Finishing the sports season in better shape is the goal, not recovering from injury after injury.
Something to think about, strength, which is defined as the amount of weight (force) which can be moved, is important and does have application in many areas of athletics, especially for Olympic lifters and the like, but, power is what truly separates the average athlete from the exceptional athlete. Power is defined as the ability to generate as much force as fast as possible. Power is the ability to swing a bat faster, strike a golf ball harder, run through a tackle more efficiently and explode off the starting blocks on the track field, in addition to a hundred other useful advantages. Lifting the heaviest weights possible without concern for speed is the optimum means of achieving strength, whereas, increased power output can be achieved with plyometric oriented training as well as specific isometric exercises. A nice balance between strength and power training is optimal for achieving peak performance for your young athlete. Many parents stress their concern over weight training and possibly stunting their children’s growth. Please pay careful attention: This is a myth, end of story.
At OsteoStrong, we have the ability to help your young athletes develop explosive power utilizing our patented BioDensity protocol. I realize this article only skims the surface of what could be a complicated subject. That is why I would appreciate the opportunity to meet face to face with any parents and their athletes to cover the finer details of athletic performance. Hope to see you soon.
Sincerely, Dr. Derek K. Albrecht D.C.