T Nation

Help Training My 13 Yr Old Daughter


#1

Background - I am an former collegiate offensive lineman, current High School football coach, as well as a throwing coach. I have been training for the better part of my life, and I have always been a big fan of explosive technique type training.

My dilemma comes from building a training plan for my daughter. I have mainly been in an environment where I control my guys practices and training. My daughter is a multiple sport athlete with a crazy hectic schedule, and I want to make sure she's not missing out on training because she's too busy practicing. She currently plays about 5 sports, but her primaries are Softball, Soccer, and basketball.

Currently I have her doing kettlebells/Medicine balls/Sprint work, and I've recently been working her into proper form on hang cleans and squats.....I'm just having a hard time working out a good program to put her on that will balance with her practicing 4-5 days a week. And for whatever reason,(because she's mine probably) I feel like I've been just doing too much random work trying to hit everything with her. Any suggestions will be greatful!! Thanks!

oh and stats - She's 5'7" 125lbs, 13 years old. has great explosive strength,(compared to her peers).


#2

[quote]torimads. wrote:
Currently I have her doing kettlebells/Medicine balls/Sprint work, and I’ve recently been working her into proper form on hang cleans and squats…I’m just having a hard time working out a good program to put her on that will balance with her practicing 4-5 days a week. And for whatever reason,(because she’s mine probably) I feel like I’ve been just doing too much random work trying to hit everything with her. Any suggestions will be greatful!! Thanks!
[/quote]

I played three sports through the end of high school and 1.5 in college (varsity football plus moonlighting in some open wrestling tournaments for fun). The only “off” season where I could just work out was the summer. Nine months were spent figuring out when to lift/run around my practice schedule. It can be done. Just don’t try to teach too many new things all at once. She’s 13. Most girls her age are probably doing very little outside of practice to prepare for games, so your daughter will be ahead of the curve just by virtue of doing ANY extra work. She doesn’t need a “program” that hits everything. She just needs a good grounding in the basics of strength.

Practices will handle most of her conditioning, I take it. So my guess, without seeing her exact practice schedule, is that you’ll get the best bang for your buck with a few well-placed strength workouts. I think that teaching her good squat and clean form is a good idea, and kettlebells & med-balls are nice for warm-ups and finishing work.

How frequently can you actually supervise her workouts (and more importantly, what is her attitude towards it - does she like working out, or tolerate it as a necessary evil when she’d rather be at sports practice?)

Is your intent to be there for all of her workouts, or just to teach her good form so she does it right when her team has a lifting session? FWIW, my dad taught me to lift when I was a pre-teen and, although we did not lift together more than once a week during the school year (he lifted at nights after work, I usually did so during school or as part of wrestling/track practice), I kept those good habits.

If she’s practicing 4-5 days a week plus games and camps, that’s going to take a lot of energy on its own. So don’t browbeat her with advice that she’s tired of hearing. Find a couple of things she likes and drill them well. It could be 10 minutes of warming up with a KB, a few good sets of squats and cleans, some med-ball slams, and you’re done. That’ll benefit any athlete.


#3

Thanks for the input. To answer some of your questions. I can supervise roughly 2 workouts a week. It’s about the only time we can both separate from the world. She actually loves lifting, especially legs and abs…she’s is a girl and these are the 2 things she want to look good,lol. Her only downfall is that I can have her do a full squat workout without a complaint, but ask her to stretch and it’s the end of the world.

I was big about making sure her kettlebell form was perfect,(swings/TGU), because I figured she could do some of those on her own throughout the week as a filler.

Thanks for the advice. Do you think once a week of the squat/cleans/carries, is good enough and then maybe supplement a day or two of kettlebell/core type work at home?


#4

Hey, that sounds great. Once my dad had taught me the basics, every Sunday morning was usually our day to lift together, usually just some box squats and reverse hypers. Just enough time that we still got to hang out and enjoy training together, not so much that it left me worn out for practices or anything. I think your plan (one hard squat/clean/carry workout at the gym and one supervised kettlebell workout at home) sounds great as long as she is on board. If she genuinely enjoys working legs and abs, all the better.

Do her teams do much/any supervised conditioning or team weightlifting sessions? Or as she gets into HS, do you know if they will? I think that’s a key factor. If they do, even if it’s poorly coached, you might want to dial it back a little with the extra workouts unless she’s clearly chomping for more. If they don’t do any extra supervised conditioning or lifting, then you’ll really want to make sure she keeps on with 2 good workouts a week, I’d think.

**BTW: I am also a former collegiate offensive lineman. I’m about 75% of the man that I used to be, lol.