T Nation

Training Children?!

I am looking into the long term effects that heavy training can have on young children. There is alot of information out there and I was wondering if anyone could speak from personal experience, or has access to any interesting articles on this topic. I want to determine whether competetive training has any negetive effects on the body as a child grows up.

I worked at a skating club for a couple of years, and 10 year olds would crash diet before their physical, because it had a weigh in. Competition can be healthy as long as too much pressure isn’t placed on the kids.

Speaking from experience, violently “exuberant” parents can really fuck up a kids life.

Hi,

There are a few threads dedicated to this topic, this was the only one I could find quickly.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=559718

Also, Ian King has written a little on the subject. He feels it’s really really important to have them do as many different things as possible - the more sports the better. As they get older, they can specialise based on what they’re good at. But early on, it’s more important that kids have a lot of fun doing as many different things as possible.

http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;107/6/1470

That’s from the American Academy of Pediatrics. To make a long story short (too late)…Kids + Smart Training = Good times.

[quote]Minotaur wrote:
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;107/6/1470

That’s from the American Academy of Pediatrics. To make a long story short (too late)…Kids + Smart Training = Good times.[/quote]

Yeah, as strange as it seems, the traditionally conservative medical establishment is actually on the ball on this topic. Training for kids is safe - pretty much the only way they can damage their growth plates is with extremely heavy supramaximal overhead supports - otherwise, they just can’t generate enough force to cause damage. Bumps and bruises, sure, but nothing catastrophic.

I also agree that lifting generally shouldn’t be a major part of what kids do - not because it’s not safe, but, as was said, this is the time of their life when they’re establishing new motor patterns and learning how to move. My take is lifting once per week is great (if they can take directions well) and playing sports recreationally (church league, for example) as well as on the playground is the best way to go.

-Dan