T Nation

Training Female High School Athletes


#1

At the high school in which I am strength and conditioning coordinator, I am pushing for girls sports to be more active in the weight room. As part of this initiative, I have to also design the programs for girls sports. As a guy who is used to only working with male athletes, especially in sports like football, lacrosse, and ice hockey. I was wondering if anyone could give any advice/tips on training female athletes, including program design, exercise selection etc. The girls sports I would work with are soccer, volleyball, basketball, track, gymnastics, tennis. Thank you so much in advance for your help!


#2

For the most part, teen athletes are teen athletes. Female athletes in general tend to need more hip, knee, and ankle “prehab”-stuff. Could be as simple as barefoot warm-ups with single-leg exercises and not neglecting hamstring work.

Dan John’s Southwood program is something he uses with his high school athletes. He’s also written a ton in general about his methods and standards, so those are all worth checking out.

I’m also a big advocate of starting any younger lifter with bodyweight training like I wrote about here. Getting girls (and women) to do a handful of legit, good form push-ups (always on the toes, never on the knees) and chin-ups tends to be a good esteem booster, self-motivator, and a sign that “gym stuff” is really working.


#3

Great stuff! Thank you so much for your help! I totally agree with starting with body weight exercises, thanks for the links!


#4

Check out the “ATHENA” stuff from the Mountain Tactical Institute(formally strongswiftdurable). Stuff made for girls that age, paying lots of attention to maintaining knee health which is huge for young female athletes.