The Science of Training Young Athletes

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  • Week 1: Introduction to the young athlete
    • Youth coaches who have a sound understanding of pediatric sports science are essential to the successful development of a young athlete’s sport potential. In this section you are introduced to the multidimensional nature of coaching, and how an athlete’s motor abilities of endurance, strength, speed, coordination and flexibility are affected by growth and maturation.The optional text manual for this course is available at:
  • Week 2: Strategies for maximizing the athlete’s potential
    • Many factors can positively and negatively impact the young athlete’s ability to optimize their sports potential. In this section we examine strategies for ensuring the athlete’s systematic long-term sports development and how to mold the correct sport-specific phenotype.
  • Week 3: How the body works
    • The coach is a microbiologist who designs training so it stimulates the body’s cells and structures to become stronger and more efficient. In this section you are introduced to key organ systems, and the energy these organ systems use to run the chemical reactions needed for a sports performance. You will also learn how diet can positively enhance an athlete’s ability to train and compete.
  • Week 4: Enhancing the athlete’s physical work capacity
    • The level of expertise with which an athlete is able to perform sports skill depends on how well the coach molds the correct ratio of endurance, strength, power and speed to meet the demands of the sport. In this section you will learn the science behind developing these important motor performance abilities as the young athlete moves through puberty.
  • Week 5: Enhancing the fluidity of movement
    • Coordination and flexibility permit movements that are precise, fluid and spatially controlled. In this section we examine current knowledge about coordination and flexibility as the young child moves through early childhood and into adolescence.