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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - Training Tomorrow's Athletes

Sports training programs can give young athletes an edge on the field, on the court, on the track, and in life. While these programs are intended to help kids develop physically, they can sometimes do more harm than good. The youth training program instructors at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center offer this advice:

- Get the right trainer. Don’t be afraid to ask about qualifications. Ask about the goal or purpose of the program, and pay attention to the motivational signs and slogans on the wall.
- Get the right focus. Winning isn’t everything and shouldn’t be pressed on students the minute they sign up for a team.
- Get age appropriate training. Not all children progress through puberty at the same rate or time. Young athletes of the same chronological age can differ by 2 to 5
years in their biological age.
- Get a trainer with the right priorities. If the first thing a trainer focuses on is making money from you, walk away. If the trainer or coach seems anxious to pack as many kids in a camp or program as possible. Walk away. The trainers’ or coaches’ focus should be on teaching the children proper form and encouraging them to improve at a healthy and safe pace.

For information about fitness training classes to help young athletes at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, visit or call (865) 531-5021.