Youth Strength Training – Book Review

I’ve decided to start reviewing a book each month on a variety of topics from basic training principles, methodology, psychology and general youth-sport related topics.
The reasons for these reviews are two fold:

  1. It forces me to think about my own development and ensure I read a book each month
  2. It may be useful to readers to assist in deciding what book is worth buying and suggesting any future resources

So without further delays, here is the initial instalment for January:

Title: Youth Strength Training

Authors: Avery D. Faigenbaum & Wayne L Westcott

Topic: Strength & Conditioning, Does what it says on the tin – basic guidelines for strength and conditioning coaching for youth aged athletes.

Appropriate for: Grassroots technical coaches, PE teachers, Personal Trainers, Beginning S&C coaches

Overall rating:  4/5

Overview: Anyone who knows anything about strength training for youth athletes should have come across the name “Faigenbaum”. He has produced numerous research papers, as well as position statements for numerous organisations and is one of the pioneers in this area, voicing sensible and scientific evidence dispelling the numerous myths surrounding training for youth athletes. This book is a solid foundation for those wanting to train youth athletes.

This book is essentially a basic “how to” guide for those involved in training youth aged athletes. Realistically, I think this resource will be most useful to grassroots technical coaches, PE teachers, personal trainers, or first year undergraduates in sport sciences/strength and conditioning rather than advanced practitioners. It contains a wide variety of visual exercise demonstrations for multiple modes of training: bodyweight, medicine balls, resistance bands, free weights and machines. It also covers some very basic aspects of long-term athlete development (LTAD), including suggestions of programs for varying ages.

If you are a technical coach and have been considering implementing physical training into the programs of your players, but are unsure where to start – this book could prove a valuable resource. If you are already coaching bodyweight or resistance exercises to children regularly, this book may help upskill you on proper technique, or basic periodization techniques. It may also provide you with some alternative exercises you hadn’t thought of.

However, if you have been regularly involved in the strength training of youth athletes for a while and are familiar with the considerations for biological maturation, gender differences, altered biomechanics, plyometrics etc. then this may not add a whole lot more to your repertoire.

If you are interested in purchasing the book via amazon, you can find it here: Youth Strength Training
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