How young is too young?

In today’s society children are playing sports at a younger age. Ironically, schools have been removing physical education classes from their curriculum. With no physical education, kids are not learning key fundamentals that are required for optimal sports performance.
For six weeks I conducted an athletic training performance class for boys, ages 6-13, with an emphasis on football, basketball, and wrestling. The classes focused on running mechanics, agility, and learning the proper form of strength training using bodyweight. The boys were tested in four different skills (vertical jump, shuttle, “L” drill, and 20 yd dash).

  • Vertical jump: measures power output from the ground.
  • Shuttle drill: measures the athlete’s quickness in a single plane.
  • “L” drill: focuses on the individual’s agility by measuring speed while changing directions.
  • 20 yard dash: reveals the athletes true game speed.

After six weeks the boys were retested and there were improvements in all four categories. The average vertical increased by 2/3 of an inch. The shuttle’s average time had improved by 83 %. The “L” drill had a decrease in time of 75%. The 20 yd dash improved an average of .17 seconds.
The tests have shown regular exercise with proper training can improve fundamentals and sports performance. Parents have reported that they have noticed their children are moving quicker, playing more aggressive, and jumping higher this basketball season.
For more information in enrolling your son, daughter or team in one of Emerge’s ATP classes, please contact Emerge Fitness Training.
Matt Wirth, Emerge Fitness