In this month's issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a group of experts representing the National Strength and Conditioning Association updated the NSCA's recommendations for youth resistance training.
The group, let by Dr Avery Feigenbaum , concluded that:
"A properly designed and supervised resistance training program":
- is relatively safe for youth.
- can enhance the muscular strength and power of youth.
- can improve the cardiovascular risk profile of youth.
- can improve motor skill performance and may contribute to enhanced sports performance of youth.
- can increase a young athlete's resistance to sports-related injuries.
- can help improve the psychosocial well-being of youth.
- can help promote and develop exercise habits during childhood and adolescence.
Safe to say that I agree with all of their conclusions, but before you run off and buy some big weights for your U12 team, I highly encourage you to read this report's recommendations about how to train, how much to train, how often to train, and how important it is to eat and sleep properly so that the body can best benefit from a graduated resistance training program.
For best results, work with a certified strength and conditioning coach who has experience in training youth and not just some trainer who makes kids puke by overdoing it on workouts designed for NBA players.