3 reasons your athlete child needs strength training

Let’s face it, we take our kid’s sports pretty seriously.

It seems like it’s a different landscape nowadays, with ultra-competitive travel teams in all sports, year-round practicing, and multiple sports being played, it’s enough to keep your schedule packed to the max. There’s very little time to fit in anything else.

However, if you’re not involved in a strength training program for your child, they are missing out on a big piece of the puzzle. Adding a strength training program into their routine can be extremely beneficial, even if it means cutting back on some of the other sport-specific activities to fit it in.

Wait… isn’t my child too young to lift weights?

Even at a young age, strength training is very important. There is conflicting opinions on when to start serious weightlifting, but most evidence suggests that you wait until after your child hits puberty, to avoid any negative response to lifting too heavy too soon. This is a good guideline, but that only applies to more serious weightlifting, using heavier loads.

“Strength Training” doesn’t have to involve lifting heavy weights, or even lifting weights at all for that matter. You can develop strength at a very young age (before puberty) using only the child’s body as resistance, also known as “bodyweight exercises”. The most common of these exercises are things like push-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups, but aside from those basics, there is a wide variety of bodyweight exercises that will challenge your child and help develop total body strength, balance, agility, coordination, and core stability.

Once a foundation of strength is developed, then the coach can start to add lighter resistance in the form of bands and very light free weights such as: kettlebells, dumbbells, and bars. The most important focus at this point is to learn proper technique to maintain the safety of an athlete while strength training. Safety is absolutely key, and that should be the number one concern, especially when we are talking about youth athletes. This is why it is important for you to hire a certified and knowledgeable strength and conditioning coach who will directly supervise the athlete to ensure proper technique at all times.

If you’re not already convinced, here are 3 great reasons to get your child involved with a strength and conditioning program:


This may be the most obvious reason of the three, but a well designed strength and conditioning training program is definitely going to translate into better performance in whatever sport your child participates in. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, your child will be better off if they have more strength. Stronger athletes are better athletes.

Power, balance, core strength, explosiveness, and speed are all keys to excelling in athletics, and a well designed program will help build all of the above. If you rely solely on the sports practice to develop these attributes, your child will be limited, because most practices consist of skill-based drills and techniques. In a strength training program, the focus will be on developing muscles that don’t get worked during regular practice. The development of total body strength will allow an athlete to be more efficient and powerful in all skilled athletic movements due to body control, power generation, and muscular recruitment during athletic movement.


Injuries are a part of all sports, whether we like it or not. It’s inevitable that injuries are likely to occur while we are engaged in athletic competition and practice. Some sports have higher rates of injuries than others, due to contact, the overuse of certain muscles, and other circumstances that may put an athlete into awkward positions. If you’re an athlete, you’re probably going to incur some form of injury during your career.

One of the biggest benefits to proper strength training is that it will greatly reduce the risk of becoming injured. While we can’t totally eliminate injuries from sports, a stronger body is more resilient and less likely to become injured while in competition or practice. A good deal of injuries are a result of muscular imbalances, which can be addressed and corrected through proper strength training with a professional coach. A good coach will assess posture and movement patterns of an individual athlete, and develop a plan to correct any problem areas. A balanced, strong body will be better prepared for the rigors of athletic pursuits.


Confidence and mental attitude play a huge role in the success of an athlete in sports. This is something that gets overlooked, but it can make a giant difference in competition. Natural ability and skill is one way to be confident in your sport, but that will only take you so far. Eventually, when you progress to higher levels of competition, everyone will be around the same skill level and it can be difficult to remain confident in yourself.

Seeing consistent progress in the gym is a surefire way to develop self-esteem. When you set goals in the weight-room, and eventually reach them, your confidence will soar. Keeping track of your progress, and looking back to see how far you’ve come, is a solid way to boost your belief in yourself as a direct result of the work you have put in. Sometimes it’s hard to measure your improvements in skill-based measurements in your sport, but with strength training, the results can be measured in exact numbers. Furthermore, the work you do in the gym should directly impact performance in your sport, giving you a boost in confidence when you see the hard work paying off.

Another way weightlifting boosts your confidence is from purely visual results. There aren’t many things more uplifting to your self-esteem than looking in the mirror and noticing muscle definition that wasn’t there before. It may seem egotistical, but if used in a constructive way, can be extremely beneficial for building confidence in yourself as an athlete. Let’s be real… if you look at yourself in the mirror, and like what you see, that confidence will translate to psychological improvements when you compete in your sport. It’s a primal instinct that works wonders for your confidence, and a more confident athlete is more likely to perform to their potential.


It’s never really too early to start adding strength training into a child’s routine, especially if they are an athlete. At a very young age, you can start with bodyweight strengthening exercises. This will develop a solid foundation to build on when they finally hit the age when they can start weightlifting. Then your child can start with light weights, and focus on technique. After they are comfortably performing the movements correctly, then more weight can be added, furthering the benefits of newfound strength.

There are so many benefits to strength training for athletes, but the key is to find a good strength coach who can teach you proper form and design a program that is right for your child athlete. A good coach will challenge an athlete physically and mentally, with the ultimate goal of developing a strong athletic body, capable of handling the challenges of their sport. If you are consistent with your workouts, the work done in the gym will pay off big time. The end result of the hard work will be a stronger, safer, and more confident athlete, ready to excel in their sport.

Don’t avoid weaknesses

I think it’s hardwired in our DNA, but it’s really difficult to accept your own weaknesses, especially when it comes to the gym. However, if you’re able to learn how to identify weakness within yourself, you will gain a better understanding on how to develop into a more well rounded athlete.

This introspective pursuit is something that is essential to make progress in any aspect of personal growth (emotional, social, etc.), and it isn’t any different when it comes to our physical development. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that you need to surround yourself by good coaches that will monitor and assess you. From those assessments, your coach can program specific exercises to combat your weaknesses and correct them.

Even with the best coaches in the world, the biggest hurdle will be your own ability to accept weakness as a part of the process. If you let your ego get in the way and avoid focusing on your weak points, you will remain limited in reaching your full athletic potential. It’s easy to focus on what you’re good at. Real progress is made when you focus on things that don’t come as naturally.

Finding a weakness is a GOOD thing.

As a coach, I get really excited whenever I identify a weakness in an athlete. It means we have discovered a path to furthering progress towards potential. Strengthen the weakness, and you’ll move with slightly more efficiency and power, making you a better athlete as a whole.

Don’t avoid uncomfortable movement patterns. Instead, focus on resolving the issue that is causing the discomfort. Target the weakness until it becomes a strength, then move on and find others. Embrace the weakness, because it will allow you to become stronger.

Do your push-ups everyday

For some reason, humans always try to make things way more complicated than they actually are. In reality, some things are just plain simple.

I get asked this question frequently by gym members and by the parents of athletes I train:

  • What types of exercises should be performed at home, on days in between their sessions, to further strength development?

The answer is very, VERY simple. So simple, in fact, that most of you (99%) already know the answer. You were taught the solution in elementary school gym class at a very young age.

The answer is so obvious, it will make you want to kick yourself.

Solution: Do Your Push-ups!

The push-up is such a common exercise that it often gets overlooked completely. Maybe it’s because they are so basic, people fail to understand just how powerful they can actually be. Truthfully, the push-up is one for the best bodyweight exercises known to man when it comes to developing both upper-body strength and core stability.

Adding them into your daily routine is a piece of cake, because push-ups can be performed anywhere, at any time. You can be at work and still get a set in between meetings. You can easily squeeze some quality reps in between episodes of your favorite Netflix show, or while you’re in the Fortnite lobby waiting for your next game to start.

It’s seriously as simple as making the decision to include push-ups as part of your daily routine. Trust me, you will be extremely happy with the results if you perform them daily.

Start with a manageable DAILY GOAL

Don’t bite off more than you can chew on the first day. Start with a small number that you are sure you can manage fairly easily (4 or 5 sets). Depending on your current strength levels, this number can vary. Here’s a very simple way to help you figure out your daily starting goal:

  • Perform a set of Push-ups to FAILURE 
  • Round that number UP to the closest multiple of 5 (ex: if you did 22, count it as 25)
  • Multiply that number by 4
  • Use that total number as your DAILY GOAL

After you have found your total daily goal number, stick to it, and make sure you are hitting that number of reps each day. It really helps if you tell people about your new challenge. Better yet, ask someone to join in on the challenge, that way you can hold each other accountable.

Whatever method works for you, just make sure that you are committed 100% to this new challenge. NO EXCUSES!

After a week, add to the Daily Goal

With each new week, you will be getting stronger naturally, as a result of your consistency. You’ll find that you are performing higher rep sets with greater ease. This means your body is becoming acclimated to the amount of push-ups, so it’s time to add more reps to the daily goal.

Don’t add more than you can handle. In fact, the number should be so minuscule that you don’t even really notice. (Maybe add 25 or so) This way, it’s not a shock to the habit you are trying to build. If you add too many into the routine at once, you will burn out and fail to establish the habit for the long-term.

Give it a shot

I could sit here and ramble on about the benefits of push-ups until my fingers bleed, but you’re not going to believe me until you actually try out the challenge.

The absolute key is CONSISTENCY. If you take the time to establish this small habit daily, you will be handsomely rewarded with amazing results.

5 reasons you should hire a Personal Trainer

Do you look at yourself in the mirror and see room for improvement?

Have you been looking to lose your excess belly fat, but really have no idea where to start?

Have you ever joined a gym, but quit after a few weeks because you lost interest and motivation?

There’s no denying that hiring a successful personal trainer is a surefire way to get into great shape. In fact, it’s the duty of your trainer to make sure you are consistently seeing results. If you want to get in the best shape of your life, you absolutely NEED a professional coach to guide you along the way.

Here are 5 reasons that make hiring a personal trainer completely worth it:

1 – Accountability

This is quite possibly the most important role of any coach. Let’s face it. There will be times where you find it tough to get to the gym. There will be days when you’ll feel the temptation to find an excuse to skip your workout. Besides, you’ve been so crazy busy lately with school/work/etc., right?

This is where a your coach comes in.

In order for you to make any progress, you must be consistent. Having a set time scheduled for your workout, just like any appointment, will enforce a commitment to your program. You will know that, in order to cancel your appointment, you will not only have to make an excuse to yourself, but you are going to have to contact and convince your coach as well.

If your coach is worth anything, he or she will be attentive to your attendance and will ensure that you make up any workouts that were cancelled with a substantial reason. If your reasons seem like excuses, or are occurring too often, it will also be your coach’s duty to discuss this with you to help better understand the issue.

All of these situations will serve to benefit you and build a more consistent habit of training. Building a solid, lifelong routine of strength training and conditioning should be the ultimate goal. Strength training and conditioning will help you get the most out of your life.

2 – Professional program design

One of the most difficult challenges about strength training is figuring out what plan or program you should follow. In a world full of social media fitness “experts”, it’s hard to skim through the sea of information. It’s difficult to decipher which exercises are best for you, and which ones are just plain garbage.

With a personal trainer, this problem is solved. Your coach will select exercises that are not only effective, but they also minimize risk of injury. There are plenty of fancy exercises that seem intriguing when you see them on Instagram. It’s your coach’s job to sift through the dirt and decide which exercises will be best for your program.

Your coach should have plenty of real-world, hands-on experience on top of a solid foundation of formal education in exercise science, physiology, and/or biomechanics. Certifications are sometimes a great way to distinguish a skillset. However, in the end, your coach’s experience needs to be more than what they learned at a weekend seminar. They should have hundreds thousands of hours under their belt working with athletes and clients. If they don’t, they need to be working as an assistant under someone who does.

This background experience and education ensures that your coach is capable of designing and executing a well structured program. This program will be individually customized to make sure you’re reaching your specific goals. A competent coach will have a plan in place every time you set foot in the facility. Your coach will also reevaluate and modify the plan when needed, making sure to keep you progressing.

3 – Guidance and supervision of technique

We all know that safety is high on the priority list (possibly #1) when it comes to the gym. If you’ve ever seen some of the ‘gym fail’ videos that circulate on social media, you have a pretty good idea of some of the more extreme injuries that could occur if you don’t know what you’re doing. On the less extreme end, if you’re not careful, you can develop some pretty serious pain from performing even the most basic exercises, slightly wrong.

If you hire a qualified and knowledgeable personal trainer or strength coach, you can be sure that he or she will be correcting your form and monitoring your technique throughout the entire workout. If you put yourself in a posture that compromises the integrity of your movement during an exercise, your coach will correct your posture to eliminate future problems. Your coach will make sure that you are performing every exercise with proper technique, which will maximize your results.

4 – Motivation during workouts

Sometimes it is difficult to find the motivation to fully exert yourself during a workout. When you’re going through a workout alone, it’s easy to skip out on exercises that are not favorable. A good coach will help you avoid these hurdles.

A strength coach will know just how to urge you on and get you pumped up. Throughout your workout session, your coach will read your body language and, if necessary, provide the right motivation to keep you moving. Everyone is different, but an exceptional coach is someone who can find out the most effective way to motivate each type of person.

There’s a fine line between a training session that is just ‘alright’, and one that feels like you gave every ounce of effort possible. If you have the right trainer, you will get the most out of your strength and conditioning program, instead of just going through the motions on your own. Coaching makes a huge difference in your results.

5 – Mentorship / Friendship

This benefit may be a little on the soft side, but it still deserves a mention as a key benefit to hiring a trainer. If you’re serious about making fitness an integral part of your life, you will need a solid mentor to rely on for advice along the journey. A good coach will be there for you to answer questions, give suggestions, and provide guidance to assist your progress.

There is a reason it’s called a ‘personal’ trainer. You will spend a good deal of time with your coach during training, so it’s really important to build a solid, trusting relationship with them. If you don’t connect with your coach, the relationship isn’t going to last very long, and the chances of success will be minimized.

During your sessions, you will experience a wide range of emotions. In my experience, personal training even tip toes the line of psychological counseling, as most clients will open up about their most personal issues during training. A good coach will be able to listen well and give friendly, empathetic advice, all while providing a killer workout.

Effort determines success

Are you giving 100%?

I want to talk a little about a broad topic that applies to basically every aspect of daily life, but is especially important in the world of fitness and performance training. The topic I am referring to is effort or the amount of work you apply to a given task. Effort is not the only key to success (in anything), but it is one of the single most important determining factors. If you’ve ever looked back on a failure, more often than not, your degree of effort is probably to blame for the shortcoming.

With the new year upon us, you (just like the rest of us) have probably set some goals for yourself. Regardless of what those goals may be, they are not going to just fall into your lap. In fact, whether or not you achieve these goals is going to depend directly on the amount of effort you have put into the process.

Here’s an example:

Imagine two identical twins who are the same height and weight (far fetched, but humor me). The twins decide to join a gym with the goal to lose 20 pounds and get into good physical shape. They follow exactly the same training program and strictly adhere to the same meal plan. Given this scenario, you would think that these two individuals will have the exact same results, right?


The only thing that is going to determine the outcome of this scenario is EFFORT. If twin #1 comes into the gym and pushes his/her limits during each and every training session, while twin #2 goes through the motions, who do you think will see more results? Sure, they will be doing the same workouts with the same trainer, but their results will completely different in the end. Twin #2 will probably make excuses why they didn’t see as much progress as their counterpart, but in reality, the effort just wasn’t there.

Don’t just ‘go through the motions’

As I said earlier, this topic applies to basically any aspect of life. Whether or not you are achieving what you want in your own life can be directly attributed to the amount of effort you are willing to devote. Just showing up is not going to cut it. You actually have to try your hardest!

Want a better marriage? Put in the effort. Want to be more financially stable? Work harder and smarter. The list goes on and on.


I could write about this topic for days and still have endless examples of how your effort directly influences your results, but I think I’ve made my point. The truth is, when you are looking to achieve something, you better be willing to put forth your absolute best effort, or else you will be left with nothing but excuses. These excuses may make you feel better about missing your goals, but underneath it all, you’ll know that you could have exerted more effort to make it happen.

Keep this in mind for your next training session. Don’t just come in with the goal of completing a workout. Instead, try to get the absolute most out of the session that is humanly possible. Don’t hold back, or worry about failing. Push yourself to your limits and results will follow.