Most Optimal Way Part ll

With over 5 billion dollars spent in youth sports last year, it’s no wonder every performance coach/strength and conditioning coach is now looking towards the youth as a means to generate income. As mentioned in part I of this two part article, it is very easy to see improvements in a child’s strength and athletic performance, due to the natural development that this particular population is going through. Click here: if you haven’t read part I.

So how does a parent or coach know what is most optimal for their child’s athletic development? Although there is no guarantee that the performance coach or facility that you send your child to is what’s most optimal, below are some points to consider when seeking out a trainer or facility.

First off, make sure the trainer has a love and passion to work with the youth, and not just trying to cash in on this growing trend. The best way to find this out is by talking to parents who already have their children working with a particular coach/trainer or facility. Read any testimonials that may be available. Don’t just look for testimonials that just say “my child’s 40-time decreased”. Instead, look for testimonials that not only talk about their child’s athletic improvement, but also mention how the trainer/coach has been a great role model. Also, comments that thank the trainer for being a big part of molding their child into the outstanding citizen they have grown up to become. Remember, a lot of the physical and athletic improvements that we see in our children can link back to the physical changes that take place naturally in a child’s development.


Seek out a trainer that has a degree in child development with a minor in exercise science, a physical education degree, or an IYCA certification. Although there are many validated strength and conditioning certifications out there, the IYCA (International Youth Conditioning Association) is the only organization that certifies trainers to work with the 6-18 year old population.

Make sure that the programs are different. Elementary, middle, and high school aged athletes in general are all going through similar changes in these age groups. So the programs must focus on the skills that are best learned during certain ages as a child develops. If your 8 year olds class/session is being handled in the same manner that a 13 or 17 year old class/session, that should be a red flag. For more information on this, please click here:


Seek out a trainer who understands how to communicate and relay information to our youth. Children do not learn things the same way as adults. I have observed many trainers who get frustrated when their young athletes aren’t getting what they are saying. Instead of blaming the kids, I blame the trainer/coach. They are trying to coach them in the same manner as they would their adult clientele.

I hope this two part article has been beneficial to parents, coaches, and trainers. Although I have mentioned only four different traits to consider when seeking out a trainer or coach, sometimes it just may boil down to how compatible the trainer and child are. We all need to work together to make sure we are providing an atmosphere where children can enjoy a safe, healthy, and fundamentally sound athletic/sporting experience that will last them a lifetime. 

“Remember anyone can make you tired…not everyone can make you better.”

-Coach George

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