Volleyball Strength Training for Kids
Should kids lift weights for volleyball?

The idea that volleyball strength training for kids is "dangerous" is a common myth in sports training. It's simply not accurate to believe weight training is dangerous for growth plates provided that appropriate guidelines are followed.

Many Benefits to Youth Volleyball Strength Training for Kids

Weight lifting will improve volleyball performance, increase muscular endurance, and enhance bone strength.

In fact, playing typical sports such as soccer, baseball, and football place far more strain on the structures of kids than does a well-executed lift.

"Stresses imposed on the body by common sporting activities such as running, jumping and hitting generally are far larger (by as much as 300%) than those imposed by Powerlifting or Olympic Lifting." - Mel Siff

Strength Training for Kids

Machine-based Strength Training for Children

Clinical evidence has shown that isolated strength has increased from doing machine-based strength training, which can be seen as a positive.

However, it has also been determined that machine-based strength training does not positively impact coordination or movement skill - something that's extremely crucial for young athletes.

"Epidemiological studies using bone scans by orthopedists have not shown any greater incidence of epiphyseal damage among children who lift weights. On the contrary, bone scans of children who have done regular competitive lifting reveal a significantly larger bone density than those who do not lift weights - In other words, controlled progressive competitive lifting may be useful in improving the ability of youngsters to cope with the rigors of their sports and normal daily life". - Mel Siff in Facts and Fallacies of Fitness

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Volleyball Strength Training Kids

Basic Guidelines for a Children's Resistance Training Program

The possible dangers involved in volleyball strength training for kids are related to inappropriate exercise demands placed on the child.

If implemented properly, resistance training is one of the safest physical activities, and the benefits to the young athlete far out weight the risks. The following points are essential to having a safe and successful program for your child.

  1. Proper program design. Don't impose a program designed for adults on a child. Work with a professional to design a program that fits the individual needs of your child within her own lifting abilities.

  2. Supervision by a knowledgeable adult. Supervision is required at all times, by either a parent or coach, to help prevent injury and overexertion.

  3. Better physical preparation to prevent sports-related injuries. All athletes should participate in a general strength-training program. Athletes who are 14 to 16 years old should also include training based on their individual sport.

  4. Physical and emotional maturity. A child must be mentally and emotionally ready to under go the stress of exercise training. As with any sport or exercise program, the child should have a thorough physical exam by a physician.

  5. Ability to follow directions and perform exercises safely and with proper form. Programs should provide proper instruction and gradual progression in exercise stress. It's important to teach children the difference between "good pain" and "bad pain". Good pain is the natural feelings related to fatigue and being tired in your muscles and body. Bad pain is the sharp pain related to injury or trauma to the joints, bones, or muscles.

  6. Realistic goals. Select the goals that are the most appropriate to your child's situation and focus on long and short-term plans of obtaining them.

    Examples of goals...
  • Improved muscular strength and power

  • Muscle-size change (little or none in younger children)

  • Improved local muscular endurance

  • Positive influence on body composition

  • Improved strength balance around joints

  • Improved total-body strength

  • Prevention of injuries in sports

  • Positive influence on sport performance

  • Improved self-confidence

Volleyball strength training for kids can be fun. Resistance training should be part of a total fitness program that changes as the child's goals and needs change throughout life.

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