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Training Elite Child Athletes: Promoting Welfare and Well-Being

Oliver, Jon L PhD1; Lloyd, Rhodri S MSc, CSCS2; Meyers, Robert W MSc1

Strength & Conditioning Journal: August 2011 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - pp 73-79
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e318216a9b6
Article

CHILDREN CAN BENEFIT FROM, AND SAFELY ENGAGE IN, PHYSICAL CONDITIONING WHERE APPROPRIATE SUPERVISION IS PROVIDED. HOWEVER, ELITE CHILD ATHLETES REPRESENT A UNIQUE POPULATION WHO ARE EXPOSED TO POTENTIALLY LARGE VOLUMES OF SPECIALIZED TRAINING AND EARLY COMPETITION AT A TIME WHEN THEY ARE STILL MATURING. THIS SITUATION CAN EXPOSE THE ELITE CHILD ATHLETE TO A VARIETY OF RISKS THAT COULD AFFECT THEIR WELFARE AND WELL-BEING AND HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES IN TERMS OF BOTH PERFORMANCE AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. THIS ARTICLE IDENTIFIES RISKS AND PROVIDES RECOMMENDATIONS TO HELP COACHES PROMOTE THE WELFARE AND WELL-BEING OF ELITE CHILD ATHLETES DURING TRAINING.

1Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Cardiff, United Kingdom; and 2Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Care, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, United Kingdom

Jon L. Oliver a lecturer in the Sport and Exercise Physiology at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

Rhodri S. Lloyd a lecturer in Sport Strength and Conditioning at the University of Gloucestershire.

Robert W. Meyers a lecturer in Strength and Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Massage at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association