Olympic Style Weightlifting for Youth Sports Performance
When we look at any sport there is one constant we always see that makes a young athlete “good” at that sport or able to generate the power necessary to be at the top of the sport. That constant is explosiveness stemming from the hips. The explosiveness from the hips can best be trained through the Snatch and Clean and Jerk.
The ability to generate power from the hips is important for both strength and speed in all sports including:
- Football, where someone is driving into another person and this power, is necessary to move fast and to overcome the opponent.
- Gymnastics and cheerleading where power from the hips is necessary to generate the strength to jump and tumble effectively.
- Wrestling where power from the hips is necessary to overcome an opponent.
- Baseball where the ability to generate the power required to drive the ball is all stemming from the hips and the ability to sprint from bases to base stems from the power produced from the hips.
- Basketball where sprinting, jumping and quick movements are the mainstay of the program.
This power is generated in Olympic-Style Weightlifting in every single lift performed as each lift has a point of peak velocity where the hips have reached a point of where they are fully extended and the power they are able to exhibit is at its maximum. This is from training these young athletes to be able to reach this peak velocity efficiently and effectively. This translates directly to their particular sport and sets the child up to be prepared to athletically dominate any sport they wish to pursue.
Finally, when we look at safety in sports many injuries are caused by overuse from training or from the various impacts we experience in different sports. Most youth do not have a weightlifting background and have not built up the density in their bones from Weightlifting based activities. Weightlifting builds denser bones, dense bones are stronger. With strong bones, young athletes are much less susceptible to injury in their specific sports. If you’re worried about the outdated theory on growth plates then read our previous post here.
If you’re looking to increase performance and reduce injury in sports specific training for your child then there is no doubt that you should add Olympic-Style Weightlifting to your child’s activities. It will benefit them with increased performance and decreased susceptibility to injuries as they train in their chosen sport.