Youth Fitness and Sports Performance Advice…

The following is an excerpt from World  Re-known Strength Coach Mike Boyle.  Mike is highly respected and quite literally considered the best in the WORLD at what he does – prepare athletes to reach their absolute best.  When the best trainers and strength coaches have a question…they go to Mike.

Recently Coach Boyle was asked a question about strength and conditioning for a 9 year old hockey player…by the way training for hockey is one of Mike’s specialties. 

Here is the question and his response:

Last week I received the question below

Q- I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr old hockey team.
Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but it would be
something that I think could be good for my own kids as well. Is it
too young?

My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly
tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.

Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as it
has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This does
not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the off season.

Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week. Pick your
favorite that has the largest number of your friends attending and go
to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only has you on the ice once
a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t get better in a week anyway.

Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for. The best
players in the world never play summer hockey and, they never have.
The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill session lasting
one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If ice is available and
the kids can play, let them. Please remember play means NO COACHES

Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in youth
sports is applying adult values to children’s activities.

Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone in
the family

Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few
hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.

Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.

Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.

Now That is an off-season plan for any nine year old.

Step 9- repeat steps 5-8 while continually rereading steps 1-3


Just in case all of you thought is just me who approaches youth fitness and athletic development differently…did that sound familiar?

At Athletic Revolution we view youth athletic development, sports performance and general fitness as LONG TERM endeavors.  You will not find sport specific training in our facility.  What is emphasized is developmentally appropriate programming that encourages natural progressions in strength, mobility, coordination and movement efficiency.


Our classes are FUN.  What the kids soon realize is that the fun they are having is actually allowing them to teach themselves how to move better and with less injury.  The training is multi-dimensional so it addresses several different needs of young athletes.

Stronger and faster in 6 weeks is easy.  Lasting skill development that results in better performance in sport and in LIFE is our mission.  We not train young athletes…we coach young human beings.

What do you think?

Do you agree?

Do you disagree?

I want to know!


Til next time,

~Coach Dave

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