Why Youth Need Speed Training

April 30, 2017


When I was a boy, it was believed that you were born fast or slow. Born to be an athlete or to not be one. So clearly, youth are designed to be who they are. You can't make an athlete of a 9-year-old couch potato. Not entirely true say I. Here's why youth need speed training.


Genetics and Performance



To deny that genetics play a role in determining just HOW successful an athlete will be would be misguided given today's knowledge of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fiber. These fibers, you are born with. And you can't change measurably, the ratio of fast and slow twitch fibers you possess. We all carry a code (our genetic code) that does set limits on what we can achieve. 


But let's not get hung up on that just yet. With any athlete, we can logically say that they have a genetic cap to their development. However, we can also say that many fall way short of ever seeing that cap. 


That's where youth speed training comes in. Speed can be taught and improved. And who are we to say what the genetic limit will be for a 9, 11, or 13 year old athlete? As the body changes, so do the heights an athlete can reach.


Let's Get Faster



Without ignoring the fact that everyone has a cap to their development, we can safely say, that learning proper mechanics can improve our ability to do almost anything. Poor mechanics of movement leads to poor results for athletes. Proper mechanics, consistently applied can make a mediocre performer a star.


Why? Because speed is not the lone essential for sports. Nearly the only sport that is 100% measured by speed is sprinting. For almost every other sport, there are added dimensions. And those dimensions can make of for not being the fastest guy our girl on the team.


Start with Basic Drills and See Speed Increase


If we start with youth in their 9-13 age ranges, and teach them to move efficiently, as they progress through puberty, these drilled in mechanics will provide huge benefits to them over kids that have never been trained in proper mechanics. That's why I say that genetics has a limited impact on performance. Training can and often does outweigh genetics.





I'm a big fan of Grit. I've seen it take average athletes and make them stars. We all experience the high school athlete with all the talent but no heart. No desire to push him or herself to find their very best.


Grit is an undying determination to succeed at a very specific thing. Grit is something we all think we have, but few have in abundance. People with grit find a singular focus to achieve the very highest level of performance at something. Whether is be music, science, art, athletics or any other singularly minded pursuit. 


Give us an athlete with grit and they will indeed become faster, more agile and stronger through our programs. To find out more, email us: todd@crossfitstl.com or call 314-556-1547 for more information.


For more information, I'm a big fan of Elite FTS and you can find a great, detailed article on Speed Training here

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