The more I work with student athletes, the more I realise the limited knowledge parents and their children have on the long term athletic development (LTAD). This is such a huge topic with many misconceptions hiding in the thoughts of those involved.
This 3-part article will be broken down to cover just a few topics in the LTAD model.
As a Strength and Conditioning Coach, I’ve noticed a typical trend when talking to parents for the very first time. The conversation usually goes along the lines of; “I don’t want my kids lifting weights because it will stunt their growth” and usually mention something about how unsafe it is for them. My response; “You couldn’t be further from the truth”. So, for all those reading along, lets break down one of the biggest misconceptions the fitness industry presents.
It is physiologically impossible to stunt the growth of kids and adolescents by undertaking in resistance training activities. What most parents don’t realise is the load (amount of stress on the body) that their kids face in the gym is substantially less than what they face on the court or playing field. Furthermore, the load kids experience in the gym is in a controlled space compared to the highly chaotic nature of most sporting environments. Things such as playing surface, weather conditions, collisions and impacts are all highly variable and are out of our control. Not to say kids shouldn’t be playing sport, but when parents don’t think twice about registering their children in sport poses a concern, especially when you compare the risk of injury and load placed on the body. Sport outweighs the gym every time.