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At what age should a soccer player start a conditioning program?

In general, if a child is ready for participation in sport activities (typically aged 7 or 8 years), then he or she is ready for some type of resistance or strength training. In fact, some children as young as 5 and 6 years old have experienced benefits from regular participation in resistance training. Research has demonstrated resistance and plyometric (jumping) exercise to be safe for children of all ages. However, there are several factors to consider when ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the program. First, children must be mentally and physically ready to comply with coaching instructions and undergo the stress of a conditioning program. Second, instruction and supervision should be provided by qualified adults who have an understanding of youth resistance training guidelines. Most injuries occur due to poor supervision and program design strategies by unqualified adult supervision.  REFERENCES: Faigenbaum et al. Youth Resitance Training: Updated Statement Paper From the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research © 2009.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.