Who can I ask about increasing sports performance for youth athletes?

Ask the directors of various local sports facilities. Many of these facilities now specialize in youth training. Once you find a professional, ask about their qualifications and experience. A qualified sports performance professional should be capable of customizing a program for the younger athletic population.
You should ask your local Recreation Dept..  Youth fitness is growing, and more and more cities are incorporating such programs into their class selection.  If your local Recreation Dept. doesn't offer this, it wouldn't be a bad idea to suggest it, especially if you have willing participants lined up.  I will be heading up a 10 week off-season cross-training camp through the Recreation Center in my town this summer.  My camp is one of two programs at the center geared toward increasing sports performance in youth athletes.  I agree with the previous post, that the youth population has special needs that the instructor needs to be aware of.  So, be sure that if you find a class, or convince your local Recreation Center to start a class/camp, that the instructor is qualified to work with the youth population.
If you are wondering about mental performance, talk to a sports psychologist. A sports psychologist job is to understand how psychological factors affect an athletes physical performance and to understand how participation in sport affects a person psychological development. A sports psychologist will help an athlete build awareness of areas that the athlete would like to improve on. Once an athlete has an awareness of areas of improvemetn in their sports performance the next steps are as follows. There are three important phases of psychological skills training: the education phase, the acquisition phase, and the practice phase. In order to develop and improve mental skills to research has shown that is important to include all three phases of psychological skills training. In the education phase a person must first identify what need they have for psychological skills training. During the identification period a person also needs to become aware of the relevance of psychological skills training and how it applies to the their specific needs. For example, a person may think that mental skills training is only for someone who have psychological issues. It's important for this person to understand how mental skills training can be beneficial and applicable in a sport and exercise setting using specific examples of things addressing that person's need and hoping to normalize psychological skills training. In the acquisition phase it's important for people to understand the range of techniques available to help address their needs and how to utilize those techniques. in the practice phase people over learn skills through extensive practice so that those skills become ingrained and automatic and people learn how to transfer those skills to their sport or exercise.

Check with a national certification agency, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine ( and find a trainer that is certified in youth fitness, youth health, or youth sports performance.

You should also look for a certified sports nutritionist, as nutrition is the building block for sports performance. To ensure you are getting a qualified professional, ask for references and proof of certification.

Also, seek the help of your child's physician in locating a reliable trainer or nutritionist to help your child meet his or her goals. Keeping your child's physician in the loop will help ensure that the standards of training are high and that your child's overall health (and not just the performance) is the number one priority.

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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.