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How frequently and for what duration should younger athletes be training?

For young kids, organized training once or twice per week for no more than an hour, is acceptable. The focus of training should be to build health and not to build a sensational athlete. As the athlete matures, training frequency and duration may increase gradually as the demand of the sport and the individual's preferences dictate. The majority of pre-pubescent kids should focus on playing versus training. Training structure should be loose, but not unruly. Kids need to experience the fun of sports before they experience the demands of high-level competition. Too many kids become over worked early in their sports "careers" and lose interest or stop participating prior to going to high school. While training the body to meet the demands of sport is important, so to is the overall health of young athletes.

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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.