4 Things I Believe About Coaching Kids

Training Content Guidelines For Coaches of Young Athletes

Coaches need to be guided by some core beliefs, philosophies and principles for their program to be strong, consistent and effective. Having these “pillars” provides clarity to your program and content parameters for you to work within. It helps you to decide exactly what activities you will include in each session.

Four of the principles that have for many years guided my coaching of young athletes are:


High cadence activities of short duration (less than 10 seconds) should be emphasized prior to puberty. E.g. Short standing or flying sprints (5-40m), shuttle relays, games requiring short bursts of speed, “quick foot” movements, and other activities that require rapid movements of the feet, legs and arms.


Prior to puberty, athletes should participate in general aerobic endurance activities of moderate duration that the child can accomplish without their technique breaking down. Use running games, aerobic circuits, etc, rather track work for endurance at this age.

Anaerobic Lactate Training

Activities that result in the build up of high concentrations of lactic acid should not be a part of the program for pre-pubescent children. Training should never “hurt”.

Training Bias – Technique

Coaches of young athletes should concentrate on fundamental movement skills, some sport-specific skills and strength development through challenges, games and fun activities.

Getting ready to step through a quickfoot ladder

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Do you agree? What are some of your core beliefs about coaching young athletes? What “pillars” guide your coaching? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the contact details below.

Further information


Recommended Reading For Coaches: “Conditioning Young Athletes”

Online courses:

Complete Youth Training by Athletes Acceleration

CYA Membership Email

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Anchor or via email.

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One thought on “4 Things I Believe About Coaching Kids

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