Recommended Reading For Coaches: “Conditioning Young Athletes”

A Guide for a Young Athlete’s Long-Term Development

bompa-book“Conditioning Young Athletes” by Tudor Bompa and Michael Carrera is without doubt one of my favourite “Coaching Young Athletes” books and has probably inspired and influenced my coaching philosophies more than any other.

The first edition of this book – Total Training for Young Champions – was crucial in helping me form my ideas about long-term athletic development and the multi-lateral training of young athletes. These ideas are still very evident in my coaching today. It has also been my most-used resource for the sourcing of ideas for training program progression and training session content. I still regularly refer to the book for inspiration.

When the new and updated edition was released under a different title in 2015, I made it a priority to add to my library.

One of the book’s authors – Tudor Bompa – has personally trained 11 Olympic and world championship medalists and has served as a consultant to coaches and athletes worldwide. He has written 14 books on training methods including Periodization – Theory and Methodology of TrainingPeriodization Training for Sports and Serious Strength Training. “Conditioning Young Athletes” is quite a departure from these other titles, which obviously deal with more advanced performers.

On Page 1, in one succinct statement, we read where “Conditioning Young Athletes” will take us: “Although many coaches and instructors are competent at designing seasonal training programs, it is essential to look beyond the short-term approach and plan for the athlete’s long-term development.”

“Conditioning Young Athletes” provides guidance for training content and progression through three distinct development phases:

  1. Initiation Stage – 6 to 10 Years of Age
  2. Athletics Formation – 11 to 14 Years of age
  3. Specialization – 15-18 Years of age

The book’s  12 chapters are:

  1. Training Guidelines for Young Athletes
  2. Stages of Athletics Development
  3. Assessing the Young Athlete
  4. Flexibility Training
  5. Speed Training
  6. Agility and Quickness Training
  7. Strength and Power Training
  8. Endurance Training
  9. Excelling in Competition
  10. Fueling the Young Athlete
  11. Long-Term Training Plans
  12. Training Myths and Kids

Who is this book for?

This book is for coaches, teachers, instructors and sports parents who are involved with athletes aged aged 6 to 18, regardless of their sport.


This is a brilliant and unique book that should be in the library of all coaches of young athletes. It will provide training advice, exercises and ready-to-use programs for developing a broad conditioning base and a long-term development plan for most sports. This book has shaped me as coach and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Where can I buy this book?

You may purchase “Conditioning for Young Athletes” from Booktopia by clicking HERE.

You can buy the book from Amazon by clicking HERE.

NOTE:  There are links on this page from which Coaching Young Athletes can earn a small commission. This adds no cost to you but helps to keep this blog sustainable. I really appreciate if you do purchase through my links. Please know that I only recommend books that I use and love myself, and all opinions expressed in this review are my own. Thanks for your support. Darren

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Further reading

Check out some other resources that I recommend HERE.

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 Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Anchor or via email.

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