How Young Athletes Can Train for Multiple Events
Training as a “multi-eventer” can be fun and interesting for a young athlete. Practicing for a number of different events is also good for their long-term athletic development. Many coaches believe that such an approach will:
- Make a young athlete less susceptible to injury.
- Result in a higher degree of coordination.
- Result in an athlete who, as they get older, is capable of adjusting to more stressful training loads.
Concentrating on just one event while young (or “specialising”) may actually limit overall skill development compared to experiencing a wide range of skills and events.
Some young athletes may want to train as multi-event athletes with a view to competing in multi-event competitions in the future. If so, it is worth understanding that a multi-eventer can never train for an event as an event specialist can. Time limits and other factors may prevent a multi-eventer achieving technical perfection in any of the events. The athlete is aiming for a reliable technique that suits them in each event.
Should all young athletes train as multi-eventers? Have your say via the poll at the end of this post.
Tips for Training as a Multi-Eventer
- Young athletes should aim to do one run, one jump and one throw in every training session (20 minutes on each event is a good guide).
- Plan to include some type speed work in every session. This may include starts, accelerations, maximum speed, agility, quickness, etc.
- Choose 2-3 technical points that contribute most to the outcome of each event. Focus on and work hard at these.
- A young athlete’s weaker events should dominate their training attention. Never abandon an event; try all techniques.
- Never ignore a young athlete’s best events. Maintain and refine them.
NOTE: A young athlete may not be able to do all events in a week. There are usually events that an athlete likes best and wants to spend more time on. By all means, a young athlete should train for their favourites, but never at the expense of ignoring their weaker events in the hope that they will go away or come good in competition.
What are your tips for multi-event athletes?
Do you have any tips for training as a multi-eventer or coaching a young multi-event athlete? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.
Have your say
Darren 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 Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or via email.