According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), “clinicians, coaches, and exercise scientists now agree that resistance exercise can be a safe and effective method of conditioning for children.” As long as the coach does not overload the athlete with an inappropriate load, resistance training can be an effective and safe way to create a stronger, more prepared and well-rounded athlete.
There is a myth that weightlifting at a young age can stunt growth. However, there is no scientific evidence that physical training delays or accelerates growth or maturation in boys and girls. In fact, the additional stresses to the bones of these growing athletes actually help with the skeletal remodeling and growth of their bones.
There are certain things to keep in mind when training youth athletes, such as the shifting of their center of gravity with growth spurts, muscular imbalances, and the tightening of the muscles/tendons. That being said, weightlifting is something that needs to be implemented into all youth athletes sporting regiment in order to decrease the chance of injury down the road – or even right around the corner!