Select the right training facility
This is an excerpt from Strength Training for Young Athletes-2nd Edition by William Kraemer & Steven Fleck.
When evaluating where to train, pay attention to the number and type of people who typically train during the times your child would be there in order to get a feel for the environment. Weight rooms have their own training environments, ranging from upscale health clubs to serious gyms for bodybuilders and weightlifters to places for young adults to socialize.
Be aware of the messages being sent in the training environment you choose for a child. Recently many gyms that cater only to children have popped up all over the United States; seek them out as well as the classic choice of a well-equipped YMCA/YWCA with a family environment. Many commercial venues cater to a specific market and may not have appropriate equipment and personnel available to help train certain age groups of children. You must carefully determine whether the environment is right for a young athlete. One of the worst approaches is to send a young athlete into an environment without a careful analysis of the equipment, who trains there, and the professional qualifications of the personnel.
Some fitness facilities can limit effective training of the young athlete by not having certain types of equipment. Some may not reflect any real understanding of what younger athletes need, especially prepubescent children. Many schools provide training facilities, but due to overcrowding, lack of supervision, or sole use by older athletes, they may not be appropriate for the younger child. Very few adequate training facilities exist below the high school level in most public school programs. Nevertheless, make sure the facility has what is needed for optimal training. Not all facilities are equal, even if the corporation name is the same. The addition of a parent, coach, or personal trainer accompanying each child can make for a crowded weight room in smaller facilities. In addition, when planning a home gym area make sure that the flooring, ceiling height, temperature control, ventilation, and safety elements are all appropriate. There are numerous tales of accidents involving young children who train in a poorly lit basement with no supervision. Expect the same safety standards from a home gym as you would from a health club. With children, supervision and guidance in the implementation of a workout program are vital to success.
Get the latest insights with regular newsletters, plus periodic product information and special insider offers.