CHILD’S PLAY

Athletics Weekly - - Performance - - Peta Bee, per­for­mance ed­i­tor

HOW and when to in­tro­duce strength train­ing for young ath­letes is an is­sue that di­vides opin­ion among coaches, par­ents and ath­letes.

I would wager a num­ber of young­sters turned up to train­ing wav­ing their smart­phones af­ter 12-yearold Cruz Beck­ham posted im­ages of him­self on so­cial me­dia bench-press­ing what looked to be a fairly sub­stan­tial weight last week. Al­most cer­tainly as a re­sult of the me­dia cov­er­age the youngest Beck­ham en­joyed, some par­ents asked coaches at our club why their child (usu­ally aged 13-15) wasn’t yet lift­ing weights.

Yet it is not the only way to build strength and should, in fact, be the only way ath­letes in the younger age groups don’t do it, as Liz McCol­gan and other ex­perts ex­plain on p40.

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