Does lifting stunt my child’s growth?
This is certainly the number one question we get at THIRST when meeting new parents and athletes. This is an old myth that lifting weights will inhibit growth of children. While children are certainly undergoing growth, puberty, and still at a physically immature state compared to their adult peers, the growth plates will not be affected so long as strength and conditioning training is supervised, programmed methodically, and slowly introduced with care. At THIRST, we make our athletes earn the right to use a barbell. Children that are 7th grade and under will practically never use a barbell within THIRST’s walls. In most cases, your child will be using dumbbells, kettlebells, sleds, ropes, medicine balls, bands, and common calisthenics to improve their performance.
How will my child be supervised?
THIRST is always staffed by a professional strength coach. As such, all our coaching is being monitored by a certified professional to ensure everyone’s safety. Brandon and Adrian have the most experience in the area working with youth in the sports performance realm. We also highly encourage you to be present during your child’s training if you would like.
Won’t my child get bulky and slow down?
There has been a common concern that the youth athlete will get bulky, look like a bodybuilder, or slow down to due strength and conditioning training. This is unfortunate, because strength and conditioning for the youth athlete is one of the best things that can be done for a youth athlete. Youth athletes that have not hit puberty will struggle to put on muscle mass due to the lack of the required hormones. This doesn’t mean they won’t get stronger, quite the contrary, their strength improvement will come from improved movement patterns and neuromuscular adaptations. Improving quality movement is one of the best ways to decrease injury during sport, which is why strength and conditioning is being recommended for youth athletes. Not only is research showing how strength and conditioning will help youth athletes, but nearly every university in the country has a dedicated program for all their athletes. Ever wonder why the college athletes are so much stronger and faster than the high school athletes? Quite simply, it’s training in the weight room.
Why don’t you offer speed and agility classes?
Part of being a good athlete is being stronger, faster, and more resilient than your competitors. The number one thing that helps improve speed and agility is strength. Here at THIRST we use what is called a concurrent training model. What this simply means is that we train all the fitness qualities year-round, but emphasize what each athlete needs based on time of year, sport, and their own personal athleticism. Speed and agility training is just a part of our training system, but notice that it’s just a part. We do not offer just a “speed and agility class” because we know that for athletes to perform at their best, they need more than just speed and agility. In most cases, athletes need more general strength than anything else. In terms of speed training, we develop speed through getting the legs stronger and able to contract faster. We use jumps, throws, sprints, sleds, and calisthenics. We promise you, your child will get faster.
What is semi-private training?
Semi-private training is a model we use at THIRST to work with all our clients and athletes. Quite simply, it’s individualized training in a group based atmosphere. There is no one-on-one training at THIRST, and here’s why.
When working with athletes, we know that athletes work better together in groups and teams, and this creates a competitive environment. Athletes work hard, and cultivate relationships with other athletes they may not otherwise meet. The great thing is, they all are trying to get better. Another added bonus is that as a parent, you get an incredible training service at a fraction of the one-on-one price. This gives us the ability to influence more athletes and help develop the area’s athleticism at a better scale, while giving your child the best chance for success. In most cases, there is one coach for every three to four athletes, and many times it may be one coach to two athletes. You can learn more about our semi-private training here.
Does my child need any supplements?
At THIRST we do not recommend supplements for our youth athletes. We always first recommend that you speak with your pediatrician about any deficiencies your child may have. We recommend that most our athletes eat three to four meals per day, focusing on protein, vegetables, fruit, and carbohydrate sources. If you will need help with nutrition advice for your child, we’d love to talk with you about this when you come in.