Young Pubescent Sports Conditioning Outline

Athletic Formation Stage (~11-14 year olds)

General Information

Young Pubescent

  • Train for anatomical adaption rather than physiological improvement
    • Training should continue to be enjoyable and should not be painful.
    • Child should not be pushed but should be permitted to experience mild discomfort on occasion.
  • Boys and Girls train separately since boys become stronger and faster than girls

Motor Skills

  • Advanced hand-eye coordination
    • Ball throws, ball catches, ball hits, rebounding ball catches
  • Limbs coordination
    • Skipping rope, ball throws and catches
  • Advanced spatial orientation
    • Skipping rope, backward roll, scissors-kick handstand, cartwheel
  • Signal analysis and reaction to stimuli
    • Handstands, ball exercises with partner, games
  • Advanced hand-eye coordination
    • Jumps with turns and throws, games, relays
  • Deload 1-2 workout(s) on 3rd week of month
    • Half time spent on skills
    • Utilize low intensity motor skills


  • Progressive Weight Training
  • All experience levels (early preparation)
    • Warm-up: 50% workout weight
    • Workout Weight: 8-12 Rep
  • < 1 year training
    • Regular weight training
    • After early preparation period:
      • Split program with optional multiple workout sets
      • Additional workout set is optional on and after 3rd week
  • > 1 year training and at least early preparation weight training Program (1 month)
    • Split program with undulating workloads: 10/6 Reps
  • Choose new exercises beginning of every month
  • Deload 1-2 workout(s), first workout(s) of month
    • Approximately 75% of estimated workout resistance
    • If > 1 year training, perform half number of sets on heavy day
    • Enhances recovery and encourages learning proper form for new exercises


  • Begin Competitive Phase
  • Plyometrics
    • Throws: Medicine balls, tennis ball, baseball
      • Alternate arms for balanced development
    • Low Impact Jumps on, off, and over low and safe equipment
    • If < 1 year training
      • Work up to Low-Medium Intensity Plyometrics
    • If > 1 year training
      • Implement up to Medium Intensity Plyometrics
    • Options
      • Program for Plyometrics once a week
      • Program for Plyometrics twice a week, alternating between lower and higher Intensity Plyometrics
  • Early Competitive Phase
    • if needed, begin progressive component lifts (see sample Progressions) to learn Olympic-style Weightlifts
      • If >2 years of training
      • If Olympic-style Weight Training will be beneficial to chosen
      • Or if athlete has not yet chosen to specialize in sport
    • Three component lifts per workout
      • Cycle to new progressive component lifts each week
      • Example
        • Week 1: Deadlift, Hang Pull, High Pull
        • Week 2: Military Press, Push Press, Split Jerk
        • Week 3: Shrug, Hang Jump Shrug, Jump Shrug
  • Late Competitive phase
    • Graduate to Hang Power Clean
    • Subsequent months, try other variations of the Clean & Jerk
  • Deload 1-2 workout(s), 3rd week of month
    • Lower intensity exercises or no power movements
    • Either do not perform or spend half time performing power movement with Motor Skills Training

Speed & Reaction

  • Work on running form
    • Mechanics, arm drive, leg frequency, etc.
  • Activities
    • Relays
      • 4-6 x 10-30 m, 2-3 min rest interval
    • Sprints
      • Teaching running technique
      • Progressively increase sprint distance from 20 m to 50 to 60 m
      • 5-8 bouts with 4-5 minutes rest
    • Reaction Drills
      • Children initiate sprint or movement upon cue
        • Auditory: Clap or whistle
          • Progress to sound only with coach behind children
    • Perform game specific skills fast
  • Rest interval as long as necessary for almost full recovery
  • Deload 1-2 workout(s), 2nd week of month
    • Half number of bouts


  • Teach proper form
    • Continue to assess and provide feedback and training
    • Focus should be learning skills involved in drill rather than quickness and fast feet
  • Begin drills during Late Preparatory phase
  • Obstacle courses
  • Simple Agility Drills
    • Slalom Jump & Sprint, Scissor Splits, Crossover Steps, Ladder, Agility Wheel, Over-Under Bridge Relay, Explosive Cone Drill
  • Sample workout
    • Zigzag, stop & go, slalom patterns, quick turns
      • 5-10 x 5-25 m, rests of 2-3 min
    • Reactive agility drills
      • Point or visual signal
  • Typically, agility work is performed early in workout
    • In later preparatory phase, agility drills can be placed at end of workout to train quickness and reaction under conditions of fatigue
  • Deload 1-2 workout(s), 2nd week of month
    • Half number of bouts

Cardio / Endurance

  • Teach proper running technique
    • Athlete should only run distance or continue bouts as long as running technique or skill is correct.
  • Find ways to make enjoyable and interesting
    • Vary distance and terrain
    • Arrange a fun course
  • Activities
    • Play & Relays
      • 40-200 m, medium to fast speed
      • 3-4 bouts with variable rest interval
    • Interval Training
      • 200-400 m, medium speed
      • 3-5 bouts (lower number for 400 m)
      • 2-3 minutes rest interval or near full recovery
    • Aerobic Activity
      • 800-2000 m
      • Medium and steady speed with slight discomfort at times
      • 1-3 bouts with 3-5 min rest interval
  • Deload 1-2 workout(s), 4th week of month
    • Half amount of time spent during cardio training


  • Dynamic warm-up before speed, agility, sports practice, or competition
  • Correct deficiencies in Functional Movement Screening (FMS) at end of workouts
  • Perform weight training exercises through full range of motion.

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