Improving flexibility in young sports enthusiasts.
1 min reading time
Throughout my time coaching young people at sport, the one thing that surprises me more and more, is their lack of flexibility. Obviously, i have encountered players that have great flexibility, these have usually been the higher achievers and go on to play at District/County. Most though, are so tight around their core that doing some basic stretches are beyond them.
I would urge all coaches to either go an a core stability course or get a member of your coaching team to. It is essential to work with young players and improve fitness and skills but the flexibility and core strength conditioning usually gets overlooked. Pilates is also good to help with the strengthening of the core. We have a great Personal Fitness trainer that advises us on the best way to improve this overlooked area. It is also important to improve the core when the player is young, as it becomes a lot harder to do when older. The other problem when working on the core and trying to improve flexibility with older players, is young players are a lot more enthusiastic when learning new skills and exercises.
If you can get your coaches and players to embrace the new training routine, injuries to the hip and lower back areas will be greatly reduced. Ensure you do the exercises safely and get full training before getting your squad to try them.