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Academy Players > Introduction

The Academy section applies to players within the 12 - 17 age group, whose needs and training approach differ from those of adults. Physical maturation within this group also varies which endorses the importance of supervision and safety.

Fitness development is essentially an inherent benefit of skills training and games, but for ambitious players the introduction of formal fitness sessions that focus on balance, stability and foundation strength provide an excellent starting block for performance enhancement and the prevention of injury.

Forms of training to avoid (12-17 age range)
excessive sustained exercise i.e. long distance running
high intensity plyometric training
heavy weight training
anaerobic running sessions i.e. very intensive interval running
football sessions that last longer than match duration

The key difference between adult and academy training regimes is the avoidance of maximal
lifting and high intensity training....

Forms of training to focus on
core stability drills
functional strength drills e.g. lunges and twisting movements
agility and footspeed drills
short fuel mix sessions
lifting technique
resistance training with light-medium loads or resistance tubes

The issue of injuries and influences on growth are often questioned, with particular reference to weight training at an early age. However, a properly designed and supervised resistance training program is not only safe for children but can increase strength, enhance motor fitness skills, overall health and actually reduce the chances of injury.

As with any sports or exercise program, it's important that your child visits his or her doctor before beginning a fitness-training regimen. Once your child's doctor lets you know it's OK to proceed, you'll need to make sure that your child will be properly supervised, using safe equipment, and following an age-appropriate routine.


 
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FACT FILE
Children who enjoy sport and exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Staying fit can help improve your child's self-esteem and help your teen learn to meet challenges.
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TOP TIP
A properly designed and supervised resistance training program is not only safe for children but can increase strength, enhance motor fitness skills, overall health and actually reduce the chances of injury