Should my kid lift? Part 3; Resources for the coach and parent

As promised, here is a comprehensive (as I could make it) list of resources for parents and coaches. These are programs you purchase, free downloads or websites.

Nothing is

Nothing is

For any youth coaches out there, I highly recommend investing. For parents, your needs are a bit less well-defined, it’s really up to you. Most of what you need to know can be found in Parts 1 and 2 of this series. But this is where you can scroll through links, read more, or get some names and sites to look through for programs applicable to your kid, or coaches to follow etc.

For the full discussion of this topic, please read:

Should my kid lift? Part 1; the science says yes

Should my kid lift? Part 2: Principles in developing fitness in kids for sport and life

Resource List:

1. Pigskin Prep – The Definitive Youth Football Training Program –  Coach Burgess and Coach King

The ultimate guide to injury prevention, speed development, and strength training for the “14 and under” youth football athlete”

(the links to purchase are not working for me at the moment. So they will be up ASAP)

This is a football-specific strength and conditioning program for high school athletes in particular, but even though it is a rather niche program in title, it would be valuable to anyone working with young athletes. The programs are excellent and the writing is clear and informative. You’re getting a whole lot more than just exercises. Coach Ryan Burgess graciously offered to let me affiliate, and once I read it, and communicated with him over email, I was happy to accept, so if you do buy from the link below, I make a commission. I don’t really care if you buy from me specifically or not. In the course of our communications, Ryan gave me great tips for breaking into the youth market as well. If you are someone who is looking to get into that, PM me, and I can pass on his thoughts.


2. Youth Training 101 – Gareth and Leigh Ashton

“The DASH method for programming, session planning, and better athletic performance.”

This is a another great buy that addresses a lot of the coaching aspects and a very holistic approach to training kids, both young and more mature. It also breaks down programming very simply. Great for PE teachers, kids classes/bootcamps or training multiple groups of kids for different sports.

Free peek and purchase link here:

3. Canada Long Term Athlete Development  Resource Paper – Canadian Sports Centres

Referenced this heavily in this series, and its a free PDF download that addresses all the physical, mental, and growth factors of training children. They have excellent charts and break down the development of healthy athletes from childhood to early adulthood.

Download here:

4.) Move Theory Child Development – Dr. Kwame Brown

“Powerful, playful and practical movement solutions.”



5.) Dave Draper’s Youth Training Archive – Dave Draper

Some good stuff here from the legendary bodybuilder and athlete. More bodybuilding or basic strength based. Good for your teenage boy who wants to start lifting, or you’re scrawny hardgainer who needs something simple. Even though doing stuff on machines may not be ideal for sports etc, it’s often a good starting point for basic muscle development. Just make sure no one misses leg day eh?


6.) The International Youth Conditioning Association – Founded by Brian Grasso

“The main purpose of the IYCA is to assist in the evolution of the youth athletic/fitness industry by regulating the knowledge and skill of the individuals who work within it.”

Lots of resources here, as well as certifications for working with youth.


7.) Never Gymless – Ross Enamait

This is a book, and a good buy for routines that you can do at home for strength and conditioning. Not geared to youth per se, but I like that it involves plenty of bodyweight and simple equipment. Ross’ approach to getting strong is minimalist, hardworking and smart. He has kids of his own, and often blogs about the importance of conditioning their attitudes towards physical health, exercise and a love of being strong and active without all the fuss.


8.) SPIDERfit Kids – Physical Literacy for a Lifetime of Movement

“The primary goal of the SPIDERfit program is to address the problems associated with the growing lack of physical activity and the dangers of sports overspecialization. By reeducating our children in the fundamentals of movement, we create physically literate youngsters with the tools to be active, healthy, and pain-free for life. Through simple, targeted, universal movement assessments and stratified interventions, youngsters sweat, smile, and grow smarter through strategically designed physical activity– which is presented as play! We have created an easy to follow blueprint for fun, developmentally appropriate exercise that fits a variety of physical activity arenas– including classrooms, sports practice, the gym, and home– to name a few.”


9.) Coaching Children, Sports Science Essentials

This is a textbook that was recommended to me. I have not read it personally, but respect the opinion of the person who recommended it!

“Everyday questions and answers include: At what age should children specialize in a particular sport? Do sports drinks enhance children’s performance? Should children do weight training? How often should children train? Focusing on effective communication strategies with children and their parents as well, each chapter includes a list of insightful reflection questions. Coaches are encouraged to consider their technique, style, and approach, applying scientific knowledge to motivate children in all aspects of training and competing in sport.”

Buy here:

This is not comprehensive by any means. There are Youtube channels, blog posts etc. If you have someone to add to this list, do so in the comments!


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