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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

Olympic style lifting

Is Olympic style weightlifting safe and beneficial for power development in children and youth players?

As S&C practitioners we are acutely aware of having effective and safe coaching methods for players at all levels of the game. Further we are always concerned that we adhere to best practice in coaching all exercises. However, there is much debate and concern about the age or stage of development that is appropriate for introducing the Olympic style lifts into the strength and conditioning programme of young players. Several authoritative sport bodies have recommended advanced training concepts such as plyometrics, periodisation and Olympic style weightlifting as safe and effective when used in youth athlete conditioning programmes (Lloyd et al 2012, Behm et al 2008, Faigenbaum et al 2009, Faigenbaum & McFarland 2008, Faugenbaum & Myer 2010).

In addition, Faigenbaum et al (1999) have noted that in some countries children as young as 8 years of age learn the technique of the Olympic style weightlifting exercises but resistance is not added to the bar until they have developed the proper coordination. Further, Chaouachi et al (2013) report that children who complete the clean and snatch lifts display improvements in speed and jump performances following a training period which are comparable to that of plyometric training and even greater than that of Resistance training.

So not only is Olympic style weightlifting deemed to be safe it has also been shown to be an effective method for enhancing speed and power across a range of ages and training backgrounds. The important common denominator however, in ensuring safe and effective practice in coaching the Olympic style lifts is that the S&C coach is present at all times and is competent at coaching such lifts or at least the derivatives of the main Olympic lifts.