"Youth Sport Specific Training + Keys to Training"


Vagabond Sport-Specific Training for Youth

At Vagabond CrossFit we have trained countless youth athletes since opening our doors in 2009 including children aged 5-18, college athletes, and professional athletes. Vagabond offers individual training for people looking to improve their specialty, and we also offer semi-group private training with multiple athletes. We try not to specialize in one area of sport or fitness. Instead, we prefer to focus on General Physical Prep (GPP) at the beginning stages of an athlete’s career in sport. We like to see our clients focus on not just one key concept, but a multitude of key concepts for their success within their sport.

As strength and conditioning coaches, it is our job to not break down our young athletes. We stabilize, balance, create structure, train effective movement patterns, and work on the basics, all the while structuring a plan and program based off movement patterns and physical applications from testing physical assessments. There is more to training a young athlete than just yelling, screaming, and saying, “Work Harder”. Far too often we see children over-trained, fighting injuries, or on the cusp of serious injury at an early age.

Here are some tips that we use at Vagabond CrossFit for our assessment protocol to help create a program and plan that can be beneficial and proactive for the success of our youth clients.


  1. Movement Pattern Work: We perform the Functional Movement Screen on all of our clients, from youth to adults. This practice gives us a basic understanding on what our clients can do, and what they cannot do, and how we can progress them forward.


  1. Physical Movement Assessment: We then take the OPEX Physical Movement Assessment, testing upper body, lower body, posterior chain, core, single leg, double leg, etc… to help give us more information on what each youth athlete can do and cannot do, and then we can base our program off of this assessment.


  1. 3. FMS + OPEX Assessments: After we have collected the data, then we can put together our skeleton structure for our youth clients, and go from there.


  1. 4. Structure and Stabilization: (This is from Jason Leydon of CrossFit Milford): This builds their ability to be able to handle external load, prevent injury, as well get their bodies ready for the future.


  1. 5. Training Intensities: This depends on the sport, but knowing when to illicit the right dose response in the energy system protocol. I prefer to train young athletes in the aerobic system ranging from enduro to power, and most youth will not be able to handle lactate work, since they cannot delve into the system.


At Vagabond we always start with single leg to double leg work and single arm to double arm work, basically unilateral work to bilateral work.

Do not rush your program, stay confident, and do not get caught up in being influenced by outside people.

Work in different planes of motion + teach them how to land, athletic positions, and react to jumping.

Enjoy each moment and trust in the process.