Children of younger ages now compete in elite national and international championships and often surpass performances once thought to represent the peak of adult achievement
- As a consequence intensive training of children has become more systematised, more sophisticated, and more demanding both in terms of time and effort
- Evidence for a link between habitual physical activity and health in population-based surveys has become of increasing interest, yet in competitive sports it has been suggested that there may be a much stronger link between habitual activity (training) and outcomes such as performance and injury
- Unfortunately, where the effects of intensive training have been monitored, no firm conclusions have been possible because of methodological problems in the measurement of the frequency and duration of training periods
- The Training of Young Athletes (TOYA) study was set up to provide much needed baseline information on the physical and psychological effect of participating in youth sport following concerns that children may be over-training and at risk of physical injury or exhaustion. There is also, however, the possibility of under-training with its own attendant disadvantages in terms of achieving improved performance in sport and attaining levels of excellence. In order for young athletes to maximise their potential, whilst minimising harmful effects, it is of increasing importance that coaches in particular, but also athletes themselves and their parents, have a shared understanding of what quality and quantity of training is required and appropriate for children at different stages of physical and psychological maturation.
The lack of any agreed standards which can be used as guidelines when developing training programmes for the young athlete poses a risk not only to the health and well-being of the young athlete but also interferes with the development of potential.
Editor's comments - [ This 1993 TOYA report describes coaches' estimates of the number of hours children taking part in the TOYA study should train per week and compares them with how much training these athletes were actually doing. Coaches' definitions of intensive training are also described, and factors affecting the intensity of a young athlete's training programme are discussed. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Rowley, S. (1993) The Training of Young Athletes (TOYA) Study: TOYA and Intensive Training. London: Sports Council (GB)
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