Over recent years, many sports scientists, physiologists and health professionals have been concerned with the effects of intensive training programmes on fitness levels of young children. Much of the debate has centred on whether such programmes increase the child's level of physical fitness or the observed increases are merely due to the effects of growth and maturation. In parallel with this scientific debate, many parents and coaches have also expressed concern about whether intensive training before puberty has adverse effects on the child's rate of growth and maturation. The increasing number of youngsters engaged in physical training has stimulated this debate which has in turn led to the identification of the risks and benefits of intensive and repetitive exercise in growing children.
Although the last decade has witnessed a fitness revolution in the adult population, recent studies in this country have shown that although children are still as 'fit' as they ever were, they seem to engage in very low levels of physical activity, and this is a cause of continuing concern'.
This report examines the effects of intensive training on physical fitness, concentrating on four main areas:
- body composition;
- cardio-respiratory fitness;
- muscular strength.
Editor's comments - [ This 1993 TOYA (Training of Young Athletes) report analyses the growth and maturation of young athletes and, where possible, compares them with the growth of young people not engaged in intensive training. Rates of maturation are also compared between sports. Finally the report describes the effects growth and maturation have had on the young athletes' level of fitness. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Baxter-Jones, A. (1993) The Training of Young Athletes (TOYA) Study: TOYA Physical fitness and growth. London: Sports Council (GB)
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