Youth Strength and Conditioning

Improving Your Power

As you may be able to tell, we are very excited by the Olympics at the moment, last week we explored the Olympic motto and looked at how athletes become Faster!

This motto also looks at how to reach Higher! Now although this has a double meaning (reaching for the top), it got us thinking, what does it take to jump higher! 

Firstly, it is important to understand that all components of fitness are important, and taking a phased approach to training, will drive performance outcomes, in this case, being able to jump higher.  The practice and learning new motor skills, regular strength training and plyometrics drills have been shown to improve power outputs.  So, let’s take a look at these different areas 

First Step – the Learning New Motor Skills 

For younger athletes (pre-peak height velocity), Power outputs seem to be developed with the learning of Fundamental Movement Skills. Activities such as hopping, skipping, jumping, and running are great drills to regular practice (1).

For more mature children (post-peak height velocity), and older athletes, it is recommended to combine resistance training with plyometrics, as concurrent training approach, has demonstrated improvements in both jumping and sprinting performances (2).

Then build a strong foundation with general strength training 

As with other areas of fitness, strength training can provide a solid foundation, from this foundation, we can start to develop our Power outputs. Body Weight Exercise and adding further resistance can help support this, depending on the maturity and skill level/training experience of the athlete. When using resistance training for power, start with relatively light loads (between 30% and 60% of an athlete 1 rep max) before increasing and varying the loads for trained individuals.


Bring it together with explosive movements with adequate rest between sets 

Encouraging explosive movements will recruit and drive neuromuscular adaptations.  Explosive movements can be encouraged through resistance training, but also through plyometric drills. 

Plyometric training refers to a specific exercise modality that is built around jumping, hopping, bounding, and skipping movements. They are performed in an extremely fast and explosive manner. They continually work the muscles, tendons, and feedback system through the short-stretch cycle to promote improvements in reactive strength, which has been shown to improve change of direction, speed, and agility (3).  Remember, allowing longer rest in between sets (3 minutes) can help athletes to generate the force as quickly as possible, as the velocity of the muscle contraction may be an important factor in performance outcomes (4).  


We recommend in taking a phased approach to training with youth athletes, learning new skills, develop strength through a range of resistance training, which sets a great foundation with other modes of training, plyometrics, power training and sprinting.  





Strength and Conditioning Platform for Clubs and Academies

Our Total S&C platform helps coaches to deliver a LTAD and S&C programme efficiently to a large number of athletes across all age groups playing different sports.


Our Strength & Conditioning platform consists of a Portal for the coaching team, enabling them to modify training sessions, monitor players training history, input test results and identify players who are sports ready. The athletes are provided their own S&C Player App which allows them to take control of their own training, self-test, log exercise history and track progress.

We get athletes sport ready. We reduce overuse injuries and burn out. We help to develop independent and healthy athletes.

  • Automated session generator saves time
  • Monitor athlete adherence and progress
  • Online management portal for coaches
  • Training App for all athletes
  • Testing and profiling to identify sport readiness




  1. Altinkok, M. (2016).  The effects of coordination and movement education on pre school children’s basic motor skills improvement.  Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4(5), 1050 – 1058. 
  2. Lloyd, R.S., Radnor, J.M., De Ste Croix, M.B., Cronin, J.B., & Oliver, J.L. (2016) Changes in sprint and jump performances after traditional, plyometric, and combined resistance training in male youth pre- and post-peak height velocity. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(5), 1239-1247. 
  3. Thomas, K., French, D., & Hayes, P.R. (2008).  The effects of two plyometric training techniques on muscular power and agility in youth soccer players.  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23, 1 – 4. 
  4. Young, W.B. (2006).  Transfer of strength and power training to sports performance.  International journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1, 74 – 83.