There are many coaches who desire to work with athletes at the highest level – whether NCAA, professional, Olympic, etc. – and many who achieve that dream. It is a special experience to be able to train, coach, work with these athletes and be part of a program that achieves great things, and it is understandable that any who are in the field of strength and conditioning, or sports in general, desire to work at the highest level. However, there is deserved praise that is lacking and needs to be given to coaches who work with youth athletes. While it may not be glamorous, or high paying, or televised, or make one famous, or anything that many desire in a coaching job, it is incredibly rewarding to work with youth athletes, and it also paves the way for other coaches to be able to live their dream and work with those athletes when they step into the spotlight on the biggest stage.

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When an athlete gets to college, or the professional level, they will almost certainly have developed habits that are very difficult to break. Furthermore, they will likely have physical capabilities and tendancies that will be even more difficult to break. Whether positive or negative, once an athlete is that age, they are almost completely set in whatever they have been trained in and their abilities to move, among other things. While it is possible to change these habits, it is incredibly difficult. If an individual has been squatting a certain way for 6 years, it takes an immense amount of carefully planned and thought out work to get that 18, 19, or 20 year old athlete to change that, because it is just what they are used to. Training young athletes and helping them develop good habits from the beginning makes the job of college and pro coaches immensely easier. For example, an athlete going into college who has been exposed to front squat, back squat, deadlift, RDL, trap bar deadlift, etc. has a much better chance of success (and will be much easier to train from a strength coach’s perspective) than one who has only been taight to squat. The former athlete will likely have better stregnth and mobility than the latter, and will be easier to teach other things as well, due to their higher exposure to lifts in general.

In addition to being able to influence athletes physical habits and abilities at a young age, coaches and strength coaches have the ability to shape an athlete’s non physical habits, such as motivation, leadership qualities, coachability, supportive role on a team, among countless other things. Again, an athlete going into college or the pros who is coachable, positive, and a supporting memeber of any team they are on will be a much higher contributor (and certainly a higher recruit) than the one who is quiet, does not support teammates, or is not willing to learn. In fact, it is these qualities that may even be more important than stregnth, speed, or playing ability when it comes time to recruit; obviously athletic ability and sport talent are the number one thing to be looked at, but if two athletes are level in that area, the one who is more coachable will be taken first every time. Youth athletes are much more impressionable, and even more appreciative, than higher level athletes – and the lessons that a young athlete learns will stick with them and impact how they carry themselves as athletes and people in general.

As stated before, working with children is no easy task, and it may seem that it is way less appealing than coaching a professional team or travelling the world with Olympic athletes, etc. However, it is far more rewarding to teach a youth athlete a lesson that you know is a positive impact on them, and that they will carry on into other aspects of life, and positively impact other with as well. Check out this video with Luke Rose from Rutgers Football to learn more.

STT will be in Virginia in March 10, 2018 for the 5th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development . Incredible environment to learn in. Hands-on and classroom demonstrations. Amazing food. Plus, CEUs available. Be sure to visit to see when we will be in your area.

The Basketball Performance Training program (HoopsPT) at SMARTER Team Training includes instruction to improve movement efficiency, speed development, agility, power development, and strength. The athletes participating in the HoopsPT program are closely supervised and attention is always paid to proper technique and safety. Learn more about the basketball appropriate training that has helped players at all levels when you CLICK HERE.

SMARTER Team Training wants to work with you and your team. To learn more about the benefits of training throughout the year with STT go to

When you are interested in keeping your spine healthy while still getting your squat numbers up, plus loaded dips, pull ups, and more, you need to add a Pit Shark Tall Frame to your weight room. CLICK HERE to watch the vids of how we use this training tool.

When we are asked about flooring for performance training facilities serious about providing a competitive edge for their clients and athletes, we do not hesitate. You need to check out the many surfaces that Thor Performance Products can provide. From turf, to rubber, to permanent and even portable solutions too. Email Joe Lopez at and let him know that Coach Taylor told you to reach out to him.