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The pressure for children to excel and succeed in sport continues to mount. Although resistance training for youth was in disfavor by many organizations even into the early 21st century, children’s training programs are more closely resembling the volume and intensity of adult programs. The physiological maturation of adolescent youth may impact their response to advanced training programs. Furthermore, the pressure to specialize in specific sports rather than engage in a variety of sporting activities may affect not only training responses but also injury incidence. The highlighted articles first illustrate the training-specific responses of prepeak and postpeak height velocity stage youth with more specific training stimuli needed for the postpeak height velocity stage youth. Second, individual sports tend to promote earlier and greater specialization compared with team sports, which tend to result in a higher proportion of overuse injuries. Based on the findings of these 2 studies, the planning and implementation of high-intensity training for youth, such as plyometrics, should take into consideration the physical maturation of the child and that the prevention of overuse injuries would benefit from a more varied participation in sports and activities.
Behm is with the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.