When I was in sports growing up in middle school and high school, I signed up for every strength and conditioning opportunity that I had. Unfortunately, at the time there weren’t as many available as there are today. Here is what I learned in college and beyond that I wish I would have been taught or known so that I could implement them at a much earlier time in life.

My goal today is to share my experience on what I would do if I could go back and start training at the optimum time and what I would do in those years, and how frequent I would do it to give myself the best chance for optimal development.

Age 12 to 14:

2x/week Strength and Conditioning

-Foundation using the weight room

-Learn to move efficiently

-Practice jumping/landing correctly

-Accelerate and Deceleration Mechanics

-Have fun training and see fast progress

At this age you see great steady progress, and you get instant feedback on what the hard work will do for you.  Building a routine that you want to have later in life is important to build now, and you will have a great foundation of strength!

Age 15+16:


-Build Speed

-Build Muscle

-Increase frequency

-Build Work Capacity

-Train coordination

At about the age of 15 or 16 depending on the athlete, the athlete might start to go through a growth spurt and at that point when the body is stretching we’re going to change your focus from just building general strength and learning how to use of a room to speed and coordination training because as the body is stretching, it becomes very elastic and it’s a great opportunity to start building some speed. 


Age 16+:


-Build Strength

-Develop Power

-Continue building speed and coordination

After the growth spurt around 16 to 18 you may have peaked in your height. This is a really great time that we can focus heavily on strength and muscle building.  You will start to see the weight on the bar move up progressively at this stage. The more strength you have the bigger foundation for Power you have.  Learn more about the Essentials of Power Development on another blog here!

At this time I recommend that an athlete consider doing four times a week of training. We can do split upper/lower days twice a week to give adequate volume for optimal strength and size gains.

400 Training sessions vs. 300 is going to make a big difference in your development.

In-Season Recommendation

Every year up to your Junior or Senior year, it is really more important to focus on development.  Train right through the season, act like it’s just another day.  You will be surprised how good you feel!

We discuss Power in a series of videos on Instagram (find episode 1 here!)