Hey Coach,

My 15-year old son is playing on a travel soccer team this year, and included with the team is some optional performance training. While I understand that some gym work is necessary, he doesn’t seem to find it helpful, and just wants to play soccer. Should I require him to do to the training?
– Underperforming

Dear Underperforming,

For many of us, working out is a chore: something we should do, but will avoid at any opportunity. Yet we all understand that working out has benefits that impact our entire lives. So, we go. And we feel better for it.

But for young, active people, the benefits of going to the gym don’t seem as important. They are already playing a sport, and that is workout enough. Why should they add more to it?

Good question.

The answer is: performance.

Every athlete wants to get better at something. Soccer players want to outrun the competition, volleyball players want to out-jump the competition, baseball wants to out-throw the competition. So, performance training should be designed to get them better. When an athlete understands training will help to meet their goals, they stop skipping workouts.

At my performance center, we will not start a training program with any athlete until we do a performance evaluation and a goals discussion. Then, at each workout we will explain why each exercise will help them to attain their goal.

So, if your son has attended these optional workouts and doesn’t want to go back, there is one of two things happening: he doesn’t see the connection between the training and his goal, or the training program is not helping him meet his goal. Either way, the best fix is to discuss the training with your son and the performance trainer. See if you can get your son’s desires and his training program to match. If you can, he won’t be avoiding the training, he will be pulling you to it.

– Coach Grant

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