Eccentric resistance training (ERT) in youth is advocated for aiding performance and injury risk. However, research investigating the applied practices of ERT in youth is in its infancy. In this study, we surveyed the perceptions and practices of practitioners utilizing ERT in youth to provide an understanding of its current application in practice. Sixty-four strength and conditioning coaches completed an online survey reporting their current use of ERT in youth using both open and closed questions. Coaches deemed the inclusion of ERT important in youth with its inclusion based upon factors such as maturation status, training age and strength levels. Coaches also displayed an awareness of the physiological responses to eccentric exercise in youth compared to adults. ERT was primarily used for injury prevention, with the majority of coaches using body-weight and tempo exercises. Furthermore, utilizing eccentric hamstrings exercises was reported as highly important. The frequency of ERT tended to increase in older age groups and coaches mainly prescribed self-selected rest intervals. Finally, the need for further research into the training guidelines of ERT in youth was highlighted, in which coaches require more information on how maturation influences training adaptations and the fatigue-recovery responses. Coaches emphasized the importance of including ERT for both performance and injury prevention factors in youth although further research is required to generate practical guidelines for coaches in order to support its inclusion within practice.
- long-term athletic development
- training prescription
- injury prevention
- strength training
- youth athletes