Child soccer players’ perceptions of strength and conditioning training: A multi-method approach using Write, Draw, Show and Tell

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Purpose: The use of strength and conditioning training in childhood is a hot topic surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Despite scientific evidence supporting the safety and benefits of this training for children, the lack of representation of their voices poses a challenge in designing training programs that meet their specific needs and requirements. Methods: Children’s views, experiences, and perceptions of strength and conditioning training were explored by Write, Draw, Show and Tell techniques. Sixteen grassroots soccer players aged 11–12 years took part in one of 3 focus groups exploring the topic. Data were analyzed following an inductive approach enabling themes to be explored and later deductive analyses using the Youth Physical Activity Promotion model to create pen profile diagrams. Results: Strength and conditioning were frequently associated with muscle growth, coordination, endurance, and rest. Enabling factors included autonomy, resilience, physical development, and training opportunities. Reinforcing factors included social support, social interference, coaches’ communication, role models, and the ways of implementation. Conclusions: Participants favor integrating strength and conditioning into their soccer training rather than conducting it as a separate session, which is reflected in their enjoyment. Nonetheless, children remain apprehensive about Q the potential effects of this type of training on their growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(in-press)
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Early online date19 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2024

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  • children
  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • resistance exercise
  • youth physical activity model


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