• Nick Kropp

#resultsbaby - 2

I have been working with Dom once a week for over two years now and he has been one of my favorites to work with. When I first evaluated him he was a stick! 11 years old and 80 lbs soaking wet. Back when I was 11 and deep into travel baseball I was probably 95-100 lbs. I believe when I finished Little League I was a little over 100 lbs. Then when I started high school I was around 170 lbs. I was definitely above average height and weight for my age, but I didn't work out. Now at 14 and entering high school he has climbed all the way up to 160 lbs! I am very excited for him and impressed by his work ethic. Not just in the gym but at home. Whether it's playing street hockey with friends or all the games and practice for ice hockey, a kid his age is burning plenty of calories. I find with kids these days they don't eat as much. I was probably the same, just not aware. Many kids wake up and skip breakfast, then eat a crappy lunch at school then whatever it is their parents make for dinner. If you want your kid to have a competitive edge then MAKE SURE they are eating square meals full of protein and healthy fats. They are young they can get away with poorer choices but don't encourage that. With how active they are they can eat plenty of carbs without the excessive fat gain. Obviously the workouts we did have helped build muscle, but he has been working out on his own and doing his part in the kitchen. Every time I see him I ask what he ate that day, what he ate over the weekend, etc. Now it's drilled into his head eat as much chicken and steak and eggs as he can.

Why is it so important that Dom went from 80 lbs to 160 lbs? He plays ice hockey. He also has an October or November birthday, I apologize for forgetting Dom! 11 years old, 80 lbs, Fall birthday. That's two huge strikes against him. The obvious one is the size. Any sport, but particularly a physical one like hockey, you size and speed and strength are going to get you noticed. If you are tiny you need an eye opening amount of skill and speed to get noticed. Many huge kids without talent have a much better chance at making All-star teams and travel teams than a tiny kid, despite skill levels. This will hinder the child's development. The kid's who grow up on travel teams playing at higher levels will have more competition and more growth. They will also have more exposure, and parents you know the more exposure your kid has then the better the chance at getting a scholarship is. Now to the not so obvious...Fall birthday.

These are the birthdays of NHL players. If you are born between January and April you have a HUGE advantage in going pro. I'll compare to my sport growing up, baseball. The cut off date for each year was July 31st. I am a September baby, and my 3 best friends I grew up playing with were born in August, August and October. From ages 9-12 we were the bigger and better players on our team. We also had a kid born in November who was a grade younger than us but just as big. Despite being a school grade younger he was only two months younger than me. If you looked at the kids born in the Spring or Summer after us, we were almost twice the size. That gave me, someone with decent talent but a big size advantage, a spot on all the travel teams and tournament teams. Didn't really matter how I played, once I made it at 9 years old, I was there for good. Now back to Dom at 80 lbs and a late birthday. The cutoff date for hockey is December 31st. January babies will be the oldest and likely most developed. If you are born in the fall you may get left behind. Luckily for Dom he has doubled in weight and is stronger than most of the kids on his team so he has been doing well on his school team and travel team.

I know I'm using statistics for making the NHL, the highest level, but this can easily be scaled down. If you have a late birthday for your sports calendar year you will have a disadvantage. If you are smaller than the other kids it will be harder to make those early travel teams or school teams. If you are not making those early travel teams then it is harder to face higher competition. If the goal is to get a college scholarship then your son or daughter will have to be noticed. A healthy diet full of protein and square meals, lots of sleep and a safe strength training program will go a longgggg way for your child.

One last note: the amount of confidence your child will gain is remarkable. That alone, feeling good in your skin and body as a teenager, is priceless. We all were uncomfortable growing up and going through puberty. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to make it less stressful for your kids. And that extra confidence ALWAYS leads to better performance in sport.

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