In an age where young athletes train like professional athletes, expert advice and guidance is more important than ever. The field of performance enhancement has never been so busy, with much information online, some of which is not always ethical. I have developed personal training programmes with a number of young athletes to ensure they are achieving their full potential safely.

There are 4 main areas to focus on when developing young athletes. These are:

1. Risk Management

All sport involves risk, (as does no sport!), but understanding and managing the risks are key.

2. Injury prevention

Injury is very common in young athletes. Most are not serious and most are also preventable. Learning skills, movements, exercises and best practice at the onset are key tools to prevent injury in sport. Learning the fundamentals properly gives young athletes a great base to build on.

3. Nutrition

Nutrition is the bedrock of peak physical performance. Some young athletes might have a tendency towards junk food and sugary foods, like most of their peers. Good nutrition from the onset, and education on a balanced diet for athletes is key. Again, getting the fundamentals correct from a young age will greatly enhance their performance ability and health throughout their lives.

4. Goal Setting

Big goals and little goals, and little goals to achieve big goals. Elite sports revolves around goals. Designing a set of goals that are achievable, and creating a plan to achieve them, are key to athlete success. The psychology of sport is a huge area, and an athlete’s state of mind can have huge ramifications for their performance.

Designing a holistic approach to the key components will ensure maximum impact.

Competition in sport is age old. Young athletes can be filled with hormones, that enable them to train, compete and stay focused in a serious way. Their greatest strength, when it comes to sporting competition, can also be their greatest risk. This is why many parents choose to send their young athletes to experienced personal trainers like myself. As someone who has competed in the Olympics, I have all the necessary experience to help them visualise their goals, design a plan to achieve those goals, and work with them to achieve them.

If you would like to discuss your athletic programme, or that of your child’s, please complete the form below.

Here’s what Gillian’s clients say:

“I was involved in high intensity training for my sport, rugby. I found Gillian’s guidance and support helped me to get to and maintain the level required. This was especially helpful when at times I felt overwhelmed by the work rate that was expected of me.”

Robert, 17


“Gillian played an important role in Dan’s swimming success. She worked with him on core strength and conditioning. She advised him on diet, hydration and race preparation and played a key mentorship role. She was always generous with her time and supportive of his endeavours.”

Dan Sweeney, Junior U19 Breaststroke Irish Record holder