Our high performance youth training program provides an introduction to strength, conditioning, organised sport and healthy training. It's a uniquely designed program for secondary-aged teenagers (13-17 years) that takes place in a safe, educational, practical and inclusive environment.

The youth program will not run in July 2021, but check back to participate in future holidays.

Please note: we now require asthma, allergy, medication and/or behavioural forms to be provided as relevant. These are available under About our programs.

About the program

Program coaches

Coaches of this program:

  • are Level 1 Australian Strength and Conditioning Association trained
  • currently work in high performance youth sport
  • are students of Victoria University.

Program structure

  • On the first day of attendance, all participants will undergo a functional movement screen. This test involves performing a squat, lunge, push-up, row and core exercise (i.e. plank hold) to determine safe ‘starting points’ in the gym. These movements will be with body-weight only. No weights will be lifted during this screen.
  • Each day is then structured around 4 sessions, consisting of:
    • 1 x strength session
    • 1 x conditioning session
    • 1 x organised game
    • 1 x rest & recovery session.
  • Participants will be broken into smaller ‘working’ groups to allow for coaching and feedback at all times.
  • Each day is a progression from the previous so that at day 4, each participant has grasped an understanding of movement patterns, and acquired skills in each exercise taught.

What to bring

Participants should wear activewear and runners, and bring:

  • water bottle
  • bathers
  • towel
  • lunch (or money to buy food at the campus).


The program costs $200 for the three-day program. This includes an action-back training singlet.

There are no government rebates or aftercare.

To achieve the best results from the program, participants must attend on all days. Refunds will not be issued for failing to attend, unless in exceptional circumstances (see Terms & Conditions).

For any queries, please email [email protected].

Benefits of the program

Research tells us that:

  • physical activity levels decline rapidly in adolescence (Kennedy et al, 2017)
  • only 20% of youth globally are engaged in sufficient levels of physical activity (Kennedy et al, 2017)
  • adolescents have identified a desire to try a variety of physical activity, such as resistance training.

The World Health Organisation recommends children and adolescents engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day and engage in resistance training exercise on at least 3-days per week (Kennedy et al, 2017).

By offering a program that introduces adolescents to a variety of activities that are different to typical Physical Education classes in secondary-school settings, this may help prepare them for lifelong physical activity.

At VU Sport, we think we can offer just that and give young people in our community the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence to safely engage in these activities.

Daily strength sessions will consist of practical learning and education by our qualified coaches.

Lifting of weights will only take place once the student has demonstrated correct technique under strict supervision. Exercise progressions or regressions will be determined based on each individual’s functional movement screen, and responsiveness to the progressions determined by their coach.

In short, if your child has demonstrated capacity and physical maturity to lift weight, then yes, by the end of the week they may have performed an exercise with weight.

These sessions aim to introduce participants to the fundamentals of conditioning training. This includes components of the following in a controlled environment:

  • speed
  • acceleration
  • agility
  • plyometric and proprioceptive training.

Participants may also be introduced to various talent identification testing such as:

  • vertical leap
  • repeated sprint exercise
  • maximal aerobic capacity testing.

Rest and recovery will take place at the end of each day. These sessions will introduce participants to methods of recovery used in high performance settings.

Example sessions will include:

  • warm water vs cold water immersion using mini cold-pools
  • foam-rolling
  • passive vs. active stretching
  • light and interval-based exercise.

It is highly likely that participants will experience muscle soreness. This is a very normal response that skeletal muscles have in response to exercise, movement patterns or exercise intensity that has not previously been experienced.

Our qualified coaches will monitor the intensity of each session to ensure participants are exercising within their physical capabilities and limitations. It is not our aim to over-exert or push participants beyond their capabilities. We stress that this program is an introduction to strength and conditioning, and hence new movement patterns and lifting/pushing load will result in some soreness.


The program will take place at VU’s Footscray Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

Daily sign-in is at Court 1 & Court 2, Building L, Level 1, Footscray Park Campus. Arrive at 8.45am for a 9am start.

In this program we'll use VU Sport’s Strength and Conditioning Gym, a dedicated gym for athletes, sports academies and higher-education classes. There are multiples of each equipment, to ensure practice-integrated training and learning at all times.

We'll also use the following, as needed

  • group fitness room
  • aquatic centre
  • basketball courts 
  • sports ovals.


No program is running in the Jan 2021 holidays.