The Timeline of a Youth Athlete – Success Story

It’s 2015, and if you don’t know the benefits of youth athlete training (for the enhancement of sport, athleticism, and health) by now then I’m sorry you didn’t find us sooner. If you just stumbled upon us then I’m glad you’re here! Below are very general benefits from taking part in an athletic development program led by experienced professionals for ages 7-13:

  • Stronger muscles and connective tissues
  • Coordination
  • Better motor control and recruitment of the CNS
  • Less body fat
  • Reduction of non-contact injuries
  • Greater force development (faster and jump higher)
  • Better overall understanding of proper fundamental movements

Not to mention the non-physical benefits such as:

  • Understanding how to set a goal and work towards it
  • Development of work ethic and self-discipline
  • Development of higher confidence
  • Practice in listening and following directions
  • Understanding responsibility and accountability
  • Introduction to healthy competition with themselves and their peers

At PSTS we’ve had the luxury to see some of our youth athletes develop into leaders at the high school level and earn opportunities to further their education, with some even earning college athletic scholarships. As the years add up, so will this number. I want to tell you the latest story about one of our athletes who just completed 8th grade.

Jack Parker chain cossack

Jack Parker first joined our Little Beast program during the winter of his 7th grade year and was a multi-sport athlete. His standing vertical was 21 inches and he showed decent enough athleticism for a kid his age. He just came off AAU basketball tryouts where he made the B-Team. After a few months of training he took some time off for his lacrosse season. He immediately came back after his lacrosse season and found he had lost some of the progress he made.

Jack committed himself to getting better and, with the full support of his parents, trained 2x/week for the next year straight. Even during sport seasons Jack made sure to get his workouts in and never missed. This consistency allowed the program to take effect and Jack progressed. There are no quick fixes in training and Jack knew it was going to take work.


Jack earned our Athlete of the Month award in October 2014

Jack earned our Athlete of the Month award in October 2014




In the fall of his 8th grade year Jack was training alongside many D1 lacrosse players who were 3 or 4 years older than him. Witnessing their attitude towards training, how they conducted themselves, and the focus they brought each day not only helped him physically, but mentally as well. It’s relatively simple to get results with athletes this age if you have some time work with them. What we did training wise, in theory, was not ground breaking. What we do differently is strict attention to detail, a no non-sense attitude, and holding our athletes accountable. Jack took everything we said to heart in the gym and out. He finally progressed to more advanced training techniques and his athleticism and nutrition greatly improved.

This year during basketball tryouts he made the A-Team and had everyone asking what he had been doing. He had more muscle and was jumping out of the gym. He had a new sense of confidence. His actual basketball skill improved as well, but what ultimately gave him the edge was his athleticism. If you physically can’t keep up then it doesn’t matter how skilled you are in the end. In the spring on the lacrosse field he was faster and more efficient at changing directions. He was also being a leader to his teammates.

When a few of his peers who were equal with him the year before rejoined the gym, Jack was outworking them into the ground. They couldn’t keep up with his pace and intensity (he did more work, with more weight, in less time and recovered faster). He also was leading by example while remaining humble.

When it came time to test his progress the results blew us away. Jack jumped a 28 inch vertical – a gain of 7 inches in 18 months! He then did a standing box jump of 45 inches – which is an exercise that takes more hip mobility than a vertical jump does. He gained over 20lbs of bodyweight and improved his upper body strength tremendously. What was even more impressive is what he did on the box squat. We only let a few of our advanced athletes his age perform this once they have demonstrated maturity and physical skill. We use submaximal weights and drill movement patterns using simple progressive overload (we add a little more over time). The video link below shows Jack hitting a 285lb squat at 167lbs and the 45-inch box jump. He’s stable and has no technique breakdown – especially with his knees or lower back. Jack collected multiple of our gym records and I don’t think some of them will be touched for awhile. 


Jack is currently practicing with the JV and Varsity basketball teams this summer as an entering freshman. Due to his training he’s physically holding his own and hopes to be dunking with ease by the season (he’s just over 6′ tall). He now trains 3x per week instead of 2x because he is hungry for more results. Because of the consistent effort he put forth the last couple years he is ahead of the game. He did exactly what he was supposed to do. Jack is one of the newest poster boys of our youth development program.

Why the long-winded story? Because of this:

  • He didn’t make excuses and he focused on what he could control.
  • He didn’t miss workouts – ever.
  • He consistently trained hard in a proven program.
  • He followed our nutrition guidelines.
  • He trusted his coaches and the process.
  • He didn’t have unrealistic expectations.
  • He trained year-round to continually get better while others didn’t.
  • He followed a program that laid the foundation for him to safely build on.
  • He didn’t follow or buy into any training gimmicks.
  • He gained confidence.
  • His parents supported his commitment and invested in a program to allow him to maximize his ability.
  • He developed positive character traits that are carrying over to life, the class room, and leadership.
  • He has stayed humble, hungry, and has set new goals.


Every youth athlete or parent could learn a thing or two from Jack’s story. Playing multiple sports year round is great for young athletes. Learning sport skills is valuable for developing overall athletic qualities. However, not developing physically and mentally in a safe and motivating environment is dangerous and detrimental. The athletes who are doing this correctly a couple times a week will eventually catch the ones who aren’t. When two athletes of the same sport skill meet, the stronger, more powerful one will win 100% of the time. Skill work and strength work must compliment each other year round for maximal success.

We have a youth program that runs year round for 5-8th grade athletes. Regardless of what sport they play or their ability level, we cater the workouts to fit their fundamental needs as an athlete. It is not designed to be a quick fix, but progress is seen relatively quickly. From our experience and results – there is nothing around our area like it for youth athletes.


It’s awesome to see Jack, and all of our athletes’, work pay off. This is just one example that we had to share. There’s plenty more where this is coming from!


-Mark Ehnis


For a free trial workout into our Little Beast athletic development program please fill out the form at