Too Young to Train? When should children begin structured performance training?

When should my child...? Is my child ready to...? I'd like my child to work on... 

Those are some common lead-ins to the ultimate idea of: "My kid is pretty young (6-9 years old) and I am seeing a need for some formalized performance training. Am I crazy? Can you do this? Is it safe?" Are sometimes the follow-ups.

Yes, children in that age range can absolutely start a structured performance training plan. It is safe. However, unless your child has a real need or is super motivated for structured training, I would encourage you to try gymnastics, parkour, or other sports before committing to a performance plan.

What and who should you look for?

Look for a facility that specializes in training for children under age 10 or 11. And look for staff members and coaches who have lots of experience working with young children. 

Look for a big emphasis on fun, guided discovery, and inquire about how the structure changes from age 6 up to age 10 or so.

Generally, females aged 7-8 are ready to start as they have the mental focus and body control for a full training session. For boys, usually it's age 8-9 when they are ready.

The sessions do not need to be a full hour - probably around 45-min is ideal. Because this is not a sport with breaks for talking about strategy and technique, the sessions can be very tiring because they are so focused.

Here is a sample template that can be used for any young child (scaled appropriately):

Sample performance training template for 6-9 year old children.

Sample performance training template for 6-9 year old children.

With some common sense applied to these sessions (mostly remembering the trainee is a very young child), they will be fun and productive for everyone.