ST. CLOUD -- In youth sports, the work you put in during the off-season can have huge benefits during the regular season.

The St. Cloud Area Family YMCA has been helping young athlete improve their skills for the last several years. The Build a Better Athlete Program offers sports-specific training through a variety of strength, speed and agility workouts.

Cathy Elness is the Healthy Living Director. She says your kid doesn't have to be in sports to join the program.

We have some kids who are not even in sports, they just come because they want to learn how to play. This is just a great program for any kid that just wants to stay healthy and get stronger.

The eight week course runs from June through August for kids ages 11 to 18-years-old.

Elness says they see many of the same kids return year after year, who have mentioned how much the program has helped them.

There are many kids who come back and we can see a definite improvement in them. They will even give us feedback saying their season was better because of what they learned, so it's really fun to see them grow.

She says because the pandemic limited so many team camps and workouts the past summer, all of their classes were full for the first time since the program began.

Registration begins in March with the program starting in June.

The WJON series "Socially-Distance Fitness" features opportunities for people to focus on their well-being to create a healthier you.

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