While it is commonly known that some children are born with athletic talent and accelerated coordination skills, it is less known that many children have a wonderful window of time in their early years when they can greatly improve their speed and agility skills. Ages 7-12 years old in particular are excellent years for training children to work on their coordination, speed and agility. Doing so will better prepare children for participating in athletics in school, which is a big factor in combating childhood obesity. Participation in sports at an early age also helps children to work on important factors in their character, such as the ability to stay committed, to work with a team, and to reap the rewards of practicing and perfecting skills. Teams help build social character and confidence; and daily activity in extra-curricular activities has proven to motivate children academically. With this in mind, you are probably wondering what you can do to help your children train their speed and agility skills during these important developmental years. Here are a few tips:
Basic Sports Drills with Reasonable Expectations for Children
Keeping in mind that your child is still young and learning, it would be helpful to set up a fun but rigorous routine for him or her to learn. It can involve running through cones in a zig-zag formation, sprints and obstacle courses. Anything that involves focus, speed and coordination will contribute greatly to their development, but make sure you are not holding them to the same expectations that you would hold yourself. Children are still neurologically developing their coordination abilities, so it is likely that they will struggle with some of the drills you have in mind. Stay positive, motivational and understanding! If your child can’t perform a certain drill, scale it back to their ability so they can be confident in what they are learning. Coordination, speed and agility is as much about confidence and motivation as anything else, so make sure your child is having fun and enjoys what he or she is doing.
Consider Youth Camps, Recreational Sports and Playgrounds
Children not only increase speed, agility and coordination when consistently participating in extra-curricular activities, but they also learn to thrive socially. In the video attached to this article, Coach Mike Gehrer from Wichita Collegiate talks about an excellent program specifically designed for developing speed and agility. The kids have fun with one another while going through basic gym drills. While consistent programs are likely more effective than playgrounds, playgrounds are highly motivational for children, and the free-style atmosphere can be a great way for kids to come up with creative ways to be active with one another.
Don’t Believe the Athletic Talent Myth
A common myth is that “some people are just slower than others” or “less coordinated or agile.” Do yourself and your child a favor by not falling prey to this myth! Be a motivator for your children and if they are currently the slowest or the least agile on their team or among their friends, let them know that they have the ability to change that. Many children are less active because they are insecure about their own abilities. Working on confidence and commitment is a great way to create a little athlete in your family.
For more information about how to work on speed and agility skills with your child, feel free to contact Coach Gehrer, Head Football Coach and Assistant Athletic Director at Wichita Collegiate School, directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Wichita Collegiate School, visit www.wcsks.com/.
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