Endurance in Young Athletes: When and How to Train Your Kids
Practically all sports require athletes to have a certain amount of stamina and endurance. Sports like football, basketball, baseball, and soccer will demand that you run up and down a field or court. An athlete who gets winded in the first 10 minutes of the game will likely not have the ability to make it through the entire game.
Fortunately, strength, stamina, and endurance are all things that you can build. Over time, you will notice that you can play for longer and not feel fatigued early on.
If you have a 5- or 6-year-old child who is participating in competitive sports and you notice that they are getting tired easily, they may need to help them build their stamina and endurance. However, before anything, get them checked up for a sports physical by their pediatrician to ensure there aren’t other reasons why they get tired easily. Some kids may suffer from nutritional deficiencies, or there may be other factors at play.
Once your child’s doctor gives you the go signal, you can help them build endurance. Here are some ways that you can encourage your kid to increase their stamina and endurance without making it feel like extra practice or drills:
Because most sports involve a lot of running, a good place to start would be to get your kids into running. The best part is that you can join them. Go for runs around your neighborhood, and you may even want to bring the family dog along. Start slow. Build endurance by starting with a 15-minute run and work your way up to a 30-minute run. Make it fun by changing up the scenery with different trails. And you may want to finish the run with a race to the house.
Play Longer and Harder
There are dancing video games that only look like fun but in reality, can give you quite the workout. In fact, many adults are using these dancing games to lose weight and get fit. For you and your child, it’s a playful way to get active and build endurance. And because you’re following dance moves, it will also develop their coordination and agility.
Take them to parkour facilities or trampoline parks. These places are absolute fun but surprisingly, require you to have a lot of stamina and endurance. The more you play with your kids, the more you’re actually helping them improve their capacity to last in competition longer.
Circuit training should be reserved for older kids or teens who are keen on improving their athletic skills. Circuit training can be too “hardcore” for young children. This type of training will take your child from one exercise to the next with brief breaks in between each activity. Here are some exercises you can incorporate in their circuit training:
- Shuttle runs
- Let lifts
- Jumping over hurdles
- Jumping jacks
All these exercises will push your child to move harder in order to last longer. Start them slow and encourage them to level up when they’re ready. Older kids who are determined to improve their athleticism will have no problem with the dedication it takes to make it through circuit training.
When it comes to stamina and endurance, it’s always best to assess your child’s level of interest in the sport. Some might find the stamina and endurance training too intensive, and it might make them resent the sport. As the parent, it’s up to you to think of creative ways and activities that can help build up their ability to last longer and overcome fatigue.
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