When a child participates in sports, developing their speed is critical. Many children would like to run faster simply for the sake of it, or to achieve a personal goal. Teaching children to run faster boils down to helping them develop good form and making sure they have fun while doing so. Keep track of their progress so they don’t lose motivation, and don’t forget to run alongside them!
Method 1 Teaching Good Form
1. Jumping exercises are a good way to warm up. Jumping can assist children in developing the muscles required to be strong runners. Before you start running with the kids, have them do some jumping jacks or use a jump rope.
2. Examine their form as they run in place. Ask the kids to run in place for five seconds as fast as they can. Examine their form to see if they have any flaws. A good sprinting form entails:
Pushing with the front foot.
Leaning forward so that the feet are behind the hips, and the hips behind the shoulders (also known as the triple extension).
Keeping the torso vertical.
Holding the head still and relaxing the face.
Bending the elbows at right angles.
Keeping the arms close to the sides as they pump up and down.
Lifting the front knee high while straightening the back leg.
3. Demonstrate proper technique to them. If you notice any problems right away, let us know. Then, run in place with the children. Mention how you’re using proper form. They can observe you to see how you do things correctly, and you can observe them to see where they can improve.
4. Assist the children in visualising how good running feels. It makes a big difference to give kids little reminders of what to do while running. For example, instruct the children to imagine their feet pushing their hips forward. This helps them remember that the majority of their sprinting force should come from their feet pushing away from the ground.
You could also instruct the children to run while holding a bird in each hand. They will remember to keep their hands closed but not clenched this way.
5. Provide them with verbal cues. Make sprinting practise for the kids. As they run, remind them to concentrate on the aspects of form that they need to work on in order to improve. As an example:
If your child isn’t swinging their arms wide enough, call out “Hip to lip!” as they run. That will remind them to swing their arms all the way up toward their face from the sides.
If a child isn’t lifting their legs high enough, yell, “Knees up! Knees up!”
Method 2 Keeping them Motivated
1. Make a running goal for yourself. A child will only improve if they want to. Check to see if a child is truly interested in learning to run faster, and talk to them about why they want to. Then, decide on an appropriate goal.
For example, if a child participates in another sport, such as basketball, he or she may be interested in running faster in order to improve their performance. Remind them of this on a regular basis.
Set goals that emphasise progress rather than victory. Aiming to cut a second off the 40-yard dash is a more manageable goal than winning the state championship.
2. Maintain a record of the children’s progress. For example, you could keep a graph or chart that tracks the kids’ 40-yard dash times over the course of six months. If the children can see how they’ve begun to improve, they’ll be more motivated to keep trying and making progress.
Keep track of the kids’ progress by timing them during drills.
3. Don’t put too much pressure on them. It takes time to learn how to run faster. It takes time and a lot of practise. If you push children too hard or try to rush them through their training, they will become discouraged and will not improve. Instead, concentrate on making small steps forward through consistent practise.
Sprinting should only be done 3-4 times per week. If a child practises too frequently, he or she may become exhausted.
Mix up practise sessions so that some days are devoted to sports that require a lot of running, such as soccer, football, basketball, and kickball. This also makes practise more enjoyable!
Weight lifting, yoga, and swimming are examples of complementary activities that can help with overall athletic development. However, if you want to improve your running speed, you should prioritise activities that allow you to sprint.
Method 3 Making Running Fun
1. Incorporate games into your practise sessions. Drilling over and over again becomes tedious and demoralising. Fortunately, sprinting can be easily incorporated into a variety of games. For example, gather the kids and try things like:
An old-school game of tag.
A relay race.
A game of “Red light, green light.”
2. Make time to participate in other sports. Running is an important part of many sports. Even if it isn’t technically sprinting practise, getting the kids some run time in something like soccer will help them improve. Furthermore, changing things up keeps everyone interested. Running opportunities can be found in the following sports:
3. Take the child with you. A coach is not required to simply stand on the sidelines. Getting out there and running with the child provides moral support, demonstrates that you are willing to work hard as well, and is a lot of fun. You can, for example, run drills or play games together. You could even run a race together if the child is interested.
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