I was rereading Chi Running last week and it talked about how kids knew how to run. He talked about how they ran easy and fast naturally.
He hasn’t seen any middle school kids lately.
I was watching a class of 7th graders running their warm-up yesterday. It was about a half mile run. There were about 30 kids in the class.
Six of the kids ran well. They led the pack. It didn’t look like they were sprinting but they moved quickly and easily. When they finished, they weren’t tired and started goofing around and having fun while they waited.
The next fifteen kids or so were much slower. They didn’t run…they jogged. They plodded along but didn’t stop. Some were heavy…some were thin but they sure weren’t fast. Most of them had correctable running form problems; over extending, poor posture, swinging the arms side to side and bobbing the head. And all of them had strides that indicated they were pushing off the ground instead of lifting their feet high.
The last group of kids were doing a combination of jog, run and walk. Heavy emphasis on the walking. At the beginning they sprinted. They made it for about 25 yards. Then they walked. Then they jogged a bit as the coach yelled at them to get moving. Then they walked.
When they ran, their bodies shook, they leaned forward and moved like they were in intense pain. Most of these kids were heavy but not all. They weren’t having fun and for sure they weren’t getting much exercise because most of the warm-up was walking…slowly.
The main point of this is that kids DON’T know how to run naturally. Maybe they did once, but they don’t now.
If you send me an email, I’ll shoot you a free copy of one of my bonus books; P.A.S.S. Running. It will teach you how to run or show you how to help your kids run faster.
Whether a dad, mom, coach or a PE teacher, knowing how to help your kids run will benefit them through out their lives.
And would that be a great gift for the holidays?