When to Teach Running to Youth Soccer Players

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

May 29
image of running legs

What is this runner doing wrong?

As a parent or soccer coach, when do you teach your kids how to run?

Do you do it at all? Most don’t. Probably because they think the kids can either run fast or they can’t.

If they can run fast, then that’s great. If not, stick them on defense and hope they get faster as they mature.

That’s not a good philosophy to have as a coach. And if it’s your child you don’t want your coach to have that philosophy.

Running is a skill. It can be taught and it can be improved. Some kids learn to run because they run all the time. But most don’t because kids aren’t running much on their own. If they aren’t running during soccer practice, chances are they aren’t running much, period.

Kids should be taught how to run at a young age. I think six is good which is when a lot of kids start playing soccer. But it’s never too late. Running technique can be taught to middle and high school students. It can even be taught to adults.

To run well and fast takes technique and conditioning. If a team is to be successful at soccer they need to have a good foundation of running. If a kid is going to be successful at soccer they too need a good foundation of running.

Let’s be honest; if you only run during soccer practice it’s not going to be enough conditioning for success. You can’t spend all the time during practice working on technique or conditioning.

However, some time MUST be spent on it…and it needs to be done efficiently.

So as a coach or parent encourage your kids to run on their own. Teach them good running form. Use some drills to practice.

And then take them out and let them run. They don’t need to run miles and miles. The best way for kids to improve is to do something frequently. Older players might want to run in the morning for extra conditioning.

The more practice they get running and the more they do it with good technique, the faster your team will be.

And speed wins. It also makes better athletes.

One of my bonus books is on how to work on technique for running. There’s drills, exercises and workout ideas for coaches and parents to use to improve running form and speed.

Combined with the strength, coordination and agility training from the entire Athletic Skills for Soccer program your kids will be faster and stronger. And faster and stronger athletes are happier athletes.

Click the link to improve your child’s fitness and running form. T

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