Youth Sports and Fundamentals

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Dec 05
Image of field hockey player

Are kids ready for youth sports?

This is an excellent article about the importance of teaching movement fundamentals to kids.

I’m not sure why it’s excellent. It says the same thing I’ve been saying in my blogs and writing for the last seven years. Maybe it’s just nice to read about someone else supporting me for the same reasons.

Kids are coming to PE class and sports teams without the fundamental skills and abilities needed. Not needed just to succeed on the athletic field, but also to prevent injuries. And needed to go on to being healthy and fit adults.

The problem is that too many kids get less than twenty minutes of active movement a day. (That’s just my estimate. It could be less.) As humans we are used to being active most of the day. Even the “Play 60” movement doesn’t provide enough movement experiences.

If left to our natural instincts of being outside and playing with other children, most kids would get the natural experiences needed to develop their bodies.

They would learn to run correctly. They would be strong enough to climb trees, jump fences and throw rocks.

Their muscles, bones, ligaments and joints would be ready for real world. They’d also be ready for little league, youth soccer, swimming and football.

But they aren’t.

If you’re a coach working with any youth sports team at any level you need to start developing all of their athletic skills.

Even if you’re coaching kids at an elite level, there’s a good chance that many of your kids won’t have the fundamentals either. Even if they are the fastest kid on the team and have lightening moves there’s a very good chance their bodies aren’t really ready for sport.

They may be great on the team but their specialization will increase the likelihood of injury.

I believe that by spending practice time developing their athletic skills you will have three very positive effects:

1. They will become better athletes and performers on the team.

2. They will be less likely to be injured especially from overuse injuries.

3. They will be healthier and fitter adults.

Spend ten to twenty minutes every practice to work on strength and balance. If you don’t have that much time, incorporate it during your practices.

If you still don’t have the time, give some exercises every night as homework. Encourage the kids to practice and play on their own.

They will thank you. So will their parents. And their teachers.

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