Updated: Mar 7
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, ‘How should I approach this pre-season with my child?’
If it’s not that, at some stage Parent’s will mention the words ‘Pre-season’ for their child.
Let me start by clarifying something… At no stage… no stage (yes, that’s not a grammatical error) should any child/youth be preparing or partaking in a pre-season?
… Pre-seasons are for Adults and should be saved just for that.
The no.1 goal for a pre-season is to prepare the body to be adequately endure the demands of a sporting season- regardless of the level. I know right, even the all-age local football team could do with a little prep for those hammies or better yet, baby cows! :)
Then again, the beers or vino’s after the early adult pre-seasons are probably just as reassuring.
As a child/youth, the body is yet to reach its full maturity. Issues we as adults have, are non-existent in their world! And yes, I’m talking from a physical perspective not ‘adult problems’.
The only problem is as adults we are programmed to think from our perspective/experience. If you played sport as a kid, do you ever remember straining your hamstring, or tweaking a calf? My point exactly….
By know you should already acknowledge our youth of today are physically underprepared for sport. The difference however is not entirely the state of their tissue (i.e. muscles), but rather their inability to move efficiently or have what would be deemed the necessary strength to endure the demands of sport.
… Understand the difference?
But wait, here come the CEO parents, with the ‘we don’t have that problem with our child- he/she are in the school, inter-school, and state U/8 rep teams’ (eye roll).
Below are several examples of how you should approach this pre-season:
1. Take advantage of the sport-free weekends and challenge your child with something different (i.e. trampoline world
2. Purchase a non-sport-based item (i.e. Spikeball). Encourages free play, socialisation, hand-eye coordination.
3. BBQ’s- can equal supervised play dates. Grab a group of parents and let your kids see when you participate with them sport is about fun, healthy life choices and positive role models.
4. Environmental change; take advantage of the warmer weather and associated games/toys you can take with you. Encourages what we geeks call Kinaesthetic Awareness (awareness of limbs in their surrounding space). Sand?... Yes please!
So, the next time you're questioning how you can enhance your child’s physical acumen at the completion of, or transition into the next season… Choose an item from above. Even if it is just one, you’re shaping the future!
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