How to Teach Kids To Run Faster

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
Developing a child's speed is a big deal when they're involved in sports. And many kids would like to run faster just for the sake of it, or to reach a personal goal. Teaching kids to run faster boils down to helping them develop good form...
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Developing a child's speed is a big deal when they’re involved in sports. And many kids would like to run faster just for the sake of it, or to reach a personal goal. Teaching kids to run faster boils down to helping them develop good form and ensuring they have fun while practicing. Keep track of their progress so they stay motivated, and don’t forget to run with them!

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Teaching Good Form

  1. Step 1 Warm up with jumping exercises.
    Jumping can help kids build the muscles they need to be strong runners. Before you begin to practice running, lead the kids through a set of jumping jacks or let them use a jump rope.
  2. Step 2 Check their form while they run in place.
    Ask kids to run in place as hard as they can for five seconds. Watch their form, and see if they have any weakness. Good sprinting form means:[1]
    • 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. Step 3 Model proper technique for them.
    If you notice any issues right away, say so. Then, run in place together with the kids. Mention how you are using correct form. They can watch you to see the right way to do things, and you can watch them to check for improvement.[2]
  4. Step 4 Help the kids visualize what good running feels like.
    Giving kids little reminders of what to do while running makes a big difference. For instance, tell the kids to imagine that their feet are pushing their hips forward. This helps them remember that most of the force for sprinting should come from the feet pushing away from the ground.[3]
    • You could also tell the kids to imagine they are holding a bird in each hand as they run. That way, they remember to keep their hands closed, but not clenched.
  5. Step 5 Give them verbal cues.
    Have the kids practice sprinting. As they run, call out reminders to focus on the aspects of form they need to work on in order to improve. For instance:[4]
    • If you have a kid who doesn’t swing their arms wide enough, call out “Hip to lip!” as they run. That will remind them to swing the arms all the way from the sides up toward their face.
    • If a kid isn’t lifting their legs enough, call out “Knees up! Knees up!”
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Keeping them Motivated

  1. Step 1 Set a running goal.
    A kid will really improve only if they want to. Make sure a kid is actually interested in learning to run faster, and talk about why they want to. Then, set an appropriate goal.[5]
    • For instance, if a kid plays another sport, like basketball, they might be interested in running faster to improve their performance. Remind them of this occasionally.
    • Set goals that focus on improvement rather than winning. Aiming to shave a second off of a 40-yard dash is a more manageable goal than wanting to win the state championship.
  2. Step 2 Keep track of the kids' progress.
    For instance, you could keep a graph or chart that records the kids' 40-yard dash times over 6 months. If the kids can visualize how they’ve started to improve, they’ll be more motivated to keep trying and make further progress.[6]
    • Make sure to time the kids during drills so you can track their progress.
  3. Step 3 Don’t push them too hard.
    Learning to run faster doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience and lots of practice. If you push kids too hard or try to rush their training, they will get discouraged and not improve. Focus instead on making incremental progress through regular practice.[7]
    • Only practice sprinting 3-4 times a week. A kid can get worn out if they practice too frequently.
    • Mix up practice sessions so that some days are focused on playing sports that get good running practice in, like soccer, football, basketball, and kickball. This also makes practice more fun!
    • Complementary activities, like weight lifting, yoga, and swimming are good for overall athletic development. But to improve running speed, its best to prioritize activities that provide sprinting opportunities.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Making Running Fun

  1. Step 1 Mix games into practice sessions.
    Just doing drills over again gets boring and demoralizing. Luckily, it’s easy to work sprinting into a variety of games. For instance, get the kids together and try things like:
    • An old-school game of tag.
    • A relay race.
    • A game of “Red light, green light.”
  2. Step 2 Make time for playing other sports.
    Running is a major component of many sports. If the kids get some run time in playing something like soccer, it will help them improve even if it isn’t technically sprinting practice. Plus, mixing things up keeps everyone interested. Sports that have good opportunities for running include:[8]
    • Baseball
    • Soccer
    • Basketball
    • Kickball
    • Dodgeball
  3. Step 3 Run with the kid.
    A coach doesn’t have to just stand on the sidelines. Getting out there and running with the kid gives them moral support, shows them you’re willing to work hard too, and is lots of fun. You can run drills or play games together, for instance. If the kid is interested, you could even run a race together.[9]
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