Through the years here at H2T I have encountered it all. Lazy kids, competitive kids, kids with no heart, kids who are burnt out and parents who think their kid is going to the show. Where do we draw the line when it comes to training and what is best for our kids?
Now I’m all for keeping our kids active and working towards their craft, but when does it become too much?? October is nearly here and I always find myself dealing with kids who are burnt out… yes, already and the season hasn’t even begun. What happens from over the summer months is that some of the kids get burnt out, injured due to overuse, and some that once loved their sport now want to drop out?? I will tell you what happens,……US! Parents, it’s ok to train, to improve your skill, but keep one thing in mind…… THEY ARE JUST CHILDREN! Give them time to be kids, to try different sports, to play with their friends, or just even sit and do nothing every once in a while. We over program our children and they never have time to be a kid. Yes, some of you are saying well my child has pure raw talent that needs to be cultivated, (I hear it all the time)
I ask you to remember a few things:
1. If your child is as amazing as you think, someone will be scouting them from a very young age and will ask to work and develop their skills. Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true! Let someone else tell you!
2. If you push too much eventually your child will push back and all those early morning and late night training sessions will be for nothing. Find the happy medium.
3. Listen to your child, ask them what THEY want. Don’t live vicariously through them. This has to be their dream, not yours. Your job is to help them facilitate it.
4. Be their biggest cheerleader, not a drill sergeant.
So the million dollar question now is how much is too much when it comes to training for kids?
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that children between the ages of 5-17 should “accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity of physical activity daily” this should include aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activities.
Parents; remember children develop at different rates, and some are able to do more while others can’t. It is important to keep that in mind and not compare your child to other athletes. Always be on the lookout for signs, if your child seems uninterested, injured, or unable to recover fully from his/her injuries .These could be signs of burnout. Encourage them to try new things, if they are always playing hockey introduce dryland training, it’s ok to mix it up, your child will reap the benefits mentally and physically by trying new things. Most of all parents make sure your kids love what they are doing. They are giving up their free time to chase a dream so encourage don’t discourage .
Until next time, Stay Fit..Stay Healthy!