Endurance training for kids is the absolute foundation for all structured training programs.
All kid’s sports activities require the athletes to possess a minimum level of fitness to allow participation. As coach, if you improve the kid's fitness levels, the fun and enjoyment level also increases. The kid's have more FUN!
Developing kids fitness and their endurance levels is made easier by most kids being very active in other parts of their lives.
Sports coaches will encounter kids who struggle for a number of reasons; overweight, low self esteem, laziness, and lack of parental support.
Sports coaches have to sell the message of fitness and why it's important. Endurance training for kids can be incorporated into every part of a training session.
Variety is the kid’s sports coach best weapon in improving kids fitness. Keep them guessing. Keep it fresh. Disguise kids endurance training into games, training drills and modified games.
The yearly training phases have varying degrees of endurance training for kid's within there structure.
Pre Season - is dominated by aerobic endurance activities. Anaerobic training is increased as the competition phase draws closer.
Competition Season - both aerobic and anaerobic exercise are included, but a major focus is placed on the energy system most required for the specific sport or activity.
Taper - a definite reduced level of aerobic activity and increased anaerobic activity to help the body ‘peak’.
Post Season - have a rest!
Off Season - cross train, participate in a non competitive activity or play a different sports game. Representative athletes may use the off season to improve their ‘weaknesses’.
The kid’s need to make the connection between the endurance activities you are subjecting them too and the sports game or activity they compete in.
You as coach need to break the sport down and identify what levels of endurance are required. Develop programs that improve the sports specific endurance demands for your sport.
Successful endurance training for kids - keep the kid’s focused, motivated, challenged without totally physically and mentally destroying them and be very forthcoming with positive praise.
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