Kids competitive competitions
Kids competitive competitions from the ages of 10 and up, have incorporated representative competitions for the most talented or elite sports kids.
Athletes who have shown above average skills and fitness levels are often encouraged by parents, teachers and sports coaches to trial for higher level competitions and teams.
Most children have an inherent desire to do well or in the case of kids sport, WIN! It's these children who are often drawn to the representative sport trials.
Elite / Representative Teams or Squads
12/13 years and under
Sports coaches must remember their responsibly for the young athletes. Work with their above average talents to achieve greater skill and fitness levels for the kids. Further develop their sporting talents but always keep them working below MAXIMUM. Their best years are still ahead of them. Remember fun and enjoyment. Don't let your own personal sports coaching ambitions cloud your actions!
14 years and above
Sports coaches can now safely begin to increase the work load for the representative and elite athletes. The older athletes by this age will have a high desire to pursue their chosen sports and will be prepared to participate in more intense training sessions and potentially more mentally challenging situations in sports games. The fun and enjoyment must still remain, however the older athlete is able to chose more wisely how far they wish to chase their sporting dreams. You can let them RUN!
Representative sport is a vicious cycle that encourages, fosters talent but also destroys many kids further participaion in sports
Most sports coaches would agree that sport is to be played for;
Representative sport encourages the above, however it sometimes also destroys it.
- fun & enjoyment
- development of social skills
- exercise and increased fitness levels
- development of life long healthy mental, social and physical well being
Bill enjoys the aquatic environment from a very young age. Mum and Dad have Bill learn to swim and he moves from a learn to swim program to swimming club. Bill loves the idea of swimming races and really enjoys the Saturday morning swimming club races. Bill has made lots of new friends at swimming club.
At the end of the season Bill attends the club trophy presentations and sees all the awards. He decides he would like to receive one of those next season. He enjoys the winter off but when spring arrives he begins attending swimming squad training. His swimming times begin to lower and he beats all his friends in the races. At the end of the season he wins lots of awards. Bill is having a great time swimming with his friends and the winning is pretty cool.
Fast forward a few years. At age 10 Bill decides he wants to follow the older kids in the swimming squad and attend the State Swimming Championships.
Training is taken very seriously now. He still enjoys it, but the socializing with friends while at swimming is limited because the coach is pushing them hard. He now trains all year, no rest in winter. His hard work is rewarded and he qualifies to attend the Championships.
A few more seasons pass and his desire to keep swimming, something he use to love (friends, squad training, club racing) has disappeared because he is so focused now on getting PB's (personal bests) when he swims and trying to qualify for the States and Nationals Championships.
By age 14, Bill is burnt out He's had enough of swimming and quits completely. Age 14 is just when Bill should be getting serious about his swimming. 14 and up is when he can begin to push hard for State and National teams, even possibility the Olympics.
What's happened - Bill has let the representative sport take away his fun & enjoyment of swimming at a very young age.
By age 14 Bill is burnt out, he's had enough of swimming and quits completely. Age 14 is just when Bill should be getting serious about his swimming. 14 and up is when he can begin to push hard for State and National teams, even possibility the Olympics.
What's happened - Bill has let representative sport take away his fun & enjoyment of swimming at to young an age.
This scenario is played out in all kids sports where junior representative kids, their sport coaches and parents are aggressively chasing elite sport representation at a young age. Do we want young champions under 12 or life long sport participants who may or may not move into elite sport at an older age group?