People often struggle to get their kids out and active and with so much social media and competition for the children’s dollar we sometimes loose focus on what it is kids really want. We rush from one appointment to the next including our kids in organised activities. It doesn’t have to be so complicated or costly and it can help you get fit and be a great way to share family time.
As a triathlon coach of Gold Coast Tri SQUAD – SPARTANS, Juniors aged from 9 + years and a mother of two boys aged 10 and 12 years I have worked with many kids.
The one piece of advise I can give is keep it fun and safe.
When I started with my two we would go down to the beach build sandcastles and in between I would draw a line in the sand and we would do 4-6 runs into the water and dive in and swim 6 strokes. ( Of Course I was blessed to put the kids in lessons from 6 months of age so they were actually being taught by Laurie LAWRENCE at ages 4, 5, 6, 7. ) Lessons for the kids for correct technique are important early, it builds a wonderful foundation for when they step up. Lesson at learn to swim stage are fun.
For the cycle make sure the kids have a Australian Standards fit helmet, if there is one piece of equipment you should spend the most money on its a helmet. Make sure it is fitted properly, it should fit on the head firm enough that it wont fall off if straps are not done up properly.
So a cycle session at early ages is focused on riding on footpaths to somewhere having a milkshake with mum and or dad and riding home. Discuss rules like keeping left, hands on handle bars at all times. Communicating to pedestrians and giving way. I still do this with my two, but we ride 50km, stop 10 km from home, and they cost me abut $30 for eggs and bacon breakfast. I wish it still was a milkshake……
For the run make it fun too, kids get pretty bored pretty easy and they have growing bones, so soft surfaces are a must to run on. Keep them off cement and bitumen as much as possible. A Fartlek session with the kids is great, where you start to walk together and then 20 m up you see a tree then run to that tree, race of course, where the kids win some loose some. You might do this for 6-8 times depending on attention span. You might stop and see a lizard, a creek etc. Break it down. You will be surprised how quick they are beating you home in a 10km run…..
I hope this helps in your quest to build on skills for kids for life.
Belinda Vardy is a highly regarded Triathlon Coach with over 20 years experience who trains people of all ages and abilities. She represented Australia in the 2009 and 2012 World Triathlon Championships, and is currently the triathlon coach of the Gold Coast Tri SQUAD – SPARTANS which includes Juniors aged from 9 + years. Belinda is also a mother of two boys aged 10 and 12 years.
For more information please contact Belinda via