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Fun ways to build up endurance for kids

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 06:48 am
Hi,

My eight-year-old daughter is moving on to a new level of soccer this year -- bigger fields, a lot more running. Her coach told us parents that the girls aren't in the shape they need to be in for all that running, and suggested that we work on that with them.

She's a very active kid, but it tends to be quick bursts rather than sustained/ endurance running. She plays soccer or tag for about 50 minutes a day (recesses at school) and is usually running around doing whatever for at least an hour after school. She's pretty speedy but her endurance isn't great.

I run on a treadmill and always seem to develop problems (knee, hip) when I run outside (even on a springy track surface). I could maybe run alongside her if we just did laps, but maybe not. (My gym is grownups-only.)

I could also grab a bunch of her friends and have them run laps -- that might be more fun for them.

Frisbee was another idea I had, but she's not very good yet and it might be more towards quick bursts again.

Any other ideas?

Thanks!
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 07:46 am
@sozobe,
Interesting... I would think that the roughly 50 minutes per day of tag and soccer would be enough, but what do I know. As a kid I thought laps were incredibly boring, so I think that playing games is the way to go. Roller skating, maybe? It's not that intensive but kids can do it for a long time. Maybe jump rope, too.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 08:01 am
I am firmly opposed to endurance running at that age. Eight-year-olds are
stop-and-go runners. But that's OK. Soccer is a stop-and-go sport. Yes, kids
need to build up endurance, but not by continuous running. I'd recommend
bicycle riding or hikes along interesting routes. (Laps? Ugh. I won't do them
either. Gym? No place for an eight-year-old, I agree.) After a couple of
longish sessions, introduce some intervals of faster bursts, a bit of a jog in the
course of the hike, or a good hill climb on the bike.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 08:21 am
@sozobe,
Pick-up soccer games.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:05 am
Obviously she needs a puppy to run and play with.

A big, rambunctious, meathead of a puppy!

CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:11 am
Yes, a puppy definitely will do the task (we're running 6 to 10 times a day to
tire out our pup).
My daugther played soccer for years and years and outside of her regular sports
activities she liked swimming a lot and it did increase her endurance enormously.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:25 am
@sozobe,
Real basketball is pretty rough on your endurance. I know people who do gym daily (including treadmill) that get out on court and get winded in minutes.

Not sure how easy it is to get her into (you might need those lower hoops for kids) but it's very strenuous exercise if you do.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:34 am
@Robert Gentel,
Many sports are actually anaerobic.

Aerobic exercise is great for burning calories, and the cardiovascular system, but it isn't the right sort of training for everything.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:34 am
@sozobe,
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/12/13/fashion/13gear.1.jpg

Kids love rock climbing. Their strength-to-mass ratio is great, there are all sorts of kids at my gym who can do way harder problems than I can.

It really builds endurance and upper-body strength, and it's fun and intellectually challenging.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:36 am
@sozobe,
You know, I've just never found anything that could get me in shape for soccer other than playing soccer. If the girls aren't in shape now, they will be after a few practices and games.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:40 am
@boomerang,
I like the way you think, boomer! I'll try that one on E.G. (He's gone from 5% in favor of getting a dog to maybe 80% in favor, but that last 20% hasn't budged for a while now.)

Really good advice here, thanks guys. George, you used to be a soccer coach, didn't you? (I just remembered "SoccerGeorge," and there's your avatar of course.) Biking is an especially good idea. She's wanted to do more, and that's something I could do with her.

Basketball is an excellent idea too. Yeah, I was in the best shape of my life when I was playing several hours of basketball a day. And again it's something she wants to do, and something we've talked about. (She asked for [and received] a basketball for her last birthday.)

Pick-up soccer games are the obvious one, I'm not sure how to make it happen though. With only a few kids, it'd need to be a pretty small field, which defeats the purpose (she's already good on a small field). And it might be complicated to get a bunch of kids together. (This year they're playing 9 vs. 9.) May be worth a shot though.

Climbing! Good idea. She absolutely loves that. Might be complicated to find someplace for her to do it, but I can look around.

For any of these things I could probably get 1-3 kids to do it with her, to make it more fun.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:40 am
Oh!

Mo and I just finished our morning calisthenics. He started doing them at football practice where they warm up with a variety of stretches and exercise. He thinks they're fun to do and it is especially fun to "coach" me in them by leading the drills.

Best of all it doesn't require anything other than a bit of floor space and isn't weather dependent.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:42 am
@FreeDuck,
Good point. There's only one practice per week, and the coach seems worried that wouldn't be enough to get them in shape. I think especially because they're going to be focusing on technique/ rules a lot more at the beginning, since there is a bunch of new stuff this year (throwing inbounds instead of kicking, goalies, etc., etc.) So less time for actually playing games/ running around.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 09:50 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Pick-up soccer games are the obvious one, I'm not sure how to make it happen though. With only a few kids, it'd need to be a pretty small field, which defeats the purpose (she's already good on a small field). And it might be complicated to get a bunch of kids together. (This year they're playing 9 vs. 9.) May be worth a shot though.

All you need is 4 or more kids and two pairs of shoes to play pickup. The small field is ok because the team sizes compensate -- fewer kids means they are all running all the time. I still love pickup to this day.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 10:01 am
@sozobe,
it is not a lot of fun, but when I was a kid, at the end of each practice our coach had us doing lengths of the field as fast as we could go while dribbling the ball (controlled) as we ran. (sort of a contest, but you were tired and winded when finished)

2 birds.

0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 11:12 am
@sozobe,
Quote:
George, you used to be a soccer coach, didn't you? (I just
remembered "SoccerGeorge," and there's your avatar of course.)

Yep, sure did. And worked in summer camps and youth centers before that.

George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 12:25 pm
@George,
Some other thoughts . . .
Start with shorter sessions and gradually work up to longer ones.
Go longer before going harder.
Vary routes and surfaces.
If one thing isn't working, don't hesitate to drop it and try something else.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 12:32 pm
@George,
More good points, thanks.

I'm thinking of setting up a regular pickup game with a core of sozlet and three of her friends (all in the same league, three on the same team, similar skill levels), with more welcome to join if they'd like. Will talk to the other kids + their parents and see how that goes.

Then also do the biking and maybe hiking stuff with just sozlet. Without overdoing it of course.

Thanks again, to all!
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 02:56 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
I'm thinking of setting up a regular pickup game with a core of sozlet and three
of her friends (all in the same league, three on the same team, similar skill
levels), with more welcome to join if they'd like. Will talk to the other kids +
their parents and see how that goes.


When I coached in our town's recreational league, I always made the last half
of practice a "scrimmage". Basically, a pick-up game. The kids picked the
sides and my assistant coach and I each played on one side.

The rules were simple. Two practice cones at each of the field were the goals.
Goals had to be scored between the cones and below the knees. Someone
could mind the goal, but they could not use their hands. No out-of-bounds
(this was a huge field). Who ever got to it first, got it. My assistant and I did
not "coach" except by example. We chattered, teased, and encouraged. It
was great fun. It sounds chaotic, but it worked.

The Lovely Bride always claimed that the real reason I coached was so I'd
have kids my own age to play with.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 03:19 pm
@George,
Useful, thanks!
0 Replies
 
 

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