Play time

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Not for the first time I had a parent ask about what program to put their son on so they can start training ‘properly’ for their sport.

Only problem was the boy looked about the age he should be holding a teddy bear more than a football. I’m hoping the trend of high achiever parenting, sending kids to school on Saturdays and focusing on academic results doesn’t carry into sports as well.

It’s great to see kids active and certainly beats any lazy adult’s attitude who thinks unlimited TV counts as parenting. Over the years I have learnt one of the main factors in how good any training works is how much the client wants the results.

If someone else has to ask for them, they need to make their own mind up first. Same for adults too. The best program for every kid is play! Here’s an excerpt from the paediatric journal…

“Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. Ideally, much of play involves adults, but when play is controlled by adults, children acquiesce to adult rules and concerns and lose some of the benefits play offers them, particularly in developing creativity, leadership, and group skills. In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies. In fact, it has been suggested that encouraging unstructured play may be an exceptional way to increase physical activity levels in children, which is one important strategy in the resolution of the obesity epidemic. Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.”

I’ll race you to the trampoline?

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