Get the Warm up Low-down for Kids
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 10:43
When playing sports, warming up is a must and with kids there's an entirely different approach to coaching them through warm up drills. The value of a warm up created for children is that it raises the body temperature and heart rate, prepares the muscles and joints for activity, and helps to prevent injury. However, most people aren't aware that proper warm up also sets the mood and pace for the activity that is to follow. Part of a coach's job is to capture the children's attention and to get them excited to move around.
Coaches should plan and implement a warm up that:
This can be achieved in a variety of ways, but games and fun activities should dominate your warm up. Suggested activities include exercises that involve simple skills and challenges:
- Running on the spot - include clapping above head, boxing in various directions, etc.
- Bouncing on the spot - forwards/backwards, side-to-side
- Running or skipping forwards, backwards, sideways, etc.
- Zig-zag or slalom running
- Agility activities
- Galloping in various directions
- "Fast feet" on the spot
- Partnered activities
Getting your practice session off to a good start is extremely important when coaching youngsters. Knowing your group will help you to select activities and games that they will enjoy. For young ones, incorporating lots of fun and movement will result in lots of smiles and help you get the most of your practice session.
References from the SIRC Collection:
1. Byl J. 101 Fun Warm-Up And Cool-Down Games [e-book]. Champaign, Ill.; United States: Human Kinetics; 2004.
2. Halvorson R. Dynamic Warm-Ups Reduce Sports Injuries. IDEA Fitness Journal. April 2009;6(4):14.
3. Mitchell M, McKethan R. Making Physical Activity Fun. ACSM Fit Society Page. Spring 2003;:3-4.
4. SATO G. WARMING-UP with MINI-GAMES. Volleyball. January 2010;21(1):57-59.
5. Walters K. WARM-UPS: Thinking Outside the Penalty Box. Soccer Journal. November 2008;53(7):12-13.
6. Welch B. The importance of a proper warm-up. Coaching Youth Sports. September 2003.