Tips for Teens and pre-Teens. The Kind You Don’t See in Running Magazines!

Tips for Teens and pre-Teens. The Kind You Don’t See in Running Magazines!

Throughout the track season coaches Brant Stachel & Steve Weiler will publish a weekly series of youth training tips for coaches, parents, & runners designed to set athletes up for a lifetime of activity.

Week #1
Encourage Multi-Activity and Multi-Sport – Part 1
When coaching high schoolers, be flexible and supportive of athletes’ other interests, be it sport, music, academic, etc. Don’t make practices so frequent that they cannot participate in any other activities during ‘your’ season.

Week #2
Encourage Multi-Activity/Multi-Sport Part 2 - Elementary school:
1) include large breaks between seasons; 2) limit frequency of training & racing so kids can participate in other activities in-season; 3) discuss involvement in other activities with both the kids & their parents

Week #3
Athletes, no matter how talented, are still in a pathway of development. As a coach, always look at where they are coming from sporting wise and where they are going.
There should always be something more that can be added in training as they age/develop. Don't get stuck in the trap of exhausting all training modalities to have age group success at the risk of long term development.

Week #4
Treat kids like kids, not ‘little elites’. Avoid sending mixed messages that add pressure to specialize or expectation to excel in a single event/sport. Young athletes are still learning what they enjoy in sport; current preferences often change as they mature.

Week #5
More Isn’t Necessarily Better Part 1: Training Frequency
As a coach, be sure to consider why you offer as many workouts as you do: is it to better serve the athletes current needs? To justify your membership fees?
’Training’ for young athletes can and should include both structured and unstructured play – not everything needs to be  controlled by an adult.  Limiting workout frequency allows room to grow through other activities, including unstructured play.

Week #6
More Isn’t Necessarily Better Part 2: Racing frequency
Young athletes should race less frequently and become proficient at the process and learning to love it. This can be accomplished by racing regionally in smaller races more often than big championships and seeking out fun learning opportunities in races.

Week #7
Include Game Play!
When coaching pre-teens, be sure to include game play, which can include both physical and social elements. For example, include a Name Game at the first session after a long break to help everyone get to know each other.

Week #8
Mix It Up!
Encourage early teens and pre-teens to try a variety of events over the course of the outdoor track season; avoid specializing in a single event until your late teens or even later.

Week #9
Final tip - HAVE FUN!
It’s important that athletes (of ALL ages) enjoy the process and not just the outcome. HAVE FUN on your Endurance Odyssey!

Other Content

Today in Canadian Distance Running - October 24, 2004: Emilie Mondor sets the Canadian 5k road record!

Today in Canadian Distance Running - October 24, 2004: Émilie Mondor sets the Canadian 5k roa…

Read more
October 24th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Andy Boychuk 10th in Olympic Games Marathon

Today in Canadian Distance Running - October 20, 1968: Andy Boychuk 10th in Olympic Games Marathon i…

Read more
October 20th, 2019

Roadrunner, roadrunner #5: Taper for your goal race

You’ve picked your goal race and trained hard over the last few months. As race day approaches…

Read more
October 7th, 2019

Roadrunner, roadrunner #4: Practice fuelling for longer races

Training for longer races has the added challenge of fuelling. Fortunately, fuelling is a skill you…

Read more
September 29th, 2019

Roadrunner, roadrunner #3: Keep your easy runs easy!

As we touched on last week, most of our training as distance runners should be at an easy pace. Easy…

Read more
September 20th, 2019

Roadrunner, roadrunner #2: Include variety in your training

Now that you've planned out your goal race - let's say it's a 10k (great choice!) - it&#…

Read more
September 13th, 2019

London Runner, Physi-Kult Kingston, and BackRoads London Partner

              Big…

Read more
September 10th, 2019

Roadrunner, roadrunner #1: Plan out your racing season

Welcome to “Roadrunner, roadrunner,” our new series of weekly tips for runners competing…

Read more
September 7th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Gabriela Debues-Stafford sets the Canadian Women's 5,000m record of 14:44.12

Today in Canadian distance running - September 6, 2019 - Gabriela Debues-Stafford (UTTC) ran a C…

Read more
September 6th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Gabriela Debues-Stafford sets the Canadian Women's 1,500m record of 3:59.59

Today in Canadian distance running - August 29, 2019 - Gabriela Debues-Stafford (UTTC) ran a Can…

Read more
August 29th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Mohammed Ahmed set the Canadian Men's 3,000m record of 7:40.49

Today in Canadian distance running - August 29, 2017 - Mohammed Ahmed (Niagara Olympic Club) ran a C…

Read more
August 29th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Angela Chalmers set the Canadian Women's 3,000m record of 8:32.17

Today in Canadian distance running - August 23, 1994 - Angela Chalmers (Valley Royals T&F Club)…

Read more
August 23rd, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Matthew Hughes set the Canadian Men's 3,000m Steeplechase record of 8:11.64

Today in Canadian distance running - August 15, 2013 - Matthew Hughes (UNON) ran a Canadian Men'…

Read more
August 15th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Drayton/Bannon take silver/bronze medals at Commonwealth Games marathon

Today in Canadian distance running - August 11, 1978 - Jerome Drayton and Paul Bannon took home the…

Read more
August 12th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Lynn Williams earns Olympic bronze mendal in 3000m

Today in Canadian distance running - August 10, 1984 - Lynn Williams earned a bronze medal in t…

Read more
August 10th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Jaqueline Gareau 5th at IAAF World Championship Marathon

Today in Canadian distance running - August 7, 1983 - Jaqueline Gareau placed 5th in 2:32:35&nb…

Read more
August 7th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Sylvia Ruegger placed 8th in the LA Olympic Marathon, setting a Canadian Women's record of 2:29:09

Today in Canadian distance running - August 5, 1984 - Sylvia Ruegger placed 8th in the LA Olympic Ma…

Read more
August 5th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Mohammed Ahmed set the Canadian Men's 10,000m record of 27:02.35

Today in Canadian distance running - August 4, 2017 - Mohammed Ahmed (Niagara Olympic Club) ran a Ca…

Read more
August 5th, 2019

Today in Canadian Distance Running: Kevin Sullivan set the Canadian Men's Mile record of 3:50.26

Today in Canadian distance running - July 28, 2000 - Kevin Sullivan (Windsor Legion) ran a Canadian…

Read more
July 28th, 2019

How They Train #5: Nicole Sifuentes 2016 Track Season

This is the fifth edition of ‘How They Train’ in which athletes and/or coaches will…

Read more
July 22nd, 2019