appropriate age to start kids in track and field?


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appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby GeorgeK » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:09 am

OK not a current events questions, but following the different links posted I get the feeling that there are quite a few people in these forums who must have a decent idea about this. Actually, I shouldn`t be saying track AND field because I am interested in the field events mostly for my elder son. He is 10 and already big, not heavy but I don`t see him as a runner (even though you can never tell). I am not rushing things, I want him to participate in team sports most of all and have fun in general for a few years and of course, it would be him who would decide but it would be helpful to get some opinions on the age question.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby Powell » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:35 am

Isn't he a bit too young for you to post this on the Dope Board? ;-)
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby GeorgeK » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:13 am

Yeah, I saw that as soon as I had posted the message. I meant to post it under current events. I go through the doping section quite regularly, it has some very entertaining comments.
I would like him to be able to toss the discus pretty far some day if he wants to but without performance enhancing drugs. They will probably be obsolete by then anyway, the way genetics science is evolving! Scary.
Last edited by GeorgeK on Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby utopian » Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:58 am

Since I am the parent of a 3-time national champion in track and field, why was my suggestion to wait until high school deleted?

This may not even be a minority viewpoint.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby Daisy » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:00 am

>This may not even be a minority viewpoint.

There are two threads with the same title. Your post is in the other thread. By the way i agree with your sentiment. I think kids can start having some fun in track at ten but serious training will just drive them away from the sport.

http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/tfn/di ... read=13925
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby mojo » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:17 am

Age ten is a perfect age to introduce him to the sport. The emphsis should be on basic skill development ie. agility, coordination and speed. Discus is a difficult event to learn at any age but we start our kids throwing it at about age 10.
I would urge you to find a program that emphasizes fun and doesn't go year round. Keep his track season short and sweet.
Though you may think he has the build of a thrower urge him to try all the events-I have seen far too many throwers become runners and vice versa.
Tyler Christopher (One of the world's top 400m runner) was a triple and long jumper for the first few years of his track career. Diane Cummins (an 800m runner) was a long jumper as well! gary Reed (top 800m runner) was a decathlete!
Anyway age 10 is a great time for a low key intro to the world's finest sport.
Last edited by mojo on Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby Jnathletics » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:40 am

>Age ten is a perfect age to introduce him to the sport. The emphsis should be
>on basic skill development ie. agility, coordination and speed. Discus is a
>difficult event to learn at any age but we start our kids throwing it at about
>age 10.
I would urge you to find a program that emphasizes fun and doesn't go
>year round. Keep his track season short and sweet.

Some good advice mojo. But I think 10 is late, ;-). I was rasied by a T&F coach and was running races a lot younger, all in fun though. I've already had my kids in races and their not 5 yet. :o.

If you want your kids to be interested in a sport get them to participate early. At a younger age it seems like a lot of fun, so they are more likely to enjoy it at an older age. But, i agree with mojo don't take it seriously, let it be fun.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby Cyril » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:42 am

I think it is ok to "introduce" the sport to young kids - u12. The techinical aspect of some events may benefit from early involvement. However, "serious" physical training should wait until highschool.

I have known many age group kids - sprinters through distance runners who began arduous training with great success early on. Upon entering highschool many others who hadn't been involved in the sport also started to train. These kids who were new to the sport had the emotional energy to give the sport, they were excited by rapid improvement during the early and mid teen years. Those who were already involved for 4 years upon entering 9th grade, quickly became disillusioned. They were no longer the standout they had been as a 12 year old. For many of these early "stars" they were out of the sport by 11th grade.

Team sports like basketball and soccer where a lot of running are required are usually a better choice for younger (pre highschool) children.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby tafnut » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:44 am

Why are there two threads with the exact same topic posted within two hours of each other by 'different' people? The ghost posts are getting worse?
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby Daisy » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:46 am

>Why are there two threads with the exact same topic posted within two hours of
>each other by 'different' people? The ghost posts are getting worse?

One was moved from the drugs board. Presumably the oldest of the two.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby mojo » Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:05 am

We structure our running workouts in such a way that the kids end of breathing hard but they have smiles on their faces! Things like fun relays, hopping, short sprints.
Our season just ended and all the kids were so sad. We are not taking them to the provincials championships though some would do very well. If it is their first year in the sport the champs can be overwhelming. They wanted more...the perfect way to leave them hanging!
"Serious" training with us begins at age 14.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:26 am

"I have known many age group kids - sprinters through distance runners who began arduous training with great success early on. Upon entering highschool many others who hadn't been involved in the sport also started to train. These kids who were new to the sport had the emotional energy to give the sport, they were excited by rapid improvement during the early and mid teen years. Those who were already involved for 4 years upon entering 9th grade, quickly became disillusioned. They were no longer the standout they had been as a 12 year old. For many of these early "stars" they were out of the sport by 11th grade."

I wonder if this is one reason that swimmers conclude careers at a pretty early age. The two kids next door (10 and 14) leave the house at 5:45 in the summer to go to swim practice, and I know this is not uncommon, as my thesis advisor had his two kids swimming morning and evening a 40 minute drive away (Industry Hills) -- he was very glad when the older one was able to drive.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby utopian » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:06 pm

In the case of my ten-year-old, the training was light or at least I like to think so. Fifteen to 20 miles per week about 8 months a year. Unfortunately it was just the two of us and there were other team sports available.

From that came 3 national championships and a national record. Then a few years with no improvement and some poor performances. Nor was there any improvement in high school.

Still a very good high school runner, but lots of panic attacks. No longer a competitor, but still running from 5-8 miles per day. It must be imprinted.
Last edited by utopian on Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby jhc68 » Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:29 pm

Playing at and learning fundamentals of any sport (track and field included) at age 10 is terrific... as long as the kid has fun, as long as parents and coaches are supportive and not demanding, as long as the competition is low key and occurs during a limited season, and as long as "serious" training is not a part of the regime. Age group swimming with pre-dawn , hours long work outs rivals gymnastics as a cult-like destroyer of emotional energy, IMHO.
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appropriate age to start kids in track and field?

Postby bushop » Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:54 pm

I've had throwers begin with the discus at eleven years old. At that age they throw a 0.6kg metal rim discus.

One boy, with little athletic ability (but grew to 6-04) threw 170-05 as a high school senior.

It can help to start early. I am currently working with a twelve year old girl (second year) who had thrown the 1kg discus 73-08.

I'm no great coach, the children just seem to pick-up the rhythm and positions.
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