The Ripon Medical Center Kids’ Aquathon staff’s goal is get children excited about physical activity, not only on race day, but hopefully as a lifelong habit. As parents of racers, there is a lot we can do to help young, new racers develop a passion for racing. Here are a few tips to get your young racers started.
1. Train in different places – Hit the trails, track, roads, pools, lake, etc. Children like variety. When the location of their exercise/training is changed, they are more likely to be engaged in what they are doing. In the same regard, laps get old! Make training fun, create scavenger hunts or relays.
2. Include their friends or family – Children are more willing to take on a challenge when their friends or family members are with them. Small groups are a great way to gets excited to take on the next challenge. As parents, be your child’s biggest fan. An encouraging word, or cheer, goes a long way!
3. Let them take ownership – Don’t force your young racer to participate, make them WANT to participate. Take them to races to observe the fun atmosphere, play racing games as a family, run or bike to the library instead of driving.
4. Set goals – It is never too early to have your children set goals. I’m not just talking about time, distance or maintaining a pace (for any of you who have run with children – you know what I am talking about!) Just be sure your child’s goals are attainable. Success is motivation. Set your child up to be successful. Have them participate in races where you know they will be recognized for completing the race.
5. Above all else MAKE IT FUN. Your child should have a smile on their face when training or racing. Forget about drills, warm-up routines and training schedules at this point in the game and just have fun.
On behalf of the entire Ripon Medical Center Kids Aquathon staff, we look forward to helping you make your children lifelong lovers of activity!