It is important to develop a child's speed when involved in sports, and many children would like to run faster just for the sake of it or to achieve a personal goal. Teaching kids to run faster comes down to helping them develop good form and ensuring they have fun training. Monitor their progress so they stay motivated and remember to race with them!
Method 1 of 3: Teach Good Form
Step 1. Warm up with jumping exercises
Jumping can help children build the muscles they need to be good runners. Before starting to practice running, guide the children through a series of jumping jacks or let them use a jump rope.
Step 2. Check their form as they run on the site
Ask the children to run in place as hard as they can for 5 seconds. Look at their shape and see if they have any weaknesses. Good form for sprinting involves the following:
- push off with the front foot
- lean forward so feet are behind hips and hips are behind shoulders (also known as triple extension)
- keep your torso vertical
- keep your head still and relax your face
- flex your elbows at right angles
- keep your arms close to your sides when moving them up and down
- raise the front knee high and at the same time stretch the back leg
Step 3. Model the appropriate technique for them
In case you notice a problem right away, say so. Then, run on the site together with the children. Mention that you are using the correct form. They can observe you to determine the correct way to do things, and you can observe them to see if they improve.
Step 4. Help the children visualize what it feels like to run well
If you give small children reminders of what to do while running, it makes a big difference. For example, tell the children to imagine their feet pushing their hips forward. This will help them remember that most of the force for sprinting should come from the momentum of the feet against the ground.
You could also tell the children to imagine holding a bird in each hand as they run. This reminds them to keep their hands closed but not clenched
Step 5. Give them verbal clues
Get the kids to sprint. As they run, yell out reminders to focus on the aspects of the way they need to work on in order to improve. For instance:
- In case there is a child who does not swing his arms wide enough, yell "Hip to lip!" while running. This will remind you to swing your arms all the way from the sides up towards your face.
- If a child does not lift his legs high enough, he exclaims "Knees up! Knees up!"
Method 2 of 3: keep them motivated
Step 1. Set a goal for running
A child will really get better only if he wants to. You want to make sure that a child actually has an interest in learning to run faster and talks about why they want to run. Then set an appropriate goal.
- For example, if a child plays another sport (for example, basketball), he may want to run faster to improve his performance. Remind him from time to time.
- Set goals that are focused on improving rather than winning. Aiming to cut one second off a 40-yard dash is a more manageable goal than wanting to win the state competition.
Step 2. Monitor the children's progress
For example, you could keep a chart or chart where you record children's times in 40-yard races over 6 months. If children can visualize how they have started to improve, they will be more motivated to keep trying and make even more progress.
Make sure to take time with the children in the exercises so that you can monitor their progress
Step 3. Avoid demanding too much of them
Learning to run faster doesn't happen overnight. It takes patience and a lot of practice. Pushing kids too hard or trying to rush their training will make them discouraged and not improve. Instead, focus on making gradual progress through regular practice.
- Sprint only 3-4 times a week. A child can burn out if he practices too often.
- Mix up your practice sessions a bit so that some days you focus on playing sports that provide good running practice (for example, soccer, football, basketball, and kickball). This will also make the practice more fun.
- Complementary activities (for example, weight lifting, yoga, and swimming) are good for general athletic development. However, the best way to improve running speed is to prioritize activities that provide opportunities for sprinting.
Method 3 of 3: Make Running Fun
Step 1. Incorporate games into practice sessions
Exercising alone over and over again becomes boring and demoralizing. Fortunately, it is not difficult to incorporate sprinting into various games. For example, get the kids together and try things like the following:
- an old fashioned chase game
- a relay race
- a game of "red light, green light"
Step 2. Make time to play other sports
Running is a main component of many sports. If the kids have a run around playing something like soccer, this will help them improve, even if it's not technically sprinting practice. Also, mixing things up a bit keeps everyone interested. Sports that provide good opportunities for running include:
- the baseball
Step 3. Run with the child
A coach does not simply have to stand on the risers. Going out and running with the child provides moral support, shows that you are also willing to work hard, and is a lot of fun. For example, they can exercise for a run or play games together. In case the child is interested, they could even have a career together.