Youth athletics … so much to say, but I’ll try to keep it short. I get asked from time to time, “how should we *train* our kid(s)?”. I’ll be honest, when it comes to kids & sports, don’t train them. At Blue Ox Running, we don’t coach athletes under age 18. Encourage them. Motivate them. Show them what healthy rhythms are. Lead by example and be active yourself. But don’t train them.
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Have them play. PLAY. and explore. Competition is like spicy food. Many will eventually love it and many won’t, but introducing *the spice* too early and too often will end in rejection of something they might’ve otherwise grown to love.
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I have no training secrets because my kids don’t train. They play and explore. We do have an expectation that our kids somehow be active and outside. They play basketball, they play soccer, they play football, they ride bikes like crazy, they go for a jog if they feel like it, they have a blast in gym class. Two of them still have dreams of playing football for Alabama. Any structure they have is from themselves and/or their coaches when they have them.
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Whatever they choose, I’ll cheer my head off. I’m loud and obnoxious, but it’s all I know and I can’t help it. I cheer when they’re in the front, middle, and back of the pack. I cheer when the soccer ball is stolen from them. I cheer as my parents did – loud. Really loud. They let me play ice hockey for crying out loud. I was (and still am) horrific at ice hockey.
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Parents … get ’em outside and cheer as loud as you possibly can.

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